(from The Queen of Myself: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife by Donna Henes)
Regular sex, according to medical research, has the same benefits as regular exercise. It increases the flow of certain chemicals that naturally boost and strengthen the immune system, improves cholesterol levels, stimulates circulation, invigorates the heart, diminishes the intensity of pain, especially in migraines and chronic arthritis, reduces PMS symptoms, and releases endorphins which simply make you feel good.
Make friends with your body. The more accepting you are of your physical being—your best features as well as your flaws—the more comfortable you will be sharing it. Develop your sense of touch. Cover the surface of your body with paint, with clay, with cream, with silk. Caress the textures. Feel the tactile sensations on your skin. Treat yourself to a massage, a manicure, or a facial. Pat, stroke, rub, knead your skin and hair. Offer to massage someone. Ask someone to do it for you.
Appreciate your body. Know that this body allows you to participate fully in life. Don't take this tremendous gift for granted. Express your gratitude for its durability, dependability, and recuperative powers. Bless the feet that take you where you want to go, the back that holds you upright, the hands that serve you so well, the eyes that you see out of, the heart that keeps on ticking. Bless your life in its physical form and enjoy it.
Treat your body well. Feed it wisely, air it often, water and exercise it with Intention and care. Pay Attention to its proper maintenance and upkeep. Keep it oiled and greased and limber, and don't let it get rusty. Nurture its need to be nurtured. Tend to its requirements and pamper all of its parts. Prepare your body for sex. Soak in a warm tub full of fragrant water to melt into the mood. Rub luscious lotion all over yourself, caressing each mound and crevice and curve with love and anticipation.
Mind your memories, good and bad. Do not dwell in the past. Do not look back in time in order to yearn for more youthful days or compare yourself today with who you used to be.And do not let past pain, rejection, repression, or abuse deprive you of your present pleasures Deal with what you want to change so that you can Be Here Now.
Mind your manners. Be nice. Be kind. Be patient. Be encouraging, but be sure to ask for what you want. Be willing to communicate with an open ear, as well as with an open mouth. Be clear and specific. Be gentle, but firm. Speak your truth and expect to be heard. Share your desires and fantasies and play them out. Show and tell.
Mind your P's and Q's. P stands for permission. Allow yourself to follow your instincts and your desires and give yourself the unconditional permission to do what comes naturally, whatever that might mean to you. Q is for the Queen in you who knows what She likes. And She knows how to get it.
Explore the full range of your sexual emotions.What feelings does sex engender in you? What needs do you want it to fill? Does it? Is sex an outlet for the release of stress, of anger, frustration, or boredom? Is it an avenue to tenderness, affection, closness, intimacy, honesty, safety, openness, trust, and love?
Express your true emotional Self in all its myriad moods.Allow your funny, silly, lazy, sad, colorful, soulful, sinful parts out to play. Be adventurous. Be bold. Be brazen. Be wild. Be inventive. Don't worry, the kids won't be able to hear you. Be silent. Be solo. Be celibate. Be whatever you damn well please.
Exorcise your demons. Relax your resistance. Release your inhibitions. Let go of your mind altogether. Forget your emotions and all of your mental ramblings for a while, and just let yourself be. There are times when it is important to reflect upon and connect with your thoughts and feelings, and there are times when it's just as beneficial to disengage. Sex would be one of those times to let go.
Create a sexual sanctuary, a safe and sacred space, a Temple of Love in which to indulge in your pleasures. Remove all distracting items that relate to the other parts of your life: notebooks, briefcases, pagers, bills, calendars. Turn the phones off, including the cell at the bottom of your purse. Cover the clocks. Close the bathroom door.
Smudge your space with the smoke of myrrh or copal to cleanse the atmosphere and with the smoke of sweetgrass to invite in the sweet spirits. Create a mood conducive to enchantment, enticement, and enjoyment. This is the royal boudoir, after all. A Garden of 1001 Delights. Decorate it in such a way as to appeal to all of the senses. Sheets and covers in soft fabrics: chenille, flannel, satin, to lie upon. Candles, soft lights, colored walls, flowers, and objets of art to please the gaze. Evocative perfumes, oils, and incense to smell. Lovely treats to taste.
Create a ritual before you make love.Think of sex as a way to connect, alone or in company, with the vibrating Kundalini energy that courses through you and the entire universe. Sanctify and ignite your Intention by lighting a candle, saying a prayer, or by singing, chanting, drumming, dancing, anointing. Reach out to engage your Self, another, and All That Is, in an ecstatic embrace of spirit, passion, and love.
Donna Henes, The Queen of Myself: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife (Brooklyn, NY: Monarch Press, 2005), pp. 180-182. For more information, visit thequeenofmyself.com and donnahenes.net.