The Body Electric and Erotic

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Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, sexual health and cancer, breast cancer, cancer and intimacy, cancer and pleasure

Did you have fun with a flower or chocolate or something else last week? I hope so and I hope that you’re beginning to experience little flickers (or big waves) of erotic energy. It’s so fascinating when we slow down and open up, to see what pleasures await us.

Do you know that your skin is your largest organ? It is, and it’s filled with countless nerve endings, which provide so much input. You probably already know some ways that this has changed in your body as a result of cancer treatments. Now you may have new or no sensation around scars or surgical sites, neuropathy, different sensations around hair loss and regrowth, to mention a few.

Are you dissociated from your body? It can happen easily as a coping strategy while going through treatment. Added to the dissociation that many women experience sexually, it can feel like there’s nobody home inside your body!

Going through life physically absent is one way, and I don’t recommend it. There’s much sensation and pleasure for us in our bodies and many ways to access these.

This week the invitation is to focus on the sensations in your skin. Take some time to stroke your skin with various types of touch ~ using only the pads on your fingertips very lightly, gently raking your skin with your fingernails, little taps on your skin to wake it up, deeper circular motions like massage, and any others that occur to you to try. Experiment with parts of your body that aren’t often touched including the backs of your knees, your elbows, your calves, and so on.

As you explore your skin, focus your awareness and attention on where the touch is happening and pay attention to the sensations. How does it feel? Do you feel pleasure both with your fingers or hands as well as the places being touched? Do you like touching or being touched better or are they the same? What helps you feel more present inside yourself? What do you love?

Getting to know your skin through touch and pleasure can be surprising. Notice what, if anything, surprises you and what you are learning about you. Please share it with us so that we can learn from you.

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

A Story About Kissing Under the Mistletoe

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Barbara Musser, sexy after cancer, cancer and kissing, holiday romance, the myth of kissing under mistltoe

Mistletoe has long been considered an aphrodisiac and holiday symbol of love. Where does this tradition come from? There are Greek, Celtic and Norse legends about it, all related to love and fertility.  After you read about them you may want to find some mistletoe and hang it in your home during the holiday season. After all, we can’t have too many kisses, can we? Let’s use mistletoe to spice things up a bit!

In the Norse myth, Frigga is the goddess of love, sexuality and wisdom. Frigga was the mother of Balder, the god of the summer sun. Balder had a dream about death, which greatly alarmed Frigga, for if the summer sun died, all life on earth would end. In an attempt to prevent this, Frigga went at once to air, fire, water, earth and every animal and plant seeking a promise that no harm would come to her son. Balder now couldn’t be hurt by anything on or under the earth. But Balder had one enemy ~ Loki, god of evil ~ and Loki knew of one plant Frigga had overlooked in her quest to keep Balder safe. It grew neither on nor under the earth, but on apple and oak trees. It was mistletoe. Loki made an arrow tip of the mistletoe, gave it to the blind god of winter, Hoder, who shot it, killing Balder. The sky paled and all things in earth and heaven wept for the sun god. For 3 days each element tried to bring Balder back to life. Frigga, the goddess and his mother finally restored him. The legend says that the tears she shed for her son turned into the pearly white berries on the mistletoe plant and in her joy, Frigga kissed everyone who passed beneath the tree on which it grew. The legend ends with a decree that whoever stands under the mistletoe, no harm should befall them, only a kiss as a token of love.

It’s easy to see how this could result in mistletoe as an emblem of love. And since Christmas has pre-Christian roots, this lovely myth may have sourced a beloved ritual.

If you choose to hang some mistletoe in your home, what will is symbolize for you? Love? Kissing? Safety from harm? The warmth of the season?

What does kissing mean to you? Do you like it? Want more of it? Want to be kissed? Take some time to ponder what kissing is to you and if you want it, how you can create more kissing in your life. As I was writing this, I was inspired to send a text message to my honey to invite him on a kissing date tonight. He said yes! Lucky me and lucky him ~ kissing is one of my favorite ways to connect and express love.

Next time, some more stories about mistletoe and kissing.

© 2013 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

Sexual Self-Care

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On the breast cancer journey, no matter what phase of it you’re in, self-care is something that we can all get better at. It’s like that reminder on an airplane to put on your oxygen mask before helping others. It can feel counter-intuitive, especially if we’re not accustomed to asking for what we want and need.

The first step is to recognize that we have needs and that they’re legitimate, no matter what they are. Sometimes in the rush of life, self-care goes by the wayside. Are you eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising, taking time for you?

Sometimes we abandon our own care to focus on others, thinking we’ll be inspired or that the other person will return the favor without our asking. That’s a no-win approach and can have us resenting others and ourselves. The best any of us can do for others is to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. When we feel cared for, chances are we’re better able to define our genuine needs. It can take time to learn what that is and to trust ourselves to know.

Sexually, self-care involves attending to your own sexual health and pleasure, and knowing when and how to communicate what you need, including when and how to say no even though your mind or body might be saying yes, and vice-versa! Understanding your intimate and sexual needs now that you are changed by cancer is a wonderful time to explore pleasure, intimacy and sensuality, and to expand your horizons beyond your genitals.

Ask yourself ~

  • What can you do today to take care of yourself? Whatever you need – love, attention, freedom, value, time – give it to yourself first before seeking it from others.
  • List the priorities in your life and consider how each priority impacts your self-care. Address any discrepancies. Make sure you’re getting enough food, water and sleep each day. Usually if we think we’re saving time by ignoring our own needs, our lack of energy will create the opposite effect.
  • Do you need to discuss your unmet needs with your partner? Reciprocity is a foundation element in relationships. Tell your partner your needs and listen to theirs. Then talk about how you can both take care of yourself with good self-care and support each other in caring for yourselves.

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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