A woman isn’t fully empowered unless and until she is sexually empowered.
When women are disconnected from their sexuality, rejected, or traumatized, their sexuality is enmeshed with shame, guilt, and fear. You can tell the difference between a girl and a woman, regardless of age, by observing how comfortable and open she is with her sexuality. Women struggle to be powerful in life—regarding expressions of their personal truth, power, and creativity, in relationships, or in having a fulfilling career.
According to Tantra, a woman’s embodied power is her Shakti (life force) which resides in her womb and yoni (vagina), not her brain or intellect. Shakti is the natural presence and organic movement of life energy through a woman’s body. Just as nature expresses herself in infinite ways—with streaks of lightning, golden flames of fire licking upward, or a tree softly waving its branches in a sultry breeze—Shakti and a woman’s sexual expressions are free, alive, and playful. Any judgment or taboos about sexuality are constructs of our mind, religion, and society. A sexually empowered woman flows with her sexual energy, isn’t restricted by judgments and taboos, and feels safe and free to surrender herself to her desires.
However, in our current world, a woman’s ability to be sexually free has been violated and used as a patriarchal weapon to oppress her and keep her from her power. Women can come into their true power when they heal, claim, and enjoy their sexuality. Besides, there are significant health benefits when you’re more sexual: you look younger and radiant, feel less stressed, and even improve your immune system and brainpower.
[Read Related: Three Ways the Indian Feminist Tradition of Tantra Honors and Celebrates Women’s Sexuality]
The following are 5 qualities of a sexually empowered woman:
1) She Owns Her Sexuality
She celebrates and enjoys her sexuality, whether or not she is in a romantic relationship. It shows in her walk, swing of her hips, and the sparkle in her eyes. Regardless of body shape and size, embracing your sexuality is one of the most fulfilling, powerful, and fun things to do.
There is so much social conditioning in South Asian cultures to be demure and to not sexualize yourself, but those restrictions keep you from your feminine power. Your sexuality belongs to you, not to your family, husband, or partner.
2) She Pleasures Herself Sexually
Many women think sexuality has to be experienced only with a partner, but self-pleasuring is a beautiful practice of self-care and self-discovery. Also, if you have any history of trauma, self-pleasuring is a safe way to open up to pleasure and sensation.
Take time to explore your body, sexual desires, and learn how to arouse and satisfy yourself. The more you practice, the more your body, chakras, and energy meridians open to pleasure. Whether or not you orgasm, this practice increases joy, satisfaction, and fun in your life.
3) She Heals Trauma and Clears Limiting Cultural Beliefs
Sexuality, for most South Asian women, is an unspoken topic. Most families don’t talk about it and many women receive messages that it’s “dirty” and “wrong”, or that they’ll somehow figure it out after they get married. So sexuality often goes undiscovered and, with it, individual power. Moreover, if you have trauma, it can cause several problems in a relationship.
A sexually empowered woman addresses trauma and cultural beliefs about sexuality head-on. Seek professional help to heal your trauma and free yourself from any limiting, cultural beliefs that create shame, guilt, or fear, so that you can experience sexual ecstasy.
[Read Related: 5 Lessons I Learned From Surviving Trauma]
4) She Chooses Safe, Consensual, and Appreciative Sexual Relationships
Any relationship that doesn’t keep a woman safe, violates her body or sexuality, or devalues her is not worthy of her. Outside of certain coercive bounds, a sexually empowered woman refuses to stay in a relationship that violates, intimidates, or demeans her. She finds a way to protect herself, be financially independent, value herself, and leave when she can and if she needs to.
If a sexually empowered woman chooses to be in a relationship, she chooses a partner who is safe, respectful, appreciates her, and with whom she is an equal. Only such relationships support a woman’s sexuality, confidence, and power to bloom.
5) She Asks for What She Wants
She takes responsibility for her sexual desires and finds partners to delight her because she doesn’t allow cultural or religious stigmas to restrict her. She knows her sexual need—what turns her on and what doesn’t work for her.
In the bedroom, a sexually empowered woman is comfortable telling her partner what she wants. She places equal emphasis on pleasing herself as she does on pleasing her partner, and enjoys receiving compliments and complimenting her partner. She feels free to initiate, follow, and experiment since an empowered woman is the one responsible for her sexual pleasure.