WHat to do when pleasure feels impossible.
Why does pleasure feel so hard sometimes?
Today I'm dropping in with another podcast mini-sode (minisode #2 of 6) on fun and desire. Today I'm jamming on why it feels so challenging to feel connected to pleasure, why its not your fault if you feel this way, and what you can do to invite in more of what feels good.
I believe that pleasure should be a priority and not an afterthought. It's foundational. But our systems aren't set up to support that, so it's common for busy women to totally dismiss it.
Listen in to learn more about what to do to reclaim this important aspect of our health and well being.
(missed minisode 1? Listen here)
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Amanda Testa is a trusted healer, coach, and guide who’s served hundreds of clients over the years with masterful skills in coaching, pleasure embodiment, and somatic trauma resolution.
After thousands of hours of training in trauma informed sex and relationship coaching, tantric sex coaching, energy healing, somatic trauma resolution, breathwork, yoni egg coaching and more, she’s seen time and time again the magic and wisdom of our bodies.
We all have the ability to return to our blueprint of health, aliveness, pleasure and sovereignty, and you can too.
With her powerful, loving and gentle support her clients find their desire and pleasure again, find safety and bliss in their bodies, and remember they are enough just as they are.
Find out more about her new monthly Pleasure Membership HERE.
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EPISODE 246: When Pleasure Feels Impossible
Amanda Testa: Welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. I am your host, Amanda Testa, and I’m doing a little small diversion from our usual thing because I’m dropping in with six solo podcast minisodes on stories about fun and desire and how that makes such a big difference in our overall ability to connect to our desire, whether that’s in our sexuality or just in general. If you didn't catch last week’s, you’ve got to check in. You can check that out. It’s about how an 80s party helped me reconnect to my aliveness a few weeks ago, and I wanted to kind of talk a little bit more today around why it feels so challenging to feel connected to pleasure and why it’s so important, right?
I truly believe that pleasure should be a priority and not an afterthought. It’s foundational, and when we can connect to what we want, our desires are our compass, right? When we can connect to what is good in our life it becomes easier in the future to connect to those things, just like if you have a daily gratitude practice, anything like that, it’s gonna help your brain kind of focus on what is good versus what’s not.
Granted, this is not a bypassing, but this is just an opportunity to kind of be holding what is good because that can often feel really hard for people, you know? When we are experiencing something that’s painful or joyful, whatever it is, both pain and pleasure are first received in the amygdala, the part of the brain that’s dedicated to emotional extremes, survival, and pleasure and pain originate in the nucleus accumbens that’s just below the level of thought.
So, there are values that are placed upon sensation mingled with emotion and thought. So, when we have a sensation, it can trigger an emotional response which can trigger what we feel, whether we feel pleasure, pain, what the sensation is, how we register that sensation in our brain. The good news is that our brains are able to be rewired, right? We have that neuroplasticity, and we can rewire our brains to feel more pleasure, right? So, the more we engage in pleasurable experiences, the easier it is for our nervous system to default to regulation. What I see so often is that we love to over-schedule ourself.
I was talking to a friend the other day, and she was, meanwhile, driving home from dropping a kid off at some event and just talking about how she never has any time. She is constantly driving around for work. She is constantly doing things for her kids. She is constantly helping out at the kids’ school. She is constantly helping out her friends, helping out her family, helping out her in-laws, all the things. Who can relate? Now, having that kind of experience where you are constantly doing all the things, I mean, I know it can even happen to the best of a pleasure-seeker. We have cycles in our lives where that can be the case, right, where we totally just have no time, and it can feel really challenging because our culture is really not wired or set up for us to have leisure. It is not set up for pleasure. It is not set up for that kind of nourishing selfcare and, god, what an amazing world it would be if it were. But our systems are not set up for that.
What this can look like when I see people that are kind of struggling in this area where it feels like they are always busy and they can't slow down, and, alternatively, if they finally do get a chance to slow down, they get sick or they can't relax because there’s that constant niggling in the back of their mind that’s like, “Oh, man, I should be sending this email,” or, “I shouldn't be sitting here playing Legos with my kid. I really need to fold the laundry,” and, “I shouldn't really be sneaking out to have a date with my husband because I’ve got this call with my boss tomorrow and I need to prepare,” or feeling really anxious when there’s open space in the calendar. That can feel really challenging, feeling like you need to fill all the time in the day. And this can also show up when you, perhaps, always think you have to be doing.
I think when you do have free time it can feel really hard because there’s that side of you that wants to be productive, that wants to be quote-unquote “good,” that wants to quote-unquote “do what’s right,” and when it comes to enjoying things like sneaking off for a little nooner with your partner, that can feel challenging to our brain.
It’s like, “Oh, man. That’s bad. There’s shame wrapped up in there from when I was a kid and my Sunday school teacher in eighth grade told me that if I held hands with a boy I was gonna go to hell or that time I was having dinner with my family, and they sat us all down because my sister, they found out she was having sex, and we all had to get the lecture on why sex is bad and we can't do it because our lives will be ruined and we’d all go to hell and all the things.” We don't think about it but these beliefs that we’ve picked up in our lifetime subconsciously show up as an adult, and this is why pleasure feels impossible for busy women.
Again, it’s not your fault, right? It’s our culture. The culture is the villain. The culture is the villain, and this is why it becomes an afterthought. This is why it doesn't feel like something that we are able to enjoy, the urgency culture that we live in, and it’s not just you.
So many of my clients struggle with this. I struggle with this. But we do have a choice on how to reframe our relationship with pleasure and to claim some space for what feels good, to practice sitting in those spaces and, even better, to do it with a community who has a similar idea, right? Because often we know we need to do the thing, but we don't even know what the thing is!
So, I’m super excited to announce that I have launched a pleasure program. This has been years in the making, and I am so thrilled to finally be able to offer this to you! I have been in this industry for almost a decade, and I have learned so many amazing tools and techniques and all the things, but what I want to do is to distill down kind of the most important basics, that you can show up regularly and be able to enjoy a practice just for you, a practice just to connect to your sensuality, just to connect to your pleasure, kind of like going to the gym, right? Going to the gym to learn how to lift weights, you're going to The Pleasure Foundation to learn how to relish pleasure, how to enjoy more of your sensuality, how to be in your body, how to have fun, and it’s gonna be super accessible because (this I mentioned before) over-scheduling, it’s a real thing.
And so, what I often see with that, too, is we make these huge, grandiose plans for ourselves, and we want to do all the things, and, at the end of the day, we don't get those things done, and we beat ourselves up and go in that downward spiral. So, the key here is doability, right? Making it reasonable, making it doable. To me, those kinds of steps forward are the most successful. So, it’s going to be very accessible. It’s going to be very doable. Just two practices a month. We can all do that, and it’s gonna be so much fun.
So, I hope that you can join us. If you have questions about it, feel free to shoot me a DM! You can DM me on Instagram @abtesta. You can go to the website and check out more if you're interested. It’s www.amandatesta.com/tpf (as in The Pleasure Foundation), and I hope to see you there!
Stay tuned because I’ve got a lot more juicy little minisodes coming, so you will have four more to come! So, stay tuned, sending you lots of love, and we will see you soon!