We are spiritual beings, but here as humans, we have bodies. Our bodies experience a wide range of sensations and emotions — fear, anxiety, shame, joy, love, pleasure, and many more.
Pleasure is one of the things that feels so specific to having a body – something that’s available to us through the tactile, through sensation, through what we can see and feel and touch.
One of my favorite quotes about pleasure comes from the classic The Ethical Slut: “pleasure is a worthwhile goal in and of itself.”
Many of us have learned in our society that prioritizing pleasure is selfish, unnecessary, and even wrong. But pleasure is our birthright, and as the quote above shares — it is worth pursuing. We all deserve to experience pleasure.
In this blog, I’m sharing three rituals to help you tap into pleasure. Scroll down to read them!
Before we jump into the rituals, here’s a list of ritual items that correspond to pleasure. Any of these items can be used to help you set the intention to invite in more pleasure. They are in no way necessary, but if you have them on hand, feel free to add them to any of the following rituals.
Crystals- rose quartz, garnet, carnelian, ruby
Colors- pink, red, orange
Tarot cards– The Empress, Queen of Cups, The Sun
Plants and scents- Rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang, patchouli, cinnamon
Energy points- Sacral
1. Presence Ritual
To me, one of the key ingredients to pleasure is presence. Many of us aren’t present throughout our days for many deeply valid reasons, from trauma to busyness, but when we aren’t present with our lives, I believe we miss out on a lot of the pleasure available to us in the moment.
For this presence ritual, all you’ll need to do is bring presence to something you’re doing in your day. Here are some examples of things you could try doing more mindfully to experience the pleasure within them:
- Taking a walk
- Eating a snack or a meal
- Watching the sunset
- Having a conversation with someone you love
- Listening to a song you love
- Listening to a poem over audio
- Moving your body in some way (yoga, dancing, running, etc.)
- Having sex (solo or with others)
Whatever you choose, try to ground yourself beforehand with a few breaths, a hand on your body, petting your animal companion, or doing something else that feels grounding for you.
Throughout the experience, try to keep your breath deep and truly notice your embodied experience. When you feel yourself drifting back into your mind (I can almost guarantee this will happen, and that’s okay!), try to just notice that, release the thoughts, and return to your breath. Just keep showing up with your breath and your presence, and see how it helps you attune to the pleasure that’s available to you at this moment.
2. Exploring the Senses Pleasure Ritual
This ritual is inspired by a group experience I took part in at Spirit Weavers a few years ago called Pleasure Stacking.
For this ritual, you’ll want to gather items that can stimulate the senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch). Get creative and use what you have around you! What items in your space open up possibilities for you, feel delicious, or spark curiosity?
Here are some things that I have used for this ritual to inspire you:
- Crystals with different textures
- Silky fabrics
- Eye mask
- A delicious tincture that tastes like cacao
- A CBD pre-roll
- Velvety fabrics
- Scented massage oil
- A chain from a necklace
- Sensual music
- Once you select the items you’ll be working with for this ritual, set yourself up somewhere you feel comfortable – I like to lay down on a yoga mat on the floor.
- Light your candles and incense if you’re using them, and start to breathe deeply and tune into the senses.
- The intention of this ritual is to connect with pleasure through the senses and through the body. The only guideline is to use your tools intuitively and keep breathing!
- Try to really stay present with sensation. You might start by rubbing oil on your body and massaging yourself, experimenting with different pressures. You might trace the chain from your necklace over your belly, taste your tincture or fruit, let your music wash over you and find organic movement, breathe in the scent of your incense, or wrap yourself in different fabrics.
- As you work with this ritual, notice what happens in your body. Notice what feels delicious in your body, what just feels weird, what your body wants more of. Can you give yourself what you need?
- As you keep tuning into the senses, allow any organic pleasure mantras to arise like “I deserve pleasure,” “My pleasure is sacred,” or “My pleasure matters.”
- Notice, too, if shame arises or thoughts telling you that you don’t deserve pleasure, it’s not okay to feel good, etc. Allow these thoughts and feelings to be here – it’s okay! They’re important information. See if you can breathe into them, honor them, and return to your journey through the senses.
- Take as much time as you need. Remember that experiencing pleasure is your birthright.
- When you’re ready, close this ritual by placing your hands somewhere on your body and speaking some loving words to yourself, to your body, to whichever parts of you need it.
Ritual to Open to More Pleasure
This ritual is intended to support you in feeling in your body where you hold blocks to pleasure – and moving them out in a fun way.
In my opinion, it’s not only our tears and pain that move energy and blockages. We can open to more pleasure, and we can move blocks out of our bodies in a fun and playful way as well. In this way, we become open to experiencing more pleasure and create a new pattern in the body.
For this ritual, feel free to put on some music and create a sacred space, whatever that means to you – (maybe lighting candles or incense, or not – you are a sacred space so you don’t have to do anything but you can if you’d like!).
You’ll want to be somewhere you can be comfortable, like in your bed or on a yoga mat.
- Once you’re set up and comfortable, start to feel in your body where you hold blocks to pleasure. I recommend starting by sitting in meditation and breathing deep, feeling these places that are present today (and if you can’t feel anything, that’s okay too).
- When you feel ready, start to move those blocks in a fun and intuitive way. Just play – see if you can let the moving of these blocks itself be fun and pleasurable.
- You can use laughter, orgasm, shaking, yelling, roaring, moaning, hissing, vibrating, circling, dancing, moving, or anything else you can feel into or think of to move these blocks out of your body.
- Can you let it be pleasurable? Can you let it be fun even to heal and explore and transmute? Let your creativity and intuition take over when it comes to moving these crunchy, sticky places out of your body.
- When you feel complete, take a moment to breathe and notice your new state. Can you feel where there is more space, more openness, in your body? How does your connection to yourself feel now? Breathe, notice, and perhaps take a few moments to explore these questions and process your experience in your journal.
Looking for more pleasure-based rituals? Check out these blog posts with more rituals for Beltane!
About Eryn Johnson
Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www.living-open.com and @erynj_ on Instagram.