Before my diagnosis, I admit that I wasn’t on a timeline regarding love and marriage. I didn’t believe I had to be married or have kids, even if I was in my late 30s. No matter how much society pressures women, I never wanted to rush into having kids or getting married just because I was getting older. I always thought that I had time. But, when breast cancer came knocking at my door, it changed everything, and immediately I had to face real-life realities, and it made me question my decisions.
At the beginning of my diagnosis, I began to feel hopeless about my love life. I wasn’t in a serious relationship then, and I felt like my diagnosis would impact my dating life moving forward. It was already hard to date during the pandemic, and now that I was going to lose all my hair and do chemo, I knew that my dating life would probably have to be put on hold until I finished treatment. The last thing on my mind was dating while I was trying to fight to live. I was initially supposed to have a mastectomy, but my doctors later determined I would proceed with a lumpectomy. I spent a month talking with plastic surgeons about losing my breast. I researched pictures to see what my breast would look like, and it was emotionally and mentally challenging. I took several pictures of my breast, thinking I would never look the same. I was devastated. I didn’t have to have a mastectomy after my second diagnosis, but I went through the process, so I understand what most women must mentally prepare for surgery like this. I send my love to all the women who have had to have the surgery because I know it can be tricky.
After losing your hair and having nothing to hide behind, you realize the true depths of your beauty. During treatment, I tried to dress up and keep my makeup done as much as possible to feel beautiful. Now two years later, after finishing treatment, I am trying to get to know myself and my body again on a more intimate level. I realize that I am not the same person that I was before. After your body has been through chemo, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy, you feel awful. Mentally I am drained, and physically, my body is so tired I sometimes feel like I have aged into a 60-year-old woman. During treatment, I did not feel sexy at all most of the time, so now that it’s over, I am dedicated to putting in the effort to make sure that I feel great about my body.
I am devoted to building up my self-esteem, so I am pushing myself to try new fun activities that will boost my confidence and help me feel more secure about my femininity. I am adventurous and willing to try almost anything fun and safe. I set a few goals a few months ago to find something new to make me feel sexy so I committed to do at least 2 to 3 times a month. Here are a few things that I have tried so far.
Pole Dancing Class
If you have ever seen Jennifer Lopez’s preparation for the movie Hustlers, then you know that pole dancing is no joke. Before the pandemic, I took a pole dancing class, which was so much fun. I decided to try pole dancing again because there are so many benefits. It takes skills to slide up and down a pole; you need enough strength to lift and hold up your body weight, so the pole can help you build strength in the muscles in your arms, abs, and legs. Even if you don’t have enough strength, you can still build up the power you need just by continuing to attend class. Pole also allows you to gain flexibility, and after the stiffness that chemo brings to your body, you can truly benefit from this. Finally, it helps you to release stress, which many survivors have after going through such a traumatic experience. If anything, it’s a place where you can have fun with other women looking for the same thing. Before going, I must warn you that you might get bruised, or your hands might get calloused because of the way that you need to grip the pole. Despite all that, you may learn some moves that will make you feel sexier and more confident. You Go Girl!!!
Ecstatic Embodied Sexuality Class
So, what is an Ecstatic Embodied Sexuality class? Well, embodied sexuality is the full expression of your sexuality through your senses, mind, fantasies, heart, and presence of being. It can be a creative process. It allows you to be present in your body, senses, and mental states. I decided to take this class to explore my sexuality in ways that will allow me to be empowered. In more ways than some, I am learning the benefit of being more present in my body. I have been practicing being more mindful because I am an overthinker, especially after my diagnosis. When it comes to sex, I am at a point in my life where I want to enjoy every aspect of it.
I signed up for this class knowing I would have to be open and vulnerable. A variety of people attended, including couples, friends, and single people. The truth is that everyone here wanted to learn how to have fantastic sex. I appreciated this class because there was no judgment, and people could be themselves. The class is basically for everyone, rather you are in a committed relationship or enjoy hookups; whatever your cup of tea is, no judgment. The class was two hours filled with breathing, meditation, and physical touch exercises. One of the exercises that I enjoyed the most was “Give, Receive, Take and Allow.” This exercise focused on consent and boundaries in sex. As a giver, you want to please your partner, and as a receiver, you can enjoy the experiences. As a taker, you are doing an act to please yourself, so your partner must allow you. It’s essential to understand each role. There were a few exercises where we used physical touch, nothing overrated, all consensual. I enjoyed these exercises because they allowed me to be present and focus on the person. One important thing in these exercises was your listening skills and ensuring that your partner is heard and that you understand what they want from you. Overall I enjoyed the class and wouldn’t mind taking another one in the future, especially with my very own partner.
Last month I decided to treat my vajayjay to yoni steam, also known as vaginal steam. Vaginal steaming is an ancient practice that is thought to be beneficial in cleansing the vagina and uterus, regulating the menstrual cycle, easing the pain of period cramps and bloating, and aiding in. The practice is also known to be very meditative. Since I have started looking into more holistic healing methods, this was right up my alley. I have had two surgeries for fibroids, so when I heard that yoni steams could help, I decided to try it.
I tried a place in Queens, NY, close to where I live. When I showed up, they took me to a room with a giant seated chair that looked like a fancy toilet fit for a queen. They then mixed the herbs in a boiling pot inside the chair. The lady then told me to put on this huge satin robe-looking thingy and told me to put it on and sit over the pot. I was looking at this thinking; you want me to do what. I changed into the gown, sat over the pot, and let the magic begin. Overall it was really relaxing and I felt like my period was better. I also loved the way that the herbs smelled and the way it felt. It felt like a vagina cleaning, LOL!!! I loved it and hope to try it again very soon.