I was having a conversation the other day with a friend and she told me that she was spending a lot of time with a boy she didn’t really like. Obviously, I thought that this was odd and wondered why she didn’t just stop wasting her time. She said that she was spending time with him for the company because she was lonely. When she said that I realised so many people spend time with people they don’t really want to because at least they have people around them. I don’t think being by yourself or being lonely is a bad thing; there’s a lot to be learnt in moments of solitude.
Last Tuesday I attended the Scarlet Ladies event Talk of The Town: Sex Without Stigma and I was pleasantly surprised. The event was held in a beautiful venue in East London which felt like a vintage living room where glamorous ladies would come together and chat about their woes. Except it was 2017 and sex positive chat only.
Scarlet Ladies are all about growing in confidence, loving their bodies, and living boldly without fear or shame. They are a peer-to-peer network with an aim to empower women to understand and own their sexuality. It was an honour to be invited down and be apart of this great community they have built.
I enjoy talking about taboo subjects. I like gaining new perspectives and altering my own. But I was surprised at this event. I was wrong, sex is not a taboo subject. The ladies at this event made me realise that sex is a essential part of our identities and although it manifests in various ways for different people, it is completely normal and not a taboo subject at all.
When you hear about sex positivity, it is normally watered down or has undertones of patriarchy in it and it doesn’t really get discussed as a fully-fledged topic. In mainstream media, in my opinion, female sexuality is still very much a stigmatized subject.
At Talk of the Town: Sex Without Stigma, women came together from all ages and discussed their sexual experiences. With discussion we were able to give our own contributions and hear our views on a subject in contrast to others. Talking about sex in an open environment free from any judgment and condemnation was a chance to gain an insight into the different ideas and attitudes from a variety of women. We discussed different ways that one can be more conscious of their sexual self-hood.
It was hosted by the wonderful Alix Fox and the event centered around alternative sexuality where we discussed kink, orgasmic meditation and tantric sex. A view that I found interesting was that if women go out unknowingly into the world to explore their sexuality without any guidance or familiarity they may be open to the danger of being exploited and violated. However, with proper and adequate education and information women can be equipped with the knowledge to express themselves without risk or endangerment.
Where do we receive proper education on female sexuality? We don’t see it in porn. We don’t learn about it in school. This is why groups such as Scarlet Ladies are invaluable.
What enabled such open and candid discussion was the fact that this was a safe place. We were all free and despite coming from different backgrounds and having different characters; everyone and the panelists were receptive and sincere. This is definitely not the kind of honest discourse you’ll find on your Twitter timeline haha. Although I came by myself, I was made to feel so comfortable and left with some new gal pals. There’s nothing I love more than head strong women who know what they like and want and own their identities.
What I learnt was that there is definitely not one way to discuss sex; there is not one right form of sex; people are free to express their sexual identities in whatever way they choose. Not only is speaking about and actually discussing the subject with fellow women insightful it also leaves you feeling empowered. I left with a new attitude and view on the norms that we accept in society. We as individuals are free to reclaim our sexual identities and express them in any form that we wish.
CONSENSUAL SEX ONLY AND NOTHING ILLEGAL – (because people still don’t know this)
They currently have 75% off your first 3 months‘ membership if you join by 30th June. Check out their membership and what it includes and definitely head down to one of their events! Their next one is on the 21st June and if you can’t make it but like the sound of these events tell a friend to tell a friend.
I just really want all my gal pals to check out Scarlet Ladies, the talks and community that they provide. We are now in a time and generation where women want ownership of our bodies, we are forward-thinking, we are feminists and we are powerful. Scarlet Ladies have created a community where women like us can exist. We can be empowered and empower others. The future is female. #talkFIERCE
*disclaimer – I was not paid for this post. All views are honest and my own*
I really want to come to terms with how the world is the way it is and why we are the way we are as individuals. Introspection is a skill that I think is so useful in determining our place in this world and how we relate to other people. Having the ability to be deeply aware of your own feelings, emotions, thoughts and perception of yourself is something that I think is integral to leading a life of self-fulfilment and development. Self-awareness is key to unpicking the negativity in our lives, bettering ourselves and leading happier lives. With any form of self-improvement, it takes time and practice to truly see and understand ourselves clearly. If you are interested in how to become more self-aware keep reading and find out my 5 ways of doing so.
Constantly Evaluate Yourself
Throughout the day when you are engaging in thought and carrying out certain actions, evaluate the motivation for them and ask yourself why are you doing them. Explore how you are feeling in each act you are doing or why certain thoughts present themselves in response to any stimuli you’re presented with throughout the day. If you feel stressed at all or down or annoyed, try to find the root of your problem and evaluate why you have been put into these negative moods. Analysing yourself and becoming aware of your behaviours can help to prevent you getting into these moods or can help you make these moods short-lived. You will know what things you dislike and you may not react so negatively in the future.
Don’t Judge Yourself
Whenever you are feeling certain emotions or feelings, express yourself fully and ride the waves of these emotions without judging yourself for doing so. If you are frustrated or jealous even, don’t think to yourself that “I shouldn’t be frustrated”, “being in a bad mood is not good”, “I’m being a party pooper”. Be honest with how you are feeling, come to terms with it and evaluate it in it raw state. Don’t ignore your emotions, face up to them. You will gain a better understanding of the self and you won’t fly off the handle so often or be confused about your feelings. Your emotions and feelings are always valid, just because they may affect others or may not be ideal for a certain situation, it doesn’t mean you should just disregard them. Be honest with yourself.
Change Your Perspective
We all have a perception of things, such as the people around us, situations and events. People also have a perception of us and we have a perception of ourselves. With self-awareness the key is to making the various perceptions of the self equal. How you perceive yourself should match how others perceive you. Through self-reflection and engaging with other people in conversations about each other you can gain a deeper understanding of your inconsistencies and shortcomings. Put yourself into someone else’s shoes and evaluate yourself with a different perspective. What do you see? How do you come across?
Accept Yourself 100%
No matter what you discover on the route to self-awareness you need to accept. This is you. You may find flaws but this is what makes you you. Being able to identify them and make an effort to change them is a great way to develop and improve yourself. We are not perfect and so evaluating ourselves may not always bring about positive conclusions. Again, if you are feeling negative emotions, don’t ignore them or judge yourself, accept it and in time these will occur less and less often. Accepting yourself 100% will provide the perfect environment for you to grow in a healthy way.
Self-awareness is not a finite destination. You can’t give yourself a month to achieve it. It is something you will be consistently and constantly working at. Changing behaviours and thought processes take time and when you find a way to bring about change there will be new ways to improve. The path to self-awareness is a journey, you will learn new things about yourself through all the different interactions, events and situations you find yourself in throughout life. Self-reflection and self-awareness will become second nature to you with time and practice.
I haven’t quite mastered self-awareness but I’m definitely much better at it than I used to be. I feel quite carefree and unstressed in my daily life. Understanding myself more has allowed me to have better and healthier relationships with people and feeling frustrated is a rarity.
Do you think you are self-aware or do you have any tips on how to become more self-aware? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.
A great way to take time for yourself and engage in self-reflection is to exercise. Check out my post on it benefits in case you missed it!