Sex & Dating

How to Practice Holistic Sexuality With Sexologist Cheryl Fagan

With prompts like, “What helps me feel safe and in the mood for sex?”

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Upon first glance at the term holistic sexuality, your mind probably rushes to thoughts of hippies and some unconventional sexual activity. No worries — ain’t nothing wrong with either of those. But sexologist Cheryl Fagan‘s concept of sexuality is most likely one you’ve never heard before. And honestly, it’s a concept we should all consider for one simple reason: it involves caring for the whole of you.

According to Fagan, creator of Closeness: A Card Deck for Intimate Connection, “Sexuality involves our entire being; mind, body, heart and soul. It’s influenced by biological, psychological, social, religious, spiritual and cultural factors,” she continued. “Holistic sexuality acknowledges all these factors, not merely just the physical act of sex.”

No matter how well-versed you are, sexuality can evoke feelings of embarrassment or shame. Fagan’s Closeness deck is the ultimate cheat code to approaching sex and intimacy, even when you’re nervous or unsure of what you want to experience. With questions about orgasms and how often you’d like to have sex, you don’t have to feel uncomfortable. As Fagan shared, “It’s not you that’s asking the question — the card is.”

One of Fagan’s favorite and most accessible tips for sexual self-insight is writing. “There is so much already within you, often we just need a way to get it out.” Luckily for you, Fagan has tailored five tips — each with a writing prompt — specifically for our Hypebae community.

If you’d like to elevate your sexual self and practice holistic sexuality, keep reading.

holistic sexuality Cheryl Fagan closeness deck

1. Clarify your sexual values and intentions.

“Understanding what sex means to you and in relationships with others will help your sexual experiences feel more grounded and meaningful.”

Prompt: What does sex mean to you? How would you like to feel after sex?

2. Focus on the mind-body connection.

“We are conditioned to believe that sex is a physical activity, but desire and arousal start in the mind. Our brain is sending signals to our genitals, so the mind-body connection is very powerful when it comes to sex.”

Prompt: What are my turn-ons? What are my turn-offs? What helps me feel safe and in the mood for sex?

holistic sexuality Cheryl Fagan closeness deck

3. Be mindful of the senses.

“Go into sex for pleasure and connection, not the goal of “getting off”. Be sensitive and aware of what touches you like, what scents are arousing for you, look into your partners eyes, try breathing together, and consider what sounds help you get into your body more.”

Prompt: How have you let your senses guide you?

4. Create a pleasure practice without guilt.

“Make time for the erotic in your life, for yourself and not just when you are with a partner. Think solo sex, intimate self-massages, breathe-work, meditation and allowing yourself your favorite treat.”

Prompt: When was the last time you pampered yourself? What is a pleasure activity you can do for yourself this week?

holistic sexuality Cheryl Fagan closeness deck

5. Remove your sexual blocks

“If you are feeling stuck with sex, often we are told to buy a new product or toy. But what’s most important is to consider what sexual inhibitions may be blocking you. Thinking through tip one [clarifying intentions] may highlight some blocks that need to be worked through.”

Prompt: Good sex to me is… Bad sex is when…

holistic sexuality Cheryl Fagan closeness deck

This interview has been condensed for clarity.

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