December 15, 2017

Getting Your Sexy Back with Breast Cancer

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Dear Friends,

I’ve just completed an hour-long show with Breast Friends, all about body image and self-esteem, loss of sensation as a result of lumpectomy and radiation or mastectomy, how chemo and hormonal therapies impact libido, how to get your sexy back and much more. We covered many bases in an honest and real conversation. I’m including the link here so that you can listen to the conversation because it was that good! Please feel free to download and listen at your convenience, and feel free to share it. It’s full of solutions to many of the challenges to sexual function that happen as a result of cancer treatments.

Do yourself a favor and educate yourself about your own body and pleasure. Most of us didn’t have good sex education early on and weren’t taught about pleasure. There is so much pleasure to be experienced and cancer is a great opportunity to learn about that.

Sexy After Cancer?

If you have questions or comments, ask them here and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

 

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Cancer, Your Body, Trust and Love

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

So many of us disconnect from ourselves at different times when we are coping with cancer, treatments, side effects, side effects of side effects, trauma and grief. It’s the experience of losing our essence or forgetting our essence and then forgetting that we’ve forgotten. I believe that it’s crucial to reconnect with our essential self and to discover what our essence has to reveal to us. The dimming of our essence is like the dimming of the sun, we can become brittle and angry or very sad. There’s so much grief with this and it’s healing to welcome it and experience it.

Many women tell me that they’ve lost their libido, feeling beautiful or sexy or any interest in intimacy and sex. Our sexual energy is our life force energy. This can affect our moods, energy levels, happiness and brain. What to do about this? There’s lots of ways to help you get aligned and integrated and it all begins with you trusting you ~ your body, your heart, your spirit and your mind. Until we begin to trust ourselves again, nothing can shift.

I invite you to experiment with the practice described in this video. We have great wisdom in our pelvic bowl, our womb, which is the source of life. And our hearts are radiant with love. When the womb and heart are in communication and communion trust emerges. Tenderness for yourself can arise, tears may flow, anger may erupt. Whatever your experience, welcome it and trust it, let it lead you to where you need to go.

 

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Love, Grief, Loss and Intimacy

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Loss and grief are inevitable in life. Stephen Jenkinson says that we human beings are maintained by the death of other living things. I’m in the midst of this experience following the death of my beloved Daddy-O 5 weeks ago. I think it’s also true of the deaths and losses we experience on the cancer journey ~ the death of the myth of our immortality, loss of our bodies as they were previously, and the loss of innocence.

As I contemplate my grief being composted into something more life-loving, and letting grief have its way with me, I’m opening more and more into other aspects of love. A broken heart is an open heart. My heart is opening to me in new ways, tenderly and fiercely. I realize that all that really matters is love and opening to love again and again.

This video shares a practice I’m doing and I offer it as inspiration to you on your journey of love and intimacy, which begins with loving you…

As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Until next time, I wish you more love, more wonder and more gratitude for this wild and precious life.

© 2015 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Love Your Breasts Now

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Surgery and treatments for breast cancer can radically alter how our breasts look and feel. Although the signs may not be so visible, we feel different inside and it’s easy to question our beauty and desirability. Loss of sensation in our breasts or loss of our breasts can cause many feelings and sometimes, separation from our bodies.

This next step toward pleasure and intimacy is about continuing the mirror practices, this time with our naked breasts. Accepting, forgiving, making peace with and loving our breasts is this step. Have a look at this video for some tips and practices on how to accomplish this. It can be a tender and raw journey so please call on your compassion and love.

 

I love your comments and feedback, so please let me know if this tool is useful for you.

© 2015 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

A Sexy Summer Solstice Ritual

Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, breast cancer and intimacy, breast cancer and sexuality, sexual healing after breast cancer

 

 

 

Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, breast cancer and intimacy, breast cancer and sexual health, intimacy and sexuality and cancer, breast cancer and eroticism, breast cancer and self love

Today is the Summer Solstice ~ the day with the longest hours of daylight in the year. There are celebrations of many types happening around the world to celebrate the change in the seasons. Summer officially begins today.

I suggest a Sexy Summer Solstice Ritual for you to celebrate you as a sexy and desirable woman. It all begins with your beliefs about yourself, and what better time to explore and create some powerful and positive beliefs about yourself? Here are some ideas to inspire you to create your own special ceremony or ritual ~

  • Prepare some supplies for your ceremony. A blanket, some fresh flowers or flower petals, a sacred object that reminds you of intimacy and sensuality, some sensual poetry or other writing, your journal, some music, a pillow to sit on, anything else that intuitively feels right to you to bring along.
  • Pick a beautiful place in nature that feels beautiful and sensual to you ~ a glad in a park, a rose garden, a secluded swimming hole, whatever appeals to you.
  • Take your supplies to your place and create a sacred space for your ritual ~ lay out the blanket and other items you have brought as if you are creating an outdoor altar to honor a sacred goddess. You are and it’s you!
  • Relax in your sacred space and invite any unseen beings to join you for the ritual ~ angels, guides, teachers, ancestors, goddesses or other deities, fairies, whatever and whoever pops into your mind.
  • Sit in the center of the sacred space and feel what it feels like to be in a beautiful sanctuary created to honor you and your sensuality. Breathe and drink in all the sensations of the experience.
  • Gently close your eyes and meditate or contemplate your beauty and desirability as a sensual and sexual woman. Ask for visions, thoughts or wisdom to inspire you in this and wait for what comes. You might have feelings, thoughts, images or other sensations. Drink it all in and know that what you are receiving is just right for you.
  • Write down any inspirations or ideas in your journal so that you can remember these gifts. If you brought something to read, read it and let it inspire you further.
  • Write down some thoughts about beauty, sensuality and sexuality ~ simply begin writing and let the words flow onto the page without editing or even thinking about what’s coming out. Just let it flow.
  • Close your eyes again and create a vision of yourself as a beautiful, sensual, sexual woman ~ who is content, satisfied and happy with life and love. Write the vision in your journal and if there is an image, draw it in your journal. This is your inner wisdom guiding you.
  • Spend as much time in your sanctuary as feels right to you. When you feel complete with the ritual, thank all the beings who have been here with you, thank your inner wise woman and thank the beauty of nature that surrounds you. Slowly and mindfully pack up your things and know that you can return here any time you wish, whether in person or in your thoughts.
  • Allow this special time to nourish those deepest places in you that are thirsty for beauty, sensuality and love. Know that you are beautiful, lovable, desirable and sensual.

If you are moved to share anything about your ritual with us, please do as a way of honoring yourself and of sharing your gifts with others so that we can all benefit.

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

My Friend Stacy

Baebara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, Sexy Saturdays blog, cancer and sexuality, sancer and sexual health, breast cancer, cancer and intimacy, sex after cancer diagnosis,

 

 

Stacy died on Easter Sunday, 42 years old, leaving a beautiful 2 year-old daughter and beloved husband, along with a very large circle of friends and family. Even when we know it’s coming we’re never ready for death. Even though we know it’s in the cards for each of us, we somehow don’t acknowledge it. When cancer is part of our story, we are often more aware of the fragility and preciousness of life.

I’d like to share a story of how Stacy lived her life fully, before and during her cancer adventures. Although born into privilege and wealth, Stacy didn’t flaunt it. She wore jeans, attended and gave garage sales, yearned for love and happiness. If anything she knew that wealth doesn’t guarantee happiness or love. She had lots of “fristers”, friends who were her chosen sisters. I was one and it was fun ~ we were in a women’s group together, attended personal growth workshops, created lists of our perfect partners and lamented our imperfect bodies.

A little over three years ago, Stacy realized that she really wanted to have a baby. She wasn’t in a relationship and her biological clock was ticking.  Undaunted by these circumstances, she made a commitment to herself that she would be pregnant by the end of that year, 2010. She didn’t have a plan but she had a beautiful vision and a lot of passion for her vision.

Months passed and she kissed many “frogs” in search of her prince. I introduced her to some men who I thought worthy of her. No lasting connection was made. Then, miraculously, she and a wonderful man realized that there was something very special growing in their hearts. They were a perfect match ~ the same quirky sense of humor and irony; very playful; loved to laugh; and both wanting to be parents.

By the end of December she was pregnant! Her daughter was born in September and the world laughed and celebrated her arrival with delight. Stacy’s dreams had all come true. Love, family and a very happy life were hers.

Last summer she was diagnosed with cancer. Ten months later she died after watching the sunrise and hearing and seeing the sights and sounds of a beautiful spring morning, Easter Sunday. She is risen.

To my dear friend Stacy, with love.

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Adornment and Pleasure

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Clothing and adornment can bring great pleasure if the purpose is to please yourself and love yourself. Most of us don’t think this way when we dress for the day or evening. We may take a quick look in the mirror and check to see if there are wrinkles or if we look fat ~ usually with a critical eye.

What if you dress to please yourself, knowing that different textures, colors and styles can create pleasure? If you did, how would you dress? Would you wear make-up and jewelry?

For today, choose to adorn you for you, as if you knew that you were all that matters. The truth is that you are all that matters. How you feel about you is what creates how you experience life. Try on the belief that you are beautiful and deserve to experience pleasure in all forms, including what you put on your body.

From this perspective, look in your closet and see what draws your attention. Put it on and see notice how you feel… does your skin like what you’ve chosen? How do you look to the loving you? What emotions are you feeling? Are you having fun?

Do you want to further adorn your body with accessories, jewelry or make-up? If so, do what pleases you. How do you want to style your hair? What shoes?

Once you’re pleased with how you feel and look, take yourself out for tea. Go on a date with you. Go to a place that brings you pleasure. Maybe there’s a local tearoom that you like. Go there. Or wherever strikes your fancy.

Wherever you choose to go, go with pleasure in mind. Choose a drink that brings you pleasure as you look at it, taste it and consume it.

Something as simple as pleasing yourself ~ who knew? As you sip your drink, let your mind wander to what else will bring you pleasure. You may be surprised as what comes to mind. Pay attention, because the whole idea is pleasure, my dear!

I’d love to hear what brings you pleasure. Please share with us so that we can all celebrate your pleasure and get more ideas for our own pleasure!

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Erotic Movement and Flow

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Do you feel self-conscious about your body and how it moves? Are you awkward in your own skin? Would you like to feel more freedom in your body? More pleasure?

Sometimes movement brings great pleasure. For example, I love taking a brisk walk in a beautiful place, breathing deeply and feeling the motion of my body as I feel the earth under my feet, the sun on my skin and the kiss of the breeze on my cheek. I feel in flow with the earth at such times. That flow brings me great pleasure and freedom.

Here’s another movement practice for an experiment ~

Find some music that has a beat that appeals to your body, music that has you want to get up and move. It might be slow and sensual, have a dance beat, or a primal beat. Play the music loud and stand in the middle of the room. Close your eyes and give yourself to the music. As you stand and breathe, begin to feel the music in your cells and bones. Bring your awareness into your body and let it begin to move to the music. See if you can become one with the music, merging into the sounds and flow and rhythms. Let your physical rhythm be that of the music.

If you think you can’t dance, don’t think of this as dance. It’s a flow, a movement meditation to the sounds and energy of the music. Let yourself go, breathe, move and have fun.

You may find that you want to keep going after the song ends. If so, great, keep going. If you’ve had enough, sit and relax. Either way, when you stop moving, sit with your eyes closed and scan your body. Notice your breathing. Is it rapid, deep and full or shallow? How does your body feel? Tingly? Loose? Tight? Relaxed? Excited? Vibrating? Pay attention to what’s happening and how it feels.

Our bodies want to move. Belly dancing was created as a way to ease the pain of childbirth and to bring women pleasure. There are forms of dance called ecstatic dance that are designed as meditations and move through different beats and rhythms. For some, being in the body in this way is a great pleasure and release. Try it and see what it is for you.

Please share your experiences with us so that we can all learn together.

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

The Body Electric and Erotic

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Did you have fun with a flower or chocolate or something else last week? I hope so and I hope that you’re beginning to experience little flickers (or big waves) of erotic energy. It’s so fascinating when we slow down and open up, to see what pleasures await us.

Do you know that your skin is your largest organ? It is, and it’s filled with countless nerve endings, which provide so much input. You probably already know some ways that this has changed in your body as a result of cancer treatments. Now you may have new or no sensation around scars or surgical sites, neuropathy, different sensations around hair loss and regrowth, to mention a few.

Are you dissociated from your body? It can happen easily as a coping strategy while going through treatment. Added to the dissociation that many women experience sexually, it can feel like there’s nobody home inside your body!

Going through life physically absent is one way, and I don’t recommend it. There’s much sensation and pleasure for us in our bodies and many ways to access these.

This week the invitation is to focus on the sensations in your skin. Take some time to stroke your skin with various types of touch ~ using only the pads on your fingertips very lightly, gently raking your skin with your fingernails, little taps on your skin to wake it up, deeper circular motions like massage, and any others that occur to you to try. Experiment with parts of your body that aren’t often touched including the backs of your knees, your elbows, your calves, and so on.

As you explore your skin, focus your awareness and attention on where the touch is happening and pay attention to the sensations. How does it feel? Do you feel pleasure both with your fingers or hands as well as the places being touched? Do you like touching or being touched better or are they the same? What helps you feel more present inside yourself? What do you love?

Getting to know your skin through touch and pleasure can be surprising. Notice what, if anything, surprises you and what you are learning about you. Please share it with us so that we can learn from you.

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Pleasure in Your Body

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Today is about connecting with your body in new ways.  Are you up for discovering some new sensual and erotic sensations? I hope you say yes!

Begin by opening to the possibility of experiencing pleasure through all of your physical senses ~ touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. I suggest that you literally use your entire body and all your senses to experience pleasure.

Let’s do a sensing experiment. For the experiment we’ll explore a flower. Go to a florist and drink in all the sensory input ~ what do you see? How does it smell? How does your skin feel? What do you hear? Any taste sensations? Walk around the shop and let your senses guide you.

Choose a flower or two to take home for the remainder of the experiment. Ask the florist to wrap it in some beautiful paper and ribbon, as if you were buying a gift for your beloved ~ you are!

When you get home and unwrap the flower, spend some time with it. Begin by looking at the flower ~ what color is it? What type of flower did you choose? Is it beautiful? Take in as many visual aspects of the flower as you can and notice your experience.

Next, smell the flower. Wave it gently under your nose and inhale the perfume. Is it sweet? Clean? Pungent? Earthy?

Gently stroke your cheek with the flower ~ how does it feel? Velvety? Soft? Fuzzy? Smooth? Rough? Do the petals feel different than a leaf or the stem? Explore the feel of the flower in as many ways as occur to you.

Taste the flower! Is it sweet? Spicy? Bitter? Moist? Dry? Take a petal in your mouth and chew it gently. What happens when you do that? Do you salivate? Does the scent affect the taste?

Wave the flower near your ears. Is there a sound as it moves through the air?

Take a petal and crush it between your fingers. What does that feel like? Is a scent released that is different from before? What does it sound like?

What is your experience when you involve all your senses? Does your body feel more alive? Are you in your body or have you checked out? Does this seem silly or pointless? Is it sensual? Erotic? Flowers are the reproductive part of plants. Does knowing this affect your experience in any way?

Can you imagine involving all your senses as you explore your own body? What if you explored your hand in this way, using sight, smell, touch, taste and sound? Try it and see what happens, what you experience.

One aspect of eroticism is slowing things down. This allows you to be fully present with whatever you are experiencing. Sometimes we go so quickly that a day can pass by in a blur. What if you spent 5 minutes a day on being present, fully present?

Imagine doing this same experiment with chocolate, or a bubble bath? Please share your experiences with us!

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.

For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.