For our December Q&A with Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, we’re talking about Self-Love.
What are the benefits of self-love?
Self-love, more broadly, is about taking care of ourselves and appreciating ourselves. Very often, we use that term to talk about masturbation and self-pleasure, which are such important parts of our lives and come with a lot of great benefits. We might feel more satisfied, fulfilled, and relaxed, get better sleep, have more motivation, get a boost of confidence and attractiveness, and be nicer to our partners.
Does self-love affect our relationships?
Of course! Imagine what kind of partner you are when you’re stressed out, frustrated, and grumpy versus when you’ve just taken some time for yourself and something nice for yourself and feel satisfied, fulfilled, and blissful.
Does stress affect orgasms?
Absolutely. Research consistently shows that stress is one of the main killers of sexual desire/libido and subsequently pleasure. Stress makes it more difficult to both want sex and enjoy it when it happens. Unfortunately, stress seems to affect women’s sexual desire more than men’s.
Every holiday season heavily affects my libido, how to stop that from happening?
This is not uncommon. The holiday season can be quite stressful and busy with lots of errands to run and family obligations as opposed to sexy time and time for ourselves. For a lot of us, it can also be a difficult, sad time. There are two ways to go about this:
You can just accept it. There’s nothing wrong with having a period of lower sex drive where you’re not focused as much on sex and pleasure but on other things that are coming up for you and honor them.
Or you can counteract the factors that are lowering your desire in the first place and be more intentional about carving out time and place for intimacy. Like taking some of those things off your to-do list and adding sex onto the to-do list.
Self-love tips for the holiday season?
The key is to be intentional about giving yourself some time and space to give yourself self-love and make it a special occasion for yourself. Just like you’re buying gifts for everyone else, get yourself a new toy, for example, or do something different where you get to explore and learn new things about yourself.
How to practice self-love with so many family members around?
It’s about being intentional and carving out some time to focus on your intimacy. For you, it might mean early in the morning before everyone else wakes up. Or late at night after everyone goes to bed. Or it might mean locking yourself in your bathroom for 30 minutes in the middle of the day and telling everyone you need a mental health break.
Which LELO toy should I gift to my friend? I want them to start practicing self-love more.
It’s hard to answer that question without knowing more about your friend’s genitals, preferences, level of experience, etc. But that’s okay, I’ll give you some of my favorite toys for folks with penises and vulvas.
For folks with vulvas and vaginas, if you think your friend would like both internal and external stimulation, I would go with the SORAYA. For external stimulation only, I would go with the GIGI or maybe the LILY. And if you really wanna blow their minds and clits, the SONA.
For folks with penises and prostates, I would go either for the TOR, the vibrating cock ring, or the BILLY, which is this really cute, small, perfect beginner, safe anal play toy.
How messy is acceptable to get the bed when visiting elsewhere?
As messy as your friends or family would be okay with. I have some friends and family who would not want messy sheets and others who would say “Yeah, you go girl.” So you’re going to have to decide.
Do you have more questions about anything sex and love related? Follow Dr. Zhana on Instagram.