Originally Published on the Re(Issue) from Our Friends at AnaOno
It is hard to feel sexy when your whole world feels entirely un-sexy: Your breasts have been unceremoniously removed from your mastectomy, you’ve lost all of your hair, your eyelashes, and are battling with medically induced menopause and vaginal dryness. Not to mention, when we are feeling deep sorrow, fear, that we are alone, anxiety or/and depression, the last thing we feel is sexy.
Furthermore, true self-love, self-acceptance and your sexuality can be the furthest thing from your mind and body when dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis or breast surgery. It can be a long emotional road to get back to a place where you are feeling good about your body again. But when you ARE in a space to re-discover and reclaim your sexuality post-diagnosis, there are some different creative ways you can begin to rediscover your sexual self in safe, beautiful ways.
We asked the AnaOno Community the following question:
How have you re-discovered self-love, and what has helped you feel sexy again after your diagnosis, surgeries and treatments?
Words Have Power: Verbal Affirmations and Positive Self Talk
It all begins with the way we speak to ourselves. Most of the time, we underestimate the power words have in our lives, especially the ones we say to ourselves. When it comes to mental health and breast cancer, thinking and saying positive things about our bodies as we heal is vital and can be helpful in the quest of healing and feeling sexy again, and ultimately improving our self-esteem. Motivational mantras can also be a helpful way to boost your positive self-expression. Breast cancer survivor, and yoga teacher, Tamera Anderson-Hanna, emphasizes the power of positive affirmations can have on our lives when spoken aloud:
“It is helpful if you are going to create a positive mantra or affirmation to make the statement in the here and now. For example, don’t say someday I will have a beautiful body. Say, “I AM BEAUTIFUL. Using “I am” statements helps us affirm the message today and now rather than someday in the future.”
Finding Sexy Post-Mastectomy Lingerie
We all deserve to look and feel like the sexy, powerful goddess we are. And what is more empowering than treating ourselves to beautiful, sexy lingerie --even if no one else will see it, and it’s for your eyes only! After a breast cancer diagnosis and surgery, we know how hard it can be to find something that helps you to feel sexy. (Not to mention that fits and is comfortable too!) Our range of comfortable, soft, and wireless post-mastectomy lingerie is designed specifically to help you find and feel sassy, sexy and get your mojo back. Shop AnaOno intimates at Journelle.com.
Self-Love Photo Shoot
Taking sexy pictures of yourself is an amazing way to practice loving yourself and your post-surgical/ post-treatment body. Doing so can help you create awareness and acceptance of your new body and re-discover your erotic nature!
Breast cancer and ovarian cancer thriver, Bianca recalled, “After my mastectomy, I was feeling down and decided to do a little self-love shoot in my bedroom to help see myself as a sexual being again. So I put on some cute underwear and took some photos of myself on my phone that helped me rediscover myself in a positive and beautiful light. I still do this if I’m feeling insecure about my body.”
It’s frustrating that female masturbation is still such a taboo subject, but masturbation after a breast cancer surgery? It’s not a topic that our doctors will typically talk to us about it.
Despite the lack of conversation surrounding sex and self-pleasure, there are those in the community who have found that erotic self-touch is integral in their emotional, physical and mental healing following their mastectomy or breast surgery. Not only has it helped them re-discover their bodies, but also feel their sexiest again. For Molly, practicing self-love through masturbation was extremely healing, because she was able to orgasm for herself post-surgery, and see herself sexually again.
“I literally made myself masturbate, the same way someone might make themselves practice piano. I wanted to figure out what worked in my body and what didn't. I had been on autopilot to get through my surgeries, and I wanted to see what was actually happening in my emotions. I also wanted to try to create a new sexual relationship with myself in order to create a strong foundation with a partner."
Renew the sexual relationship with yourself and your body by re-connecting. and practicing self -love in whatever way feels the most empowering for YOU. Whether that means treating yourself to sexy lingerie, practicing positive self-talk, or feeling yourself up, do what is right for you.