Tools for Empowerment in the Bedroom with Cam Fraser

by Cam Fraser

on Feb 21, 2023

Cam shares the best ways to feel sexually empowered and counteract shame.

Empowerment in the bedroom - summary image

As awareness of sexual wellness increases worldwide, an interesting debate has begun regarding whether sex toys should be rebranded as pleasure tools instead. Advocates of such a rebrand argue that toys are necessary to close the orgasm gap and the change of wording would make people take tools more seriously. However, those against the rebrand claim that the name change would not reflect the fun and playful nature of sex toys. Replacing the word ‘toy’ with ‘tool’ would instead pathologize pleasure and imply the need for specific devices to achieve satisfaction.

Despite these differences, both sides of the debate agree that toys and tools can help empower people in the bedroom and beyond. In today’s blog, I want to share with you several tools – in the broadest sense of the word – which may help you feel more sexually empowered.

It is important to first acknowledge that many people have received sex- and pleasure-negative messages during childhood and adolescence. These damaging stories about sex may have come from parents, religion, sex education, pornography, and peers. No matter the source, the stories can often linger into adulthood unless we intentionally rewrite them. The tools discussed here aim to help you rewrite these stories and embrace your sexuality.

Empowerment in the bedroom - self pleasure image

To begin, I suggest spending time cultivating a self-pleasure practice. I’ve specifically used the term ‘self-pleasure’ here instead of ‘masturbation’ because the latter has a lot of cultural baggage attached to it. There are plenty of negative connotations associated with masturbation which conjure up stereotypical images, while the term self-pleasure can mean anything that you yourself find pleasurable. This may or may not include genital stimulation.

Self-pleasuring is a great way to identify what you like during sex and how that may differ from what you’ve been taught. Spend time touching yourself, all over your body. Notice what feels good and what feels less good. Go slow, paying attention to the types of touch that arouse you and bring you to climax. The goal is to be curious and exploratory with your touch.

You may decide to incorporate oil or lube into your self-pleasuring, adding to the sensations. Perhaps you want to include the use of toys, like a wand or bullet vibrator which are great for stimulating every part of your body, no matter what genitals you possess.

Cultivating a self-pleasure practice in this explorative way will allow you to gather important information about your body and pleasure in real-time. You’ll discover things that personally turn you on, which may be at odds with the messages you received about sex. This process of learning and unlearning can lead to empowerment as you take ownership of your arousal and prioritize your pleasure.

Empowerment in the bedroom - shame image

Something to be mindful of when self-pleasuring is shame. Shame can arise when we encounter past sex- and pleasure-negative messages during our sexual exploration. For example, you may experience thoughts that self-pleasure is wrong, or that it counts as cheating on your partner and should only be explored by people who don’t have a sexual partner.

When you feel this way, give yourself verbal permission or speak out loud some sex- and pleasure-positive affirmations to help you counteract the shame. You can start by verballing stating that you are deserving and worthy of pleasure, and that pleasure is your birthright.

Another way to move past shame is to seek out sex- and pleasure-positive resources in the form of books, blogs, and podcasts. Here at Lovehoney, you can find countless great blogs about the necessity of pleasure. I also have my own podcast, “Men, Sex & Pleasure with Cam Fraser,” which is a repository of sexually empowering stories. Engaging with resources like these can help you unpack the messages you have received about sex and pleasure, while learning new ways to explore and expand your sexual experiences. If you have a partner, you can choose to engage with these resources together.

At the end of the day, the tools that will make you more empowered in the bedroom come from within you. Feeling empowered might involve taking radical responsibility for your pleasure and seeking it out through a diverse variety of pathways. On the other hand, empowerment may come from intentionally sequestering your sexual expressiveness and reserving it for only a select few instances. No one other than yourself can tell you what empowerment looks like for you.

I, of course, always encourage an explorative journey so that you can make an informed decision about your preferred sexual experiences. After all, you cannot make an informed decision about something you don’t know much about. If you feel comfortable with your level of sexual exploration and make the decision to be conservative with how you choose to share your sexual self with others, then that is great. Similarly, if you’ve explored your sexuality and then make the decision to share your pleasure liberally, power to you!

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Cam Fraser

Written by Cam Fraser. Lovehoney Australia's Resident Sex Coach
Answering all your queries on pleasure-oriented sexual experiences for people with a penis

Originally published on Feb 21, 2023. Updated on Feb 20, 2023