Even without any additional considerations, sex and pleasure can be a lifelong journey to navigate. Connecting with your body and exploring what feels good, while a critical piece of overall wellbeing, isn't always easy and is complicated by chronic illnesses such as endometriosis and PCOS.
This week we chatted with Australian public figure and former bachelorette, Angie Kent about her experience navigating sex and chronic illness. Over the past few years, Angie has made it part of her core mission to create a safe space for women and people with vulvas to talk openly about sex and pleasure in an effort to reduce shame and stigma.
ICYMI, Angie is one rad human – read on to find out why!
flossy: What has your journey been like navigating sex and dealing with chronic illness like endometriosis and PCOS?
Angie: Navigating sex and dealing with PCOS and endometriosis has been quite the never ending battle you could say. With saying that… until recently I have not put in the time my body deserved in understanding the somatic/physical response between the conditions and my sex life. It is so important to understand not only the physical but also the deep rooted embodied response as well. I have an amazing specialist who has given me pelvic floor exercises to reduce physical symptoms, as a lot of Endo warriors have pelvic floor overactivity and can improve relaxation.
However, I also do a lot of work beyond the lesions. I work with an essence energetics healer to address past trauma that I hold in my body as a woman. I work with my naturopath in putting together a well investigated treatment plan for my endometriosis/PCOS/anxiety/tummy issues and other genetic mutations that I had no idea about. There are also a number of feminine power practices you can do to regain some power / understanding around the physical pain and the mental/spiritual pain we often have to endure.
Having a clear understanding of your body and your condition is a game changer. I highly recommend looking into Sex Therapy. You deserve it!
flossy: In your own words, what is the biggest barrier you have come across when it comes to talking about sex for pleasure and masturbation?
Angie: I believe it all comes down to working through our conditioning which is essential for moving forward with female sexual pleasure and masturbation. Get yourself a home joy plan through an amazing sex therapist or find out what you like by exploring at home by yourself. Do not let anyone force what they think is good sex onto you. We as a whole have a lot of unlearning to do and it is important as women that we know what we want and what we don’t want. The judgment can be unbearable. But remember most people only judge because they are scared. The more we talk about it the less fear there will be. So let’s keep chatting about it and breaking down the stigmas.
flossy: What was the aha moment that made you decide to talk openly about sex with your followers?
Angie: I have had a lot of experiences in my life… both good and bad, and I want to use those experiences to help other people. If we aren’t learning and growing, and helping others, what are we even doing? As soon as I was given the opportunity to speak openly about my struggles or what I want to explore, and share that with people - SEX and women was right on my list! I don’t want people to have to go through what I went through or to ever feel alone. So learn through me :). There is so much shame surrounding sex and women still… and that is all going to change. We are equal and sex is pleasurable, well it should be! So let's get to work ladies! We have a lot of lost time to make up for!
flossy: What does shame-free pleasure mean to you?
Angie: Letting my freak flag fly unapologetically and judgement free. Experimenting alone before I get back into having sex with another person again. If I don’t love / know myself... How the hell am I going to expect anyone else to know? And those who don’t care to know and only want to get their jollies off... Well they are not my people. It takes two to tango well, so if you want to tango with me, you must put in the effort like I do... or I am very happy to do a solo dance and be much better at it ;).