What Place Does Pleasure Have in an Emergency?
Written by Emily Athena
If you live anywhere on the west coast, chances are you are or were close to a fire or socked in with smoke. To our nervous system, this is an emergency. Being afraid or uneasy is an appropriate response to these conditions. We are evolutionarily hardwired to engage with (fight), run away from (flee), or disassociate from (freeze) threats, and fires and smoke are most definitely threats to our survival.
However, at this very moment most likely you are somewhat OK, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this. While you might know that intellectually, your body could still be on high alert. How do you tell your body that despite these dangerous conditions, you are OK?
There are more nerve pathways running from the body to the brain than the brain to the body, which means that telling yourself you are OK via speech or thought is not the most efficient way to communicate with your body. Most bodies respond more readily to changes in feeling. Then the question becomes, how do you change how you feel during a time of emergency?
3 ways: External orientation, body attention, and pleasure!
First, look around. Let your eyes leave the screen and wander through the space you are in. Can you see that despite what’s happened, your current surroundings are a safe place to be? Let your eyes register what is safe and pleasant about where you are. Take your time with this. You can even name the safe things in your environment to yourself (soft blanket, green houseplant, tea kettle, etc). Do you notice any changes to your breath, body, or thoughts by simply looking around? External orientation informs your body that in this exact moment, you are safe where you are.
Being vigilant about staying informed is an appropriate response during an emergency, but it can get overwhelming. If you feel overwhelmed, see if you can take a mini-break from the information hunt and instead notice your body.
- Can you feel your body?
- Can you feel your lower body?
- Can you feel the effect of gravity on your body or maybe where your body makes contact with the support beneath you or ground below you?
- Can you feel a place or sensation in your body that feels pleasant? If not pleasant, neutral?
Focus on that for as long as your attention will let you. Again notice if there are any changes in your breath, body, or thoughts by doing this. Maybe all you feel is grief. That’s OK. Can you feel the aliveness in feeling such a profound emotion and perhaps the relief of releasing tears if that’s what wants to happen?
Taking in even the smallest bits of pleasure makes more space within us to handle adversity. It strengthens our wherewithal to withstand stress. What stress drains in us, pleasure replenishes.
Pleasure is anything that feels good. Think about the simple, embodied, everyday pleasures that are readily available to you. Orient toward those things that bring you more in touch with the feeling of pleasure in your body as opposed to numbing out and escaping. You probably already experienced this by looking around your space and noticing your body. Some other examples include laughter from watching comedy, connecting with loved ones, helping out or volunteering, sharing a meaningful conversation, smile or hug, cuddling, listening to your favorite music, dancing, positive imagery, eating your favorite food, self-pleasure, sex, etc.
All of it counts, even 10 seconds of feeling a little bit better than terrible is a respite for your nervous system. Engaging in pleasure is not selfish, frivolous, or escapist. You do not need to do anything to deserve it. Pleasure is a healing resource and a necessary part of living through an emergency. Engage with it and gently encourage others too as well. Our communities will be stronger for it, for when we are connected to pleasure we are kinder, more present, and more available to those around us.
By now, we know that the threat of COVID-19 to our community is both real and imminent. To do our part to protect our community and our employees, we have decided to temporarily close our doors to the public.
By closing our doors, we hope to protect not only our employees, but the most vulnerable in our community. The elderly, the immunocompromised, and their caregivers are depending on us to socially distance.
As a small, locally-owned business, we do not have the funds to stay open without income for long. We know that many of you are worried about your financial situation right now, but please consider supporting us (and other community-owned businesses) if you have the means. This is a time of uncertainty for all of us, but we know that our community is at its strongest when we support each other.
How You Can Support Us :
Buy a Gift Card Online! This is awesome because it equates to money in our pockets when we need it the most. Give it to a friend, or keep it for yourself to use when we re-open back up! Eugene Location and Ashland Location both have gift cards available.
Order From Us Online. Stay Home! You can shop our online catalog from the comfort of your own home! To encourage our supporters to stay at home, we are continuing to offer FREE SHIPPING for all online orders totaling $50 or more. To claim, simply input the code "socialdistancing" at checkout!
Order Curbside Pickup. If you're trying to limit your social interactions and keep distance between you and others, order from us online and select curbside pickup! You'll be able to come by the shop and text us that you've arrived, then we will bring your order right outside to your car for you. No need for direct interaction!
Do a Consultation via Phone or Text. We know that part of the difficulty of shopping for sex toys and lubricants is figuring out what product is right for you. Guiding our customers to the best product for their body's needs has always been a cornerstone of our business. So if you need a little guidance when shopping, give a call or send a text message to us at 541-606-0553. We'll be happy to talk you through our favorite products and help you decide with confidence! And if the product that's right for you isn't on our website yet, we will add it just for you!
Book Private Shopping Hours. Currently, we are still allowed to book private shopping hours for 1-2 people at a time. That way, we can still adhere to social distancing requirements while allowing you to shop the store. To schedule a time to shop privately, send us an e-mail at [email protected] !
Small businesses like ours are interwoven with our community. When you struggle, we struggle. But even though we cannot be close to one another physically right now, the need for community support has never been greater. Take care of yourself, and take care of each other. We are in this together, and we will make it through this together.
Thank you so much for your continued support. We will see you on the other side.
- Kim & the AYLI Team
Lube is one of the essentials for a healthy and pleasurable sex life! And the lube you choose can unbelievably enhance your play, or ruin the moment entirely.
There are four main kinds of lubricants on the market today: water-based, silicone-based, hybrid, and coconut oil. Each kind of base has its own benefits and drawbacks, and potentially the most important factor when choosing a lube is preference. That’s why we encourage you to find a shop with testers available (like As You Like It!) so that you can feel, smell, and taste your options before buying. Some lubricants are warming or tingling, while some are flavored and edible! There is a vast range of lubricant options available, so no matter what you’re looking for in a lubricant, one exists that is perfect for you.
But how do you remember all rules for using lube? And how do you know what kind of lube to use for what kind of play? Great question! We made you handy chart to use as a cheat sheet.
These rules are not always hard and fast. Always ask a doctor or a sex educator you trust if you are unsure. For example, although silicone is a body-safe material, there is some debate on whether or not it is balanced with vaginal PH. However, for people who experience painful vaginal intercourse, a silicone lubricant may be your doctor’s recommended lubrication for vaginal sex. All bodies are different, and everyone’s body responds differently. We encourage you to explore your own chemistry!
In your exploration, remember that not all lubricants are created equal. Because lubricants belong to a relatively unregulated industry, you must be cautious and do your research when deciding what brand of lube to purchase. Not all lubricants on the market are body safe. Please be sure you are reading the ingredients of any lubricant that you are considering purchasing, and to know what to look out for, or make sure to purchase from a store that you trust to carry body-safe products, like As You Like It!
Bear in mind that even lubricants with the same base can have extremely different properties, including cushion, drag, texture, and scent. And no two lubricants are exactly alike, so if you haven’t found one that you love yet, keep looking! Your perfect lube match is out there — you just have to find it!
The Often-Overlooked Wand
Back in the day, your option for a good vibrator was limited. To one side was a cheap, pointed plastic tube you’d pop a couple of D sized batteries into (which ALWAYS rattled loudly after a bit). It just screamed THIS IS A VIBRATOR Y’ALL. The plastic tube was the ultimate first vibrator for many of us. It went through batteries like I go through a bag of potato chips and was purely utilitarian. My fondest memories of my first vibrator mostly involved hiding it from parents and roommates.
Engage Your Lover Intimate Gift Guide, Part 1
“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.” Rumi
For those who celebrate gift-giving this time of year, you have an easy opportunity to deepen intimacy with a partner—or yourself, using sensual and erotic gifts as a springboard.