Fall Rituals to Feel Sexier

Person reclines on a bed with sunshine streaming on them. | Fall Rituals to Feel Sexier | Passion by Kait

“Put your own mask on first.” “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” These days, adages about self-care abound. And for good reason: a recent survey found that “chronic stress is a national epidemic for all genders and ages, particularly those who are 25 to 35 years old.”

As we’ve talked about before (here and here), being super stressed is not an ideal context for most womxn’s sex life. One of my recent counseling clients, showed me how powerful—and direct—this connection is.

C came to me struggling to orgasm and feeling disconnected from her hubby.

A self-proclaimed people-pleaser, she was putting everyone else’s needs first. Her first homework? Take a 5 minute walk at lunch. She LOLed when I assigned this, wondering, “How the heck does this help my sex life?!” But she trusted me, and soon she was advocating for herself, feeling sexy, and (later) experiencing orgasm more easily:  Here’s what she had to say at the end of our work together:

Realizing how nourishing my life could be, I feel fulfilled in other ways. So I don’t need to orgasm in order to feel good. I’m getting that [release] in other ways too.

Read more Gratitude and Success Stories

Like C, I’ve learned the hard way the importance of slowing down.

For her, it was the near-collapse of her marriage. For me it was debilitating health issues.

What we both learned is that self-care isn’t only about Insta-worthy bath bombs and retreats (which let’s be real aren’t accessible to many people or desireable to others). It’s also the rituals you practice everyday.

It’s taking a hot bath and doing my physical therapy exercises even though Idonwanna! It’s getting my meds from the pharmacy and doing a face mask. It’s going to church one week and skipping it the next.

Self-care isn’t about escaping your life. It’s about creating a life you don’t want to escape from,within your means.

In light of this strong connection between sex and self-care, here are my current fave fall rituals that help me feel grounded, sexy, and connected.

Double Cleansing

Double cleansing involves washing your face twice: first with an oil-based cleanser, and then with a water-based one. I resisted the practice for YEARS, committed to being a “roll out of bed and go” girl. Since going off hormonal birth control, my skin was struggling and my current routine stopped working

I decided to finally heed the advice of my aesthetician friend, and now I’m a “uses-several-products-and-spends-10-minutes-washing-her-face” girl. And I love it. The ritual, every morning and night, is a good opportunity to slow down and nurture myself. And my skin looks better than ever!

I use Savor’s pre-cleansing oil and then derma-e’s daily detox scrub.

All. The. Tea.

I will go the entire summer without drinking tea…and then the first whisper of fall comes, and I drink 2-5 cups a day! I make a lot at home, but also incorporate tea into my other rituals. For example, on the walk between my therapist and physical therapist, I stop at an adorable tea shop that makes a mean chai, matcha, or turmeric latte. There’s another shop the beau and I stop at when we walk from the farmer’s market to the grocery store.

Getting present with clients

At the start of my counseling sessions, I lead a brief breathwork or meditation practice to get us grounded and focused, before drawing an affirmation card. It takes less than 5 minutes, and my clients always thank me for the PAUSE.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoFeMkdlS2p/?taken-by=passionbykait

Crossword puzzles with my beau

Our brains work very differently which can cause issues, but is amazing for doing crossword puzzles. It’s a sweet way to spend some quality time together and practice being a team.

Listening to the Happier Podcast

…while walking. You see a theme? 😉 I was a religious listener of Gretchen Rubin’s podcast…until I hit an episode I wanted to write about (still haven’t) and stopped. I recently started again and omg how I’ve missed it.

Gretchen models self-acceptance (one of her rules of adulthood is “Be Gretchen”). Unlike many of my other fave “big names,” she’s neither woo-woo nor a fashionista—and she gives me hope that it’s possible to be successful without fitting the mold if you will. Plus, her tips are always so practical and easy to remember. Love her entire empire and one day I want to be a guest on the show.

Long walks

One of the hardest parts of my health challenges was losing my identity as an active person. I went from teaching Zumba and practicing yoga to barely managing a 10 minute walk with our pup. I missed the rush and release of a good workout! Being sedentary also isn’t good for my form of arthritis. Recently, my mobility has started to return—and I’m savoring every second with long walks in the fall weather, which I love.

No (working) phone in the bedroom

Getting my phone out of my bedroom has long been a goal of mine, but honestly? Several of my healthy bedtime and morning routines involve my phone, from tracking my period to meditating. 

Thankfully, I dropped my phone in the toilet recently and busted the camera. Instead of ditching the phone, I removed data, wifi, and all the apps except the ones that are part of my routine. My working phone stays in our living room. I can’t talk/text/check social unless I get up and get moving. It’s glorious

Meditating (again)

I’ve started and stopped meditating so many times in the last decade. Each time I let the habit slide, I selectively forgot how much of a difference even 5 minutes makes. And everytime I return to it, I remember. I use the Headspace app.

Dancing it out

This insta post says it all…

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MY FAVORITE PRACTICE WHEN I FEEL #ALLTHEFEELS (Inspired by @nadiamunla. Playlist by @chronicallyjill) . Over these last few years, I’ve learned how emotions live IN our bodies. How ignoring them or shoving them down leaves imprints that fuck with our nervous systems. And when our nervous system is a mess? Well that trickles down into every other part of our lives, including—especially—our sex lives and relationships. . Our hormones get out of whack, making our libidos nonexistent or hyperactive. Sleep—what is that? The slightest glance, tone, or accidental touch from our partner and you’re fighting. . The most powerful practice I’ve learned on my healing journey isn’t sitting still meditating (though I rely on that too), but leaning into these emotions and expressing them through my body. To pinpoint where they live in my body, send breath, and dance them out. . To swirl the waters of Sadness through my pelvis and hips. To stomp my Anger into the earth and feel Her supporting me. To bounce and shimmy and shake the Despair and Rage and Hopelessness. To embrace Joy and Bliss, and let them lift my heart and spill out my limbs, and make way for the peace, healing, and stillness underneath. . Last Friday was a Very Bad Mental Health Day. The worst it’s been in a long-time. Burnt out. Inundated with sadness, gasping for air, doubled over in pain from the despair, gaslighting, and hopelessness. . Sleep. Tears, Puppy (and human) cuddles. Nourishing foods. #astarisborn and movie theatre snacks. Long talks with girlfriends. Church. Taking my medications. Meditating. Phone off. . And today I felt strong enough to dance that shit out. . So I did. . And I invite you to join me. You don’t have to film it or share with anyone. Just hit shuffle or cue up #MondayMotivation/your fave Pandora station. Breathe. Let the music guide you. Move you. . It’s not about being a “dancer” or having rhythm or looking cute (no one is gonna see). . It’s about expressing your truth. Saying FUCK YOU to oppressive regimes that say our feelings aren’t valid, don’t matter, and are inconvenient. It’s about reclaiming your power. . It’s about finding #freedominpleasure. . xo

A post shared by Sex Educator Kait Scalisi, MPH (@passionbykait) on

Taking care of yourself is part of finding #freedominpleasure

It never has been just about the mechanics of sex. Because most of what impacts your sex life has nothing to do with what goes where. It has to do with how present you can be, how you feel (about your body, your life, your relationship), and what else is going on in your life. So much of this we can’t control. But self-care? These fall rituals have got you covered.

Looking to feel more connected and supported in your sex life and relationship?

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