Guest written by Missy Modell, a musical parody artist and activist focused on the intersection of social justice and pop culture. Missy is the founder of YES MAM Creative, a consultancy for mission-based brands. You can find Missy on Instagram at @missymodell.

There’s really nothing sexy about a breakup. In fact, it feels pretty awful. It’s the dismantling of routine, familiarity, and the person that was a constant in your life. As I navigate my own experience in being single for the first time i​​n a long time, I know it is that much more important to devote time to ME and reflect. But to be honest, it takes a real effort for me to feel sexy. Going through this has made me realize that I have always been so focused on how my partner feels, that I often neglect what I want and what makes me feel good. In talking about this with a friend, she sent me this incredibly powerful quote:

“Women get shamed out of our bodies so early on: We only know how to be desired, not what to desire. We think about being wanted and not what we want. We are so obsessed with what we look like that we forget what we are looking at.”

That resonates! In learning about how I want to be desired and what I want, I love the idea of approaching a breakup as a rehabilitation of mind, body, soul, and sexuality. Like any injury, you need time to heal, which oftentimes is both physical AND mental. So, why should a breakup be any different? In fact, studies show that heartbreak actually does feel like physical pain! 

The part of the brain that ignites when you experience physical pain is the same part that activates when you feel emotionally disregarded. As your body encounters a flood of cortisol, blood is pumped to the muscles causing them to tense up and ready themselves for physical activity.” - Marie Claire

So, how does one “rehabilitate” their pleasure? Through my own research and trial and errors, I’ve found these five practices to be incredibly helpful. 

    1. Masturbate. It’s all about YOU. Solo sex is a wonderful way to reconnect with yourself sensually and sexually. Rediscover what feels good, take it slow, and make it ceremonious! I recommend lighting a candle, putting on some Chill Vibes, turn off your phone, and just explore. 
    2. Buy a new toy! Introducing novelties or new experiences can break up the monotony that can occur after you end a relationship. Creating special moments with yourself is also extremely important to overall pleasure potential. Also, it’s like retail therapy with benefits :) Please see my glowing review on how the Womanizer quite literally changed my life.
    3. Journal. Write it all out! Getting all of your emotions onto paper allows you to process your experiences more clearly and allows for pretty profound reflection. In fact, “one study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine examined writers post-divorce and concluded that writing specifically about the split is more beneficial for your mental health than any other kind of writing.” 
    4. Limit your time on social media. There’s no buzz kill quite like seeing your ex pop up on your Instagram feed! Although it may be tempting to scroll and check in on how your ex is doing, I recommend being very protective with your energy during these difficult times. We all know the many detrimental effects that social media can have (depression, anxiety, comparison, etc.); add in a break up and it can set you back many, many steps. 
    5. Take yourself out on a date. Put on an outfit that makes you feel amazing, pick a spot you’ve been wanting to try, and take your hot self out! It could be as simple as going for a cup of coffee, but that sheer act of choosing yourself and spending time with the amazing human you are, will help you back on the road to feeling good about yourself.

Now surely, there is no blueprint for the hurt that accompanies heartbreak, but implementing these small acts of self-care is a good start for healing.

Let’s get rehabilitating! 

Further Readings: 
Why You Feel Sexiest After a Break Up: Elite Daily
How to Take Care of Yourself After a Break Up: Mind Body Green
Don't Let Your Break Up Break You: Wear Your Voice Magazine