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How 5 inspirational women practice self-love in their own unique ways
Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
In celebration of International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we’ve been reflecting on the wisdom and strength of five women whom we had the pleasure of meeting last month. The setting: a gorgeous bar in London, packed full of equally gorgeous people, all gathered together in celebration of women, and more specifically, in how we as women, can practice Self-Lurvvve!
The empowering “Galentine’s Day” event that brought these remarkable women together was brought to us by the people at The Hotbed Collective. If you haven’t discovered them already, they’re a bunch of fabulous, frank, and extremely funny women with a podcast on a mission: “To make life better one orgasm at a time”.
Read on to find out how each of the women we heard from, make time for themselves in different ways, and how they live more empowered lives as a result.
Nadia @ AM Appointment
Nadia Deen AKA the “orgasm whisperer” is the founder of AM: Appointment; an uncensored platform offering extensive advice and tips for women and people with vulvas on how to achieve their best orgasms during solo sexual play. Nadia’s mission is to explain how masturbation can be an important method of self-love for the modern 21st century woman.
On the night, she offered us her top tips for masturbation including sensible advice, such as simply scheduling in some time for a little self-loving and giving ourselves uninterrupted time to explore and get to know our bodies better.
Nadia’s open-hearted and straightforward approach to talking about masturbation is wonderfully refreshing, but more than that; it feels like it has the power to really tap into (and help to resolve) some women’s deep-seated self-consciousness around the topic. Her website AM Appointment uses the latest research to push back the taboo and empower the sexual independence of women everywhere.
With female sexual pleasure touted as the next big wellness trend, it feels like the time is now to address this major taboo, book a slot in the diary, find out what brings you pleasure!
Learn more on her website: www.amappointment.com
Deborah James – @BowelBabe
Blogger, podcaster, columnist and all-round social media Queen!
Deborah James, who was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer two years ago, is working as a campaigner to raise awareness about the symptoms of bowel cancer, to help others identify the illness early on. She was a co-host of the top-of-the-charts BBC podcast: You, Me and the Big C and has written a book ‘FU Cancer’, about her experiences living with the disease – all in a bid to help others.
On top of this, the mum of two posts incredibly powerful images on her social media to remind people everywhere that looking healthy does not necessarily mean your body is – and how important it is to look out for symptoms early on.
At the event we were totally blown away by Deborah’s strength to promote self-love to others at such a challenging time in her own life. Deborah shared how much a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer transforms all your relationships: and how that makes it all the more important to continue to be incorrigibly who you are. Looking totally stunning on the stage, in spite of being in a phase of aggressive cancer treatment which she explained was taking a toll on her appearance, she carefully explained that for her, self-love comes in the form of dressing beautifully and facing each day as it comes.
Her gorgeous Instagram feed is a testament to her breathtaking confidence. And while Deborah admits that some days can be totally sh*t, she encourages others to take the time to make themselves feel fabulous. She also advocates having that glass of champagne and treating yourself to a cosy night in watching cheesy movies, something that we whole-heartedly agree with!
She is a breathtaking example of self-love: she lives her life as fully as possible, while always being unapologetically herself. Perhaps it’s this well-deserved self-love that, in turn, makes her such an admirably kind and caring person…
Follow Deborah James on Instagram.
Kath Clements – Mooncup Company Director. Self care in the workplace, menstruation and all!
Our very own Kath Clements – Campaigns & Marketing Manager at Mooncup since 2005, and one of the Company Directors since 2014, was next to take the HotBed hot seat. Kath spoke about something very close to her heart: the self care associated with menstrual health… or as Hotbed dubbed it “Period Power” 😊
How can we make periods a more positive experience? In her words, a start would be “not buying into the shame, secrecy and embarrassment associated with periods”. It’s also about understanding your own cycle and really “owning it”:
“whether you have cramps, feel introsprective, aroused – whatever you personally feel during your cycle – get to know it and own it. Get informed & curious about your period. It’ll be with you for some time!”
Lisa Williams, HotBed interviewer, spoke of her love of what Mooncup represents as, in her eyes, a ‘punk business’ with early days of guerrilla stickering and a radical product at its heart. She’d heard good things about the business and wanted to know how Mooncup Ltd makes itself such a good place to be. Kath explained how the working culture includes monthly massages, communal home-cooked vegan meals and meditation sessions.
The fact that Mooncup Ltd takes well-being seriously was recognised on a wider level last year when the company was awarded the much sought-after accolade of ‘Best Place to Work in Brighton & Hove’ at the Brighton & Hove Business Awards.
Most importantly of all, Kath spoke about how each individual, in our Employee Owned team, feels free to “turn up as we are”- being authentic in the workplace- within reason of course, as we all have busy jobs to do!
You can find out more about the story of Mooncup on our Who We Are page; from its humble beginnings as a bedroom start-up to the internationally recognised business it is today.
Dr Karen Gurney – The Sex Doctor
Dr Karen Gurney is a Clinical Psychologist, Psychosexologist & sex science geek. She is the Director at The Havelock Clinic in London (offering integrated services to resolve sexual problems) and she’s on a mission to help people have better sex!
At the event Dr Gurney took to the stage to speak all about the absolute necessity of self-love for a well-functioning relationship. She explored that while self-love is a fact that many of us know and understand, it can be challenging to put into practice in every day life.
Dr Gurney, who is the Hotbed Collective’s resident psychologist, explored how taking the time to practice self-love will lead to more fulfilling relationships in the long run. She also discussed how, as a single person, focusing on yourself can improve your life exponentially.
Her soothing and reassuring approach left me feeling super reflective and ready to put her words into practice. I really recommend listening to her speaking on all the issues covered in The Hotbed Collective podcast.
Dr Karen Gurney is doing fantastic work by talking about self-love in the context of relationships.
Karen Hobbs – Comedian & Campaigner
The night was brought to its climax 😉 with the hilarious comedian and public speaker- campaigner Karen Hobbs, who works for the Eve Appeal foundation. Karen, who recently featured on Ch4s documentary “100 Vulvas”, spends her time smashing the stigma that surrounds gynae cancer, while simultaneously making people laugh till their sides hurt.
And what an effective combination it is!
Karen graced the stage to explain how, at 24 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, her world was turned upside-down. You can read more about her story over on the Eve Appeal website or read her brilliantly humorous blog Quarter Life Cancer over on: QuarterLifeCancer.com.
“Self-love” for Karen Hobbs, is all about continuing her life as normal, while also raising awareness for others.
She says she tries:
“to live my life as ‘normal’ and try my best to not let the fact that I have or had cancer cast a permanent shadow over my life.”
Karen Hobbs’ set ended with her showing us all a 2-foot-tall photograph of her vulva. Just one of the wonderful ways she intends to banish the shame and embarrassment about this part of our bodies.
In a recent interview with Huff Post she described the experience of being photographed for Laura Dodsworth’s 100 Vulvas. In response to the question “Why did you do it?”, she answered:
“To reclaim the part of my body that almost killed me and that had been so medicalised for so long – to choose to do something really deliberate and out there – was a way to take back control.”
Karen Hobbs ended the night on an absolute high! A 2-foot high to be precise 😉
Check her out and get to a gig to watch her if you can 🙂
A massive thank you to Ultraviolet Agency and The Hotbed Collective for putting on the night.