In our What’s In Your Nightstand? series, we chat with friends of Swell across the globe about their sex essentials, their new projects, and what harmful sexual messages they’re railing against.
Tatiana Dellepiane is a Tantra, Sex and Relationship expert, and Founder of the Dark Feminine School. Like most masterful energy practitioners, she has been a student of energy and sensual choreographic healing for her entire life, studying modalities from around the world. She incorporates the ancient wisdom of Tantra, Sacred Sexuality and Indigenous practices adapted for the modern person.
We spoke with Tatiana about her many favorite oils, uncomfortable self-care, pressure to have a porny orgasm.
What are your top 5 bedside essentials (i.e. lube, vibes, sleeping mask, books)?
2. Lavender oil: I like rubbing some lavender oil on my pillows and blankets, and inhaling it on my hands for relaxation.
3. Happy Clam Everyday Oil: I like using this after sex or the days after my period. It has tea tree oil in it and I love the feeling when I put it on.
4. Melatonin: I’m a hard sleeper so I have to remember to take this after my meditation.
5. Phone: I like writing a mini to-do list in my notes while I’m in bed. I think about what are things I have to do the next day that are a priority.
If you could tell your teenage self one thing about sex, what would you say?
I would tell my teenage self that it is OK to enjoy pleasure while having sex. I don’t have to feel shame or guilt because I like it and want more of it and with different people. I’m not a slut because I had sex before marriage. I would tell her to not believe religion and other people’s beliefs around sexuality. It is my body and my birthright to have desire, to receive pleasure, and I can have that whether it’s through self-pleasure or having sex with others.
What question about sex and intimacy keeps coming up from your clients in your practice or work?
My clients usually come to me because they want better sex and intimacy but it’s hard for them to drop into their body. They’re in their heads and don’t realize that the key to having great satisfying sex is relaxing their mind. Your brain is the biggest sex organ and if you can’t breathe deeply, your body won’t be relaxed enough to feel more sensations, more pleasure, and deep orgasms. It can be that they’re affected by their environment, how stressful their day was, their diet, hormonal imbalance, etc. I find that what works best is to cultivate your energy by doing practices before lovemaking, whether alone or with your partner, to get you in the mood and energy. I always recommend my clients to have a daily sacred ritual every day in the morning so they can regulate their nervous system and connect to their bodies.
What does “self-care” mean to you?
Self-care to me is how I am being moment-to-moment and how I am taking responsibility for my energy. It’s not just about taking bubble baths and dancing—though those are my favorite things to do. Self-care can be me doing my pussy practice and feeling uncomfortable while doing it and being OK with what’s arising for me. It’s feeling all the sensations in my body and it’s not always pleasurable. Self-care is loving all the different parts of myself and being OK with letting it be messy.
What harmful or useless sexual script have you learned to dismantle in your own life?
That I don’t have orgasms that are seen in porn because I’m broken sexually. I experienced a lot of sexual trauma earlier in my life that would prevent me from having the climax you see in the mainstream media. I thought I had to fix myself and the inadequacy makes you feel worse. The thing is, I am orgasmic. I just don’t climax all the time—there’s a difference. Women or people with vulvas experience orgasms in a not-linear way. Some are oceanic. Some are volcanic. Some are like earthquakes. Or you can shapeshift between all three.
It also depends on the different phases of your sexual operating system. When I was younger, I did orgasm in volcanic and earthshaking ways. Now when I have sex, I don’t have a goal or agenda. I want to experience every single moment, every touch, every feeling inside of me and experience ecstasy. I like to ride the oceanic waves and occasionally there will be volcanic eruptions and earthquakes along the journey.
De-Stress Your Sex
Learn actionable strategies for relieving stress and focusing on your pleasure in the on-demand workshop, led by Shadeen Francis, LMFT.