Interview with Fatima Mechtab How can self-pleasure be a form of self-care? Self-pleasure is a form of self-care because it allows you to relax your body and escape whatever is going around you at that moment. Take a procrastibation break! It allows you to connect to your body and your mind to wander to a place of happiness, excitement, fantasy, and desire. It can be a form of escapism and that can be helpful during this time if you’re going through emotional turmoil. I’ve gone through ups and downs during isolation, and it’s a healthy stress-reliever. I think we could all use that right now.
What changes for a woman when she feels she can express herself sexually?
When a woman or myself can express themselves sexually, they feel safe and that whatever environment or mindset they’re in, they can release. I think there is a form of empowerment with that too, realizing you have access to that power within you at any time. You can decide how or when you want to express pleasure. It gives you a sense of independence because you aren’t reliant on a partner or outside compliments and validation -- you can take it or leave it because you have power inside of you. It gives you autonomy, in general. It’s a good way to access self-love and honor and enjoy the magical things that happen in your body and mind.
Have you always had a positive relationship with your pussy?
My relationship with my body has been an evolution. I was never ashamed of my body but I haven’t always understood it. I’m 43 and at a point where I’m a lot more comfortable with my body because I don’t have the time to worry about insignificant things. I just don’t care. I went through a period where I didn’t connect with my own pleasure, then through experiences -- good and bad -- I came to a place where I felt I owned my body, my pleasure, my vulva, my pussy. I embrace it, I’m proud of it, I’m not weirded out or feel self-conscious about things I might have before. I’m really interested in the hormonal cycle right now. I’m going through para-menopause, and I notice that where I am in my cycle right now, there are stronger sensations. PMS is stronger, my sleep is affected, my sex drive is affected, good and bad. When I can understand what my body is going through, it helps me understand why I’m feeling the way I‘m feeling, and that there is a reason it’s happening. It’s a chemical thing.
There is a lot of stress and anxiety around COVID, you don’t have the same sense of security. A lot of that plays on your mind too. When the urge hits me, I’m excited because it makes me feel more alive. I feel less sexually inspired right now. There are people I can’t see or places I can’t go to. You can basically go to the grocery store or stay in your home.
How can you instigate sexual energy within the confines of COVID?
For me, I think that taking general care of yourself is important. Getting proper rest, a healthy diet -- whatever that means to you -- fresh air and sunshine. I wrote an article about how sunshine affects your libido. Feeling connected to getting Vitamin D can help boost you. It starts from within. You can have all the sexual stimulus outside of you, but if you’re not feeling connected to your own body, it’s hard to instigate desire. You can inspire yourself by engaging in sexual self-care, and that might look like taking time to get dressed or undressed, wearing colours or fabrics that make you feel sexy, moving your body, taking a walk, dancing! You have to get a bit creative but I definitely think it’s possible to access it within you.
Fatima Mechtab is an experienced Marketing Director, Event Producer, Public Relations powerhouse, and a professional, freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Women’s Studies from Carleton University, a Certificate in Event Management from George Brown College, and recently completed a Digital Marketing Course from the University Of Toronto.
She has been a featured speaker at the Guelph Sexuality Conference and has presented on stage at the Everything To Do With Sex Show and at Sexapalooza. Armed with a passionate voice, Fatima shares messages of sex and body positivity, often drawing from her own experiences as a queer-identified, sexually liberated woman.