In conversation with Cecilia Morrell -- a 16 times published model, porn star and sex-positive advocate. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Vice Canada, and multiple international magazines. When she’s not posing for the camera or creating solo-porn, she’s partaking in sex-positive projects advocating for sexual liberties for all.
How can self-pleasure be a form of self-care? It’s hard to find “me time” because I’m always on the go or working on filming. For me, it’s about making my sexuality mine in that moment instead of for the sake of performance. I think it ties into taking a moment to turn my phone off, not being active on social media, not replying to emails, and making the space to be grounded.
Is there a shift that happens in you if you don’t engage in something pleasurable?
I definitely feel that if I get too tied up with everything else and I don’t take the time, I feel disconnected. I don’t feel like myself, I kind of feel like I’m in performance or work mode, and I’m no longer Cecilia. If I don’t take the time to reconnect, I get further away from me. I wonder if some people might not even realize they are missing out on something because they’ve gone so long without, that the feeling of being disconnected is normal. But breaking out of that cycle isn’t as complicated as it might seem, it can be as simple as setting a few moments aside to touch yourself or seducing yourself in the mirror, or dancing. What would you say to the women who think 'what’s the point of masturbation?' I think it’s easy to get caught up in everything we have going on and to forget about your needs as a person, especially if you live a busy lifestyle or are career-oriented. I’ve even sat down and taken a moment to myself after not doing it, and thought, god I didn’t realize how much I needed this time to just slow down. I think people who are stumbling across this or coming into this for the first time or waking up to the ideology of masturbation being something that’s routine and for the benefit of yourself, it might be eye-opening. I know in your work, and maybe this isn’t the way to put it, but you come across people who are in the midst of transforming or wanting to live with less shame. Is there anything you’ve experienced within your day-to-day life which has allowed you to grow as a sexually-free woman?
Before I entered the sex-positive lifestyle, I was someone who was modest and wasn’t open to being sexually-positive, I wore loose-fitting clothing because I didn’t want to be viewed as attractive. I wanted to blend in. When I joined sex-positive communities and started exploring myself, I discovered that sex for a woman or someone who is femme-identified, doesn’t have to be something that happens to you. Depending on how you’re brought up, we’re taught from an early age that sex is something you do for the pleasure of your husband and you wait until marriage, at least that’s how I was brought up.
Coming into this lifestyle, I realized it’s something you can enjoy, explore, and experiment with. All of these doors started opening up to me in terms of discovering myself. I strive to share that message with other people, that pleasure is something you can be fully immersed in.
When it comes to masturbation, there is so much you can explore on your own, and it’s an awesome journey of ‘what do I like, what makes me feel good, do I like dressing up for myself, am I into romancing myself more than I thought I would be?' That’s something I discovered and I want to pass it on.
I think it’s beautiful what you said about sexuality or pleasure not being something that happens to you, it’s for you. When you have that relationship with yourself, doors open or things start aligning. When you know yourself, which includes knowing your desires -- I mean, we’re taught to seek what we want to do work or what school we want to go to, what skills or friends or partners we want -- but to know what turns you on, actually shifts the trajectory of your life just as much as those other things. It might even influence them.