Women On Top is an interview series that features everyday women from around the globe and asks them straight-to-the-point questions about their sexuality. Women On Top aims to inspire and grow a community of women who learn and grow from each other's sexual stories and wisdom. This week I interviewed Charlotte about self-pleasure, heart break, what she loves about her body, losing her Mum at age 29 and the sexual fantasy that turns her on the most.
Name: Charlotte Barry
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Occupation: Events/Project Management for a Not-for-Profit
What was the message your mother gave you about sex as a little girl?
My mum taught me that a sexual connection is a must-have in a relationship. Over the years, growing up, I’ve come to realise she is spot on (mums always end up being right!) … I am not saying it has to be there from the get-go, I do believe this can grow, however, I believe connecting with someone sexually is the most intimate you can be with a partner - it’s all of you, both physically and emotionally, unveiled, at your most vulnerable. I feel there is no other comparison that can be made to the connection you get between two people making love, so I feel it’s important you connect in this area.
Can you identify a moment when you feel you officially entered womanhood?
Wow, this is a massive question. I don’t feel there is one definitive moment when I felt I officially entered womanhood, however more so significant milestones that have taken place along the way.
I lost my Mum at age 29 to breast cancer. There is something about your Mum not being in this world that fast-tracks you into womanhood. Not only did it turbo charge me into growing into my own, the matriarch of our family, but it also taught me so many lessons, such as; loving the shit out of the people in my life, being true to myself, saying no when I want to (being the people-pleaser I am, I am still working on this one), being kinder to people, the importance of dealing with my emotions as unresolved feelings that can result in illness ... it also started my spiritual/self-discovery-development journey. It was also the catalyst to change my career and move from working in PR in the corporate world into the not-for-profit space, so as to give something back and feel like I had substance in my days. I would not be the woman I am today if my Mum hadn’t of passed, so I look at this as the greatest gift she ever gave me, and perhaps why we came together in this lifetime.
Having my heart broken into what felt like a thousand pieces. At the time, this was one of the hardest things I had ever endured. Losing a loved one, or a thought to be soul mate, and all my shared dreams, is beyond hard to process.
However, I have now come out the other end and I can say hand-to-heart it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I believe the universe works in mysterious ways and had its master plan for me all along, and in order for that plan to play out, and bring me to where I am today, this had to take place. It tested my strength in a new way I didn’t know I had in me. It taught me about the woman I want to be, the partner I want to be, and the kind of partner I want to have in my life. My greatest gift from heart break was learning about the masculine and feminine energies, both healthy and unhealthy, in relationships, and myself, my yearning for a partner to hold a safe masculine space for me, and the importance and deep desire within me to feel safe enough with my partner to surrender into my feminine energy. Since learning and becoming aware of the feminine energy within me and the importance of recognising when to go into it has been life-changing for me in how I feel and understand myself as a woman, and interact with not only lovers, but everyone.
Being in my 30’s … I know it sounds like a cliché, but, hey, a cliché is a cliché for a reason. My favourite years have been my 30’s. It’s no lie when people say you come into your own in these years. I feel more comfortable in my skin, more confident being me (the real me) and I know the type of people I want to be surrounded by. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like I hit my 30’s and everything was perfect, I still have so much work to do and don’t think that will ever stop, until the day I stop breathing, but this also excites me to see what else unfolds as I peel back the layers. I feel more womanly in my 30’s, more empowered - being a woman actually rocks.
How important do you believe it is to embrace your sexuality as a woman?
I believe it’s hugely important, it’s a huge piece of the puzzle to knowing and loving yourself … accepting every bit of you.
How important is self-pleasure to you?
Self-pleasure is hugely important to me, especially as I am single at the moment ... but seriously, exploring with self-pleasure meant I discovered how to turn myself on - if you don’t know how to do this, then how can you expect a lover to be able to?! I also use it for stress-relief, there is no quicker way to release tension, or even a headache!
What are three things you love about your body (that perhaps you've struggled with in the past)?
My smile – I had an orthodontist once suggest to me around the age of 15 that I have plastic surgery to correct my jawline as my chin/neck wasn’t defined enough. This always made me self-conscious growing up about this area of my face, but as the years have gone by I’ve grown to love that my jawline is softer and got more confident with it.
My curves – I was ridiculed in primary school for being curvy, I literally grew breasts and hips overnight at age 11. I think this then paved a path for me to want to hide them for many years, but over time I have grown to love them, stretch marks and all. Physically and aesthetically, I feel this is what makes me feel womanly
My eyes – everyone tells me I have my mum’s eyes, so this makes me feel like she is a part of me, seeing the world with me.
What are three things you look for in a lover?
- Someone that can hold a safe masculine space for me to surrender and go into my feminine, and be vulnerable.
- Someone that is on purpose on life … knows what he wants, does what he says he will do and is consistent – my rock!
- Someone I can have heaps of fun with: laugh together, drink wine together, go on lots of adventures, be spontaneous with, eat all the yummy foods together, dance and sing along to 90’s R ‘n’ B, have all the amazing sex together … and at the end of it all I am his number one chick and he adores the sh*t out of me … sorry, was that a few points rolled into one?!
What turns you on? Like REALLY turns you on?
A man being a man is sexy AF, being in his own, taking control and telling me what to do actually send shivers down my spine.
What inspires you to make love and enjoy sex (either alone, or with a partner)? Do you feel more inclined to enjoy sex at certain times of the day/month/year?
When my man makes me feel like his number one! When he just adores the sh*t out of me, isn’t scared to express it, and makes me feel like the sexiest woman alive. If a man creates this safe space, all my inhibitions disappear and I feel safe to let my hair down, have fun and simply be me.
When there is an element of play to build things up … whether it be some fun, sexy texts, throughout the day, before we see each other, or some flirting and cheeky banter face-to-face – it gets the imagination flowing, gets me excited and in the mood.
My favourite time of the day to have sex, hands down, is when I’ve just woken up and I am still half asleep. I don’t care if it’s the middle of the night, the morning, there’s nothing like being a sleepy head, wrapped up in bed with my lover and rumbling under the covers.
Do you have any particular women in your life who inspire you to be a sexually empowered woman?
Would it be weird to say Juliet Allen?! Well, it’s true and I am going to say it! Having Juliet in my life has inspired me to look at sex and everything surrounding it without the negative stigma which can sometimes be attached. I feel more confident to express and embody what I want sexually, without shame, judgement or whatever it might be. She has inspired me to look at sex not only as an isolated act but in more of a holistic way e.g. through the four centres: mind, heart, gut and sexual centres. Juliet has opened up a whole new world to me and given me a new and fresh perspective on sex.
Do you have any reoccurring sexual fantasies? Tell us more:
I know it’s such a cliché but my go-to is fantasising about another woman. I’ve always appreciated women and their beauty and the thought of being with another woman seriously turns me on.
What rituals do you have for self-care and self-love?
Early morning exercise, sunrises, ocean swims and coffee. Eating a healthy diet. Lots of sleep. Positive affirmations. A balance of social and solo time. Ensuring I do things that fill up my cup such as getting into nature, salt water, reading, getting massages, adventures. Taking the time to work on myself and self-development/spiritual exploration such as seeing kinesiologists, healers, participating in workshops, listening to podcasts and writing.
How can people connect with you?
IG - @cha_cha_bang