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 spoke to Claire about why coming off the pill opened her up to experiencing sex and womanhood differently, self-pleasure as a child, libido and identifying as 'heteroflexible'.
Name: Claire Baker
I’m going to say ... heteroflexible :)
Occupation: Women’s coach & writer
What was the message your mother gave you about sex as a little girl?
‘Safety’ is the first word that comes to mind. That it was something that happened between two people who loved each other very much. My parents were very open about sex growing up; condom packets in our grocery shop, the Kama Sutra hanging out in their bedroom, conversations about sex had with tender care and enthusiasm.
Can you identify a moment when you feel you officially entered womanhood?
Once I came off the contraceptive pill and experienced a natural cycle for the first time since I was 16 years old. An entire world of womanhood opened up once I stopped manipulating my cycle with synthetic hormones, and each cycle feels like a further initiation into WOMAN.
How important do you believe it is to embrace your sexuality as a woman?
On a scale of 1 - 10, I’d say 11. We’re sexual beings! Denying that is denying the full experience of Life. For so many women there is such conflict in this realm: we’re taught our sexuality is something to hide, to be ashamed of, or to exploit. But the world is waking up! And as it does, women will only continue to connect with the power source that is their sweet sexuality.
How important is self-pleasure to you?
I started self-pleasuring when I was really young, maybe 7 or 8. It’s purpose in my life has shifted over the years, from the early years of discovering what I liked and learning how to communicate that to partners, to being something I did to relieve stress or even boredom. The past few years I’ve consciously explored self-pleasure as a way to strengthen my relationship with myself, and to intentionally receive pleasure in every cell of my body. I’m currently single, and so after a decade of being in relationships, self-pleasure has become even more important as I’m not as sexually involved with other people.
The quick-get-it-done-orgasms still happen of course, but it’s become far less about the climax and more about the intention of setting aside time to explore this amazing capacity for pleasure that my body has. Feeling into self-pleasure at different phases in my cycle is a really fun curiosity for me right now too.
What are three things you love about your body (that perhaps you've struggled with in the past)?
My boobs! My menstrual cycle! My hands! (always loved the latter)
What are three things you look for in a lover?
Playfulness. Presence. Generosity.
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?
Coming together (no pun intended haha) as one, really feeling into the co-creation of the moment. Ugh! So nice. When my cycle returned post-pill, my libido did too, and WOAH: ovulation! What a time of the month those few days are. It’s frantic, really. I *crave* sex then, but the shape of sex is so fluid throughout a woman’s cycle. Orgasms are great for relief from pre-menstrual symptoms, and when I’m bleeding I desire a certain kind of pleasure. I have erotic dreams on day 3 of my cycle without fail, every cycle!
What turns you on?
Answering these questions? Ha! It’s true, though: conversation, eye contact, touch, DANCE, smiles, and definitely being in nature.
Do you have any particular women in your life who inspire you to be a sexually empowered woman?
I’m very grateful to have a few close women in my life who are as eager as I am to have the conversation about what it means to be a sexually empowered woman in the world today.
Do you have any reoccuring sexual fantasies? Tell us more:
Exploring the ‘flexible’ in ‘heteroflexible’ has been a recurrent fantasy for me for years, and I’m leaning into it more and more right now … :)
What rituals do you have for self-care and self-love?
Journaling, practicing menstrual cycle awareness, coconut oil self-massage, long hot baths, tarot, yoga, running … these are a few that come to mind.
How can people connect with you? IG? FB? Website?