Women On Top 035: Steph Harmat
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 Steph about embracing her european genetics, her relationship to work and self love, the impact dance has had on her sexuality and her regular massage date with her childhood sweetheart.
Name: Steph Harmat
Sexual Orientation : Heterosexual
Occupation: Honours Student/ Business Owner / Interdisciplinary Designer
What was the message your mother gave you about sex as a little girl?
As a young girl my family were always quite open with everything, and I mean everything. We were never afraid to talk. Being young it was something that we would push forward into the future to discuss and I never really asked until I wanted to know more, which was naturally as I was getting older. Growing up I wasn’t too curious and when I was, if I asked I had an answer straight away, no matter how uncomfortable for whoever was listening in!
I think Mum gave me this liberty to think of it as completely natural, easy and something that was special, but also something that should be spoken about and experienced without any major scare. The one thing that has always been important was the connection of who you are with. That is something that has just always been embedded in the way we think or talk about sex.
Can you identify a moment when you feel you officially entered womanhood?
In my adolescence I was ALWAYS DANCING - tap, jazz, contemporary, ballet, you name it! I remember it was a Saturday morning and I was preparing for a performance that day. Suddenly the glamorous fuchsia crop top I was always prancing around in didn’t look so good, my breasts were tending and lumpy and I was having a meltdown (I wanted to keep my dolls In my room but I knew I couldn’t with my new pair of knockers ;)
I think being in the spotlight at the studio and always having costume changes, and wearing firm fitting clothes ... after this particular day I remember feeling like a woman seeing my body change week in and week out.
Learning the ropes of my new body was a process and through this process I felt more womanly each step I took. I was never embarrassed and really embraced it. I think being confident in myself has always helped me and continues to shape the woman I am today and influences the way I treat people and want to make them feel great too!
How important do you believe it is to embrace your sexuality as a woman?
Embracing your sexuality ... I believe it reveals another natural, honest layer of yourself. I know that sometimes It takes me a minute to warm up to people, but within an instant after embracing myself, for the honest, open, unapologetic me ... this is when people can really learn to love me for me! Embracing your sexuality is allowing people to know you and love you.
How important is self-pleasure to you?
As someone who is a little ( a lot) time poor, and someone who has also been with their high school sweetheart for almost 7 years, I think it is something that is often overlooked. At the moment I am more interested in unwinding with my partner. Being alone at times, and also being a creative person, I tend to spend this time with my mind trickling off in a thousand different directions, I could be drawing one minute, soaking the day away in the bath the next and then re-designing my whole house the next. Self pleasure Is something that I hope to learn to appreciate in the future. At the moment with a hectic schedule it is neglected, but is also fulfilled to the degree possible with some quality time with my significant other.
What are three things you love about your body (that perhaps you've struggled with in the past)?
All round weight ideology:
With a mum who was a personal trainer and weighed a small 55kg a few days after giving birth to me, I was always wanting to be just like her. Naturally she is a lot smaller than myself, and I simply just take after the other side of my family ( Eastern European), so naturally I was taller, I had bigger legs and I am a solid person. Having my active mum though has helped me in 104927 ways.
She has taught me about the importance of individuality as well as the importance of being active in any way that suits myself. As soon as I quit dancing, I was a new person. I began to love me for me. I would hate looking at magazines or other media and I just wanted to look at what was real. I traded looking at ballerinas, to looking at real women strutting down the beach. From Maroubra to Bondi, I was there perched on my towel gazing at the beautiful, natural, REAL that was around. This was an overall growth of self love.
As I used to dance, I was always conscious of my body. I was also always someone who would be confident in myself but would also judge and compare myself to others. I would totally wish I didn’t have the wog genetics. I wanted smaller rake like legs, I also wished to be a lot smaller all over and I wanted to be shorter. My legs, look they can always be more toned but I work out as much as I feel is necessary to help me mentally, what I can fit in without frying my brain in a week …
As I grew taller my stretch marks were something that I hated and now I think they are beautiful. My legs although they aren’t rock solid, I like that they have shape, they do have muscle and they aren’t rakes. They show that I do have an athletic side but the also show that I am a woman and that I don’t need to look like a child.
Lastly, my arms!
I don’t know what It is but my darn arms are genetically made to be lifting weights. I can lift a pencil and bulk up. As my body was changing and I was becoming a woman, I would always hate that my arms were thin and instead quite muscly. I spent my Sunday mornings at North Bondi Nippers and the paddle board throughout puberty did me well because now, I have bigger shoulders and biceps than a lot of alternative guys from design school that’s for sure. I used to get embarrassed and feel big, but now I think it shows signs of commitment, and my ability as a strong independent, hardworking lady!
What are three things you look for in a lover?
I may be at a tender age of 22 and already talking about marrying my boyfriend … and it's been years of being in love, so I think reflecting on my needs and desires leads me to the following:
1. I want a challenge, I want someone and something that isn’t easy. I want to be with someone who is different to myself. I don’t like having the same opinions, I like hearing different modes of doing, thinking and reacting.
2. NEEDS TO BE CARING. Leaping into the unknown, my lover boy was always very nurturing, understanding and would never push me too far. It was, first and foremost about our connection more than a quick fix. It was about two of us more than just one of us.
3. In a lover, they need to love themselves. At the end of the day, people need to love themselves enough to love you the right way. I love glancing over in the morning and seeing my partner happy in the way his life is working or how his hands work or what his body is doing. I like seeing him confident and in that, I find myself loving him even more.
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?
Summer! Generally I am a different person at different times of the year. I am happy with a little vitamin D. From laying on the beach to flirty balmy nights I am generally more excitable, more excited myself, and am comfortable with my body. A little tan and showing some skin gets me! When I am more relaxed, I am more in tune with my body and when I'm more in tune with my body I am inspired to get moving, feeling and indulging.
Do you have any particular women in your life who inspire you to be a sexually empowered woman?
Without being cliché, my business requires me to spend a lot of time on social media, checking out the latest in swimwear, active wear and design in general. I am inspired everyday. When I see the real girls posing and taking imagery of themselves with the biggest smiles on their faces, this inspires me to reveal more of myself on my platforms. I used to be so afraid to upload, worried about the perfect angle. I am so sick of looking at the perfect angles online and now, I love seeing girls, all shapes and sizes.
I feel as though, at current besides the random creepy old men, followers who flatter me with their comments, I really have a great community of followers. These girls empower me and I hope I empower them. Every time I get an inbox about a swim suit, or comment on one of my own captions, these are the women who inspire me to be sexually empowered. I don’t know … at this point I’m thinking I inspire myself, but truly I think it comes from within, and I think that having some support, It really means that we are creating a community of women who aren’t afraid to be empowered by themselves.
Do you have any reoccurring sexual fantasies? Tell us more:
At the moment, I’ve worked a 70 hour week and I’m spending my Friday night drawing plans of a new store, listening to Arca (if you haven’t listened to Arca’s melodic therapy, you need to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SYMoTBYT04). I think because of this dire night, and the past few too I am thinking ahead and thinking of being away, no distractions and background music, just blissfully away on a balmy night to enjoy this body and to enjoy my partner's too!
What rituals do you have for self-care and self-love?
Sometimes when I simply can’t connect my body and mind, I throw myself into a Bikram class and I sweat it out. I push myself to the max 'til I’m in an uncomfortable position and I’m forced to look at my skin or look at myself in a foggy mirror and talk to myself and really become one with my mind.
Along with this, I am quite an anxious person, yes confident, but yes ridiculously anxious. I get flustered, I get stressed and I flip out. I’m so OCD and things need to be in order. Self care for me, is getting things in order and having a clear mind. In saying that, on the other hand, self love is letting myself get hopelessly messy, a messy room but a clear mind is sometimes where I learn to love myself and all my flaws. I want to learn to snap out of being highly strung and let mess happen, because its just a reflection of really, truly living.
My latest self love is getting a massage with my partner … we spend two hours one Sunday of every month and I lay there with no bra and some hot stones working their magic. I like going with him and having him close by because it's some time that we can spend together without needing to talk or without needing to communicate, but I like glancing over and seeing him relaxed too. We are both natural stress heads and seeing each other in this new way is letting us let go of things a lot more through out our weeks.
When I get a massage I am so in tune with every part of my body and I love it. I walk out of their feeling like I know what’s going on and I am so in charge of my own body.
How can people connect with you?