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Venus Libido on Endometriosis, Pleasure, and Self-Exploration

Sex & Relationships

Name: Venus Libido
Day job: Sex Educator and training Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist
Location: UK


Tell us a little about your background…

I hold a degree in fine art, yet in 2018, I embarked on a transformative journey into sexual wellness and sex education. My fascination extended beyond my sexuality; it encompassed the intricate dynamics of how society, relationships and personal growth influence our journey of sexual exploration. This led me to my current journey: coaching and training as a psychosexual and relationship therapist.


What do you love most about your job?

What I find most rewarding is helping individuals and couples steer towards healthier, more joyful and more satisfying lives within the sphere of sexuality and relationships—whether that involves self-discovery or connecting with others. This work is an opportunity to leave a positive imprint on people's lives, enabling them to gain a profound understanding of themselves and their bodies. It empowers them to embrace the pursuit of pleasure without the burden of shame and a journey of self-exploration that I feel everyone deserves.


What is pleasure mapping?

Pleasure mapping involves open curiosity, exploration and body awareness. It's the process of identifying and understanding one's own sources of pleasure, desire, and arousal. My step-by-step guide for this is:

  1. Set aside some uninterrupted time to focus on yourself.
  2. Collect some tools to help navigate the senses, such as toys, music, food and candles.
  3. Now, it's time to seduce yourself in a way you might like. Don't be afraid to touch and watch yourself in front of a mirror. In fact, I highly recommend this!
  4. Then, reflect, write down everything you like and didn't like, and focus on all the senses.


What are your top tricks for a better sex life?

Self-exploration first, communication and lube!

Quote from Sex Educator Venus Libido

When were you diagnosed with endometriosis?

My symptoms then and now are similar, primarily characterized by persistent lower pelvic pain, back discomfort, pain experienced both during and after intercourse, leg pain, and discomfort in the rectal area. I have also noticed that all the above significantly impacted my mental health over the years and, at times, caused me great anxiety when it came to leaving the house.


Have you found any relief through surgery, medication, or other avenues?

Unfortunately, these symptoms tend to alleviate for only approximately six months following surgery before resurfacing again. I have undergone two surgeries, yet the outcomes have remained consistent on both occasions. I experience fluctuations between good and bad days, with the unfortunate aspect being their unpredictable nature, which has sometimes caused me distress.
I do not currently take medication for my pain, but what works for me is learning how to work with my body. I know I can manage my symptoms by focusing on regular exercise, diet, self-care and prioritising myself when pain is at its worst.


What gives you the most relief?

Masturbation, rest and regular movement.


What other things do you do to help?

It’s crucial to identify your individual triggers. I maintained a food diary for three months to pinpoint my own triggers, which, in my case, include avoiding dairy, white bread, rice, beer, and coffee.

I highly recommend reading the book "Take Control of Your Endometriosis" if you wish to gain a deeper understanding of how nutrition can impact Endometriosis.


How do you manage endometriosis and your sex life?

For years, I found myself caught in a perplexing dilemma between wanting to delve into my sexuality and withdrawing from intimate experiences, relationships and even self-care as my frustration and irritation grew due to the sensation of my body feeling somehow flawed or broken. My only saving grace is I never gave up on myself. I wanted to keep exploring and figure out what my body wanted, needed and desired, focusing on pleasure rather than performance. I also often remind myself that I should never feel like I have to miss out on pleasure regardless of pain.


Why can sex for endo sufferers be so painful?

  1. Adhesions and scar tissue: Endometriosis can lead to the formation of adhesions, which are bands of scar tissue that can bind organs together. Adhesions can restrict the normal movement and flexibility of pelvic organs during sexual activity, resulting in pain.
  2. Inflammation: Endometrial tissue outside the uterus can cause chronic inflammation in the pelvic region. Inflammation can contribute to pain during sex by sensitising nerves and increasing sensitivity to touch.
  3. Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction: Endometriosis-related pain and inflammation can lead to increased tension and tightness in the pelvic floor muscles. This muscle tension can cause pain during intercourse.
  4. Emotional factors: Living with chronic pain can lead to anxiety, fear or anticipation of pain during sex. These emotional factors can contribute to muscle tension, making sex uncomfortable or painful.


What are your top tips for endo sufferers to maintain a good sex life?

Unfortunately, discomfort is unavoidable for some, so I always suggest two things instead of trying to have a pain-free experience.

  1. Explore alternative ways in which you can experience pleasure. We all know that sex doesn't have to equal penetration, so find out what your body likes and your limitations. For me, I really love oral, playing with toys and even dry sex can be sexy. You make the rules... that's the best bit!
  2. I believe we can always find pleasure through the pain. It's an opportunity to remind ourselves to prioritise our physical and emotional well-being and pay closer attention to it. If something isn't working for you physically, find pleasure through emotional intimacy or mindfulness.


Read more insights from Venus via her website or follow her on Instagram.

What to know about having sex on your period? Read sex-expert Georgia Grace blog on the most commonly asked period sex questions and how you can have a bloody good time!

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