What is self-love? O*Diaries spoke to ten people around the world to find out what it means to them.
Self-love can mean many things ranging from being mindful, to taking care of yourself, mentally, emotionally and physically, and even literally loving yourself. We spoke to five male and female-identifying people from around the globe. We wanted to hear in their own words what self-love means to them. So what does self-love mean for them? And what does it mean for you?
Jasmine from Indonesia: Knowing yourself
“Self-love for me means knowing yourself. In a time where we are hyper-connected with social media, this often means finding a quiet moment to enjoy something just for me. Anything from a podcast to something more intimate.“
Leo from Germany: A healthy kind of vanity
“Many people associate self-love with a kind of vanity. But this “vanity” to me means knowing your body, understanding its desires and not being ashamed of what those are. Even though today it’s more normal to talk about masturbation and topics like sex, people can still be quiet judgey or have assumptions if your desires or preferences aren’t considered “mainstream.” But enjoying exactly what I like, how I like it is self-love for me.”
Adjoa from Ghana: Special time just for me
“I feel at my most connected with myself on the verge of climax. I love to find time for a special moment and feel sexually empowered. I was never majorly into masturbation and sort of saw sexual pleasure as somehow deriving from sex. But when I started playing with myself more regularly, I realized what a positive boost this gave me. ”
Max from France: The ritual of self-love
“I find self-love quite ritualistic. By that I mean I like to make sort of a ritual about enjoying and celebrating myself. This can be anything from running a deep bath, meditation, a tiring workout, or if the mood takes me something more personal and intimate. But the most important thing is being present in the moment and taking the time to value yourself.”
Ana from Brazil: Owning your desires
“Only recently did I discover the power of loving myself. Through regular masturbation I was able to reconnect with my mind and body and value myself much more. Self-love is about owning who you are, what your desires are, and that’s something that is just for you. There doesn’t need to be any outside influence or judgement made. It’s just you and your body.”
Mara from Portugal: Reclaiming myself
“It’s still hard for me to admit it, but I was in an abusive relationship for a number of years. I am now in the process of getting to know myself again and rediscovering my confidence. Self-love is a huge part of this process for me. I am just taking it one step at a time, but experiencing things that delight my body has really helped me.”
Francisco from Mexico: Responding to changes
“For me the notion of self kind of changes all the time. I have noticed how my interests and desires have shifted over the last few years. Being aware of this and responding to this, listening to myself and acting on it: this is self-love to me.”
Jacqui from Canada: Feeling empowered
“Last Christmas one of my friends got me a sex toy as a joke. I had never really felt that kind of orgasm before and since trying it for the first time it’s become a regular part of my self-love routines. Knowing that I can give my body that level of sensation is really empowering.”
Kerem From Turkey: From group to self-love
“Being gay in Turkey is not simple. And for a while, I had a slightly negative view of society. But taking the big step and moving away, I found strength in my new community and was able to turn this group love into self-love. So self-love for me is being in a place of strength, where you value what and who you are. For me it kind of started with support and validation of close friends, and eventually I was able to value and love myself.”
Rafa from Spain: Learning to value time alone
“I sort of used to feel guilty about spending time on my own. Not necessarily guilty but more like I should be doing something with friends and family, you know? In Spain, we sometimes have quite a group/social mentality. But now I know that doing something on your own is important to recharge my batteries and be social but with full energy. “
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At times when everything seems to be going wrong in our lives and there’s no help in sight – what should you do? Take a long bubble bath or perhaps some deep breaths? But do these small actions really magically transform the world to seem like a better place again? As if! Countless self-love tips are simply nonsense! An opinion piece.