PERMISSION: Sensuality

The Key to Healing Depression with Pleasure

depression symptoms, depression, am I depressedI understand that many of us have different ideas about what pleasure is, but for me, pleasure is the ability to feel love in each cell in my body.

When we feel pleasure in our bodies, we’re reminded on a visceral level that we’re worthy and deserving of love. On a primal level this can be a profound doorway through depression.

Pleasure has no conditions. Pleasure doesn’t tell us that we need to be single in order to feel free enough to accept it’s luxury. And pleasure doesn’t dictate that we need to be in a relationship in order to be deserving of it’s love. Pleasure doesn’t tell us we need to look or act a certain way to be worthy of it’s grace.

Pleasure doesn’t judge us, even though we may tend to judge pleasure itself.

Giving ourselves permission for pleasure is the catalyst that breaks down age old tutelage that we need to maintain the roles that have become expected of us, meanwhile hiding or forgetting our sensual and sexual selves for fear of being punished, shut-down, shamed,  violated, devalued, disrespected or… sometimes the most heartbreaking of all: we’ll be seen as a beautiful sexy Thing, but not truly seen for who we are.


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5 Secrets about your Self Love Sweet Spot: The Pilgrimage to Pleasure


Self-love may seem intangible or elusive because it doesn’t just manifest itself in our brains by repeating affirmations. Self-love needs to be felt viscerally in our bodies, in order to have a foundation for deep healing and long-lasting change.

In my experience, self-love is misunderstood and underestimated.  Many people believe self-love requires protecting their energy, dodging negative people or situations, focusing on mantras or balls of light to help instill peace, or rising above all the things that we just don’t love.  And others believe that self-love is simply impractical, intangible or hokey.

In my experience, self-love is none of those things. (more…)

Do You Know How To Feel Real Deal Sexy?


A friend recently said to me, “I can’t imagine you not having sex appeal.”
She didn’t know me when I was an awkward 21-year-old, scared as hell of sex.

In reality, my first time having sex wasn’t the horrific scene I’d imagined for years: excruciating pain, a bloody mess and prolific shame for having to admit that I didn’t know what I was doing.  It was anti-climatic, if anything I thought “This is it? This is what all the hype is about?”.  But the point is, sex in my mind was a foreign thing that would ‘happen’ to me, instead of something I felt I was an active participant in. And frankly, pleasure was the farthest thing from my mind.

Do you remember your first time? Pleasurable?

If you recall your first time, chances are some elements of that experience carried forward into future experiences. Perhaps voices in your head carried forward like “maybe they’ll think X if I do Y”? Maybe your desire to enjoy sex became an experimental charade on how to look like you knew what you were doing?

It’s amazing there’s so little education around pleasurable sex, aside from the general understanding to “have protected sex” or provocative articles in Cosmo magazine about how to please a man. What about the tutelage on “how to enjoy your own sexual pleasure deeply”?

It actually requires a tremendous focus to tune into your body’s unique intelligence.
It’s a consistent, intentional practice in becoming so present to your senses that your pleasure becomes unconditional. Now, that’s the kind of tutelage that would be helpful for first times and every times.

Let’s put it this way. My relationship to ‘sexy’ has changed.

It changed when I understood that feeling sexy has absolutely nothing to do with how others, including your lover, perceive you.

Real deal sexy is about feeling at home in your own skin and owning the privilege to experience pleasure. When that happens, we naturally broadcast real deal sexy.

Trying to “look sexy”… or trying on sassy clothes… or trying a bold sexual act still doesn’t get that deep satisfaction of sexy if the sensual connection to pleasure is cut off:

[bctt tweet=”Real deal sexy comes from the inside out.”]

Real deal sexy is when we express pleasure through our own skin.

Real deal sexy is when arousal breathes and radiates through every pore.

Real deal sexy is when you walk with a shameless swagger.

Real deal sexy is discovering your own sensual nature.

Real deal sexy is knowing what turns us on.

Real deal sexy is knowing we deserve pleasure.

Real deal sexy is voicing our desires.

Real deal sexy is not being “acceptably sexy.”

Real deal sexy is not doing what makes you feel sexy with conditions of “too inappropriate” or “too provocative” or “too offensive” or “too x y z.”

Real deal sexy is not “being sexy” to get attention, to be liked or to be noticed.

Real deal sexy isn’t doing something that turns someone else on.

Real deal sexy is simply accepting you’re a creature who is built to shamelessly enjoy sex.

So go on.

Don’t think about looking sexy.

Don’t even try to be sexy.

Just give yourself permission to discover what turns you on.

And express it from the inside out.

© Krista Kujat

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Finding The Turn On That’s in Your Hands: A Sensual Affair With Yourself


Photo by Lori Berkowitz.  Accessories & Lingerie: Maison Close.

What turns you on?

It’s surprising how many don’t know the answer to this question.

I was certainly in the category of not knowing for a long time.

How do you get to know what turns you on, independently from your past experience and your lover?

Can I tell you my personal secret turn-on?


It’s not about how you look in it, it’s about how you give yourself permission to explore how you feel in it. When you do that, it’s a total game changer for sensual satisfaction.

It’s one of the most direct ways of knowing your erotic nature, and helps you get in touch with what turns you on, if you can just break through the common brain chatter:

“Will it even matter if I wear it?” “This is ridiculous, I can’t pull this off.” “Will it turn him on?” “He probably doesn’t even care.” “Ugh, nothing fits.” “I can’t afford this anyway.” “This is the last thing I should be spending money on.” “If it fits and does the job, who cares if it turns me on?” “No one is going to see it anyway.” “This is so self-indulgent.” Yep. I know those thoughts. I would think those thoughts every time, and then I put on a go-to plain jane bra.

Here’s how you can zap those thoughts.

Ask yourself:

What turns you on?

Maybe it’s not lingerie for you, it may be something else. The point is, whatever turns you on is worth your time, attention and energy. If you don’t know what turns you on, you’ll continue to feel frustrated or unsatisfied because you won’t know how to give yourself what you need to feel connected to your erotic nature. Being connected with your erotic nature gives you a sense of feeling at home in your skin, vitality, confidence, and it strengthens your sense of deservingness.

Take sensual turn-on into your own hands.

What sensations make you feel titillated?

What’s the most intimate expression of yourself sensually?

What’s both beautiful and sexy for you?

What makes you feel adorned?

When you choose what makes you FEEL sexy, instead of what makes you “look” sexy, you’ll feel turned on no matter where you are or who you’re with.

When you give yourself permission to feel turned on, the default of wanting to please others vanishes, and it empowers you to love yourself with pleasure.

 We’re sexual, sentient and sensual beings. That’s how we feel and express the beauty and love that’s already inside of us, without looking for it outside of ourselves.

Think about the last time you felt sexy.

Did you put limits on your ability to feel sexy with “acceptable beauty” and “acceptable sexy”?

The key to breaking through a preconceived idea about what is acceptably sexy is to give yourself permission to tap more into your senses.

Your inner beauty opens through sensation and lives and breathes through your sexual energy.   

It’s time to redefine sexy.

Forget the Victoria’s Secret billboards. Forget thinking about what clothes you should and shouldn’t wear. Forget about “trying” to turn on your lover, forget about the quiet whispers in your brain that squelch your sensual self-expression with “too provocative”, “not sexy enough”, or “ridiculous and silly.”

Give yourself the privilege you deserve and start focusing on what turns you on. 

If we all give ourselves more of that permission everyday to find and feel what turns us on, the world will be a happier place because we’ll all feel a little more free.

The only person who needs to give you permission is you.

What feels sexy for you today?

Take yourself on a date. Maybe to a lingerie store. Maybe some other place that turns you on. Try on different bras, playsuits and accessories. You don’t need to buy anything. The purpose is to notice how it feels. This is your own personal erotica experiment to get to know what turns you on. It’s about being able to have those sensations in your body as an anchor to what feels good, right and true. Notice what you’re attracted to in yourself. Then adorn yourself.

When you’re in the fitting room of a lingerie shop, and the silk of a crimson robe slides across your shoulder, what do you feel?

What do you feel when your breasts are lifted in the ultimate push-up bra, spilling out of the cups?

When your nipples peek through porous lace, what do you feel?

Take note of all the pleasurable sensations. Use those sensations as an anchor to bring in your sensual expression.

[bctt tweet=”Remember, sensation is part of your natural born erotic essence.”]

© Krista Kujat

Need some inspiration?  Visit my board here.

Favorite Stores for Exploring Sensual Luxury:

New York:
Kiki de Montparnasse
Agent Provocateur
Sugar Cookies

San Francisco:
Dark Garden

La Dame 2 Coeurs
Alice Cadolle

Online Stores:
Nancy Meyer
Mio Destino
Tatu Couture
Maison Close

Discover Your Holy Key to Hidden Power by Being Seen

Photo by Candace Smith

Being Seen as a Woman is Holy.

I’m not talking about “looking good.”

I’m talking about being seen for your internal beauty.

That part is holy.

It’s the truth of who you are.

Let me tell you how I learned this lesson deeply.


I grew up in a household where “looks mattered.”

Throughout my childhood, my two sisters and my mom devotedly braided our hair everyday, so we would look presentable at school. Meanwhile, for pictures, my dad preferred our hair to be down, because in his opinion it made us look more beautiful.  I somehow understood that looks mattered to be liked by others or to be loved by those who I loved.

Despite my mother’s support in appraising or advising my clothing, and insisting on lipstick to ‘spruce myself up’ during my teenage years, she protectively showered me with explicit reminders to “watch out, because men will take advantage of women, especially attractive women.” My mom always ended this comment with “I know this from experience” and her voice dripped with unspoken hurt.  Meanwhile, I learned from everyone around me that being sexy mattered, included my Dad who openly appraised and remarked on women’s bodies and their sex appeal.

My self-consciousness jumped into overdrive.  Beauty felt like a double edged sword:  If I’m too attractive I could be violated.  But if I’m not attractive enough, I won’t be liked, or worse, I wont’ be loved.


It’s necessary to share another truth at this point.

I know my parents love me, and out of love, they wanted to protect me.


Fear sunk into my bones.  

I was terrified of my very nature: being female.

Before I share how I busted through my fear, first I must share a short story of teenage turmoil…

In high school, there was guy in school who I had a crush on, and finally, I had the courage to flirt with him, which in my world meant not running away. He talked to me at a party, and led me into a bedroom and play wrestled me onto the bed.

My body froze.

The strength of his body on top of me terrified me. When he held my wrists down on the bed and tried to kiss me, I turned my head and I said I didn’t want to.

My only thought in that moment, was that he could rape me.

He said I was no fun. And he released his hold.

Ashamed for being a both disappointing  him, and for being a coward, afraid that kissing him would give him permission to have sex with me, I wriggled off the bed, and left the room.

Here’s what strikes me looking back on that story:  At that time, I truly believed a kiss would lead to rape. I never considered that my voice could hold any weight in my choice to have sex or not, especially if it’s someone who I was attracted to.

Feeling incapable of innocent exploration or pleasure, made me believe there was something wrong with me.

Why couldn’t I feel exhilarated and carefree that the guy I liked wanted to kiss me?

The answer was hidden between not trusting my voice or my body.

I became withdrawn, and only engaged myself with men intellectually, going deep into  philosophical discussion. Expressing my feelings with men or physical intimacy remained terrifying, and out of bounds.

The more time passed like this, the greater I felt a sad separation with myself, and the more I felt trapped in my body.

On the outside, I’d put on a smile to keep within the barometer of doing what people will like, including keeping up the standard of ‘looking pretty’. But inside, I was living a slow death. Keeping my feelings inside was excruciating.

The pain that I internalized feeling trapped in my body, despite being told I was “pretty” led me to a profound and irrevocable wisdom:

 Our inner beauty, sexuality and self-expression are inextricably linked. 

The truth is that my story isn’t different from many other stories of women being raised to either protect themselves or ward off men as “predators.”

Not being able to trust our female nature entirely creates an inhibition towards intimacy, and trusting our men.

If we don’t heal these parts of ourselves, by letting ourselves be seen in our true feminine nature, and continue to perceive men as predators, as I did unconsciously, it prevents ourselves from the pleasure our bodies are built for.  

In short, the predator-prey perception gives our power away.

I know I’m not alone in experiencing the repression of my voice and sexual desires, in direct relation to the ‘beauty’ that I’m perceived for through a barometer of wanting to be loved and accepted.  These deep seeded cultural messages run deep in religions, family traditions and culture.

One close friend recently shared that she wasn’t allowed to sing in her synagogue when she was growing up. As a young girl, she would see and hear all of the boys sing solos, and my friend (who has a beautiful singing voice and is now a singer) felt jealous, sad and angry that they were allowed to sing in spiritual service in public, but that she wasn’t. The reason that women were not allowed to sing in service and in celebration in public was that men may be turned on by them, and then be tempted to disobey the guidelines of “modesty.”

When she shared this story with me, the lightening bolts busted through my brain:

And what would be so wrong if the men were turned on by the women singing?

The point is, if we don’t first recognize and free what has unconsciously held back our holy self expression, it stays repressed—coupled with the belief that we need to be constantly protecting ourselves from harm, which is the death of true self-acceptance and self-love.

I’m sharing this to shed light on these subtle tricky ways, that as women, even those raised, in my case, by a generation of loving feminists in their own time, there are these double messages that, if we are not vigilant, can creep into our minds and restrict our possibilities for happiness, and restrain our pleasure and the joy of experiencing and loving our glorious bodies.

Where we’ve been groomed to “be good” in our lives, may very well be at the expense of cutting out the heart of our inner beauty by either dampening our voice or hiding our sexual nature.



Almost 20 years post high-school-hall-of-shame riddled with fear of what my beauty and my body could lead to, my self-rescue led me to meet a mentor, Praful Saracino, who invited me  to a program called Path of Love, to experience somatic release from my body.

After trying so many other things to become more trusting of my feminine body, at last, exposing all the dark corners that I kept hidden, allowed space for me to be seen un-edited, which opened up space inside of me to feel, see, honor, and recognize my own inner beauty.

All of the protective reflexes that were jacked up in my muscles (specifically tension held in my erogenous zones), and all of the deep-seated beliefs, which colored the lens through which I experienced every relationship as “being taken advantage of” (not just in my intimate relationships but any male relationship—contractors, business colleagues, etc.), and all of the accumulated walls of mis-trust that I’d build up around myself came undone.

Letting yourself be seen for your fears, as well as your desires, gives you the freedom of accepting all parts of yourself, and the ability to deeply see and recognize your own unique inner beauty.   

Through the act of being seen, I experienced a profound, humbling collapse of my protective mechanisms, and feeling the visceral love for something tangible within myself: My essence. My Inner Beauty.

Still, there was a missing link.

How could I share this inner beauty that I came to know?

How could I express it?

My main go-to was always hiding behind “being good” and ‘getting things right.’

Uncensored self-expression freaked me out.

I knew I needed to start in a safe space.

I knew it needed it to be visceral.

I knew I needed it to be an on-going dialogue of what I felt was true for me from the inside out, and not a super-imposed idea of what is true for ANYONE else, or what is even right or wrong.

My truth found its place in a room of 8 women practicing sensual moving meditation, and each woman was seen, one by one, for her own sensual self-expression.

Photo by Lori Berkowitz

Simply by following the emotional intelligence held in our bodies to express our sexual desires, we expressed our deepest emotion through the curves, thrusts, and undulations in our bodies.

Anger transformed to passion.

Self-forgiveness turned to love.

Lightness and vitality re-emerged from heaviness.

And fear turned to compassion.

When we find and reveal hidden parts of ourselves, the depth of our beauty becomes more apparent, more palpable, more real.

It glistens, it vibrates, it sings and soars out of our bodies, where we may have unknowingly suppressed or repressed it’s greatest glory for fear of it not being safe.

img_7927Photo by Lori Berkowitz

Compliments start to become celebrations instead of badges of self-worth, scoffs of disbelief or comparative appraisals.

It all starts with giving yourself permission to be seen.

My inspiration in creating Permission Sessions is to cultivate a safe space to express and celebrate your inner beauty through your voice and through your body, with other women who are doing the same.

Unshackle the prison of the lens you’ve been taught to see through.

Become a master of letting your soul’s beauty be seen.

Use your voice to express what others can’t see.

Know your own beauty and express it in celebration.

This is sacred. This is magic. This is reverent.

This is for always, and forever.

You’re invited.

Jump on board here:


© Krista Kujat


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6 Truths About Sensuality: Cracking the Code of Negative Body Image



About 80% of what we take in everyday comes through our vision. When we see what’s outside of ourselves, it’s the first way to see possibility and inspire desires, and it also becomes a first point of reference to comparing ourselves. When the massive overload in the media is tantalizing us to compare ourselves with “how we look”, especially when it comes to “looking sexy”, one of the most important things we can do is to create an inner communion with our bodies.

The most tragic thing about comparing ourselves is that it gets in the way of being able to see, to feel and to know our own beauty.

We get caught up in “what we are not”, which makes us feel trapped in a continual cycle of trying to change something about ourselves.

When I was six years old in ballet classes, adults would casually comment about how I had more “meat on my bones” or I was “bigger boned” or a little more “fleshy” than my older sister, who was leaner than I was. For some reason, people liked to categorize us and they were surprised to hear my sister was the older one when I was the “bigger” one.

I Felt Not “Enough”

When I was fourteen, I was still bigger than my sister. I was convinced I wasn’t “skinny enough” to wear a bikini. I have a picture of my precious teenage self wearing a one-piece bathing suit, with big felt marks circled around all the areas of my body that I didn’t like. I wrote “FAT” and pointed arrows to the areas of my body I wanted to change before I’d deem myself able to wear a bikini.

Still, I was convinced that I needed to do more exercises from my Mom’s Reader’s Digest, and that I should eat only what my sister ate. In my brain, I believed that what I was doing was “positive” because I was “improving myself.” Little did I know that this quest to improve myself was motivated not by self-love, but by selflack.

“Improving” myself became one of the biggest forms of self-sabotage ever.

Years later, as a fit model, my income depended on being the exact measurements of the clothing the job required me to wear. My financial stability and survival depended on how my body and its image was seen and measured from the outside.

I was never “done” improving myself. 

Underneath it was shame that I wasn’t enough, there was something wrong with me.

Shame is the motherboard of doubt, fear, control, and self sabotage.

Shame is what no one likes to talk about.

It’s the thing that makes us hide.

It’s the thing that makes us fear and avoid rejection at all costs.

It’s the thing that makes us believe that we don’t deserve happiness, pleasure or love.

When you hide this feeling of shame, your body on some primal level doesn’t feel safe.

Your body clenches up, because in your nervous system, there’s an imprint of a painful emotional experience.

This contraction in your body leads to sexual frustration because even if our minds WANT to experience pleasure, our bodies may shut down.

Perhaps you’ve long outgrown some of your body image insecurities. But if you are like me, you may have found yourself, at some point, experiencing sexual shut-down no matter how many affirmations you do, or how much you tally your “gratitudes” everyday. If your body says no, (even if your mind is saying yes) this shut-down leads us to feeling not fully self-expressed, and sooner or later you start to feel trapped.

Often when we’re on the verge of feeling most alive… like on the cusp of orgasm, or opening up our hearts and the possibility of new love, or taking on a new business venture, or exposing a new art project to the world, that’s when our deepest fears start to kick in, and our bodies contract.

On a very basic level, the core thing that causes our bodies to shut down is: not feeling safe.

When we don’t feel safe emotionally: fearing rejection (feeling “not enough”), fearing betrayal (maybe you’ve experienced this from a past lover?), and/or when we don’t feel safe from the result of a physical trauma or violation, like sexual abuse, we’re not free to experience the full range of pleasure in our bodies, because the visceral shut-down mechanisms start to run the show to protect you from re-experiencing past pains that don’t want to be reactivated or re-lived.

Maybe you’ve not only experienced body shut-down through touch and intimacy, but you may also feel shut-down emotionally and feel disgusted, violated, overwhelmed, or nauseous as a replay of an emotional or physical pain starts to activate in your body.

If you’ve ever felt this, you know how it gets in the way of experiencing pleasure!

1 – The splendid truth: our bodies are built for pleasure

When we don’t express the sensual part of ourselves, it reinforces the feeling of “lack” or “not enough” that our brains picked up over the years either by comparing ourselves, based on the cultural messaging that our bodies are not our own, or by a physical violation that left the imprint of feeling fear or disgust. That feeling of lack can sometimes turn into addiction— work addiction, consumer addiction, food addiction, drug addiction.

However, the opposite is equally true:

2 – Expressing the sensual part of ourselves fills us with our own unique beauty from the inside out  

So how do you dissolve the belief and judgment of yourself as “not enough” or “tainted” or “shamed” in order to feel pleasure and arousal, even when your body involuntarily shuts down?

Shame is held in our nervous system, in our bone structures, in the stature of our spinal cord, in the way we hold ourselves and in the way we speak.

In order to experience the change in your body and in your nervous system, a change needs to happen beyond the level of your mind.

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, one of the leading psychologists in trauma and neuroscience, outlines the limitations of “talk therapy” and has proven with his patients that the most healing forces for healing emotional and physical trauma held in the body are through movement, breath and touch. Van Der Kolk explains that talking through trauma either gets the patient disconnected from feeling, or gets the patient to re-live trauma, neither of which have proven to be helpful in the healing process. However his research shows that movement, breath and touch help to make the body feel safe with any range of emotion, and therefore free the patient of becoming identified with the trauma.*

Specifically with experiencing sexual pleasure, harnessing your mind to focus on sensation breaks the pattern of sending signals to your nervous system to shut down. It untangles the belief that something harmful will happen when your body opens up.

The key to allowing pleasure to open in your body is this:

3 – Practice observation of your senses without judgment

Building the experience of pleasure and happiness in your body everyday starts with focusing your mind so that your body can first feel safe and grounded, and then open to greater degrees of pleasure.

4 – Everyday pleasure without guilt 

Learning to focus on sensation, without guilt, without shame, and without even labeling it as pleasurable or not, but just noticing it, dissolves your body’s involuntary impulse to shut down, and expands your ability to experience pleasure beyond your imagination.

When you breathe into those areas of sensation, you become more sensitive and open to express your emotions through your body and your voice. All of the above allows you to deepen intimacy with confidence, so you can feel fully self-expressed, fulfilled emotionally, and physically free—first and foremost with yourself, and also with your lover.

Connecting to your sensuality is as simple as shifting your focus from any action you’re doing, or from the emotion you’re feeling, to focusing on the sensation you’re feeling.

It doesn’t need to take a lot of time! Just focus on sensation.

5 – The key? Consistency.

You can focus on sensation anytime during your daily activities!

When you do the dishes, focus on feeling the smooth surface of a plate glide beneath your fingertips. When you’re walking, feel the textures of the stones beneath the arch of your foot.

When you’re savoring fruit, feel the tiny bulbs of a raspberry as you roll it against the ridges on the roof of your mouth. When you take a bath, experiment with focusing on the sensation of your fingers sliding a smooth bar of soap over your skin, or caressing your skin with a sponge or a wet face cloth. To amp up the focus on pleasure a notch, play music that evokes emotion, and let your touch express how the music moves you.

The trick is, no matter what you’re doing, no matter where you are, who you’re with or what you’re feeling, keep bringing your focus back to the physical sensation, observe every detail of the sensation, and breathe into it.

Pleasure is your birthright! Claim it now!

For a free meditation on how to focus your mind and breath on sensation to break your body’s shut-down pattern, just click here.

The 10-minute guided meditation below will help you to:

  • Get out of your head and into your senses
  • Increase the levels of pleasure you feel in your body
  • Interrupt yourself from shutting down either emotionally or physically
  • Train your mind to be in observer mode, instead of judgment mode
  • Biochemically open your nervous system, so that endorphins run freely from your body to your brain
  • Help to ground you in feeling emotionally and physically safe
  • Empower you to move through your emotions when you may feel anxious, self-conscious or frustrated during sexual intimacy

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