Sexual pleasure and self-care is something that we are really passionate and open about here on The Banksia Woman, and yet we find it particularly hard to find access to sex education and pleasure products that are not only safe and fun, but are also sensitive to a woman’s sense of empowerment and her own sexual intuition. So when I stumbled across Abby’s project on sexual self-care, I personally felt beyond rejoiced at the idea of this local project for female sexual empowerment and education – I knew this was a special gem that I couldn’t wait to share with our readers! So that being said, let us introduce you to Abby, and her lovechild of a business known as Pleasure & Peach!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the concept behind Pleasure & Peach?
Hello! I’m Abby, mumma of one and creator of Pleasure & Peach. I am a proud pleasure positive educator, with a huge passion for offering both nourishing and educational experiences in sexuality and self-care for women.
Pleasure & Peach is primarily about empowering women. I want to facilitate opportunities and safe spaces for women to connect with themselves, their bodies, and their pleasure. My business is a place where art, education, self-care, and sex mesh together to celebrate women, and promote acts of self-love (and orgasms too)!
After high school, I moved to Sydney to study a Bachelor of Psychology with a particular focus in Sexology. I absolutely loved my degree. It cemented my passion for creating empowering and therapeutic experiences for women, but the traditional clinical route just wasn’t for me. So, after I moved back to Newcastle to roost, I formed the concept of Pleasure & Peach!
The concept of my business was inspired by many things. Firstly, my belief that we are all entitled to a proper sex education inclusive of pleasure, and also accurate information about our sexual anatomy. I also think it’s important to speak openly and normalize the use of toys and lubricant in both solo and partnered sex. Most of us are not taught how to choose a body-safe product(s), or why quality toys and lubricants are such wonderful assets to our sex lives – and so I want to talk about it!
Many important elements of Pleasure & Peach have also come from my own lived experience with mental health. In my early twenties I lived with severe anxiety and an eating disorder. Through my own mental health journey, I learnt the huge importance of self-care and compassion in developing an ongoing relationship with myself and my body. A good therapist was essential for me too. Learning about my body, and my right to pleasure was hugely empowering. It was amazing to be rediscovering the joys of my body, and sexual self-care played a big role in this.
I also rebuilt a wonderful relationship with myself through connecting with women and building uplifting relationships with each other. For me, connection is a prime source of nourishment, and as women in this society, we are often made to feel like we are pinned against each other. To compare ourselves to one another, we begin to believe in toxic (and false) notions that other women are to be feared, or seen as our competition. Jealousy between women has become so normalized, yet we are capable of so much more when we admire and endorse each other’s strengths. Hence, I want to use my business to show the importance of building connection and community among women and create opportunities to come together to raise each other up. I think that it’s incredibly powerful for the self and for the community of womanhood.
As a mother, I want to be able to model and showcase the remarkable strengths of women, and the amazing things we are capable of. Through educating and empowering women, I have realized that I am also doing this for my daughter. I want to use my skills and knowledge to help women of now and generations to come, to value themselves, their pleasure, and have the confidence to voice what they want, in any context.
Your project centres a lot around self-care. What does that mean to you?
To me, self-care is made up of many elements that work together to create a sense of wellbeing. From psychological, physical, social, emotional, and sexual self-care, for some people it is spiritual too. Moreover, self-care isn’t merely a trend or a “buzzword” – it is more than just treating ourselves to luxurious indulgences from time to time. I believe that practicing everyday and routine acts of self-care has the potential for real and significant benefits. This may look like journaling, taking time to enjoy a good cuppa, calling a friend, meditating, soaking in the tub, or gifting yourself a fabulous orgasm. There are so many ways to practice depending on what works for you.
What we don’t often talk about is the role of sexuality in our self-care routines, and all of its wonderful benefits. Examples of sexual self-care can include keeping up to date with pap smears and STI tests, choosing body-safe toys, lubricants, and period products. It could mean keeping on top of your chosen form of contraception/safe-sex barriers, making time for self-pleasure, making time for pleasure with a partner(s), having honest conversations with your partner(s) about your sexual wants and needs, communicating with a partner(s) any boundaries you may have, engaging in aftercare after sexual play. Other forms may include practicing pelvic floor exercises, reading an erotic novel, reading/listening to an educational sex positive book or podcast, getting to know your body and vulva in the mirror, enjoying ethical porn (ethical meaning performers are of legal age, are looked after financially, physically, mentally for their work, and consent is made clear). There are so many wonderful ways to engage in sexual self-care and it is so important to choose what works best for you.
Practicing sexual self-care has had a huge impact on my life. It has helped me feel empowered in my body, in my relationship, and in my sexual wants and needs. It has been truly life changing. For me, all types of self-care are important and valid, but there needs to be a special mention to sexual self-care – it definitely deserves some time in the spotlight!
How important is celebrating sexuality and pleasure to you? Has this always been something you are passionate about?
Oh, it’s hugely important! Our sexuality plays such huge role in our lives. Sexual pleasure is one of the most beautiful experiences we can have as humans! Solo sex in particular needs a special shout out. It is an amazing way to connect with our bodies, and along with a huge list of health benefits such as not needing to worry about STIs or unwanted pregnancies. I can promise you, a vibrator has never broken my heart.
Celebrating sexuality and pleasure, particularly female pleasure is a wonderful way to dismantle the shame and stigma society has needlessly placed around it. Talking openly about sex and pleasure helps to normalize it. A quality, pleasure-positive sex education is also another way to celebrate. When we understand our sexual anatomy and pleasure centres, we can better pleasure ourselves and more confidently communicate how we like to be pleasured with a partner(s). In heterosexual relationships, it’s a huge step towards closing “The Orgasm Gap” (men orgasming disproportionally more than their female partner/s). Through education and celebration of the female orgasm we can bust myths that are helping to perpetuate this gap.
I have been passionate about celebrating female sexuality and pleasure for a long time. I have personally experienced the liberation and empowerment that comes from learning about my body, valuing my pleasure, and practicing sexual self-care. It has helped me build a beautiful relationship with myself, and a deep and enduring intimacy with my husband. We’ve been together for 10 years, and the passion I feel toward that man is ridiculous.
Have you had any challenges in creating this project, particularly with certain stigmatizations surrounding female orientated pleasure?
I have not been met with too many challenges yet, though I am sure I will encounter them. The response I have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive. I am so happy, but not surprised, that women are eager to know more about sexual self-care! It brings me so much joy to see women so engaged and invested in learning about their bodies and taking their pleasure seriously. We are owning our sexuality and I am so bloody excited about it!
How can our readers find your products? Do you have any upcoming events we can stay tuned for?
Pleasure & Peach is launching soon! We are currently polishing off the website and online store. Sign-up to our newsletter at www.pleasureandpeach.com.au for updates. You can also head to our Instagram or Facebook for some uplifting, spicy content!
Pleasure & Peach will offer a range of carefully curated creative workshops, paired with our Signature Sexual Self-Care Class – inclusive of wine and a grazing table of course (woohoo!). Choose from our tea-blending workshop, DIY body-care, or everlasting floristry. All of our creative workshops are followed by our Signature Sexual Self-Care Class, which is amaaazing! In these classes, we create a safe and inclusive space to discuss sex and female pleasure. We facilitate a room that nurtures connection between women and is always free of judgement. We cover more information on The Orgasm Gap, sexual pleasure centres and erogenous zones, health benefits of solo sex, introduction to body-safe lubricants, introduction to body-safe adult toys, introducing toys to partnered and solo sex, celebrating body diversity, sexual health, ethical porn, Q&A, and information on further resources including books, websites, inspiring creatives and artists, educators, social media accounts, and more!
We will also have our fabulous online store! It’s full of goodies, from our collection of body-safe toys and lubricants, to self-care products, art, and more.
I am bursting at the seams to share it with you! Just look at all these exclamation points! Can you hear my excited yelling through the screen?!?!
Anyways, it’s been an absolute pleasure having a chat. Hope to connect with you soon!
Hope you have a wonderful day,