My Sexy’s gone! I want it Back!
When I talk to people about their sexuality, a theme that often emerges is “I just don’t feel sexual.” Being out of touch with one’s erotic energy is a common challenge. Many of us have learned to live with this diminished feeling state, for numerous reasons. Sometimes in a relationship one person’s libido is less than the others, and the lowest common denominator wins. Sometimes people are unable to access their erotic energy, and so come to believe they don’t have any. One woman told me that she was certain that inside lurked a voracious sexual beast that would consume everything if allowed out, and it needed to be tightly controlled. Other people become dependent on external sources of sexuality: sexual partnership and porn are the two big ones.
None of these experiences is wrong or bad. However, most people who tell me they “just don’t feel sexual” have a sense that either a) they SHOULD feel sexual, or b) they’d LIKE to feel sexual. In this blog posting, I address both of these ideas.
“I should feel more sexual.”
Never been a big fan of the ‘should’ myself. ‘Should’ has a number of unpleasant connotations, including:
- adherence to social code
- following someone else’s dictates rather than one’s own heart
- ignoring body wisdom
None of this sounds very sexy, right? In the process of reclaiming libido and erotic energy, it’s helpful to work with one’s body, instead of issuing dictates about how it better behave or else! Telling your body that it should feel more sexual is akin to telling a two-year-old they should share their toys. Resistance!
Erotic energy is a freedom-loving force. It responds to coaxing, invitation, enticement, seduction. It balks at on-demand performance, following rules of what is ‘appropriate,’ time restrictions, and demands. If you’ve ever made the “should feel more sexual” statement or something close to it where anywhere your body can hear you, here’s my best (unsolicited) advice. Start where you are, with what you are actually feeling.
Allowing yourself permission to be just as you are creates an atmosphere of loving acceptance. Recognizing that how you are in this moment is a culmination of all of the events, stories and influences in your life to date. Feeling what you actually feel sets a baseline of self-acceptance, promoting an authentic self-experience. Erotic energy loves authenticity! You can’t fake it, control it, or banish it very effectively. You can welcome it by setting a place at the table, and feeding it well when it shows up.
If you are reading this and thinking, “Sure, Pavini, I’ll just be a modicum of loving acceptance to myself,” followed by a sarcastic snort, try the fake-it-till-you-make it approach. It goes like this: every time you notice yourself saying ‘should,’ stop and replace it with ‘could.’ For example, “I could feel more sexual, if that’s my desire.” Just try it a few times, k? You’ve lost nothing if I’m wrong.
“I’d like to feel more sexual.”
Ah, now we’re talking. Do you hear the desire inherent in this sentence? Becoming clear on desire is the first step in reclaiming libido. So many people either don’t know what they want, or experience confusion around their desire. Sometimes they think they want sex, when what they truly want is connection. Sometimes they are totally at a loss if asked what their desire really is. Try this. Take a breath, one in which you breathe all the way down to your genitals. Give a little squeeze of your pelvic muscles. If you continue breathing and squeezing, what do you notice? Feeling more sexual starts with paying attention to our own bodies. Paying. Attention. To. Your. Body.
Think about it. If you wanted to feel more at home in your house, you might pay attention to decorating, cleaning, painting, setting things up just so, getting just the right lamp for that corner. Feeling more sexual is kinda like that.
It’s about beginning to notice the pull of desire, even in seemingly non-sexual situations. Do you notice when you’re walking down the street and a flower pulls you in to smell it? Do you pay attention when your nose tugs you towards a delicious smell wafting out of a restaurant? Does your mouth water? Or your fingers are called to wander across a particular texture or surface? These are all examples of your body experiencing desire. So pay attention! Ever feel the urge to create something, write a poem, send that reconnection email, or plant a garden? These are examples of sexual energy showing up, wanting to express. Are you available?
Erotic Energy does not flow from a tap that can be turned on and off at will. True, with time one can learn to regulate it, but that’s another post. What I’m saying is this: if you want to feel more sexual, start with acceptance about where you are. Celebrate the desire in your desire of wanting more. Pay attention to all the ways you already do welcome in the erotic, before you embark on any grand plan to upgrade your sexuality. Pay attention when erotic energy shows up. Create an environment that welcomes it. Allow it freedom, and notice the places it already is in your life. Allow your senses to seduce you, and savor it when they do. Sensuality, baby. Feel it.
We’ll talk more about reclaiming libido soon, but for now, just notice. And comment.