Spring is here – are you ready to tap into the abundance of your sexual energy?
Yes. Spring is here, no question.. the flowers are bursting with colors, the poppies are flaming the hillside, the bees are humming in frenzy, the sacred Yuba River is flowing with abundance our much-needed water. Nature is alive. And so are we.
As we awake from our long winter hibernation, we humans also start buzzing with that powerful force of nature’s sexual energy.
As we respond to our DNA’s ancient call to find a mate, copulate, have sex, and reproduce; we uniquely also answer to our special human form of the call of ‘spring’; to partner, to fall in love, to make love.
When I sit in my office with my clients, at therapy sessions, weather it is a couple, or an individual, a teenager, or an 85 year-old, chances are, that no matter what the ‘presenting problem is’, at some point in the session and the conversation, the subject will be ‘SEX‘.
Though at times I will refer to sex as ‘Sacred Energy eXchange‘, and that it is, that elixir of love, that potion of passion and desire, that magic that lift us, it can all too soon become the source of pain, jealousy and despair. How is it that sex can tap into our most sublime states, and at the same time also be the root of our pain and disappointment.
It’s the power of sex. It is the origin of us. It is the force of nature working through our bodies, calling us to listen and to dial into its omnipotent potential. When we are connected to our partner in sex, we are open, naked, vulnerable, we let someone in, we allow the other to touch us, caress our naked body, penetrate us, become one with us. It is ultimately, a heightened, highly aware sense of pleasures. Many who talk about different forms of spiritual ecstasy, use similar language to our erotic sexual experiences.
Many of us baby boomers are still in the hold of the guilt and shame and secrecy of the ‘joy of sex’. We painstakingly learned to accept that we are sexual beings. As our generation grew up, we started to read and write books about ‘how to make love‘, or ‘how to enjoy sex‘, we started to allow the conversation to begin. But how often in my therapy session, I find partners, young and old, still being shy, embarrassed, shameful, intimidated and awkward, talking about the topic of their sex life. There are books, YouTube’s, sex videos and DvDs, their are sex workshops and retreats, there is an erotic revolution going out there, but most people, lovers, are still stuck. Spring may be calling, but we miss the call.
“…it began to occur to me that only in sex do we touch each other in the same place that we were conceived, that we were born, that we were nursed, and only in sex can we be held, adored and physically met in that same place. Perhaps that kind of sex is the only way that certain kinds of healing can take place. Our bodies themselves need to know that we are truly met, along with our hearts and minds.”
According to Dr. Sue Johnson, clinical psychologist, author of Hold Me Tight and Love Sense, and the initiator of Emotionally Focused Therapy, EFT , the leading model in couples therapy, the secret to prolonged erotic sex is in the secure connection.
‘Early on in a relationship, passion comes very easily to most couples. Almost every touch, glance or word is loaded with desire. But what happens to passion when you are six months into a relationship, or even 60 months in – or 60 years? Is it inevitable that it will fizzle out eventually or can you expect passion to last and even grow?’
Dr Sue Johnson believes that ‘the passion of infatuation is just the hors d’oeuvre. Loving sex in a long-term relationship is the entrée’. If we want to have great sex in a long-term relationship, then we need emotional connection and if we want to have emotional connection we need great sex. The two go hand-in-hand. Johnson believes you will have different goals for your sex life, depending on how comfortable you are with closeness overall and how safe you feel in needing your partner. She calls these three kinds of sex Sealed-Off Sex, Solace Sex, and Synchrony Sex.
So how do we maintain that magic even after those months or even the years, of the ‘honeymoon phase’ of a relationship, start to fade? Can that original powerful magic be sustainable? One of the toughest issues I face with my clients, couples or singles, is when that alluring elixir of love, that potent sexual energy ecstasy and desire is no longer there. We panic, we fall ‘out of love’, we become heart broken. Even if we are in a secure relationship and at the best of cases, we can talk about it, and even make it to therapy, it is still a loss that need to be attended to. Can we rescue it, rekindle it’s magic? As a couples therapist I say that this is a one of those ‘issues’ that bring couples into the therapy office.
Is it inevitable that that power that brought us together will abandon us, leaving us heartbroken and disappointed?
Psychotherapist Esther Perel is changing the conversation on what it means to be in love and have a fulfilling sex life. For the first time in human history, couples aren’t having sex just to have kids; there’s room for sustained desire, for couples to cultivate long-term sexual relationships. But how? Perel, a licensed marriage and family therapist, travels the world to help people answer this question.
For her research Perel works across cultures and is herself fluent in nine languages. She coaches and consults with organizations and families, holds a private psychotherapy practice in New York, and speaks regularly on erotic intelligence, trauma, conflict resolution and infidelity. She is the author of Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic.
Her 2013 TED talk, the “Secret to Desire in a Long Term Relationship,” had one million hits in the first two weeks it was posted, taking on an apparent epidemic of low-libido marriages in what is theoretically the least repressed era in modern history. (That may be part of the problem: “How can you desire what you already have?” Ms. Perel often asks in her talks.)
We see how powerful the force of sex is when we watch politicians and imminent public figures get lost and devastated by sex’s enormous power. We can say it is the abuse of power, but we can not deny that at times, when it is truly stronger than us, we are swept up by its current, unable to resist.
In her Psychology Today article, Pepper Schwartz invites us to acknowledge the power of sex and to have compassion and not just judgment when we are faced with its powers.
What is most clear to me after decades in the therapy office is that the most important thing is that we are ‘talking about sex’. The secret is out, we are allowing ourselves to talk, to ask, to question, to share, to want, to desire.
We are in the times of leaving behind shame and guilt and embrace ourselves as sexual beings, full with desire, and sexual energy. We are willing to admit and embrace that SEX can be complex, difficult, beautiful, magical, painful, it is all of the above. It is the ‘agony’ and the ‘ecstasy.’
We are learning to understand and accept that the power that made each one of us needs to be allowed to continue to flow in our life, and as this spring is awakening those deep forces in us, do not resist, allow, stand by with curiosity and surprise. You too can be swept away into its current. Surrender.
If you would like to explore your own obstacles to reaching your full potential for sexual fulfillment and learn how to talk about sex with your partner, consider contacting me for a free consultation. I also offer couples workshops where in an intimate and safe environment we learn how to recognize our obstacles and how to communicate.