Calling lost libido!
Where have you gone?
Have you left my body completely? Are you ever coming back?....
I have this memory that plays over and over in my mind, one where I’m all saucy and juiced up on the energy of Eros and my body is in the desirous state of wanting….
I feel like I used to be that. I think it’s me? A memory and not a fantasy?
But then I drop back into my body and I feel like I’m standing in a dark vast cave with no running water and no greenery to soften the stark edges, I call out “hello? Libido?” but get only a hollow echo back and I feel kind of numb.
My heart sinks a little as I compare my ‘reality’ with my ‘fantasy’ and I bounce between beating myself up, feeling angry and resentful, to justifying how I feel now because of everything I do and give out and no wonder I’m ‘barren’, void of desire.
Does this sound familiar?
Or perhaps for you it’s the pressure to perform, rather than ‘be’?
Perhaps you rate how successful your sex life is based on ‘how many times’?
Perhaps you determine how sexual you are based on how wanting you feel or how often you don’t want it, can’t be bothered, or feel rather indifferent towards sex with your partner?
The more I know women, the more I’m fascinated by the paradox’s that exist within an intimate partnership and a flourishing sexual self. You’d think greater intimacy equals a greater sex life, but it doesn’t. You’d think the merging of two people means sex on tap, but it’s the opposite.
In this culture, we are sold one of the biggest lies; that sex and a satisfying sexual relationship comes naturally.
Sex and a sexual self is learned, but unfortunately the time of sharing such wisdom is now contained in a ‘fringe’ movement within Tantra, and that within itself has been culturally edited down a narrow view of various sex acts, rendering it’s real wisdom inaccessible or undesirable for the vast majority.
We can find ourselves or our partners feeling nostalgic about ‘the way it used to be’; sex fuelled with anticipation, excitement and play, like in the beginning of a relationship or during an affair. The electric chemistry feels so tangible you simply can’t deny it or want to resist it. Ultimately though, ALL of these sexual encounters would end up meeting the same spot of boredom and restriction if emotional intimacy and long term partnership becomes involved…because the more emotionally intimate we get with someone, the closer the mirror, and the more they’ll trigger our family of origin ‘stuff’.
Like a fear of obliteration that keeps us from merging into ‘oneness’ in sexuality….do you experience a quick pull out or away after orgasm, or creeping thoughts of shopping or work that irresistibly flood your mind?
Did you learn as a child that love (aka sex in an intimate partnership) meant giving up a part of yourself in order to receive love and acceptance?
Do you avoid pleasure, seeking instead to ‘prove’ that you are worthy by what you do in a day, and with your partner, before you are deserving or worthy of ‘lushing’ in pleasure and receiving pleasure from a partner? Are you uncomfortable with receiving oral sex?
Did you learn as a child that ‘nothing is for free and everything must be earned, including your rite to pleasure or love?
Do you wait to be ‘turned on’ by your partner? Are you focused on techniques or what they are or are not doing that works for you? Do you get frustrated and angry and close off?
Did you have a mother who never integrated her own sexuality? What did you learn about sexuality from your parents? Did you have experiences that made ‘being feminine or sexy’ unsafe?
Are you still waiting for a partner to initiate you into sex, rather than claiming it for yourself? Women have just as much carnality and need when it comes to sex as men, are you claiming yours?
I often think a low libido has more to do with hitting another upper limit; waiting to transform our beliefs and ingrained body-patterns on our worthiness for pleasure and ownership of our own sexuality, than it does with life circumstance.
Yes we are tired. We are busy. Our body is sore. We have nothing left.
There is no question that kids make a vibrant sex life more challenging. The ‘in service’ role of mother can have family life feeling like a constant triage; assessing who’s needs are greatest at any given time, putting out spot-fires, leaving you feeling exhausted and like you’re falling short of the benchmark.
There is less time, energy and focus on self and on our partner and more routine. All of these factors are opponents to desire, but why is it that we are content to moan about our anaemic sex life, yet feel resistant to change it into something vibrant? Why is sex another thing on our “to-do” list, full of burden and dead of desire?
It is ironic that the very product of desire, children, is in the end what we ‘blame’ for our lack of desire.
“We must unpack our ambivalence about pleasure, and challenge our pervasive discomfort with sexuality, particularly in the context of family.
Complaining of sexual boredom is easy and conventional.
Nurturing eroticism in the home is an act of open defiance.”
– Esther Perel
As you know, at Nourishing the Mother we focus strongly on the Universal Law of Conservation; nothing is ever missing. So if your desire has disappeared from your sex life, where has it gone? Could it be that it is still alive and well within your motherhood, just not in the form you are looking for it in?....
We regularly organise play dates for our children, yet we don’t’ for ourselves and our relationship.
We feed, pet and preen our children, yet we don’t for ourselves or our partner.
We will be lush, coo and flirt with our babies, yet we won’t with our partner.
We will lick fingers, nibble toes, hold, play and rock, yet we wont’ with our partners.
We smell, rub, kiss and caress our children’s skin, yet we don’t our own or our partners.
We spend hours gazing into our children’s eyes, marveling at their magnificence, yet we don’t with our partner.
Being a mother is a sensual act. Everything we do as mothers, from the very creation of life, is sensual and involves the erotic energy of life. This energy doesn’t disappear, it is morphed, and until we get conscious of where it has gone, we can’t hope to funnel into a form we wish to see it in.
At the end of the day “I have nothing left to give” can be absolutely true, but it can also be “there is nothing more I need”. You can be tapped-out and still on some level, content. This is Eros redirected.
To be in desire, to experience rapturous states within our body, we are required to be within ourselves; within our own body, tuned in to our own body sensations and following our own path of pleasure. So here is another paradox. Incredible sex happens when we are able to maintain a sense of self, whilst also being in union with another. If we are practiced at merging, if we are still in service mode, we can’t get selfish enough to really experience our own body and her capacity for immense pleasure.
So what to do?
First, you can’t change an energy form until you are in gratitude for where it does exist and what it brings you. So where is your Eros? What is it currently gifting you that is luscious and full of love?
Second. Do you wish to change this? It IS possible to keep lusciousness in the area of life your Eros has moved to and still seek to awaken in within your sexual self, but it requires a determination to seek change. Changing old ways of being, redirecting autopilot responses, is hard work and it requires your vigilance and your care.
- Since when did sexual intimacy become his/her need only?
- Don’t you miss the connection too?
- On the list of needs, do your children not need parents who are intimate with each other?
- Is getting my body ‘juicy’ and in a state of wanting my responsibility, or my partners?
- You were created by pleasure. You are made of pleasure. Pleasure is your birth rite. Why are you not deserving of a pleasure act right now?
- What is happening in your body? What are you telling yourself in your mind?
- There is no debt to be paid in order for you to receive. You are worth because you are woman. Eros requires selfishness. Be in your body. What would being in your body look like and feel like? How would this affect the way you interact with yourself, your kids, your partner? How would it change your relationship and your life?
Third. Pattern interrupt. Do the opposite of what you would normally do. Create new neural pathways, defy old beliefs and transform the connections you’ve made between motherhood being dampening on your sexuality, rather than expanding.
Pattern interrupt ideas:
- As often as you can, put your ‘mother body’ to bed with your children. Put in rules that carve out a very clear definition between ‘family time’ and ‘couple or self time’.
- Do pleasure acts daily. At first, you may need to force yourself to act differently, to really have an internal dialogue that gives you permission to receive. Before you can awaken pleasure in the sexual space, you need to get comfortable with pleasure in your day-to-day life.
- How do you want to feel in your day? Write a list of things you can do that create those feelings within you. When you want to feel a certain way, DO something from your list.
- Get in your body, stay in your head you’re dead. Don’t think of this as more work and another thing on your to-do list, think of this as play. Playtime. For you. Craft, dance, sing, rock your pelvis on the floor and loosen it up. Get a massage. Rub oil or cream into your body that you love the smell of. Prepare a luscious lunch just for you. Sit to eat it.
- Take back your ownership of your sexual self. Create the time to retreat and seduce YOURSELF. Take the time to set the scene and create the space in order to feel. Light candles, create a playlist and play the music, put on make up, caress your skin, spend time looking at your body in the mirror, appreciate her curves, revere the beckon of your hips.
- Invite your partner in, only when you are in a state of wanting. Take your time. Ask them to rub you ‘here’, to loosen your neck and shoulders (they correlate to your cervix and vagina). Continually focus on opening, opening your heart space, being seen, telling yourself you are safe, this is a safe place to open.
Lastly, I want you to remember you are a being of cycles. Eros is rhythmic, it is not static. There are periods of disappearance and there are periods where it flourishes. You are never one way and it is never missing. A satisfying sex life is NOT about a number of times, that is far too narrow a view of sexuality and our capacity for pleasure.
The difference between a bland sex life and one that grows and flourishes with marriage and longevity, is the couples understanding of periods of waxing and waning, their commitment to bringing the frisson back, and the ownership each takes in where their Eros is directed.
So come join us for 5 weeks online, with lifetime access to unpack what you're ready to with each live round. Loathing to Loving program is designed to work you through layers of belief that no longer serve you and give you toolkits and a tribe to unpack with that last a lifetime. Don't forget we've got payment plans now too! FIND OUT MORE HERE
Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.