Connecting to Your Sexual Energy as Life Force
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Connecting to our sexual selves doesn’t always have to mean connecting to another person.
The word “libido,” which we often use to refer to our sex drive, has an etymological relationship with the concept of will: “libido dominandi,” a phrase found in St Augustine’s writings around 426 CE, means the “will to power.” When we are connected to our libido, we’re connected to our personal power, our sense of ourselves, our ability to go after what we want in life. Sexuality isn’t all about sex. It’s a fundamental human energy within us that has a relationship to our desire, our creativity, our drive, and our connectedness, not only to others but also to ourselves, to our own flawed sacred human bodies. Connecting to our sexual selves doesn’t always have to mean connecting to another person.
Low libido is a very common problem that can happen for all kinds of reasons, including hormonal fluctuations and stress. When we’re in our fight-or-flight mode, blood and energy exit the digestive and sexual systems and move to our limbs so we can fight or run away. Many of us are in a low-level stress state all the time, which can cause problems for our digestive and sexual systems. The rest state, on the other hand, is often called rest-and-digest and, sometimes, feed and …another f word. We have to feel safe in order to connect, and when we don’t feel safe in our lives, our libido can go into hiding.
When we’re having sex without desire, out of obligation, or under stress, we’re actually not connecting to our true sexual energy. We’re connecting to something else: perhaps our fear of losing a partner, our need to please, or our desire to have power over someone else. These motivations are not about the generative, loving, intimate, playful, creative sexual energy that we all have within us. When we have sex for these other reasons, it can actually cause our sexual energy to retreat deeper into our bodies, making it harder to recover.
Sometimes sexual energy gets blocked simply because we have rigid ideas about what sex is supposed to look like. When we can let go of the expectations of what’s supposed to happen when we have sex, we can simply connect with a lover or with ourselves and explore the many possibilities of physical sexual connection for its own sake.
Sexual energy needs a clear path. It needs to be able to move around without too much resistance from emotions like guilt or shame or tension in the body. When we don’t feel confident or powerful in our own little worlds, we lose our sense that our libido, our desire or our will, matters. Sexual energy shows up when we are actively participating in our lives, not simply letting life happen to us. Simple things like communicating how we feel, exercising in a way that makes us feel connected and healthy in our bodies, and speaking up for ourselves can be fantastic ways of clearing the blockages to this energy and letting it begin to flow again.
In some cases, what sexual energy needs is, paradoxically, a time of celibacy. Sexual energy does not need another person. Sometimes setting a boundary around your body and your relationships means you can access sexuality as an aspect of spirituality, of connection to self or the divine. Many religions, of course, fear sexual expression, but many deeply spiritual people already understand that the energy of sexuality can be one of the purest ways to connect to that which is larger than your small self. Sexual energy can be used to heal our hearts or drive a project we are passionate about. Your libido isn’t just about sex. It’s your life force, the source of your will to power. Honor it as such.
Try Julie’s guided meditation for connecting to your sexual energy as life force here.