He who knows others is learned;
He who knows himself is wise.
~Lao-tzu, Tao te Ching
I started to write a blog about my goals for 2016, focusing on what I want to manifest in my life in the realm of love, sexuality and intimacy—then decided that I felt just a bit too exposed sharing such personal reflections in cyberspace. I know—people share a lot more than what I’d ever write, but honoring my own boundaries and respecting my comfort level is part of claiming personal power in the sexual arena.
Instead, I will share what I want to manifest in terms of love, sexuality and intimacy in 2016 privately with Ed and perhaps a few others. I encourage each of you to do the same. Consider these options as rich areas for exploration:
1. Take a personal inventory of where you are sexually:
- Are you happy with who you are and how you live sexually?
- Is there anything you’d like to change?
- Are you aware of where your attitudes and beliefs have come from and how they currently affect your sexuality and how you feel about yourself?
- Are you living in a way that feels grounded and authentic—or are there parts of yourself you haven’t entirely accepted?
Understand that because of our cultural training and life experiences, addressing sexual issues can be highly emotionally charged. Thus, you don’t have to take on “everything” at once—focus on one aspect of your sexuality and take a closer look. It might be a sense that you want more touch in general with your partner; it could be that you want to be more adventuresome but don’t know how to get started, do it safely or share about your desires with your partner; maybe you’re ready to at least hear your partner out on his/her desire to try anal sex; perhaps you’re ready to open up to a partner about a kink you’ve kept secret; maybe you’re willing to look at why you feel done with sex. Whatever your personal inventory reveals, mine it for opportunity to become more passionately alive in 2016. A great resource to guide your process is “The Conscious Sexual Self Workbook,” by Melissa Jebian Fritchle.
2. Commit to respect your body—just as it is—no more negative self-talk regardless of whether you feel “fat,” “out of shape,” or “old."
We spend so much time belittling ourselves—and studies show that self-criticism absolutely tanks sexual desire. Vow to give yourself your 100% approval: here and now. I’ve written about this before and it bears repeating: if you can’t own your own beauty and cherish yourself right now, nobody on this earth can do it for you. And even if some wonderful person tries, you’ll never believe them. Become your own source of love, adoration and approval—and watch your life change for the better.
3. Commit to a weekly intimacy/sex date with yourself and if partnered, also your beloved no matter what.
It is so easy to make excuses: I’m 1)too tired; 2)too stressed; 3)not in the mood; 4)too busy. And just like that, a month has gone by and you haven’t had sex with yourself or anyone else—and you’re feeling disconnected, dull and decidedly unsexy! Whether you’re 30 or over 50, it is vitally important to choose to be sexual, because jacked-up hormones aren’t going to do it for you. And about that “too stressed” excuse, sex is a fantastic way to de-stress—so let that one go!
Choosing to be sexual enables us to continue being sexual—and setting aside dedicated time is a powerful way to honor our choice. The more you have sex, the more sex you want to have. Remember also, sexual desire may not precede arousal—many people, especially women, need sensual touch to spark desire. In dedicating time for intimacy, including sensual touch, you are allowing yourself space for your sexual desire to blossom. And that, my friends, knocks out the “not in the mood” excuse.
My New Year’s wish for you is that 2016 is sex-positive, connective and intimate—filled with passion, new discoveries and much joy!