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The Seasons of Sexuality

boris-smokrovic-117342Are you feeling lackluster about your sex life?  Are you wondering where your libido disappeared to? Or why sex just isn’t what it used to be?

In my work as a sexuality educator I hear from a lot of people that feel stuck in their sex lives. This generally comes with a sentiment that something is wrong and needs to be fixed.

What if I told you that ebbs in your sexual desire are totally normal and natural? What if there was nothing wrong with you or your partner and perhaps the sex that you think you should be having just isn’t serving in this moment?

Culturally, the box that we’ve placed around sex is small and limiting. It’s generally goal oriented toward climax, genitally focused, fast food sex. This kind of sex has it’s time and place but it is one flavor on a potentially wide and varied palette. Most of us aren’t in the mood for McDonald’s every day (if ever!).

Having apprenticed to the rhythms of nature for many years, I’ve learned to see the seasons and cycles in everything. Tracking my fertility cycle in connection to the waxing and waning of the moon has taught me that, just like the earth, we too have times of full bright light and high energy and also dark moon periods of rest, stillness and solitude inherent in our body rhythms. The number of stress related diseases in contemporary western culture is in direct relationship to the value placed on energetic output and productivity gone unchecked by the balancing effects of downtime.

We also have seasons in our sexuality.  For women, our fertility cycles with their dynamic fluctuation of sex hormones create different peaks and valleys of sexual desire and arousal over every 28 days or so. Even how we experience pleasure and sensation changes with each hormonal cascade.

Ovulation is the summer season of sexuality—we are feeling hot and frisky, ready for an adventure. During ovulation we are typically most quick to arouse, have more lubrication and quicker access to orgasm.  Pre-menstruation can be mapped to the autumn season of sexuality—energy is waning and more inward. During this time we typically feel less sensation in our sexy parts, arousal takes longer and our tissues are more dry and sensitive.

We can track larger life cycles like adolescence (the summer of sexuality) and post menopause (the winter of sexuality). Life events also carry their own distinct rhythms and your sexuality will look different when you are falling in love, having a surgery, losing your job or having a baby. Naturally through life’s transitions we will have times that are more exploratory, more consistent or more dormant.

The thing is, is that your sexual energy is always present. It doesn’t go away or disappear however it might be directed in different ways or require different forms of tending. You are still a sexual being whether you are single or partnered and whether you are having “sex” or not. 

If we broadened our definition of sex to simply mean: union—I’m personally a fan of holy union because I feel it’s all so deliciously sacred—sex can look like snuggling and gazing into someone’s eyes and also sitting alone in meditation.  It can look like hot and heavy banging and also the most subtle mmmmm sound as you take a bite of something so flavorful it enlivens all of your senses at once.

My invitation to you is instead of trying to force yourself into a particular box of sexuality, meet your sexuality where and how it is emerging moment to moment. Know that you are flowing in and out of different seasons of sexuality all of the time. Allow these changing seasons to guide you toward being more fully, authentically expressed and open you to the myriad ways of sensual pleasure and holy union.

Interested in learning more? We will be in deep exploration of fertility cycles and sexual seasons at The Artemis School’s upcoming Thrive Module. Early bird ends May 1!  Find the details here.