The Libido Myth

The Libido Myth

Do you have a high libido? A low one? Is your libido somewhere in between? Is it always the same? Does it keep changing? Does it depend on particular circumstances? If so, what is it influenced by? And can you even define your libido if someone asked you to?…

 

For most of my life, I was convinced I had no libido.

 

I never desired sex. In my 20s, I was curious about it but mostly because I wanted to know how different people “did it”. When single, my drive for sexual encounters was firmly based in my head – it was an intellectual desire to explore sexually, to learn more, to experience a variety of fun and pleasurable encounters in the bedroom.

 

But once in a relationship, there was nothing more to explore, sexual intimacy with a partner always felt the same and I had no more drive to do it. Worse still – because I was very repressed sexually, I didn’t actually know how to derive any significant pleasure from it for myself and would have sex only to satisfy my partner. After all, people in relationships were meant to have intercourse, right?

 

When I discovered Tantra and began to heal my sexuality, things started to shift.

 

I started to experience sex as orgasmic and amazing and I started to want it. Yet, I could go on for months without it, never having the quality of my life diminished by lack of sex. When I did desire it, it was mostly in the context of meeting someone special and sharing hot and passionate moments together. So it seems that the sex drive itself wasn’t really just about sex – it was a desire for connection and shared intimacy with someone.

 

We’ve learned to understand libido as a sexual drive, as a biological need that demands to be satisfied.

 

Yet, judging from my own experience and from everything I’ve heard from my clients, this definition seems inaccurate.

 

A lot of couples that come to me for sessions talk about mismatched sex drives and frustrations born from it. And I teach them to navigate this tricky territory and to consciously and purposefully create erotic connection and intimacy in their relationship. And I do not change their biology! I simply support them in shifting toxic beliefs, unhealthy ideas or healing wounds in their relationship and eroticism.

 

People who claim to have high libido, might experience its drop when they’re overwhelmed by stress or fatigue. People who claim to have low libido, can desire sex with every inch of their bodies at particular times of their lives.

 

Besides, do we even know what exactly a high or low libido is?

 

Or do we tend to define it in comparison to others, as in – one partner in a relationship has a higher libido than the other one, or a person who used to have a lower libido than they do now…

 

On top of that, our beliefs and ideas around morality, pleasure, our bodies and genitals affect how we experience libido. Sexuality is a universal aspect of who we are as human beings, yet it’s treated very differently in different parts of the world. This results in very different approaches to sex and sexual drive.

 

People all over the world experience wanting sex for a variety of reasons…

 

… for connection, for loving expression, for touch, for pleasure, for orgasms, for power, for money, for procreation, for entertainment, etc.

 

So, if libido can be affected by where you were born, what beliefs you grew up with, how stressed or tired you’re currently feeling, the state of your health, the state of your relationship, etc. plus by a wide variety of reasons that drive your desire for sex in the first place, is it really fair to call it a biological drive?

 

Yes, a part of it is biological and driven by our hormones. But to leave it there seems incorrect. It seems to me that it’s more of a complex network of needs, desires, conditioning and other types of motivators that come together to form this thing we call libido.

 

It’s not just something we experience – libido is something we’re actively co-creating with our bodies, emotions and minds.

 

And only when coming from this perspective, we can begin to understand what a sex drive really is, what affects it and how we can influence it.

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Talking About STDs with a New Lover

Talking About STDs with a New Lover

I recently received this question from one of my clients:

 

“Hey there! You have taught me a lot about having certain conversations in an open and honest way that I was previously very anxious about. So thank you so much for that! I was wondering if you could give me advice on how to have an honest conversation regarding STI/STD testing, and flow into said conversation in an organic manner, without making it sound abrupt or turning it into a ‘mood killer’. Any help would be much appreciated.”

 

Talking about sexual health with each new lover is extremely important and no sexual contact should be initiated without it.

 

The possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease is very real and should be treated as such.

 

But the truth is that many people neglect to have that conversation. Initiating physical intimacy without addressing the sexual health concerns first seems easier and even more romantic. After all, who wants to kill the mood by talking about STDs! But make no mistake – having sex with an infected person could potentially cost you much more than just physical discomfort or an awkward visit to a GP.

 

So why do we stray away from talking about sexual health? Mostly, because we’re not sure how to have that chat. Secondly, because we feel embarrassed about it. Nobody prepares us for this kind of communication and the taboo and stigma that surrounds sex is much, much stronger around sexually transmitted infections.

 

But breaking the cycle of shame and discomfort around sexual health is not hard.

 

Firstly, big part of addressing it, is around checking your own attitude about it. If you approach the topic with shame and awkwardness, that kind of energy is going to leak into your discussion with a new lover. So wandering into the world of sexual health conversations needs to be done with an open and confident attitude.

 

I once heard a sexual educator share during a workshop that he had genital herpies virus in his system. As he expressed it, there was not a trace of contraction or shame in his voice or body. His face remained peaceful, his eyes still, his body relaxed. He looked at us all with confidence and kept going with his talk.

 

I must say – I was impressed!

 

Do you think that anybody judged him for his confession? No! Not a person in the room felt uncomfortable or put off by his words.

 

And that’s very important to remember – your own energy around the topic will set the tone for the chat with your new partner. If you approach the conversation with confidence and a relaxed attitude, they’re very likely to follow your lead. And if you speak your words with embarrassment, they’re likely to feel uncomfortable as well.

 

But the truth is that STDs are a part of life and are more common than you might think. In many cases, it’s also very difficult to protect yourself from them as condoms aren’t always 100% reliable. Being aware of the state of your own sexual health is crucial and regular checks allow you to address any issues early.

 

So once you’re clear on your own sexual health situation, it’s important to check in with your new lover. And I would definitely have that conversation BEFORE you actually move into the bedroom. Whenever it’s becoming obvious that both of you are intending to get intimate, it’s important to first sit down together and ask a few questions.

 

And in terms of an actual structure of the conversation, here’s a template you can use:

 

“If that’s ok with you, I’d really like to have a sexual health conversation with you.

My situation is… (disclose the current state of your sexual health).

My last sexual health check was…

And for protection, I would like us to use…”

 

Next invite your lover to share the same.

 

Remember – there’s no humiliation in catching an STD. And the medicine advances mean that many of them are 100% treatable. But the most scary and painful of them all is shame itself. So let it go and take care of your health in the bedroom!

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