IGNITE YOUR LIBIDO IN EVERY SEXUAL SEASON
TROUBLESHOOT THE "ROADBLOCKS" GETTING IN THE WAY OF MAXIMIZING YOUR PLEASURE
It might seem like all of the cosmos have to align, for the cascade of anticipation, ecstasy, and action to spark in your sex life. Like you have to be deeply in love with the hottest partner, in a lustful affair on vacation without access to email, or feeling your most manicured and beautiful to get aroused. Au contraire. Life happens, and stress, age, being in a long-term relationship—or in no relationship at all—should not preclude you from cultivating, embodying, and basking in the benefits of erotic energy. Your sensual power is within you now, no exceptions.
Here, we chatted with a range of unexpected, radical voices who aim to reframe the “roadblocks,” real or imagined, inhibiting us from embracing a high-octane life of sensual pleasure.
Chronic High-Stress |
Stress is notorious for depleting any sexual impulse you may have; when the stress hormone cortisol spikes, it disturbs the delicate interplay between estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, among other hormones in the endocrine system. Unfortunately, libido can be first to take a hit. Instead of swimming in chronic stress, turn to nature and innate tools you have at your disposal. Begin by following your breath signature, which serves as an indicator of your emotional state. Fostering a pranic breathing practice will help you find presence and sit in your physical body, and less inside your monkey mind. Then, up the ante with plants and their innate wisdom. Specifically, use CBD to access the endocannabinoid system, which Kiana Reeves, somatic sex educator and Chief Brand Educator of Foria, explains as “a fascinating network of enzymes, receptors, and biological pathways that modulate many processes in the body related to sexual arousal and pleasure.” This is where the fascination with CBD and THC comes in, she notes, as these phytocannabinoids both regulate cortisol production while also increasing these receptors to coax out a healthy sex drive.
While stress can be constricting, bring on inflammation and create an acidic atmosphere in the body, another one of CBD’s phyto superpowers is the role it plays as a vasodilator. “When we're turned on, the blood vessels in our erectile tissue – in our genitalia and elsewhere – expand, allowing for increased blood flow. When blood moves, we experience a heightened pleasurable sensation, fullness in the labia and clitoris, increased lubrication, and more access to climax,” Kiana says. “Essentially blood flow and vasodilation is the foundation of sexual pleasure.” While topically you increase circulation and relax your mucous membranes, focus on nourishing your body internally with stress-alleviating ingredients; seek out adaptogens like ashwagandha, raw cacao to increase dopamine, and plenty of fiber to clear out waste.
A Single Spell |
If you are living single and consistent sex isn’t on the agenda—bring on the erotic rituals. They not only uplevel your self-care routine, but ultimately your self-esteem and capacity for joy. Look to radical feminist writers, like Audre Lorde and adrienne marie brown, who penned the essay “Uses of the Erotic” and the book, Pleasure Activism, respectively. Lorde declared that living in an erotic state of mind went far beyond the sexual; once we experience the erotic in all realms of life, we no longer accept states of being that don’t belong to us, such as depression, self-denial, self-doubt. Founder of the course, Bedrock Body—which sits at the intersection of pleasure, spirituality, and social justice—Ella St. Hilaire channels the teachings of thought leaders like Lorde and describes herself as an “erotic high priestess”. She spoke candidly about the juiciness that comes with living an expansive, “single” life and celebrating the erotic: “To be honest, I think being single is one of the most amazing things. It’s usually linked to the patriarchal narrative that women are only whole or worthy when they’re in a relationship. But when you find the space to validate yourself in your solitude, when you actually enjoy yourself in all the ways—sexually and otherwise—and give yourself the time to explore,” Ella says. “You can fully be in the flow of your intuition, and give and receive to yourself. Then a partner becomes simply the cherry on top.”
Ella also suggests exploring rituals that expand your connection to your womb space, the physical and energetic anatomy she deems “a sacred power portal” to coax out the divine feminine. “For me personally, the yoni egg is one of my favorite erotic rituals. Crystals are energy amplifiers. And it's not always a strictly pleasurable experience. The deepest form of womb work is acknowledging that there's pain and pleasure and everything in between. Sometimes instead of orgasming, you can cry and release emotion—honor all facets and depth of your experience.”
You can fully be in the flow of your intuition, and give and receive to and for yourself.
Past the Honeymoon Phase |
Perhaps you’re in a loving relationship, but the novelty has faded. According to author and founder of Yinova Center, Jill Blakeway—who The New York Times once described as a “fertility goddess”—the answer to rekindling desire may reside within Traditional Chinese Medicine. Specifically, bringing balance to yin and yang energies. These fluid, primal energies allow us to tap into sensuality, radiance, and vitality—but can easily deplete if we feel unfulfilled, lack imagination, or are overworked. While the act of sex itself is an excellent conduit of exchanging yin and yang energies organically, one must first address their personal yin and yang stores. In Blakeway’s book, Sex Again, she prescribes rituals and foods to activate these energies daily. One tactic to recalibrate your yang energy, for example, is to boost your metabolism which helps release stagnation and regulate blood sugar. To nourish yin, she recommends flooding the body with minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc to help with hydration and heightened sex drive. While food remains foundational to fueling libido, Blakeway points to other rituals—among them kissing, exploring erogenous zones, and practicing one-word mantras—to reclaim intimacy and invite more creative, sacral energy.
Menopause is about being a goddess and a leader.
Entering Menopause |
Western culture would have you believe that your primal, divine feminine prowess wanes once you enter menopause but that ageist, patriarchal narrative is stale. In order to embody this new paradigm, lean on nutrition to recalibrate systems that are in flux, like a shifting metabolism and internal dryness. According to Dr. Aviva Romm, Yale-trained MD, herbalist, and midwife, make an effort to flood your diet with omega-3 fatty acids for internal lubrication, flaxseeds to help promote estrogen balance, and plenty of antioxidants to fight free radicals. To find balance when dealing with natural metabolic slowdown, choose functional food allies like Metabolism Super Powder, formulated to regulate blood sugar and increase energy expenditure to lower body fat. Then, get ready to enter the real goddess life season. Just ask Michaela Angela Davis, author, activist, and self-proclaimed “grown ass woman” who is fully embracing it all:
“I spoke to a woman in South Africa about menopause. In her culture, it is revered, an honored phase in life. She said, ‘You really don’t have a word for it in English. It translates to ‘moon drivers,’ it means you're no longer driven by the moon. You drive the moon. You're in a place where you're not beholden to your children, to your menstrual cycles, to all these things that pull you around. You're now on the side where you guide your life and you're in control. Women in their culture look forward to it. They are the boss. They are the goddess. A lot of times we frame this notion of being a goddess around how fruitful you are. How you can reproduce. How ripe you are.
Menopause is about being a goddess and a leader. That's freedom, but we've been conditioned to believe it’s an end. You are no longer viable. You are done. When in actuality, you are more free, more ready. It's literally the opposite story than what has been told to us.
I'm literally middle aged. I'm in the middle. I have so much more life to go.
If you're in the middle of a piece of cake, there's still a whole lot of cake left, right?”
EXPLORE THE DEPTHS OF YOUR PLEASURE