What’s Blocking Yours?
Our bodies were built to appreciate pleasure, and to utilize its biochemical production of brain chemicals, hormones, blood flow and circulation to keep us both healthy and happy. We are covered in sensory receptor sites designed to support our overall health and well-being by receiving the pleasure of touch. Just as our health is maintained and supported through a good diet, the pleasure of good food helps to increase the health benefits. Physical and auditory pleasure stimulates our central nervous system and regardless if it is the pleasure of our favorite music, a babbling brook, or the whisper of a lover, auditory pleasure stimulates a flood of chemicals to our brain that help keep us balanced and optimistic. To reject pleasure is to reject a key component to our overall wellness.
And now, the science is in! We have quantifiable evidence that we are more confident, creative, and trusting of our own perception when dopamine levels are high, and dopamine levels are directly effected by sexual pleasure, satisfaction and activation. Regardless of whether this satisfaction comes from our own self-loving, or the loving of another, the chemical activation is the same.
In a time when people use drugs to reduce blood pressure, enhance sleep, elevate mood, reduce appetite, relieve pain or increase their feeling of well being, I was excited to learn that all of these things can be accomplished simply by improving our relationship to our most intimate selves, and allowing sexual pleasure to be a powerful and healing medicine.
So why is sexual pleasure sometimes difficult to experienced or all together elusive? And what, specifically, prevents us from experiencing high levels of pleasure through our sexual and erotic system? Is it possible to recalibrate our bodies and brains to receive more pleasure, and allow that pleasure to heal, inspire and ignite our lives?
As I see it, there are 5 primary sexual-pleasure blockers:
1. Stress and anger: Just as scientifically proven as the benefits of pleasure, so is the strain of stress and anger on our immune system, our mood, and our physical health. Stress is often incompatible with deep, rich, heart based intimacy. When we are stressed, angry or afraid our body goes into “fight or flight,” leaving very little space for the giving or receiving of sexual pleasure, and yet it can be the perfect antidote.
2. Guilt and shame: They say the largest pleasure organ of our entire sexual system is our brain. When our brain is filled with guilt and shame around our sexual selves, we are literally disconnected from the portion of our body that registers the pleasure. The guilt and shame can come from upbringing, sexual trauma, cultural expectations, low self-worth, or the messages that sex is dirty, nasty or wrong. Whatever the origin, guilt and share are laden with health-damaging effects. Re-wiring towards pleasure and joy has the potential to change your life.
3. Uncomfortable and/or unfamiliar with deep intimacy and sexual connection: Sex is generally on the top of the list of things “not to talk about.” Sex is a sensitive and vulnerable subject, and we are rarely educated on the topic in a way that allows us to really understand, know, and feel confident with the precious body, mind and spirit of our sexual partner(s).
4. Not enough time: The idea that pleasure is like “disposable income” can be a pleasure killer! Many think of sexual pleasure as something they can “live without.” I often hear things like “it’s too much trouble,” “it’s not worth the heartache and pain,” “I’d rather live without it than endure the potential pain and vulnerability that come with it,” “my partner’s not interested,” “I DON’T HAVE A PARTNER!” However, upon deeper examination we learn that pleasure is a vital component to a vibrant, juicy and healthy life, and is worth the time and effort to find, keep or return to sensual play and pleasure.
Pleasure deserves to be on your “can’t live without it” list!
5. Challenged with giving and/or receiving: Both are integral to the higher states of pleasure, and both giver and receiver benefit through touch. Learning to receive is often times the more difficult of the two, but we give our partner an extra boost when we learn to surrender, release, let go and receive.
Knowing your blocks is a great beginning! So now what?? Enter into sexual pleasure exploration with a beginner’s mind. Stay curious. Offer and receive more non-sexual touch. Explore new ideas in lovemaking and intimacy, read sexy education books (aloud and together if you’re in partnership – book recommendations below), attend intimacy workshops (women, click to learn about my upcoming workshop: Tending the Temple~Sacred Care of Yoni), and practice opening your heart to give and receive love are all ways to activate our bodies pleasure chemicals. Talk to a Sex/Intimacy Coach to explore your own blocks (click the link to schedule a FREE consultation call with Kim, and learn if Sex Coaching is right for you).
Book recommendations (available at Love Revolution):
She Comes First by Ian Kerner.
Tantric Quest by Daniel Odier.
Vagina by Naomi Wolf
Science of Arousal by Sherri Winston
Wild Feminine by Tami Kent