The Magic of Sexual Arousal:
Part 2 ~ The Mind
Inspired by Intimate Conversations
with Kim & Krista
Written by KristaLove Louise Hagman
In part one of this three-part series we discussed what it means to be aroused: to awaken, stir to action, to excite. We examined the magic of the body in sexual arousal, we discussed how the erectile tissue of men and women is the same, although it’s expressed differently (internal versus external);we discovered how the brain releases neurochemicals that affirm the benefits of sexual play, such as bonding, pleasure and stress release. Regular sexual arousal and expression creates a balanced, awakened life, vibrant and juicy, flowing with health and well-being.
In part two of the series we explore the power of the mind in sexual arousal. We’ll look at how our learned view of sex and sexuality influences arousal, how shame and guilt can dampen the sexual spark, how trauma can hinder full sexual-expression, and we’ll share suggestions to turn your mind on, and ultimately your life.
How we feel about intimacy and sex influences how we experience them. Over time pathways are created in the mind of how experiences are perceived. To expand your arousal potential, take time outside of a sexually charged space to think about how you got your idea of sex, what’s sexy to you and how you feel about your own sexiness. If you’re not thrilled with the patterns you witness, you have the power to change them! Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to create new neuropathways, you can re-create your story about sex, attraction and arousal.
The language we use to discuss a subject is a window into how we feel about that subject.
- How was sex described in your household growing up? Was it sinful or shameful, a hush-hush topic not given much thought, or openly and honestly discussed without fear?
- How do you talk about sex now? Is it challenging to describe what makes you feel good sexually? Does it excite you and come easily to list your turn-ons?
- Is talking about sex “dirty talk”? What makes it dirty?
- What terms do you use to describe the body parts involved in sex play? Do you feel like a doctor spewing medical terminology, or are there elaborate, sultry ways to describe the deliciousness of your body or your partner’s?
- Where else do terms spoken in the realm of sex show up? Is the man that cut you off on the freeway a dick or an asshole? When we use terms outside of sex and apply negative connotations, those associations seep into the meaning of the same words when referring to sex. With a deeper understanding of how we subconsciously categorize sex we can start to re-frame and speak about it in a way that uplifts, and supports connection and enthusiasm for life’s sexiness!
A delicious part of sexual arousal is the ability to share love with yourself! With no partner necessary, you can be turned on and awakened. How do you view self-love or self-pleasure (a.k.a masturbation)? Were you warned against the harms of it, supported to explore yourself and your desires — or left up to your own devices to discover and learn? United States culture has not openly supported a healthy relationship to personal sexual satisfaction; we’ve been given the story that we need another person to complete our experience as a human, and that sexual arousal is reserved for one particular type of relationship. As we’ve learned from part one, an aroused life is an awakened life. Perhaps more than one person, or a network of interactions, yourself included, have the potential to excite you and stir you to action. There is a spectrum to being turned on; discover how subtle of an arousal you can experience. Arousal is the affirmation of pleasure, life supporting the embodied experience. We can choose to see life affirming our sexiness, and respond by being more open, engaging and willing to turn on others and ourselves.
However you answered these questions doesn’t matter — it gives insight into how you’ve been influenced to think and feel about sex. You can create a meaning for sexual arousal that supports your confidence, vibrant, awakened self.
Shame and guilt are major roadblocks to free-flowing sexual arousal. These perceptions come from family, culture or personal experiences. Shame is the painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging, and guilt convinces us we are wrong for the way we feel, or what we’ve said or done is bad by some external standard. Shame can happen in one memory, or through repetitive experiences that create a concept over time. Shame is a bully that wants to perpetuate its own strength, using guilt as its sidekick. When we give space to assess our experiences and create new ways of understanding, we take away shame’s power. One way to re-frame ideas of shame, particularly regarding body image or self-concept, is to choose a different message to hear. Check out your body in a mirror and gush over all your juicy parts; talk to yourself the way a lover would describe your sexiness and perfect spots.
Shame can show up in body image as well as our internal assessment of whom or what we are “allowed” to be turned on by. Does shame tell you it’s wrong to think someone other than your partner is attractive, or that it’s inappropriate to turn yourself on? Shame can tell us that nice girls or good guys “don’t do X” regarding sexual expression and pleasure. Tell shame to take a hike, and bring awareness to the thought pattern. Check in with yourself. Does feeling aroused make you feel good? How can being turned on, being excited by life, be bad? Shame lives on by accepting the belief that the way we feel is wrong, dirty or inappropriate. Shame can only continue with your permission. Awareness knows that we are beautiful, captivating beings exactly as we are.
Jealousy likes to tag along with shame and guilt. Jealousy is the Self feeling small and un-seen, and can show up when someone else is being seen. Shame, guilt and jealousy have a story. Ask your guilt (or shame or jealousy) what’s the purpose of its visit? The more we let shame, lack of self-worth, guilt or jealousy run our story about sex and arousal, the less pleasure we experience. The absence of shame, true self-confidence, comes from a worthiness of your own existence, a belief that you are here, have purpose and are exquisite exactly as you are. Real confidence is a willingness to connect with others, not shine above them.
Along with our beliefs about sex, trauma is a major factor that can influence the experience of arousal. If during an arousal state you were abused — physically, emotionally or verbally —shame or guilt can come up during times you experience arousal. Re-programing the mind to experience arousal as pleasurable and enjoyable can help transform the pattern that trauma holds. There are often no words to process and relieve the trauma of sexual abuse. A body-oriented practice, such as the Jade Egg, increases awareness of the body, re-framing the story and the associated shame and guilt that are often associated. Forgiveness is an important element to overcoming these self-sabotaging emotions. When they arise, be gentle with yourself; immerse yourself in your love and acceptance. Arousal will be harder to find if the experience of arousal is met with guilt or shame.
Create a healthy mindset about your arousal, one that is accepting, curious and playful; allow it to inspire more arousal to show up in your life. Revel in the anticipation of connecting with yourself or your lover. Anticipation can bring arousal for the future into the present, when practiced without attachment or grasping. Let anticipation spark your imagination for the possibilities of how you can turn on your partner and yourself. Let fantasy take you for a ride, so your mind can show you how you want to be turned on.
Open to the primal (not primitive) experience of being incredibly turned on; the body is alive, the mind is clear and sharp, and the spirit expresses its gratitude for life through creating and sharing pleasure. Have sex outside the box; free yourself from the confines of dogmatic beliefs about sexuality, arousal and intimacy. Heal through pleasure; connect with your sexiness and choose an awakened life. Sex is a form of intimacy, connection through the physical, a way for us to decrease our experience of loneliness and isolation. Sex is a powerful opportunity to share your body, mind and spirit with another person, at the most primal level of existence. The moment thought becomes action, connection is sparked. We can use the mind to navigate the body, to experience life with a depth that nourishes the whole: body, mind and heart.
Suggestions to expand your mind’s potential for sexual arousal:
- Create time to consider the questions posed at the beginning of the article. Where did your story about sex come from? What is the story you’d like to create?
- Find a safe place (a trusted friend or loved one) to talk about your experiences with sex and why you want to re-create your story.
- What is your personal definition of “sexy” (beautiful, inspiring, vibrant, confident)? What else do you find “sexy” that isn’t human? Flowers, trees, sunsets, breathtaking art etc. Commit to honoring all the sexiness you see in a day, and celebrate it!
- Create body-oriented practices to help re-frame your thoughts about sex. Use the Jade Egg Practice to connect with your body, implement self-love and affirmations into your practice.
- Implement practices that support you feeling awakened and alive. Cultivate outlets to share your inspired energy: create art, practice yoga, go for a hike, celebrate accomplishments at work or at home, witness yourself when you shine in your element, celebrate your sexy-aroused self!
- Create a Unified Field of Interest ~ be on the same page with your partner(s) and express your love and desires with gratitude and celebration.
- Write your ideal love-making session. Does it begin with clothes coming off, or maybe inspiring conversation, connection, and shared feelings that lead to a whole-human experience of arousal.
- Use your words to describe your arousal, or paint a picture for your partner (or yourself!) of how you feel when you’re aroused.
- Sign up for the Building Your Erotic Altar Online Course and be supported through 21 days of sexy-self love!
Read The Magic of Sexual Arousal: Part 1 ~ The Body
Read The Magic of Sexual Arousal: Part 3 ~ Energy