02 Sep Why it’s important to make time for sex
I’ve been AWOL for so long that I don’t quite know how to get back in the flow of writing. I’m thinking about sex; I spoke about sexuality and education for midlife women earlier this month at the Sexuality and Aging Institute at the Woodhull Sexuality Freedom Summit. I’m practicing a little self-love. I just haven’t been writing about it.
In the last 6 weeks I’ve moved, sold my house, had two separate visits with my granddaughters, given a presentation at a national conference and unpacked and unpacked and unpacked. It’s been busy. I’m currently working on finding a little compassion for myself in the face of all the things I think I ‘ought’ to have done during that time.
It’s challenging when our lives are stressful or we’re undergoing changes. Aside from the actual tasks that need to be accomplished we often have the emotional challenges arising from our own expectations. Those expectations can either help us get the work done or overwhelm us to the degree that we feel trapped. My experience is somewhere in the middle–leaning towards the trapped end.
Add a partner to the mix and all the expectations that come with maintaining relationships and fulfilling our ‘roles’–whatever those may be—and feeling sexy isn’t on the agenda. I think it’s important, maybe even more so now, to make time for sex and intimacy.
A sexual state of mind is essential for most women if they are to have satisfying experiences. The definition of that state of mind varies from person to person. What works for me might not work for you. I have a hard time shutting down the ‘monkey brain’ (a term Pema Chodron uses) even during sex. So, a to-do list or other concerns/stressors often get in the way of me being in my body. I can get distracted by the smallest, silliest of things.
When we’re not present to our body or the body of our partner our ability to engage fully in intimate acts is affected. Obviously you don’t want to wait to have sex until all the pressing issues have been addressed–there will always be a pressing issue. What you can do is find a way to set aside time, to devote your minds and bodies to your desire, and engage with your partner. It is the act of giving yourself permission to step out of one mindset and embrace the other.
In fact, if we take care of our emotional and physical desires we may find ourselves refreshed and ready to tackle daily tasks, work and other more mundane chores with a renewed energy. Sexual satisfaction and orgasm energize us. The hormonal release of oxytocin floods us with a sense of well-being, relaxes our body, and nurtures us to our core. So, there are very good reasons to make time for intimate connections.
The choice to be present to sex, to engage willfully with our fullest presence and intention, is ours. We can make decisions that allow us to embrace intimate moments by prioritizing what we want or what we need to in the moment.
What will you do to make time for sexual intimacy?