Excerpted from Shasta’s soon to be released book Happy, Sexy, Shameless! What Your Mother Didn’t Know About the Birds and the Bees…
I am that kind of girl. I have always enjoyed sex.
Though I did not have a ton of partners before my husband, I had enough to know what was good and what was bad. What I liked and did not like. When I entered into an intimate relationship with the man who is now my husband, it was sort of like going from good to OMG, what have I been missing, freakin’ fabulous. Perhaps it was our passionate attraction to each other, perhaps it was years of friendship that gave us a deeper trust and intimacy or perhaps we were just really turned on by each other, regardless the sex was amazing. But this is not an article on great sex it is actually an article about why good sex goes bad.
So even with the amazing wake the neighbor sex and loins-on-fire attraction, the hang-ups, beliefs and limitations still got in the way. There was a time when we not only did not have sex, but our relationship almost fizzled out and joined the Dodo birds. I feel ashamed and sad that we were ever at this point, but it was actually what launched my own deep reflection into relationships, love and sexuality, so maybe the universe had a plan.
A few years ago we were not doing so well. We hardly saw each other, we never had sex and our conversations were generally about the businesses we owned, how we were going to pay down debt and who was going to get groceries. I was working to build a new Yoga studio and was paradoxically thrilled and tired. I felt fulfilled in my work in new ways. I was on a creative high. I was feeling connected, alive and on fire with my own inspirations. I was also tired and truthfully, not willing to give my relationship much energy. I figured it would always be there and my work was much more important.
Thankfully my husband has no trouble expressing him self. I felt a little cornered at the time but it was the best confrontation of my life. Here’s how it went:
Husband: “I need to be with you. I need to connect with you. I need to have sex with you. I am not your roommate. I am not your business partner. I am your husband.”
Me: “What the fuck? You are trying to guilt me into having sex with you? Really? You can’t be happy for me and what I am creating?”
Husband: “Did you not hear me? Of course I am happy for you, but I need to be with you—YOU—my wife and love of my life. I need you to want to want me. I need you to want to be with ME. I never want to talk about work, business or any other fucking thing again other than you and me until we are actually you and me again.”
Husband: “If you can’t make time to be with me then we need to have a serious conversation about separating because I am not willing to be anything less than your partner–in life–and that means actually being together and connecting. I am not your god damn roommate.”
Me: “Oh. Oh, this is not good.”
So things did change.
We all go through cycles. There are times we need to focus on work, children or creative pursuits but our flawed beliefs about life are based on limitation which means we become so narrow we lose that which is the sweet center in our life—our family, our lover, our joy.
As well, our cultural mythology promotes sacrifice and hard work that results in puritanical self-denial and a almost maniacal obsession with over-doing, over-achieving and over-working. We all know someone who spent 40 years building a career and financial wealth for their family only to find the family is gone, gone, gone. All this, combined with the devaluation of play, enjoyment and fun means we lose the juiciness in all areas of life. We actually become more poor, more unhappy, more self-hating and alone. Our beliefs are leaving us starving. It almost happened to me. Thankfully, I realized I can have my cake and eat it too!
Here are the beliefs that you can break now to ensure a life of sweetness thanks to—yes —great sex!
Belief Number One—(Great) Sex is Just Icing on the Cake.
For many people sex is just a nice bonus if it happens in their relationship, in their life, in their day. We believe that career success, material possessions and financial security are the point or “the cake.” We put off joy, love and intimacy as we chase the ‘American Dream.’ We have adopted a belief that money is the sustenance of life only to become starving souls with hands full of gold.
Career success, money, paying your bills, personal development and achievement are important but are not at the center of a sweet life. Every man, woman or child desires love and connection. Love and connection is the cake. Until we actually adapt a new view that life is about happiness and connection then we will not make the space for love and intimacy and we will continue to starve.
Sex is a means to great connection. Great connection is what satisfies the deepest yearning within you. It is why we are, as a society, obsessed with sex. We think we want to “get off,” but we are actually seeking a sweet, affirming connection with another that reminds us we are truly alive. Yes, there are times maybe you just want a quickie or a great orgasm, but what makes for great orgasm? Great connection!
I am not suggesting that sex is all that life is about, but perhaps we need to ask,
• “What do I see as the point of my life?”
• “What do I truly want to experience? To feel?”
• “What is deeply important to me?”
• “What would being ‘rich’ really look like?”
Often we don’t ask these questions until it is too late. When our lover is walking out the door or when we receive a call from a divorce lawyer, we then realize our intimate relationship is the precious and sweet center of our life.
Yes, your intimate relationship is the center of your life not an add on. We think we can separate work, love, family, hobbies, etcetera but they are all inter-connected. Think about the last time you had a spat with your lover. Did your workday go splendidly? Or was there this heavy feeling at the back of your mind reminding you that all was not well. Your life is not a series of separate boxes but a mandala of interwoven experience, roles and events that filter and refract into each other. They are all inter-related. Your intimate connection is what feeds you and your life.
Which brings us to belief number two.
Belief Number Two–Sex Requires Energy I Don’t Have
In our view that life is limited, we believe we must reserve the bulk of time and energy for making money, building our career, taking care of business or the kids. Yes, these things do require energy and passion but your intimate life gives you energy for these things. Our lovers are the ones that suffer the most as we reserve the best of ourselves for everyone but them. Our lovers are often the last one we make time to be with and when we are with them we are checking Facebook, responding to text or just tired and distracted. We under-estimate the importance and value of our lover since we are entranced with the belief that life is about accomplishing, achieving and accolades rather than love, connection and intimacy. Since we buy into Belief Number One we create Belief Number Two.
We believe life is about of struggle rather than sweetness, so we not only don’t make time for sweetness we actually disallow it. What we really are saying is that love, connection, and intimacy is not important. We literally tell our lovers that they are last on the list. How do you feel about being last on the list? Does this make you love more? Feel appreciated? Feel turned on?
Then we wonder why they aren’t ready to jump our bones when we do make time for them. We say, “ Ok. I want sex now so let’s go. I have ten minutes so let’s do this.” We wonder why we have tension, animosity and just plain disconnect in our relationship but we never create space or time for those we actually value the deepest.
The other side of this is that we may actually feel satisfied and full in our life thanks to career success, raising children or personal expression. We feel satisfied in our accomplishments in the world. Perhaps we feel truly connected to something we are passionate about and creating in the world. This may lead us to believe we don’t require intimacy or connection. We may believe that our career, art or cause is enough.
• “Where does my energy and passion come from?”
• “How do you replenish it and myself?”
• “Have I thrown myself into career, art or changing the world out of some sense of fixing things, myself or others?”
I would bet your family, lover or love life gives you the energy to create and succeed out there.
The first two beliefs are based on the most damaging belief of all… Belief Number Three
Belief Number Three–I am not Worthy of Love, Connection and Great Sex
Our own trauma, our cultural/religious story and political rhetoric including feminism create a view of our self and our world with the lasting impression that we are dirty, unworthy and sinners. This is not exactly the material for getting turned on! This, along with thousands of years of patriarchy, have left men and women damaged and disconnected with a lasting belief that “I am bad” and “sex is bad” (unless you are making babies).
These stories create a shame paradigm around your self and sex—around something that is not only natural, but beautiful and essential. Sex is a way to connect with the current of life that is moving in you. In the midst of great intimate connection do you feel loved, alive and beautiful? Yes! This is what we are in our essence. This is the real story! We are love, we are life and we are beauty. Sex is a remembering practice. Sex and intimacy is a means to heal, open and welcome deep connection as a calling to experience our deepest truth—that we are worthy. Sex can be a means to know our loveliness, beauty and joy. Love is a river moving through us and when we connect with another we reflect that river.
It is also therefore, a radical act. We break with the beliefs of our mythology. When we say yes to great sex, we say yes to joy, play and love. We say no to defining ourselves by our titles, achievements and possessions and therefore the traps of a limiting, poor and hungry existence. Sex is a means to celebrate this life, this body and this connection. It’s free. It’s there for us all and it’s the cake and the icing too.