October 12, 2013

2 Skills to Make Us Sexier.

“Experiencing one’s self in a conscious manner–that is, gaining self-knowledge–is an integral part of learning.” ~ Karen Stone McCown

People who are emotionally intelligent are seriously sexy. Fluency with one’s emotional life defines our ability to master most other life experiences.

Being constantly caught between fight or flight is not flattering, and sadly our sex appeal bears its weight.

Although many of us are not well-trained in emotional cognition, our own or someone else’s, there are two basic skill sets that are both easily accessible and developmental, which means you can get better at them. The first skill is developing the capacity and the curiosity to feel a wide range of emotions, the second is increasing our emotional language to identify and express what we feel.

It is not surprising that so many of us sacrifice our sexiness to the unwieldy and unpredictable waves of our emotional life. One of the defining characteristics of childhood is the propensity to be easily overcome by our feelings. Arguably, it is the immensity of our capacity to feel that generates the storehouse of our memories of those early years. And as frightening as typical tantrums are for adults to witness, it is nothing more than emotions flooding the banks of our capacity to hold our feelings. Children who are schooled early in opening up to feelings and finding names to express them reflect meaningful differences in maturity between kids.

The longer we go without developing these skills, the more that the feeling experience gets locked into us as a fight or flight response.

There is no real avoidance of the emotional life.

Ironically, the more we can just attend to it, listen to the messages it is conveying, the quicker the experience moves through us. Emotional repression is a literal cage because we are forced to embody everything we refuse. Trying to relate to people who are carrying caged emotions is very tricky. Invisible triggers abound when we are burdened by our historic emotional life. It is hard to discern who we are in the moment and intimate connections are easily muddled without this freedom of presence.

For many people, anger is the most accessible cloak for our complex emotional life, which weighs us down when it is not felt and expressed. It is not a stretch to witness our cultural acceptance of violence as the trap door through which we shove the wide range of grief, fear, anxiety and sadness that life exacts.

It is hard to feel truly sexy under the burden of anger because our sexuality triggers many of our most primal responses. When we are afraid to feel anything but anger, we might be able to mount a passionate beginning to intimacy but are probably not able to see it through to the healing love we crave.

The sexiest quality in the world resonates from the self assurance that comes through emotional self-mastery. This kind of confidence comes when we lean towards our emotional life as a window into our most grounded wisdom. Our emotions deserve more of our attention—not only because they are the most legitimate messengers of our experience, but because learning their language makes you able to be fully present at the moments you most want to be close.

Deep lasting sexiness is about being able to hold a vast container of emotions without running away or rejection.

You don’t have to be good at it, you just have to want to know it. Just the simple recognition of how something feels and giving it a name is where to start. Not only will your sexiness factor jump to new levels, but your newfound capacity for emotional cognition will make you a life worth feeling.


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Activate Emotional Intelligence. {Meditation Video} ~ Julian Walker

Ed: Sara Crolick

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Francis M Dec 1, 2014 9:44am

Wendy is awesome!

Zerubbabel's Bridge Nov 29, 2014 8:43pm

Thank you Wendy for this wonderfully refreshing article supporting and advocating for sustainable love and relationships.

Oct 13, 2013 11:00pm

I totally agree that having mature emotional development is sexy as hell. I wanted to add one crucial point, in addition to the two steps that you described… that being the cognition to recognize the thoughts behind the feelings.

For me, it's basically three steps from end to end, where your two are the middle step: 1) what am I perceiving, 2) what am I feeling, and 3) what are the thoughts behind my feelings. In doing those three steps, I can check my perceptions, (e.g. ensuring I understand what someone was trying to convey), I can name and acknowledge my feelings, and I can check to see if I'm projecting some back story (read: baggage) onto the situation. In addition, I have the benefit of fully owning my part in a situation, such that I can be emotionally responsible, not blaming someone else.

When I do this, I feel confident and present, and damn sexy. 🙂

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family. In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy, she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice. It has been called “the essential guide for relationships.” The book is available on ebook, as well as in paperback online. Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.