By Ciel Patenaude: Of all the areas of our lives that stress and exhaustion affect, sex drive has got to be the most frustrating.When we’re worn out or undernourished (in any way), the body’s innate intelligence will shut down procreative impulses, quite understandably. It knows this is just no time to be makin’ babies, and diverts all the energy that would normally have been used for creation into maintaining the large essential organs and just carrying us through our day.
But that lost impulse—the sexual force—is not just involved with the physical act of sex, but also is intimately linked to our creative capacities overall. When it’s turned down or off completely we often lose not only our desire and interest in getting busy, but also access to our full capacities of critical thought, problem solving, personal expression, and understanding of self as well.
I don’t think I truly understood how many people out there are struggling with diminished sex drive until I went into practice. Along with sleeping troubles and persistent weight gain I’d say that lack of mojo accounts for easily 25% of the people I work with. And this is not just an older demographic—these are young, relatively vibrant, otherwise healthy people who are either working or worrying themselves into a state of absent sexuality.
To heal this, feeding the body is important—we’ll talk about some nutritional options in a bit—as is stress reduction, psychoemotional work and exercise, but one of the most profoundly effective routes of addressing a lagging mojo is to approach the situation from a psychosomatic angle; to access the energy centers of the body highly involved in the creation and expression of creation and sex (good ol’ chakra number 2), and open them up. Get things flowing, you know. This is done through simple movement andvisualized or actualized connection to the world around us, action that clears out blockages and opens our bodies to receive some sense of replenishment when we’re run down. The earth has got a never-ending supply of mojo—the earth just is mojo—and she’s happy to share. We just have to remind ourselves to ask.
Let your backbone slide, you sexy thang.
This is a practice taught to me by my teacher, a Bolivian Shaman who I’ve been lucky enough to study with over the last three years. I was having a bit of trouble with tightness in my hips and some blocked creative expression, and this practice changed not only both of these but also my swagger and sexuality in a big way.
Stand in mountain pose, with the feet hip-width apart and the arms at your side. Tilt your pelvic bowl slightly so that the low back lengthens and your tummy loosens. You might be resistant to doing this, but it’s okay, you can let go. Noone is watching. Holding the stomach in is one of the most damaging habits we can engage in when it comes to creative power and sexuality, as tightening our muscles in this way restricts energy flow throughout the whole pelvis. So, even if just for this moment, try to let it all go and be gentle with your body.
Close your eyes and just stay here for a moment, feeling your feet firmly rooted to the floor and bringing your awareness into your hips. Then, placing your hands lightly on your hips and keeping your eyes closed, start to rotate the hips in a clockwise direction, taking care to make the motion be about the hip joint alone and not the whole body. The knees will bend and straighten alternately to allow for the motion in the hip joint, but the upper body should stay relatively stable. Keep the action slow and as fluid as possible, rotating all the way around in a nice, wide, sexy circle, noticing where you may feel a sense of stuck-ness or blockage in the rotation, maybe staying in these places for a moment to try and wake them up.
Once the motion feels comfortable, begin to imagine that through the formation of a vortex kinda energy underneath you, you’re actually pulling energy up from the earth into your pelvis. You can speed up the rotation as it starts to feel more comfortable. It helps for me to visualize this as a red and warm energy, one that heats up the lower body as it enters and then soothes and invigorates the whole body as it comes up the spine. Do this rotation 40 times, and then switch directions.
In the counterclockwise direction the energy pull is entirely different, and you’re actually drawing down from the sky a more expansive, clear energetic influence. Give it a blue color to differentiate from that which came from below, and imagine this energy clearing out negative thought patterns, stress, judgements and habits that are not allowing your to either express your creativity or enjoy sex like you want to. Again, rotate 40 times in this direction.
And seriously: get sexy with it. We have such incredible amounts of repressed sexuality in Western culture, and it’s all stored up in our hips and pelvis because we believe that it’s either lewd or inappropriate to move in this way. It may take a few times for you to really loosen up or be able to visualize this practice effectively, but keep at it, cause it works. It really, really works.
How ‘bout you come over here and give me a little resonance, sugar?
You may already know this, but the earth has a generator in the center of it; a molten core responsible for creating an energetic pulse of roughly 7.8 Hz called the Schuman Resonance. Living on concrete and wearing rubber shoes has restricted our access to this energy, and although we may not be able to discern when it’s there or not, this force is absolutely essential for our bodies to function well. At some point in the future I think it will be classified as a mandatory ‘food’ for healthy human life (or at least I hope so).
There are a bunch of people touting this energy and connection to the physical earth as the ‘next big thing in healing’, and they’ve called it “Earthing”: literally the practice of sitting or laying on the ground, shoes off, mind off, heart on (I could turn that into a terrible joke but I’m going to keep some shred of dignity).
But anyone can do this, in any green space that has natural access to the solid ground. All you have to do is get the soles of your feet and possibly even your whole body in contact with the earth. Apparently it’s better to ‘earth yourself’ in damp or wet grass to maximize conductivity, but whatever you’ve got access to will work. Adding in some visualization—imagining the energy entering your body and feeding you—will help the process as well, but is totally not necessary. Just relax and let the earth hold you, and she’ll share her force willingly.
Not that I want to really ‘prescribe’ sitting on the earth as a medicine, but try to do this at least three times a week for 15-20 minutes. You won’t believe the difference in your sexual and creative energy, not to mention your capacity for healing and appropriate stress response.
Briefly, we’ll just cover some potential nutritional supplements and herbs that can be helpful in reviving your lost sex drive as well.
Cordyceps: A medicinal fungus from the highlands of Tibet, cordyceps feeds your jing—your ‘life force’—the energy that is highly involved in sexual desire and overall vitality. Beneficial for both men and women, cordyceps also balances the neuroendocrine system, working as an adaptogen to help decrease stress experience and increase physical resiliency.
Zinc: This is what makes oysters just so damn sexy—they’re loaded with zinc. If you’re going to take a supplement be sure to stay around the 15-30 mg/day dosage, unless you’re working with a practitioner and have overt symptoms of deficiency. Zinc is involved in some 300 enzymatic reactions, and most of us are just not getting the appropriate amount of it daily, or are using up a ton in overactive immunological and endocrine cascades.
Holy Basil: You might not think of this herb right away when addressing sex drive, but as most of us have so much stress and frenetic energy in our lives getting in the way of sexy times, taking an adaptogen like this which will reduce your overall stress experience can be a blessing that just keeps giving.
Holy basil is called the ‘Incomparable One’ in India, its homeland. Sounds like a good pet name, wouldn’t you say?
Once again, not something you would immediately think of (bacteria= sexy?), but these little compatriots are responsible for the balance of so many of our body systems that if they’re unhappy, we’re unhappy. I think we all could benefit from a little more symbiosis in our lives, and this starts within.
Reducing your intake of preservatives, MSG, artificial anything, excessive alcohol and unhealthy fats will also contribute greatly, as will working with a practitioner to get any food sensitivities or allergies attended to.
Sex drive can and should be available to most people throughout their life, and through appropriate attention to practice and lifestyle choices that support it, it’s always possible to bring your mojo roaring back. While the pleasure of physical sex is enough reason to start these practices, great creativity, awareness, and connection to the world around you will also result if you commit yourself to reinvigorating your sexual force, leading to unparalleled overall life balance and joy
Here’s to sexy times, you sexy things. Let’s get it on.
image via Chris Craymer
About Ciel Patenaude
Ciel Patenaude, MA is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Wellness Coach in Berkeley, CA. While she has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, holistic nutrition, and a few hundred other modalities in the search for greater healing and understanding of life, the majority of her practice now centers around getting people connected to a sense of trust and their own power to heal, accomplished through shamanic practices and appreciation for the natural world.
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