A mental, physical and emotional jumpstart.
by Donna Henes
Dear Mama Donna,
I am a woman in my middle years and the excitement and sizzle of sex seems to have been turned off at the spigot. I am always comparing myself with the hot, younger me, whom I seem to have lost. Is this the end of passion for me? Help! I want it back!
—Frustrated in Phoenix
Oh, honey, this is absolutely not the end of your sex life. Don’t despair. And whatever you do, don’t stop. Regular sex, according to medical research, has the same benefits as regular exercise. It increases the flow of certain chemicals that naturally boost and strengthen the immune system, improves cholesterol levels, stimulates circulation, invigorates the heart, diminishes the intensity of pain (especially in migraines and chronic arthritis), reduces PMS symptoms and releases endorphins which simply make you feel good.
Here are some suggestions for getting the sizzle back:
Mind your memories, good and bad. Do not dwell in the past. Do not look back in time, yearning for more youthful days or comparing yourself today with who you used to be. And do not let past pain, rejection, repression or abuse deprive you of your present pleasures. Deal with what you want to change so that you can Be Here Now.
Be nice. Be kind. Be patient. Be encouraging, but be sure to ask for what you want. Be willing to communicate with an open ear as well as with an open mouth. Be clear and specific. Be gentle, but firm. Speak your truth and expect to be heard. Share your desires and fantasies and play them out. Show and tell.
Mind your Ps and Qs. P stands for permission. Allow yourself to follow your instincts and your desires and give yourself the unconditional permission to do what comes naturally, whatever that might mean to you. Q is for the Queen in you who knows what She likes. And She likes to get it.
Explore the full range of your sexual emotions. What feelings does sex engender in you? What needs do you want it to fill? Does it? Is sex an outlet for the release of stress, anger, frustration or boredom? Is it an avenue to tenderness, affection, closeness, intimacy, honesty, safety, openness, trust and love?
Express your true emotional Self in all its myriad moods. Allow your funny, silly, lazy, sad, colorful, soulful, sinful parts out to play. Be adventurous. Be bold. Be brazen. Be wild. Be inventive. Be silent. Be solo. Be celibate. Be whatever you damn well please.
Exorcise your demons. Relax your resistance. Release your inhibitions. Let go of your mind altogether. Forget your emotions and all of your mental ramblings for a while and just let yourself be. There are times when it’s important to reflect upon and connect with your thoughts and feelings. There are times when it’s just as beneficial to disengage; sex would be one of those times.
Make friends with your body. The more accepting you are of your physical being—your best features as well as your flaws—the more comfortable you will be sharing it. Develop your sense of touch. Cover the surface of your body with paint, with clay, with cream, with silk. Caress the textures. Feel the tactile sensations on your skin. Treat yourself to a massage, a manicure or a facial. Pat, stroke, rub, knead your skin and hair. Offer to massage someone. Ask someone to do it for you.
Treat your body well. Feed it wisely, air it often, water and exercise it with intention and care. Pay attention to its proper maintenance and upkeep. Keep it oiled, greased and limber—don’t let it get rusty. Nurture its need to be nurtured. Tend to its requirements and pamper all of its parts. Prepare your body for sex. Soak in a warm tub full of fragrant water to melt into the mood. Rub luscious lotion all over yourself, caressing each mound and crevice and curve with love and anticipation.
Create a sexual sanctuary; a safe and sacred space, a Temple of Love in which to indulge in your pleasures. Remove all distracting items that relate to the other parts of your life: notebooks, briefcases, pagers, bills, calendars. Turn the phones off. Cover the clocks. Close the door. Smudge your space with the smoke of myrrh or copal to cleanse the atmosphere, and with the smoke of sweetgrass to invite in the sweet spirits.
Create a mood conducive to enchantment, enticement and enjoyment. This is the royal boudoir, after all. A Garden of 1001 Delights. Decorate it in such a way as to appeal to all of the senses. Sheets and covers in soft fabrics, chenille, flannel and satin to lie upon. Candles, soft lights, colored walls, flowers and objects of art to please the gaze. Evocative perfumes, oils, and incense to smell. Lovely treats to taste.
Create a ritual before you make love. Think of sex as a way to connect, alone or in company, with the vibrating Kundalini energy that courses through you and the entire universe. Sanctify and ignite your intention by lighting a candle, saying a prayer—or by singing, chanting, drumming, dancing, anointing. Reach out to engage your Self, another and All That Is, in an ecstatic embrace of spirit, passion and love.
A new take-charge attitude can be just the catalyst needed to refuel the lethargic passion of a long-term marriage or partnership, or it could send us out in other, sometimes completely unexpected, directions. We could decide to take a lover, or a different lover, or an additional lover. If we have long been single, we might decide to begin dating and establishing relationships. We might, as is becoming more and more common, liberate our previously hidden, unfulfilled yearnings and “come out” in midlife. If we have always been sexually active, involved and/or coupled, we could choose a period of celibacy, Self-exploration, Self-indulgence, and Self-love. The world is your oyster. Pick and choose according to your own persuasion and then partake. Enjoy!
Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Wonder no more. Send your questions to Mama Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org.