I stumbled upon a question (dated 11/28/2015, Why Don’t I feel Sexual Attraction?) and question that with myself. I’m 53 years old, divorced (two grown children) and have had several unsuccessful relationships since then. I sympathize with the other reader, as I also don’t “get” it. I’ve experienced deep love in my heart and mind, but I have never experienced an innate desire to take my clothes off with another person. I’ve always had sex with my past boyfriends/ex-husband out of love for what they physically needed, but because I didn’t understand how to match what they felt, they were disappointed. And I was equally frustrated because I didn’t feel like I was “missing out” on anything – you can’t miss/long for what you don’t desire. I will say this though – I find that some sexual acts are a very peculiar way to express/show love. And I could never understand a partner’s insistence on “giving” me an orgasm when my body wasn’t wanting one. If my body is at peace, why disrupt that peacefulness only to make me work extra hard for the orgasm, so that I could go back to being peaceful – totally unnecessary.
I’m so happy you reached out. I do apologize for the delay in my response—three children have a way making weeks vanish…
After taking time with what you wrote, I couldn’t help but feel pain. While it seems you’ve accepted your level of sexual desire, I’m also sensing discontent. There is a difference between resigning our self to something, versus being genuinely at peace about something. I want you to be at peace, because with peace comes joy.
Let me begin with this: human beings are meant to be relational, intimate and sexual. We are meant to feel deeply, to be responsive, to be joyful, and to enjoy all the sensual pleasure around us, from a tulip to a piece of chocolate to sex. Save for periods in our life when we may be unwell or consumed with sorrow or coping with profound stressors, the overall impulse of our being is to be open and receptive, attuned and sensual. To be sensual (fully present to sensory experience) and to experience passion (the intense desire for something) is the fruit of our spiritual nature.
For many of us, the culture of our childhood home (and the broader culture itself) did not support our ability to experience our spiritual and sensual nature, because for many, the inherent joy and wellness of our caregivers had already been interrupted. It is very difficult to allow a child to be free (in the deepest sense of the word) if the parent isn’t. Settling into our authentic self, while a natural process, is a process that can be interrupted when we come of age in a dysfunctional environment. Children are often energetically pulled from “being” into “coping”. Children also inherit the coping mechanisms of their parents, which can inadvertently undermine the experience they have of their authentic self.
What does this have to do with sexual attraction and desire?
Sexual passion (attraction, desire, expression, union) is not a rational experience, but a primal one. Primal impulses are those that communicate a fundamental spiritual need; that which is primal is essential to our optimal vitality and joy. Our spirit longs to merge—to be known, to experience oneness, and to shatter the illusion of “other”. Sexual intimacy is a path into that space. But intimacy presses us to be vulnerable, and that can only happen when we are free of shame, and when we feel lovable. If we have shame, if our lovability is in question, it will inevitably express itself in our sexuality. We may be promiscuous, we may treat sex as physical entertainment and nothing more, we may experience pornography as “sex”, we may not be able to relax into our sexuality, and for some, the sexual impulse and/or sexual pleasure is shut down.
Our Body Speaks Our Mind
I am of the school of thought that our body speaks our mind. Consider that we are spiritual beings who happen to be having a human experience. We have a physical anatomy, and we also have a spiritual anatomy. The physical body has sexual and reproductive organs, which correlates with the 2nd chakra of the spiritual anatomy. When we do not have optimal wellness around our sexual and reproductive organs, we are experiencing an energy block in our second chakra. Our task is to discern what the energy of the 2nd chakra represents, so we can address our past hurts and/or patterns of thought that steal or block the energy from that area.
The energy of our second chakra allows us to experience our lives with passion, a full range of emotion, and to enjoy all the sensual pleasures of life. We are born to feel deeply and to bring that passion into our life with love, with creativity. Procreation, of course, is a quintessential expression of creativity. We feel, we conceive of, we create. This is a sacred area, for it is with this part of our body we co-create with the divine—we are one with the divine, and we manifest creation with second chakra energy.
The energy around this chakra is about personal power. It is the energy that informs our sense of self-trust, the energy we tap into that enables us to manifest our own independent life, apart from our early caregivers. We first “give birth to our self” and then we are able to bring forth another. Given the profoundly sacred function of our sexual and reproductive organs, this area is profoundly sensitive to exploitation and abuse. Therefore, sexual trauma is particularly devastating—it is a violation of the highest order—it exploits and steals what is sacred. When what is sacred is “stolen” it can feel like “our soul died” and enduring that chronic feelings can lead to any number of ills, from sexual dysfunction to addiction to depression.
Sexual abuse is not the only form of violation to the second chakra area. Below I will leave you with an array of questions that can help to unearth any hurts that may be stagnant, causing a block in the flow of your energy. Your spirit is longing to get your attention, because it wants you to heal, so that you can experience passion. Being passionate has nothing to do with sex per se, though when you feel the passion of your spirit, it is likely sexual desire will be ignited as well. All of the chakras inform the others—so clearing one can ignite a beautiful flush of light within you.
Here are some questions I would bring to you if we were face to face. May I suggest you take the time to write with great courage and honesty as you respond…each question may even take a few days or more to respond to—there is usually the initial response, and then when we meditate on the question, a more truthful narrative rises-up. I suspect this work will reveal to you those areas in your life that are calling for restoration.
What were the dynamics in your household around sexuality? What sort of messages did you receive about your body, masturbation, sex, and intimacy? Were there clear boundaries in your home with respect to privacy—was bathroom time private time, did family knock and wait to be invited into your bedroom—were you free to dress as you wanted, and to express your style as you wished? Were you free to hold your interior life private? Were you ever sexually abused? Was any member of your family ever sexually abused? Were you ever made to feel deeply uncomfortable or confused, afraid or ashamed, around your body? Was your appearance scrutinized? Were you self- conscious about your physical desires? Did you ever question your sexuality/heterosexuality?
And with respect to personal power and authority over your own self…Were you free to have your vision of your life, and was that vision supported? Were you taught to trust yourself? Was your creativity and self-expression valued? Did the adults in your life tend to their life, and respect your desire to tend to yours? Was it safe to be you? Was it safe to feel, to express, and to say no? Was it safe to long to be close, communicative, and demonstrative? Was intimacy an attractive thing—did your family model joy around intimacy?
Would there be any reason you needed to shut down to your sexuality as a young person? Is it safe to be exposed and vulnerable?
Only you can deeply explore what this part of your body, and what your spirit, is communicating to you. I suspect your spirit is trying to get your attention via your “lack of sexual attraction” and I do trust that if you find the courage to deeply explore the truths that rise up as you reflect and write and bring your attention to your second chakra, you will unearth some information that needs your attention.
There are excellent books out there on medical intuition and spiritual anatomy. Search titles by Mona Lisa Schulz, Carolyn Myss, and Deb Shapiro.
Thank you for trusting me with your question. I wish you unbounded wellness.