Don’t wait for trouble to set in when it comes to the enriching elements of your life, such as sensuality and sexuality. Often, we are draining ourselves of the essence in our sexual, erotic selves through seemingly small, inconsequential thought and behavioral patterns.
This article addresses some of the most common drains to our sexual energy. I encourage you to use it as an awareness-raising exercise and to begin to investigate your own energy drains. In response to what you learn from your own self-reflection and investigations, you may begin to compile and act on antidotes to your drains.
- The great storyteller: Being in your head too much creates performance anxiety and, sometimes, perfectionism. Telling yourself that your skills aren’t up to par, or wondering if your lover’s last lover was better or more interesting than you in the sex department, will keep you from fully engaging all your senses and fully being your erotic self. If you are telling yourself that sexual engagement with another (or yourself) has to look like candles and a quiet house, you are engaging in a false story and draining your sexual energy. You may have authored a story that is keeping you hostage.
- Swinging for the fences: When we engage in all-or-nothing thinking, we miss out on opportunities to replenish our sexual energy. No time for a long-lasting lovemaking encounter? Do not forgo a wonderful, engaged, 30-second kiss or a good, ol’-fashioned make-out session. The dog needs to be walked, there are bills to be paid, and you have phone calls to return, but give yourself time and space to indulge in some physical contact before tackling the rest of life. Trust me, it is far more enjoyable putting sexual energy replenishment at the top of your to-do list than skipping the kiss because you don’t have time for a full lovemaking session. When we assume sexual engagement must be a “home run” every time, we are draining ourselves and missing the opportunity to replenish our sexual energy.
- Relying on the goodness of others: Relying on your partner(s) to replenish your sexual energy by initiating or expressing interest is enemy No. 1. Your strength and sexual energy, including self-esteem, self-care, self-love, and empowerment, are all too often thought to be somebody else’s job. When we as individuals fulfill our own needs, we embark on a new way of relating to ourselves and others. To feel good about ourselves outside of the bedroom is essential to feeling good in the bedroom.
- Glory days: It’s particularly draining to ourselves, relationships, and sexual energy when we dwell on “better times” in our relationship. Within a longstanding relationship, we tend to think back to when we first met our partner and lament the times we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. One of the greatest gifts we have as humans is relating and relationships. Yes, it tends to be that the closer we get to our intimate partner, the flame can be dampened, however the fuel to that fire is drained only by focusing on “how it used to be.” In Patricia Love’s book, The Truth about Love: The Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make It Last Forever, she shares with readers the predictable stages of “better times” and a more enriching, emotionally intimate relationship, which is often coupled with less “firework” sex. It is essential to understand the ebb and flow of sexual energy.
- Keeping score: Unresolved resentment and conflict, and not voicing our own needs, drains our sexual energy. Gatekeeping, policing, and “giving to get” drains the sexual energy from us and our relationships. Our sexuality is not a weapon or a reward system. When we engage in this thinking and pattern of interacting with our lovers, we drain the essence of our sexual selves.
So, what stories are you telling yourself? What habits need a little tweaking in order to replenish your sexual energy? I encourage you to monitor your own thinking and behavior patterns, and note what drains you and what replenishes you. Enjoy!
© Copyright 2013 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Denise C. Onofrey, MA, NCC, Sexuality / Sex Therapy Topic Expert Contributor
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