I know the modern term is “mental illness” rather than “insanity,” but the latter seems more apt to describe what happens when a person with a normal, healthy, or “high” sex drive has gone a long time deprived of sexual release. Crazy works too. And as someone who ended up sampling the insides of several “insane asylums,” I truly believe that I was driven crazy by a lack of sex.
Though science has long confirmed the benefits of both solo and [consensual] partnered sex for mental health, not just for the fabulous chemicals released at orgasm, but from human touch, still we underestimate and pathologize our needs and try to argue with ourselves about them. We do so at our peril. Would you deny yourself air on moral grounds?
I may not have a Phd, but I am a cracker experiential learner, albeit a slow one. And now that I’m fortysomething, let me share something I’ve learned- we all have the opportunity to become the biggest experts on ourselves, but only if we dare be that honest. Who better than someone who has lived every moment with us in our skin to have the clues to our own salvation? Even if we do not have the resources to sit in a room with a paid third party once a week to discuss our problems, we can take the time to enlist our own instincts to decode what we want, what we need, and what would truly make us happy, both in the bedroom and out of it.
Most of us have never admitted our true desires to ourselves, because to do so might cause an inoperable rip in the status quo. Families rely on circumstances to stay the same, children and even adults need structure, and it seems imprudent to upend things for something as trivial as sex. Or does it?
What if it were perfectly normal to seek or even expect that one could have one’s sexual needs fulfilled with someone that one loves? What if consistently denying someone their needs was recognized as a form of withholding, and even abuse? If more people believed in the possibility of sexual satisfaction within a relationship, it would be more likely attainable.
What if conversations could be had that were free of rancor or accusation, simply sharing and seeing where a middle ground could be found? These confessions of secret longings could create a crack of intimacy, like a light appearing under a long shut door. I know such closeness is possible because I have seen it take place between people who go on to stay together happily for decades. If you don’t believe me, then watch this.
Some of us have experienced our emotions, personality and sex-drive muted by medications prescribed by well-meaning people who didn’t want to see us suffer. This is not a diatribe on psych meds, or mental illness, or Big Pharma etc. I have no judgment about people who choose to stabilize damaging, self-destructive or violent behavior with meds. Of course you must do what you need to do to function and should never be judged for it. Yet what is less popular is the idea that even after a short-term use of meds, or in conjunction with them, we have more choices.
Perhaps emotional pain, even deep, harrowing, soul-crushing pain, is a spiritual opportunity for growth, as opposed to something to be quickly stitched up and made palatable to a results-oriented society. If you’re not experiencing enough connection, if your life is not allied to your own sensuality then OF COURSE YOU WOULD BE SUFFERING. Unless you are so deeply introverted that you could live alone in a forest for 27 years, most of us need a sense that someone feels us, and what better way to experience that, than whatever feels to you like “sex.”
I myself was suffering, and as much as self-help books told me I was “choosing” to suffer, this felt facile and reductive. It didn’t seem like a choice, and it didn’t feel like something anyone could understand. And in all those years, not one person thought to say to me, “Yes, I see your suffering, and of course you would be. Your basic needs are not being met. How can we work on getting them met for you, peacefully but assertively, over time?”
What is needed is the willingness to dig, examine, and be authentic, even about our strangest erotic longings, before they reach the nadir of the psych ward, or worse. And both the good and the bad news is there is no pill for that…
Need help figuring out what your sexual needs are, or do you already know, but have given up trying to get them met? Email me now to see if a Sexual Intuitive® consult is right for you!