I recently read an article in Elephant Journal that startled me… as it also rang true. It was called “Sexless in the City: Why We Don’t Do It” & the author, Dawn Cartwright, wrote:
“… according to an article in Newsweek magazine, experts suggest that 15 to 20% of married couples have sex ten times a year or less. The psychologists who did the research said that these results are not accurate—how many people, when surveyed, want to appear sexless? There’s a tendency to exaggerate on the positive side so it’s likely that that yearly number is even lower.
Hey, it gets worse. Individuals who are not married have sex 6.9 times per year less than their married counterparts. Eek!”
Dawn goes on to explore how this is not just about sex, it’s epidemic of our culture’s obsession with acheivement and of our disconnection from our bodies. Since my work too is about bringing us into our bodies (by harmonizing our spirituality with our bodies), I totally “got” her message.
Especially when I travel outside my yoga-loving, health-conscious community here in LA, I feel shocked to see how many people seem numb to both their sexuality and their power. Perfectly good bodies walking around with their lights turned off except maybe, maybe… someone at home in the head.
I feel sad when I see this. I want to go up and shake people and say “There is so much more! This life is so precious! We can suffer through it or we can use our every experience as fuel to dance and play.”
When we are in our bodies, we are in our power– pure and simple.
But people seem addicted to the numbness. And the saddest part, to me, is that when we forget our true power, we over-compensate with distorted choices that help us feel a false sense of power.
On an everyday level, this can mean undersleeping, overworking and then drinking a pot of coffee to get through the day.
On an interpersonal level, this can mean defending yourself when given constructive criticism, instead of learning from the situation and looking for resolution. It can mean a father putting down his son or a mother clinging to her daughter, in attempt to compensate for the parents’ own un-healed wounds based in not knowing their power.
On a sexual level, it translates into pornography, adultery or abuse as the cultural message says “it’s not ok to be in our bodies, to be in our power, to enjoy ourselves”, yet we want to anyway. This conflict has distorted sexuality for so many, increasing it’s bad rap.
On a global level, this translates into the epidemic of greed and abuse of power in political, financial and corporate arenas.
I really feel like if people had more sex (loving, healthy sex that is) we’d have a more peaceful world! I also believe that we cannot change the systems or each other if we do not change ourselves, because they are merely a reflection of us.
Some of you may be saying, “That sounds great, Ann, but I don’t have a partner.” Or “I’m disgusted by my partner right now”. Or, “I’ve been abused and I’m just not comfortable.”
It doesn’t matter. Simply sitting down to savor your next meal, taking a few minutes to dance in your living room, putting your bare feet on the earth and smelling the flowers around you is a good start. Or if you have one, sitting or lying with your partner and breathing together can be as intimate as lovemaking. If you sense your experience of sexuality has been distorted, these options might be the best places to start anyway.
Just as our old systems based in greed imbalanced power are crumbling, I’m hearing more people talking about sexuality, sensuality and getting into our bodies. Coincidence? I think not!
As we enjoy our sensual experience on this earth more, we will naturally WANT to be present in our bodies. As we get more present, we will naturally feel more powerful, and so we won’t need to hurt our family members or go to war.
As we get present and feel ourselves and the world around us more, our human nature will naturally cause us to act in ways that honor others as well as ourselves, bringing peace. I deeply believe this! With more peace, life won’t be so hard, and we won’t need to struggle so much to get ahead anyway.
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copyright 2012 Ann O’Brien- All Rights Reserved.