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114: Permission; Finding Your Libido – Lauren White

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station description Better Sex focuses on insights, strategies, and ways of thinking about sex that wil... read more
Better Sex
Duration: 39:26
Lauren is a qualified sexologist and permission-granter who helps her clients reduce stress and reinvigorate their sex lives. Through her writing, online classes, and one-on-one sessions, she helps high-achieving, introverted women release their physical and psychological blocks to liberate their li
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Lauren is a qualified sexologist and permission-granter who helps her clients reduce stress and reinvigorate their sex lives. Through her writing, online classes, and one-on-one sessions, she helps high-achieving, introverted women release their physical and psychological blocks to liberate their libidos for sex and life. She is the author of Permission: Personal Liberation for Switched-on Women. Defining Libido Lauren takes her definition of libido from Alisa Vitti, the author of Woman Code, who defined libido as “the ability to give and receive pleasure, enjoyment, and acknowledgement.” Using this definition, she’s free to acknowledge nonsexual actions as integral stimulators of her libido. She shares examples of planting her feet in nature, brushing her children’s hair, and working towards and achieving goals as libidinous activities that help her drop into softness and feel powerful in a giving way. Her definition of libido is “a sort of energy that we gain familiarity with and exercise whenever we take part in sensual giving or receiving that becomes easier to channel the more we access it.” She mentions that her broader definition of libido takes the focus away from exclusively desiring the really passionate, intense, sexual forms of libido, and encourages us to focus on smaller, softer, more day-to-day manifestations of libido. She tells us that focusing exclusively on our desire for intense desire, especially in circumstances that aren’t favorable to it, leads to a loop of dissatisfaction that can make us frustrated while focusing on tinier pleasures can help us escape that frustration loop and clears the way for us to experience the bigger, more passionate emotions. Women are Held Back by Doing Too Much Lauren argues that the need women feel to spread themselves thin doesn’t leave a lot of room for the erotic and sexual. While she admits women are good at juggling obligations and multitasking, she thinks a disservice is done when women mistakenly internalize “I can do anything” as “I can do everything” or, worse, “I should do everything.” Lauren advises women to sit down and make conscious choices about where their energy—their libido—is going. She encourages people to keep doing what they’re doing if it’s fruitful and fulfilling. However, she claims that if there’s a cost to the activity, it’s better to focus on things like personal relationships that you genuinely need to invest in. She says it’s also important not to fall so deeply into work or hobbies that you forget to keep dating. How to Identify a Withered Libido In Lauren’s experience, withered libidos usually come to light when women’s partners turn to them and ask why their sex life diminished. For a lot of the women she sees, their loss of libido began with a valid cause, like grief or the loss of a pregnancy, but then refraining from sex became a habit until their partner brought it to their attention. Other times, she sees women who notice their own loss of libido when something in a movie or their friends’ lives brings their loss of vitality to their attention. Gentle wake up calls that remind them of the confident women they used to be do happen, but usually when people have a partner, their partner is the one who brings up the topic. “I don’t care if I never have sex again.” Many women who come to see Lauren do not care about sex anymore. She recalls that for many women who have lost their drive for sex, their drive for other activities and their basic sensuality has evaporated simultaneously. She says it’s rare for the sex drive to diminish all by itself, usually lots of other joyous, playful, and pleasantly purposeless activity is also absent. Fun is usually missing too, which she claims is important, because all of those nonsexual indicators of a lack of libido also need to be worked on to reignite women’s sexual libidos. She asserts that it’s never just about sex. Balancing Masculine and Feminine Energy In the workplace, Lauren explains, a lot of women learn to act more masculine as a result of working hard and disconnecting from their emotions. Many women wind up with what she calls a very ‘masculine’ energy that is opposed to the physical and metaphorical opening of oneself that’s necessary during sex. She says that even our personal goals like gym routines and strict regimens in our hobbies can encourage the same masculine energy, and women need to balance that with the soft, supple, flowing and accepting nature of femininity. She emphasizes that women don’t have to just be feminine. Masculine energy is great, she explains, but a balance is necessary. How to Nurture Your Libido Every human, Lauren asserts, even people who are petrified of change, wants to know that they’re growing and changing in some way. People want to look back and see progress, not a stagnant, repetitive blur or a confirmat
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