Have you ever looked in the mirror as close to naked as you could be and thought you looked disgusting? Like a steaming pile of cow shit? Like a slimy troll? Like a booger?
Honestly, who hasn’t been there? Society has only recently started making up for its many years of impossible body image standards. Only recently have we started seeing all sorts of body types in Dove commercials, clothing brands, and Barbie dolls.
The reason I bring this up is that I stumbled upon a gem of a TED Talk on the two keys to unlocking your authentic sexual well-being. It’s amazing how something so loaded with science can teach you something so valuable about yourself, like meditation.
In the TED talk, sex educator Dr Emily Nagoski acquaints you with your brain’s “dual control model.” (Stay with me!) It controls your “sexual response” like a gas pedal and a brake pedal. The “gas” turns you on to a stimulus, while the “brake” turns you off.
You step on the gas (that is, you become a curious cat) when your partner kisses you passionately, gives you a back rub, sucks on your toes, drives stick shift, folds laundry… (I joke, but hey, whatever turns you on.) Meow!
Then, because society has told you to keep it in your pants and ignore your dirty thoughts so you can be as pure as light or as square as shin-high white socks on a chess player, you end up stepping on the brake.
“No, I can’t do this.”
“No, I shouldn’t do this.”
Dr Nagoski reminds us that we’re all normal in wanting sex, and we become more curious and enticed when we’re calm. Conversely, we’re likely to hold back when we’re stressed.
So, what can help us stay calm and connect with our authentic sexual well-being? What can help us silence the battle between the angel and the devil on our shoulders and just…be?
Here they are: confidence and joy.
According to Nagoski:
- Confidence is knowing what is true about your body, your sexuality, and your internal experience (including knowing that you have both a brake and an accelerator), even if they’re sensitive to context and despite what society has taught you about them.
- Joy is loving what’s true—loving that you have a brake and an accelerator and that they’re sensitive to context—even if society taught you a different “truth.”
According to the TED Talk, these are the keys to a good sex life. I’m so down!
So, the next time you look in the mirror as close to naked as you can be, remember to pick something about yourself that you love, be it your eyebrows, your canines, your tongue, your calves, or your left nipple. There’s something to love! Keep at it every day.
If you’re not there yet, then pretend to face a door that’s keeping you from accelerating. It’s there to help you survive whatever trauma brought you to this moment. Approach it with kindness and compassion, and in time, it’ll open.
That’s Nagoski’s advice; are you going to take it?
If the time is right and you need help trading in your relationship anxiety and insecurity for peace of mind, then hit me up here and I’ll be in touch ASAP.
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