Midlife Pleasure: Ania Grimone
While hormonal shifts associated with menopause do have an impact on our physiology, it is just one piece of an overall picture.
“Sexuality is a language of the body. “
Our Sex Drive:
Our sex drive, levels of arousal, experience of pleasure, and access to ecstasy are a complex interplay between physiology, internal connectivity, and external expression.
Sexuality is a language of the body. And when you dive into the body, you will inevitably encounter many defense mechanisms you unconsciously created over the years to help you withstand the pain of an emerging sexual self under hostile conditions (read societal conditioning).
These protections weave themselves deeply into your tissues in the form of pain, tension, numbness, or any number of uncomfortable sensations, especially around the jaw, throat, solar plexus, chest, belly, and pelvis. Moreover, they interfere with free flow of sensations, while also keeping painful memories, and experiences at bay. They lock everything out. And they restrict your vitality in the bedroom, and in your everyday life. It’s OK. They are supposed to do that.
When your hormone levels are high, and your intimate connection to self or a lover is solid, you may be able to compensate to an extent. But as the hormones wane, and pressures of midlife intensify, it is as if a long emerged sunken ship gets revealed with receding waters.
It can be difficult to fully appreciate just how integral sexuality is to our overall vitality, because we have been taught that it is all about sex, and sex is a private affair. Yet, changes in sexual interest, function and expression can offer invaluable insight into your sexuality, levels of stress, relationship quality, and your overall wellness.
“Meet your erotic/sexual/sensual self as a divinely powerful core essence”
All you need to do is notice your sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise in context of your sexuality to know what you are struggling with in life. What is happening in your body? Is your throat tight? Did you just tighten up your pelvic floor? Are you experiencing numbness? What do you feel? Angry? Resentful? Sad? Lonely? Scared? Ashamed? Do you engage in judgment, or some kind of negative narrative? What are you saying?
As above, so below. As within, so without. As sexuality, so life.
Meet Your Erotic/Sexual/Sensual Self:
I am inviting you here to expand your view of sexuality beyond the mechanistic view of something you would like to experience more of, like vacations, or good food, and let it be a window into your soul, and an avenue for most profound healing, growth, and transformation. I am inviting you to examine your sex drive.
Meet your erotic/sexual/sensual self as a divinely powerful core essence and notice where the layers of internalized pain are holding you back from fully experiencing yourself. Hormones notwithstanding.
So here is a powerful practice to untangle the web, heal, and liberate your true erotic core. Embodiment.
7 Ways To Move Through An Unpleasant Sexual Experience:
Whenever you experience unpleasant sensation, thought, or emotion during sex, or even around the idea of sex, try this:
1.) Identify an emotional reaction, and physical sensation that comes with it. Before you register an emotion, there is usual a sensation that shows up slightly before and with it. Tightness in your chest, flush of heat, sudden headache, etc.
“Breathe as if you could breathe in and out of the body part experiencing the sensation.”
2.) Name it. Speak out loud your emotions, sensations, and thoughts. When you make unconscious conscious, you can gain access to the truth living in your body.
3.) Witness it without judgment. See it. Hear it. Validate it. The way you want to be seen, heard and validated.
4.) Express it through breath. Begin breathing fully into the sensation. Breathe as if you could breathe in and out of the body part experiencing the sensation.
5.) Express it through movement. If this sensation could move, how would it move? Would it shake, stretch, run, dance, punch something? Allow it the freedom to follow the impulse.
Moved Through Experience:
6.) Express it though sound. If this sensation had a voice, how would it sound? Moan, cry, yell, roar? Let it. When you liberate your voice, you unclench the pelvic floor opening it up to sensual perception, and safety while liberating the sensation at the same time.
7.) When it is all done, rest in silence. Let your body integrate and listen to the wisdom arising after you have moved through the experience.
It seems like a lot, but it is not. This mobilizes the biologically hardwired mechanism to complete stress cycles and heal traumatic experiences. To move them out of the body and return it to safety. And safety is sexy.
As a postmenopausal woman, I experienced painful sex at times. But then again, the next day I didn’t. Hormones? I don’t think so. It was directly related to my state of mind, emotions, and presence. To my willingness to feel and to embody. To my courage to be honest.
About the Author:
Ania, MS, L.Ac., CPCC, is a clinician of Chinese medicine, as well as Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Health, and Sex Coach. She blends the most cutting-edge behavioral science with principles of Chinese medicine, Daoism, Tantra, and somatic experiencing, to heal and harness the power of female sexuality.
She is a founder of Venus Core Leadership, teaching women a new way of being. Sensual, embodied, regulated, and filled with pleasure.
She is passionate about reconnecting women to their deep wisdom, and innate, natural sexual core, as a source of aliveness, creativity, and joy. Regardless of age. Visit www.venusco
If you want to learn how to open to your erotic self, how to live deeply and authentically connected to the wisdom of your body, reach out at www.venuscoreleadership.com. You can also join my free class “Return To Self – Embodiment For Women”, where I teach you how to create internal safety, live in emotional regulation, heal trauma, and turn up the volume on your pleasure.