THE YIN AND YANG OF SEX

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Why is it we always have time to read about sex? It's one of those subjects and experiences that is perpetually mysterious and deeply powerful yet so private and personal that it evokes suspicion and judgement in all of us. I feel we remain curious also because our collective social attitudes towards it are ever-evolving as a species.

So what does sex have to do with Life Coaching? When I conduct life assessments with my clients, one of the life areas I ask them to talk about, if they are comfortable, is their sex life, because of the way that sexual libido and feelings about sex and intimacy in general can impact on our health and well-being.

As part of my ongoing reading to complement my Coaching practice, I did some research into loss of the libido. I was surprised how difficult it was to find a book that wasn't targeted solely at women, as if this is a problem only for women, when it can be just as big a problem for men.

The book I chose was called 'Sex Again: Recharging Your Libido' by Jill Blakely, with a tagline that this was for modern couples. But although this appeared to be non-gender-specific, on opening the pages, the majority of the analysis and advice was again targeted at women with some inset boxes applying to men as an afterthought. I gave it a go anyway, taking it with me as reading material on a cheeky weekend break to the romantic city of Vienna (on my own ironically!).

The book provides in-depth analysis on loss of libido equating to low energy, low self-esteem and imbalance, with a strong advocacy towards Chinese philosophies of paying attention to our qi (life force or energy) that is informed by our own personal balance of yin and yang.

Blakely introduces yin yang theory, which is about five thousand years old, as a way of thinking about the nature of life and the universe in which all objects, all beings and phenomena contain energetic forces within them. There is a perfect balance point of yin and yang, but that point is constantly on the move.

Yin and Yang are opposites but not opposing, rather they are complementary, interconnected and interdependent. Taosist philosophy identifies everything as predominantly yin or predominantly yang and we all fall on the scale somewhere. The yin and yang qualities are generally neutral, neither is right or wrong, but yin represents a more passive and internalised energy (femininity) and yang represents a more active, externalised energy (masculinity).

Our balance can change according to circumstance and requirement, but Blakely posits that if one energy is too dominant in your life and you don't make adjustments to bring in the other then this will lead to problems in your health and wellbeing, and this applies also to your libido.

The book asks you to complete an exercise where you mark on a scale your agreement to sentences about your sex life and sexual energy, to give you an idea of where you fall on the yin yang scale. It then gives you suggestions and advice (and some interesting exercises!) on how you can balance your energy out, especially if you fall on the extreme end of the scale.

After reading the book, I felt that having a good understanding of your yin yang energy is a great way for couples to make the most of their sexual relationship, not only for those who are having troubles, but just in general to really enhance the experience. It is my belief after all to celebrate and enjoy sex while we are here on this earth!

The book takes you on a further journey of the different levels of intimacy that we express with our sexual partners and the ways in which we can make the most of them to satisfy not just our partners, but ourselves also.

There is a final chapter on some of the physical blocks to a healthy sex life, which although can be troublesome, but can be factored into our path of discovery and overcome successfully.

I don't claim to be an expert in sexual relationships, but having an understanding of a theory such as yin and yang and qi provides me with a good awareness of issues with libido. This can be necessary with a coaching client, whose energy imbalance, through circumstances in their life, is affecting their enjoyment of sex, and contributing to blockages in pursuing the proactive, confident and productive life that they want.

Take care everybody!

Oliver

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