Jake and Fiona have been married for five years. They come in to work on their marriage, especially their sexual intimacy. They share having lost the strong sexual desire that they had in the beginning. Making love has become a bit of a chore. When Jake says to Fiona, “I guess we should have sex again,” she does not feel desired, and they usually end up in a fight and separate corners on the sofa that night. He shares that he used to love Fiona’s vulnerability and felt she was happy for him to take the lead. He felt needed and capable. These days he feels like he can’t do anything right because she has particular expectations of how he should seduce her and would rather be in control of making plans for going out on a date, instead of letting him do it.
Karen and Ruth have lived together as a couple for several years. They love each other, but they also share that they have lost their sexual attraction. Both have professional careers in which they must be strong, assertive, and goal-oriented, make decisions, and lead others. In their relationship, Karen initially took on the role of being the more organized planner, problem-solver, and decision-maker. However, Karen has lately had a stressful time in her job and has grown tired of always being the one to take the lead. When they want to decide on going out, the conversation goes something like this, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know; I am just happy to go out. Where do you want to go?” This conversation usually goes back and forth, and in the end, they stay on the sofa in their sweatpants, watching TV instead of going out and connecting with each other and their sexual energy.
To understand sexual attraction, we need to understand three aspects of intimate energy separately:
Love is Oneness. It is the capacity to “become one with.” When we feel not separate but one with what’s around us, we experience love. For example, we might look into a baby’s or pet’s eyes and feel that love and oneness. Or we can have a similar experience being in nature. When we allow our hearts to be open, loving is a feeling we can experience for everyone and everything. You can love your dog, your parents, your friends, nature, etc.
Romantic Love is what we usually refer to as “falling in love.” Falling in love is more exclusive. Even though we can fall in love with more than one person throughout our life, we usually experience this romantic love for one person at a time. It feels to us that this person and the relationship with them is special and different. We usually have this experience when we more or less unconsciously find something in the other that is deeply familiar. We often fall in love with the traits of our parents that we feel in our partner. This is not a conscious process. What draws us to a partner and also causes most triggers are the traits they have in common with one or both of our parents. When the honeymoon period and the initial infatuation fades, we are left with the choice to love the other. Hopefully, we also feel sexual attraction if we are aware of how to navigate sexual energy.
Sexual tension is an arch of energy that forms between opposite poles. I will call them masculine and feminine energy and define them a bit, but those are loose definitions that illustrate how we need opposite energy for sexual attraction. Every human, whether male, female, or non-binary, has both masculine and feminine sides. The world needs both types of being. Sometimes we show up in a more “masculine” energy, for example, in our professional life; other times, we are in a more “feminine” energy.
When one person, independent of their gender identity, is more in their masculine energy and the other one is more in their feminine energy, sexual polarity occurs. For the sake of defining these two poles, let’s say the feminine is life force itself; it is light and flowing, being, receptive, nurturing, caring and feeling. In contrast, masculine energy is more about observing, taking the initiative, being assertive and active, taking the other person somewhere, problem-solving, and thinking. With our partners, we can play with these feminine and masculine principles. They are totally independent of our actual gender. Sexual energy occurs when we can playfully express and live with and in those opposite energies that are both in all of us.
Places can also have more feminine energy or more masculine energy. Hawaii, for example, with the flowers, the ocean, the soft breeze, and the more welcoming “aloha” energy, has a more feminine quality than New York City, with people being more directional and goal-oriented. In Europe, southern countries like Italy and Spain have a more flowing feminine feel, while North Germany or the Scandinavian countries have a stronger masculine character.
Most cultures talk about “Mother Nature/Earth.” David Deida defines the feminine as everything that changes, all of your emotions, thoughts and bodily changes. The part of you that doesn’t change but witnesses everything that changes is the masculine. It is unchanging consciousness. In everyday life, we often need to sit back to be the witness, the observer, and the calm centre of the storm to solve problems.
The changing of moods, emotions and thoughts would, in many professions, especially in the corporate world, be in the way of doing the job. In other professions, for example, as a massage therapist or osteopath who feels the flow of energy in the client or as a musician or dancer feeling the flow of music, we need to be in touch with more feminine energy.
This world needs whole human beings who are loving, compassionate, caring, nurturing, cooperative, receptive, introverted, emotional, and simultaneously strong, assertive, powerful, active, extroverted, and rational—independent of their gender. The art of attraction is based on being aware of what energy we are in and shifting back and forth.
Suppose both partners come home from work in their masculinity after a day of focusing on goals, making decisions, choosing directions, and guiding people. In that case, there won’t be a strong arch of sexual attraction because both people are in the same energy. A magnet’s two north poles or two south poles do not attract but repel. Of course, those two people can still feel love and affection for the other, but that is a feeling we can also have for a sibling or close roommate and in our romantic relationships, we often crave the excitement of the opposites.
When both partners are flowing in the feelings and emotions of the feminine energy, and nobody stands still to be the container or to make a decision, that can also be a frustrating experience. That occurs, for example, when two people are together, and both are hoping for the other to take the initiative so they can relax into following. So decisions about what movie to watch or where to go for dinner don’t go anywhere because neither wants to make a choice.
We are often unaware whether we are in our feminine or masculine energy. Hence we are inadvertently depolarizing our relationship and minimizing sexual attraction. If we are hanging out to go over the bills or the schedule of the week, sexual polarity in those moments is not necessary; in fact, that would distract from the task at hand. But if you want to continue having a strong sex life, there need to be those two opposite poles. One partner has to relax into the feminine energy, and the other one needs to rest in the masculine energy.
I invite you to consider what helps you to let go and be in the feminine flow of energy – or stay firm in masculine energy. Based on our definitions above, what makes you feel feminine, respectively masculine? When do you feel still, observant, strong, protective and ready to lead? And what is it like to feel, flow, be receptive, sexy, and feminine?
If you and your partner want to reignite sexual energy,
or work on other relationship challenges,
reach out for individual sessions or couples coaching.