The desire for sensual contact is normal, healthy — and for many, fraught with anxiety. Between worrying about whether our sex drive is good enough and wondering how to meet the desires we feel, libido can be the source of stress, as well as the source of pleasure and satisfaction. Here’s what we’re thinking about libido these days, and why we hope you’ll give it some thought, too.

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Libido — the nature of our drive for sensual and sexual contact, and the variables that can affect it, for better or for worse.

We start from the assumption that a healthy libido means different things to different people, and that there is no “right” way to feel it, or do it.

We explore some of the factors that influence libido, and the concerns that many people share about their own, from a lack or surplus of sexual desire to uncertainties about sexual performance.

We talk about challenges of living in a society where sexuality is distorted by media and blunted by stress, anxiety, over-scheduling, shame, religious dogma, and more.

We also talk about the physiological, biochemical role that healthy sensuality plays in supporting human health and happiness.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you get more comfortable with your sense of libido, and wherever it fits into your own life.

“Libido” Episode Highlights

  • The reasons for cultivating and sustaining a healthy libido — without judging your current libido as “wrong”
  • The problem of living in a culture that is both obsessed with and squeamish about sex, and how “sex education” in schools (or lack thereof) is failing us
  • The evolutionary reasons for the inversely proportional relationship between chronic stress and libido
  • The multi-generational ignorance and hopelessness among women when their sex lives don’t live up to the sensationalized hype of mass media
  • Why focusing on a woman’s pleasure can make everyone happier
  • Suggestions for rebalancing your libido, starting with reducing stress and removing inhibitors to pleasure
  • Health problems that can affect libido
  • The idea behind and benefits of sensual “research dates” (a concept originated at Lafayette Morehouse)
  • How sexual intimacy evolves as relationships age, and learning to speak the truth with yourself and your partner

Set aside an hour to an hour and half as a sacred time for yourself. Turn off your phone, shut out distractions, and create a pleasure-oriented environment by making your space beautiful and putting your attention on your own sensory experience. Light some candles, bring in some fragrant flowers, play some music, and perhaps plate up some little delicacies to bring more richness to the experience. Notice what happens as you put attention on pleasing your senses. Do you feel more open to a sensual encounter with yourself or someone else?

1) If you feel like your libido is sluggish, consider that it may be natural for where you are in your life right now rather than dysfunctional.

2) If you have a regular sexual partner, share something with them. Tell them what you like — it may open you both up to a more beautiful, connective experience.

Big Thanks to Our Friends at Optimize!

Thanks to our sponsor, Optimize by Heroic, for supporting The Living Experiment. Now you can get Optimize membership (formerly $250) for FREE just by signing up here. And check out the Heroic social training platform, with a goal of creating a world in which 51% of the world’s population is flourishing by 2051 — starting with YOU!

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Please note that while neither this episode nor its show notes includes any graphic or explicit sexual content, they do reference sensual experiences, and the links within this section may take you to sites through which you may discover more explicit content. Please explore at your own discretion.