Accessing Your Erotic Intelligence
What is erotic intelligence?
Erotic energy is often felt as a pulsating, throbbing, sensual vitality that arises in the pelvis and belly, undulating up the spine towards our brain. In our consumer-driven culture, erotic energy has been narrowly defined as sexual arousal. Yet this is only one of a multitude of ways in which eroticism moves through us.
We can be turned on by someone or something without being genitally aroused. For example, when I’m in nature, writing, or engaged in a collaborative creative process, I get incredibly turned on. In the process of launching this work, I have felt hormonal highs that are no different than what my body feels when I’m dating someone I’m really attracted to. The erotic satisfaction extends beyond my sex into my heart and flow state. It can feel like grace, synchronicity, and magic.
Your passion wants to guide you
One of my clients was studying for the certified financial planner exam to become a financial advisor. When he talked about it, it sounded like he was enduring a chore. I felt little passion and creativity coming from him. So I poked in, with curiosity and reflections. We started talking about what he WAS passionate about.
I remember the tears streaming down my face as he expounded on his heartbreak around the racism in our country. He recounted a recent experience in which his mom was called a nigger on Facebook. He was angry and afraid, and felt helpless to protect his mother. Racism had become a pain-point for him. Born in Washington, DC and raised by first generation immigrants from Jamaica (his parents, cousin and grandmother) he was infused by the inclusivity of his ancestral culture and found the racism in the states to be contradictory to his internally wired sense of connection and inclusion.
I learned from him that Jamaica’s motto is “Out of Many, One People” which partly stems from the variety of people of different nationalities that have migrated to Jamaica. His grandmother had Chinese parents who migrated to Jamaica before she was born. “She looked Chinese, but sounded 100% Jamaican”, he said. I thought, to myself, isn’t this what the melting pot is really about? Merging back into oneness and away from separation because of differences in race, color, class, sexual orientation and other categories and boxes? I resonated with his pain.
We designed homework for him to write about his experience and feelings. In our next session, he arrived like a star aflame, speaking poetically about his passion for educating and facilitating discussion around diversity and inclusion. He acknowledged that the career path of a financial advisor was not actually his heart’s desire. It took courage to be this real with himself.
I felt moved; it takes a lot of inner strength to say no to something you’ve geared the last six years of life towards. Eventually, he said yes to his vision of a career where he could raise awareness about racism, diversity, and inclusion. He canceled his financial planning exam, enrolled in graduate school, and followed what turned him on, rather than holding on to his old safe plan. He had found an erotic spark and let it carry him into clarity, one step at a time.s
Your erotic nature is a healing and catalytic expression of your creative life-force.
Erotic energy as a healing force
Erotic energy is mysterious and provocative, a shapeshifting conduit for healing, creativity, and emergent potential.
To know your erotic self is to be fully present to the inner landscape of your direct experience. A conscious relationship with this life-force transmits a sonar wave of healing and love. When you’re in a flow state of juicy open-hearted connection, you transmit a quality of aliveness that nourishes your whole self and everyone around you.
Signals that your erotic intelligence is turned on:
When you feel turned on in your business endeavors, your bedroom, or your creative expression, you know you have tapped into your erotic intelligence.
Although your erotic nature is an innate part of who you are, your access to it can vary.
Signals of activated erotic intelligence include:
being fully aware of your body sensations in the present moment
feeling the joy and arousal of creative flow
mastering a skill and feeling your personal power
accessing trust and acceptance
experiencing the beauty, peace and stillness of the natural world
feeling emotional intimacy with yourself, others and life
participating in and experiencing synchronicity and magical encounters that can’t be orchestrated by the mind.
So how do we begin to reclaim this connection with our essential erotic nature? Let’s dive in.
Accessing your erotic intelligence:
The journey of learning to access and embody your erotic energy is unique to each person. This is part of what makes it an exciting and mysterious process of self-discovery.
My erotic nature organically comes alive when my mind is quiet, my heart is open, and my body is relaxed, allowing me to fully feel the beauty and pleasure of the moment. I experience my erotic energy when I feel a deep sense of connection. This may be with another person, myself, or the natural world. It can be when I’m writing, or plunging in cold rivers. It can be ignited by the most ordinary and simple experiences, like watching the snowfall out my window while I sip tea. Or by seeing the face of someone I love and long for. Or by having a powerful client meeting in which we walk into the dark together, where I get to witness them emerging with a piece of themselves they had forgotten or banished.
When my erotic energy flows, I feel relaxed, playful, free, safe, connected, energized, and open minded and hearted.
Experiencing the full potential of your erotic intelligence requires you to Know Thyself. So get curious! Be open to learning some new things about yourself. What turns you on, what turns you off, and what arouses a sense of passion or playfulness in you?t
To become erotically empowered, we must explore our erotic nature and
check our conceptual assumptions about what it is and what it's not.
We have to feel it from the inside-out.
We have to let go of who we think we 'should' be to discover who we are.
A moment of erotic flow can involve dancing sensuously; wrestling and playing; delighting in your favorite food; enjoying massage or stretching; taking an aromatic bath; spending a day at home naked; snuggling with a loved one; taking a walk barefoot; acting on an inspired idea; playing a game; or anything that gives you a sense of pleasure and connection, here and now, in your body.
Start asking your body these questions:
What makes me feel most alive?
What makes me feel most playful?
What sensations happen in my body when I feel alive, happy, and playful?
What parts of my body are most sensitive to touch?
Which sense am I most responsive to: smell, touch, sound, sight, or taste? What experiences connected to that sense do I enjoy?
What are some of my most erotic sexual memories? What about your biggest moments of nonsexual arousal?
I’m learning to play the didgeridoo, a wind instrument originated in aboriginal tribes. In the morning, when I wake up and see it across my room, I feel turned on and eager to play before my work day begins. As I play, my body buzzes from the sounds and vibrations, and I feel heat swell and rise in my body as if I were kissing a lover. This is one easy way of connecting to my erotic intelligence.
Our desire to feel turned on is part of our nature as sensual mammals. We experience the fullness of who we are when we are engaged with our senses, including intangible senses like our intuition, emotional intimacy, and intellectual creation.
What activates erotic energy?
The key to recognizing the presence of your free-flowing erotic intelligence is a relaxed body and mind. To access more of your erotic intelligence, it helps to study the patterns of thoughts, beliefs and emotions that disconnect you from your flow state. What shuts you down or pushes you into “fix it” mode?
To be erotic, we must be in the domain of the parasympathetic nervous system. Our “rest and digest” system helps us feel the delicious flow of life dancing through us.
When we’re in a relaxed, receptive state, our erotic energy has free rein to come out to play.
This is a tension-free and nonjudgmental state,
free of looping mental patterns that orient towards the past, future, or ideas of who we should be.
What dims down erotic energy?
There are a myriad of distractions that pull us away from consciously dwelling in our erotic life-force. For me, it’s most often a mental focus on fear, scarcity, drama or what needs fixing, rather than resting in states of connection, gratitude and trust. In addition to “restless mind syndrome,” there are two other key dimmer switches to our erotic intelligence.
The moment the body contracts because of stress (physical, emotional, or psychological), we lose our access to the wellspring of flow. We move from connected relaxation into disconnection and self-preservation.
For some people, stress can be associated with arousal and ways to off-load stress. We are all wired in unique ways. Our life experiences and early conditioning influence our habits of turn-on and shut-down.
JUDGMENT, CRITICISM, AND “SHOULDS”
If we judge what turns us on, or try to be turned on by things that are not enlivening to us, we likely won’t feel alive. I know many clients and colleagues who have struggled with their professional expression, work cultures, or marriages in which they felt passion-less, unappreciated, or over-responsible. This makes it harder to sense and feel erotic aliveness.
For anyone who juggles a laundry list of responsibilities, life can start to feel like a never-ending “to do” list. This can be exhausting. It interrupts the feelings of vitality and creativity, as our nervous system goes into survival mode and inhibits the parts of the brain that know how to play.
Courting yourself as the Beloved
To embody your erotic nature is to commit to courting it like a lover and knowing it like a partner.
You are an innovative and erotic creature. You have unique channels through which you access and express your inherent power and creative life force. You are a powerhouse of energy, love, emotions, thoughts, sensations and primal reactivity. Your sensual experience of being in your body is your gateway to turning up the volume on your life-force.
Our culture has taught us to be disembodied by overvaluing our intellect and dismissing our heart and intuition. Success is often measured by our productivity and accomplishments. The good news is that, with awareness, we have a choice as to whether we want to cater to this cultural measuring stick or not.
We can either cultivate a relationship to our authenticity, vulnerability and erotic power, or go through life feeling less alive, less turned-on, and less fulfilled. We will all go through periods when we lose contact with our creative and erotic self. Finding our way home is a great victory, especially if it’s from a lifetime of repression. One common reg flag to notice is if we are looking outside of ourselves for others to bring us pleasure, hope, passion and purpose. Even if our passion is to serve others, there is no mistaking the sensation of desire, joy, and purpose burning from the inside out.
The path of integration and remembering
We are wired to be turned on by life!
Accessing erotic intelligence is a journey of integration and remembering.
The journey invites us to explore, seek, learn about and integrate the parts of ourselves that got left behind for various reasons. How did you play as a child? What would it feel like to be totally free? What do you yearn for that you’ve given up on?
Unifying our erotic nature with our integrity, creativity, and inner power allows us to access vast arenas of pleasure, richness, and beauty.
Erotic energy opens gateways to an infinite potential of healing and intimacy with yourself, others, and all of life.