Women, Muscle & Sex

Some of you are reading this title thinking….  Really?  Do those go together?  And I say, “Absolutely!”  Care to explore with me?

How constantly are we bombarded with the over-sexualized, skinny-fat 4waif’ish, sized 0-2 masquerading as sexually superior?  The fronts of magazines are plastered with what I like to call “skinny fat chicks” (who often weigh less than 100 lbs. but have about 25+% bodyfat) claiming that they can show us the way to a fit, lean body in less than five weeks.             …Something seems off here.

And how many of us—male or female—look at those tiny little girls and actually FEEL our blood pumping and our sexual appetites inspired?  Okay, there are those of you who do….  But most of us, from what I’ve found, don’t feel a lot–except for the women who compare themselves and simply feel BIG in comparison. (Just a little look at the picture above:  Average height & weight of a VC Model – 5’10” and 110 lbs.  Average age – 21.  Just sayin’)

Women very often look at the images constantly taunting us from magazine covers and digital screens–sometimes more than men –and compare ourselves to these bodies that current Northern-American culture claims are the “hottest” but look as if they might collapse under the weight of… life.

Maybe that’s part of the problem.  We’re granting too much influential power to folks who just can’t handle the weight.

Here is one thing I know about the human body:

If you do not purposefully engage it, intensely; you will not know how to engage others with it, powerfully.

So what does this mean for a woman or girl who has little-to-no muscle?  And what in the world does it mean for her—and her partner’s—sex life?

Let’s think about it for a moment.  No muscle usually means no strength training (and strength training can fall under all sorts models used to purposely strengthen the body’s musculoskeletal system)—often a sign of those folks who are caught in the world of cardio and… um, “toning”—who would become faint if handed a 12 lb. dumbbell and would justify not training with, “Eewww….  I don’t want to get all big and muscle-y.”  NEWSFLASH ladies:  If you’re built like a stick with very little natural muscle, there’s as much chance for you to bulk up as there is the Hulk turning pink!  And believe me, Skinny doesn’t age well.  So take a deep breath and pick up some weights, do some push-ups,

Make friends with your muscles.

skinny-fat2Sometimes skinny is a sign of someone who is “watching her figure” by essentially starving herself.  ….Of course, if she’s not inclined to indulge the sensory pleasure center of her mouth, tongue, and taste buds; will she be any more inclined to indulge sensation in other areas of her body?  (…Something to think about)

Now, clearly I’m putting some bold generalizations out there and exaggerating for effect, though hopefully not pissing anyone off too horribly.  And I struggle with my own desire sometimes to be “thinner.”  Uugghh, I hate even naming that, as it feeds the epidemic.  I also know women who purposely try their damnedest to PUT ON WEIGHT in the form of muscle, and struggle to do so, and I don’t want to add to a story that all skinny women are frail or less-than-sexual-less-than-powerful-beings.  Not the case!

Realistically however, there are far too many people caught in the idea that “skinny” is “sexy” – that smaller is better, that …..ultimately, that “less” is “more.”  And this is simply untrue.

And we need to stop wishing ourselves away. 

I’m clearly not speaking to the woman who trains her ass off, nourishes her body with healthy food and engaging activity.  I’m talking to the women—and men who worship them—who think of a gym as a place to chat with their friends while they do 30-45 minutes on a Stairmaster or in a “Step class,” never really engaging their bodies or muscles, and live on 600 calories a day.  That’s not healthy or sexy!!

Let’s talk about why.  When you think about sex—really think about it—(and I know you do on your own, so I’ll just boldly invite you to fully engage here while you’re reading) …when you think about what it feels like, what your ideal vision or sensory experience is, with legs and arms intertwined; bodies fully engaged and exploring, positions, changing positions, moving in all sorts of wild ways that put your genitals in just that perfect place in relation to your partners genitals …And how they work, and the movements that most stimulate them—and moving your partner, being moved by your partner, holding on, holding down, holding tight, the aliveness that can overtake you at times….  Consider the difference of doing all that WITH muscle (equaling stamina, strength, endurance, flexibility, engagement, and a vast movement repertoire) vs. WITHOUT muscle (equaling… well, someone who looks good draped over a hot car in a bikini).

What do you want to FEEL?  How do you want your partner to engage with you and how do you want to engage with your own body and with your partner?  Or partners??  (Just considering my potential audience).  So….  can we STOP giving the message to women, and particularly to young women and girls, that SKINNY is SEXY?

Let’s just stop!

People sometimes chuckle when I say I’m going to “train” rather than exercise or workout.  And they’ll ask, grin on their faces, “What are you training for?”  I usually simply respond with, “Life!”  Maybe I need to say, “A rockin’ sex life!”

We learn to live through our body’s interaction with others, with our environments, through movement and sensation and touch.  And right now, far too many of us are growing our brain-based-knowledge and losing our body-based-wisdom.

When we know how to tolerate intensity in our bodies, we know how to tolerate intensity in life, in love, and with one another.  And let’s face it, life’s just intense sometimes.  How about we figure out how to move through it rather than shrink away and avoid it?

If you’ve not taught yourself how to train with intensity, your body will have no capacity to engage intensely with another person.

I’d love to hear what some of you find most sexy about your partner’s—real or imagined—bodies and ways of engaging yours.  I think we all might be pleasantly surprised that most often, it’s not the “perfect” whatever…  it’s the way it’s used!

For the Love of Your Life!

Angie

 

 

Sexy

“Mom, do you know what ‘sexy’ means?”  Asks five-year-old Lilly. 

“Well, I know what sexy is to me, honey.  Sexy can be very different for different people.” 

“What does it mean to you, Mom?”

This was the origination of an engaging and thought-provoking dialogue between my daughter and son, Nathaniel, and I, yesterday morning.  They’d heard a song on the radio stating, “I’m sexy and I know it,” and had some great questions!  (My favorite question of Nathaniel’s was, “what’s ‘passion in my pants’ mean?”)  !!!  Oye!

When I posted part of the conversation on Facebook, I received a few, “So….  What is sexy to you?” questions.  And while my answers, I’m certain, are no more interesting than any of yours, I thought it could be a fun dialogue to bring to the digital table.

This is my initial response:

sitting-transperencyHonesty. That’s number one. Without honesty, it’s almost impossible to sink into one’s body and feel an authentic sexual attraction.  Dishonesty puts the body on edge, which can feel like a “charge” initially but ultimately drains our energy–including our sexual energy.  When a person embodies honesty, and we feel ourselves naturally trusting, so much more of our own essence can come to the surface.

Seeking Balance  People – males and female – who are seeking the balance of their emotional and intellectual bodiespurposefully developing themselves physically and emotionally, who are willing to learn and practice new skills in the face of vulnerability–that’s sexy as hell to me!

IntelligenceBut, not at the expense of relationship;sexymind1
meaning, willing to be curious about another’s perspective and ideas, while continuing to validate one’s own innate knowing.  A favorite quote of mine reads, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”  — Aristotle

Willingness to be challenged, as well as to challenge others, with groundedness, compassion, and humor.

adults-playPlay!! The embodied freedom to get really silly, to risk, to reach out…  We are hardwired to be playful, and many of us forget that as we get older.  When a person knows how to get playful and can attune to the spirited play of another, we learn to release our grasp on the seriousness of life, and simply BE!

Touch – We require loving touch for our very survival.  And those who do it well more than likely were “touched well” in their touch1families of origin, and so know the language innately.  Touch is really our primary language.  It’s how we initially experience love, safety, trust, and attachment to others.  When we know it, we don’t need to depend on the limits of human language, and we are able to express the nuance of emotion that language simply cannot reach.    

An Ability to apologize is, to me, a pathway that helps my body and mind “yield” into trusting another human being–to know that he is self-reflective and humble, that he is willing to love beyond his fear of being wrong and, in so doing, he assures me that I am enough of a priority for him to risk being vulnerable.

kissing1

Oh, and of course…

A man who knows how to Kiss!  The ability to communicate desire, openness, wanting, lust, playfulness, excitement, curiosity…  a myriad of different intimate emotions through use of mouth, tongue, teeth, lips–speaking this language reflects a deep, innate ability to attach to another person, and to share deep, transformative intimacy.

That was my first hit as I pondered the fantasies of what naturally draws my sexual attention.  And yet there is so much more.

As odd as it may sound, Sexy, to me, is a person who has experienced enough suffering and found the strength to move through it, that he or she can stay present to pain—theirs, mine, or another’s.  Someone who doesn’t disappear—emotionally or physically—at the occurrence of life and all it serves up—who resources their body, mind, and heart because they’ve strengthened each enough to trust their will—that’s sexy!

(Just a note:  I’m generalizing a bit here, for the sake of ease, with hetero-language, even though there are a lot of characteristics that I find sexy in both men and women.  Just a reminder to keep a flexible mind—Ahhh… that’s sexy too!)

Of course I can’t forget Passion:  Passion about SOMETHING—passion-mewhether it be the environment, parenting, travel, astrophysics, the violent sexual habits of the African Bat Bug…  some THING that makes a person’s blood pulse a little more quickly, eyes open just a little wider, and heart reach beyond the familiar.

When we’re passionate, our passion can override fear, at times.  We stretch ourselves into new territory and learn to navigate life and relationships with internal motivation that keeps us wanting, moving, and reaching toward new places and new perspectives.

Those are some of the things that I find Sexy.    How about you?

For the Love of Your Life,

Angie