When was the last time you took a vacation? Yes, a vacation! Remember those? When you had time to read and swim, maybe take in a little sun, explore, have long dinners with a few too many glasses of wine...
How did you feel? Relaxed? Thought so!
It's interesting to notice how much our desire increases when we are on vacation. Be it the salty air or a crackling wood fire or the fact you actually have time to sit down and enjoy some breathing room, holidays are a great indicator that it is possible to feel that way.
And then we come home to our regular lives.
It is great to think that one day, in a perfect future, you are suddenly going to have enough time, space, a more considerate partner, less demanding kids and a less stressful job. Unfortunately, we might die before we get all those ducks in a row, so we want to try and work with what we have as well as we can. By adding in small moments of access to yourself, it’s possible to create more relaxation, more connection with yourself and others, and as a result, desire blossoms.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, the author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women, says lack of desire can stem from not feeling as sexy as you used —and it’s not something you can just turn on at any time. "Women have to transition between the mother who's taking care of everything to the seductive wife, and that doesn't happen in an instant," Haltzman says. "It takes work."
It sounds incredibly obvious, but it is so important to take time for yourself, by yourself. Maybe that involves going for a walk on your lunchbreak, or locking yourself in the bathroom, or even taking yourself out for a coffee. Creating space for you and your thoughts is an important first step to knowing what you want and paying attention to your feelings.
So how can we put in place the necessary time and space for ourselves to make those transitions more graceful?
A good place to start is communication—actually telling people what you want! It’s no use complaining about how someone always interrupts you or plays music too loud when you are trying to relax. Don’t just assume someone knows what you want or need, have the conversations to set clear boundaries and have the people in your life fully support your time.
Next, take some time to communicate with yourself. What secret, sexy desire do you have that you could never tell anyone? Get out your journal and write it down, in all its juicy, detailed glory. Sometimes you don't know exactly what is in your mind until you see it written down, so get scribbling! You might surprise yourself.
And don’t feel like it needs to be an erotic story: “I started writing down all the things I would get the kids to do without me asking and how I would like my husband to behave when he arrived home,” said Jane, 54. “I ended up sharing my fantasy with them and we agreed it would help all of us (and cause much less shouting!) if we did those things.”
In an article in Forbes magazine on how to make time for yourself, Leslie Moser from Harvard Business School suggested being specific about how you will spend the time you have scheduled for yourself.
“Instead of penciling in an hour of “downtime” on Wednesday night, write 'catch up on my favorite blogs with a cup of coffee' or 'take a bubble bath.'" Maybe it is about taking an afternoon to massage yourself with scented oils, or watch a steamy movie, or both at the same time! Notice how taking this time to make yourself feel good physically can help you connect with your body, and your own desire.
By the same token, think about what makes you feel sensual. Have you ever taken a burlesque class? Maybe sensuality for you is practicing tai chi or taking up pole dancing! Maybe it feels great to take a run or a long slow hold yoga class. Whatever gets you back into your body, feeling your limbs and your feet on the ground will help you pay more attention to yourself. As an added bonus, higher fitness and a calmer mind will do wonders for your health.
Speaking of which, we do have to mention the benefits of meditation. If nothing else, meditation can be a wonderful tool to help you hone in on that little voice in your head that is full of negative self talk and can stand in the way of you feeling like your best self. Just five minutes a day of observing your thoughts in a quiet space will help.
Accessing your desire is all about paying attention to what makes you feel good. Take out that dress you usually save for a special occasion, wear a shirt that brings out the color of your eyes, spritz on your perfume. Buy a silk robe that feels gorgeous against your skin. Take a few moments before you leave the house to feel sensuous. Strike a pose in the mirror. Feel like you’re on vacation? Perfect.