For nearly two decades through private practice, I have been supporting families who have exhausted all other options within their fertility journey. I form “self-discovery partnerships” that often result in a new addition to their family. The true gift, however, is seeing one or both partners transform themselves to get there—an otherwise backburner task for most of us until faced with an often-painful life circumstance.

About 6 years ago, it dawned on me that most couples need to have sex to conceive, seems obvious I know. Since my whole practice revolves around digging deep and going beyond the norm, I knew I needed to explore the sexual side of ourselves even more than I was. All I could offer at that time was How is your libido? When do you ovulate? How often do you “connect”? Is there pain during sex? Erectile dysfunction? I looked high and low for other practitioners, but no one seemed to work the way I did in this realm. So, as I do when there is something deeply heartfelt, I sat in prayer and asked for guidance. And wow has it been a ride, and quite painful at times.

Fast forward six years, I now have a five-year old and a partner of ten years. And, as I look back on my past and think about my future, I see arrows pointing at the words “sexual well-being” everywhere. My curiosity as a child and now also my son’s, intimacy issues in my own marriage, a close friend committing pedophilia, angry feminists, my patients only sharing their sexual abuse experiences now, my sudden menopausal symptoms and feelings of irrelevance, the #metoo movement and Gillette commercial, and much, much more—there is a deep sense within me that knows the way we have been “doing it” needs some serious levelling up.

What do I mean by this?

Well, let’s look at the heart for a moment before we dive into sexuality. We all understand the heart pumps blood. It gets really happy when we exercise. It is a muscle and wants to do its job.

It also gives and receives love. We know this intuitively, but rarely look at the scientific explanation. Science shows that our heart gives off an electromagnetic wave that—literally—communicates with other people, and all cells of the body. When the heart expresses love, it biochemically changes your body for the better. The heart also spiritually leads us to our purpose. Phrases like “your heart’s desire” are commonly referenced because they are true. Believe it or not, this is why many men have heart attacks after they retire. Doctors call it stress, but, beyond that, they usually feel they don’t have a purpose anymore. So, the heart stops, because the mind has overpowered it. We are just beginning to understand this, so you can only imagine how fixed our understanding of sexual well-being is, if we have just begun to look at the heart, a key internal organ, this way.

So, let’s explore sexuality and a few of its layers. In most cases, we focus solely on the “body”. Ie. Hormones, Parts, etc. For instance, when we are aroused, we feel the need to find a “bodily” solution. Or perhaps do we think “Hmmm, is this my body’s way of telling me I need to create something new? To explore this feeling? Rather than just getting it out?” Or, when we perform acts of constriction/bondage in the bedroom, or fantasize about them, we think of it just as a “bedroom activity.” We don’t worry about how this form of power effects our vibration and translates into other areas of our lives (for instance, in our work). But, we really should. And finally, for now, when we connect with a partner sexually, we often do it for some of these reasons (1) for pleasure or (2) to conceive (3) to preform (4) because we should. Most of the time, we’re so concerned about all the above, we can’t even have true intimacy. Intimacy in my world means transforming all the inauthentic ways we “do it” that block us from love. It won’t look like it does on TV.

The thing is, sexual well-being isn’t just about sex. Just like fitness isn’t just about getting a six pack. Sexual well-being goes way beyond what we have been conditioned to believe.

So, I challenge you to start thinking intuitively about sex. Think carefully about how you’re “doing it” and how this precious part of you is expressed. Use the heart example as your guide and try to go beyond.

You got this.

By Sabrina Souto, The Sexual Soul