I was talking with my amazing friend Devon Clement today (about business and life) and she said, “Wait, working with you will make me want to exercise? Where do I sign up?” And I laughed.
Because, yeah, it will.
And then she asked,
“So I’ve always wondered: I have these two friends who love to exercise–they run, they walk, the first thing they want to do on a nice day is go for a bike ride. They have amazing orgasms at the drop of a hat, too…are those two things related?”
And I said,
Exercise and good sex (and orgasms) are (often) related for a few different reasons.
1) When you exercise, you kick off all kinds of happy brain chemicals. Those chemicals fight depression and anxiety and make you happier. Even the Mayo Clinic has information on it. In fact, recent research shows that exercise may be as effective as antidepressants for a large number of people. (Your mileage may vary, I’m not a doctor. PLEASE don’t change anything about your treatment regimen unless you and your health care professionals have figured it out.) That brain chemistry is ALSO the brain chemistry that sets the stage for good sex, good connection, and good orgasms. Which, coincidentally, strengthens your resistance to depression…it’s a beautiful cycle of natural chemical yay.
2) When you exercise, you have two options: you can ignore your body (NO PAIN NO GAIN) or you can pay attention to it (Wow, that’s painful. Maybe I should adjust my stride or my posture.) As you pay attention to it more, you are practicing occupying your body. Think about putting on socks. Usually you put them on in the morning and then you don’t even feel them during the day. You need your brain for other things. But when you’re exercising, it’s you and your body, present, together. If something feels off-kilter, imbalanced, or badly adjusted, you can notice and fix it. If you can’t fix it, you can change activities. The more you pay attention to your body, the better you get at paying attention to your body (yay, practice!) and that attention will gradually teach you what it feels like to exist, what it feels like to be in your body. When you’re accustomed to feeling your body all the time, then you start to notice the tiny cues that lead to feeling sexy. You notice all the times during the day when you feel good, and you pay attention to them. Paying attention creates a kind of bookmark in your brain, so your brain can remember and get back to that feeling more easily. Eventually, you can choose to walk around almost all the time (unless something terrible is happening) with just a little bit of a turn-on. And feeling the sensations in your body more makes you a better lover for yourself and more receptive and aware of the awesome feelings that come from someone else touching you. That heightened awareness then becomes instinctive, freeing your conscious mind for making love to a partner.
3) Which brings us to the third thing. When you’re exercising regularly, you tend to feel better about and in your body. Your body is likely to be stronger and happier to do what you ask without protesting. You may or may not get more positive messages from the culture and people around you, but you will feel the difference. You will feel better, which means that your body will be a less uncomfortable place to be, which means you will be more willing to feel the sensations it’s sending you.
And now a final note: I used the word exercise here, because that’s what most of us recognize. But the fact of the matter is that we are born to move. Watch any 5 year old left to their own devices and you’ll see a kid who runs and wiggles and squirms and climbs and plays as much as possible, and only sits down when they’re exhausted. Until we are taught to sit still for the good of the classroom or the dinner table, we’re pretty much always on the go. We’re built to play, and our bodies are pretty good at it. If you allow your body to move the way it wants to, when it wants to, you’ll probably discover how much more active you are than you think. But to feel the fidgets that you’ve been taught to repress all your life, you have to feel what it’s like to be in your body. You have to know when that discomfort isn’t about needing to re-cross your legs but is instead about needing to do the Hokey Pokey or run around the block. So if you’re not sure where to start with “exercise” or if you hate “exercise”, drop “exercise” and think of it as movement or as play. Let yourself play. Sprint for ten seconds, then walk, panting, then sprint, then do a handstand (against a wall if you need to!) and then notice that you’re upside-down and wonder how many pushups you can do that way. Try it. Fall back to your feet. Dance like a little kid who barely knows how to stand up. Dance with no music. Wiggle your butt. Fall on your ass. Laugh like crazy. Go rock climbing. Go swimming and do a cannonball. Movement is fun. Movement is play. Give yourself permission to follow your body wherever it leads, and go there with both feet.
So the summary:
- Exercise = movement = play
- Exercise (play)–>better brain chemistry–>better sex.
- Exercise (play)–>more consistent and better body awareness–>better sex
- Exercise (play)–>feeling better in your body and having a better relationship with your body–>better sex
Go play! And have better sex. What have you got to lose?