“That a, ha moment came a few Fridays ago at C-Town, when I put a box of Entenmann’s in my cart and realized I was self-medicating with donuts rather than intimacy, which I truly craved,” Kate said during our first meeting.
That evening, Kate realized how food easily becomes a convenient but self-sabotaging replacement for self-love, a relationship, and sex. She had become so out of touch with her desires that she believed a box of chocolate-glazed donuts was what her body was asking for.
I knew Kate’s struggles all too well. A few years ago, I felt like a complete failure. My career was floundering, my marriage was over, and I was now a single mom.
Around that time, I started to crave meat. And sex. I hadn’t had either in so long that the feelings of discomfort these cravings triggered were impossible to identify for many months.
The meat craving is for another blog. (Or, get the whole deep dive in my bestselling book, Women, Food, and Desire) But sex… Well, like Kate, I would found myself wandering grocery store aisles looking for something to satisfy this deep wanting, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
Wearing stretched-out yoga pants, shuffling, and mumbling as I looked for something, anything, to satisfy me, I left without buying a thing. I had picked up chocolate, ice cream, chips, and even kale, but nothing felt like what I wanted. I wanted – needed – something, but I just couldn’t put my finger on what that something was.
I discovered firsthand how deeply sex and food go hand in hand, and how much judgment we need to shed to have a healthy relationship with both.
Play can be liberating, and that includes satisfying sex and companionship. Otherwise, we stay trapped by food cravings and other self-sabotaging behaviors, distracting us from our deepest, most truthful desires. We lose a fragile quality of spirit when we don’t play enough, and play includes sex and intimate physical contact.
For Kate, that meant meeting her yearnings with deep, abiding self-respect and playful curiosity. She craved physically intimacy, but she also needed self-love and getting more intimate with her own body.
As an intuitive health and life coach, I sometimes raise eyebrows for talking about things like orgasms, but for me sex becomes intricately linked to optimal health. Female sexual pleasure is still a terrifying, complicated, and taboo topic, but we need to get open and honest talk about it.
The full expression of female desire and pleasure—including our need for hot sex—is at the heart of our health and well-being. I advise all of my clients, whether they’re partnered or not, to find their groove and get it on.
When sex becomes too dangerous to fully enjoy, food becomes that version of safe sex. For clients like Kate, healthy needs and desires for touch, intimacy, and sex get funneled into the furtive, addictive, and unhealthy habits they build around food. Food has become an acceptable way to quench their desires, but at tremendous cost to relationships with their own bodies.
I know. I have been there. And it’s an awful, dark, lonely place to be.
Playfulness connects with different types of love and attachment, including seduction. Think about the last time you seduced someone. You were probably relaxed, inquisitive, spontaneous, and open to possibilities: All definitions of play.
Playfulness also enhances romantic relationships. According to Dr. Stuart Brown, head of the National Institute for Play, play helps many people keep relationships healthy.
“The couples who sustain a sense of mutual playfulness with each other tend to work out the wrinkles in their relationships much better than those who are really serious,” he says.
If you’re looking for a romantic relationship, try being playful. Guys, evolutionarily playfulness signifies non-aggressiveness, whereas for women it suggests fertility (literally or figuratively).
If you’re already in a relationship, playfulness means you’re probably more satisfied with your partner (and not just sexually). Researchers find playfulness boosts love, sexuality, and seduction for both genders, optimizing romantic relationships.
Kate wasn’t ready to start that kind of relationship, but she learned to engage mindfully in sex to replace her emotional eating with what she truly craved: Physical contact, comfort, connection, and flooding her body with happy, feel-good endorphins.
“Regardless whether or not you’re flying solo, you can always orgasm,” I told her. “When you climax, your body is flooded with beneficial hormones and your metabolic systems are enlivened and invigorated in incredible ways.”
At our third meeting, Kate and I went to my favorite sex store, Babeland, to buy a vibrator. (I think it’s important to find a sex-positive, mostly female staff to help you find the products for your desires and “experience level.” There’s a lot to know about vibrators! And LUBE! Don’t forget about lube!) Embracing her own body, cultivating self-love, and having regular orgasms helped her discover the root cause of her cravings.
During that month or so since we’d first met, she had lost about 8 pounds without dieting, no longer felt tempted by sugary foods, and felt more alive than she had in a long time. She found when she relaxed, she could actually surrender to pleasure in a whole variety of different forms.
I’d love to share with you some cool ways to incorporate playfulness to spark your sex and love life and make every facet of your life more fabulous:
Get my book, Women, Food, and Desire for free as an audio book –
I’ll even read it to you: http://www.audibletrial.com/cravecast