Creativity and sex are two areas of my life and work I’m hugely passionate about.
As a creativity coach I assist people to reconnect with and harness their creativity, while as a sex-coach, somatic sex educator and sexological bodyworker I support people to find ways back to sex, reclaim sexual agency, voice, confidence and reconnect with the joy of their sexuality.
So, how do sex and creativity connect? Is the drive that makes us want to create a poem, a film, a book, a piece of sculpture, the same drive that makes us want to have sex with others or self-pleasure? Is it the same source, but expressed in different ways?
Some people might use creative expression to compensate for a lack of sex and sexual connection in their lives – something that I have known well. When sex and sexual expression was lacking in my life, at least when I was creating I could feel more alive. It did not still my longing to be sexually connected, but nourished me to some extent and while I immersed myself in creative work I could temporarily forget what I was missing and craving.
I have also encountered fears in artists and creative individuals who wonder whether they would stop creating if they were satisfied in their erotic, sexual expression, or if intense sexual expression would take away from their creating – as if the two would be mutually exclusive.
What if the two could play together, enhance each other, nourish each other and fire each other up? What if sex, sexual energy, orgasm energy is channelled into supporting creative projects?
What if the joy of creating, of being in the flow creatively, connects us more deeply with our life force energy, which in turn makes us feel more alive, more sexy and increases our sexual drive?
I believe it is just so – creativity and sex are deeply connected – how we express ourselves in the world, in our bodies, with our creativity, and with others is connected to our sexual energy.
And sexual energy IS a creative force, maybe our most powerful creative force and when we unblock our sexual energy and express ourselves sexually we can become also more creative.
Sex and creativity spring from the same source, they are life force energy and our absolute birthright. Both can be extremely powerful forces of self-expression, connection and voice. Writer Eve Ensler talks about the energy of sexuality as ‘the basis of creativity, love, ambition, desire, life. Sexuality has gotten all these bad raps because it’s so powerful.’ And Erica Jong echoes this empowering aspect of sex and creativity: ‘if sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities, it’s because they lead to the knowledge that you own your own body – and with it your own voice – and that’s the most revolutionary insight of all.’
In my personal journey of reclaiming my sexuality, besides coaching and bodywork, creative tools have played an important part, be it painting, drawing, sculpture, collage or creative writing. Also, in my work over many years as an art therapist I have witnessed the power of creativity to help us articulate feelings, thoughts and experiences, heal deep wounds and understand ourselves more deeply.
Creating allows us to express our feelings in a direct, visceral way, especially when it is difficult to put emotions into words. It can be difficult to talk about sex! Our creations can become mirrors for us; we can see parts of ourselves that we might have suppressed, that need attention and healing and aspects that show us our strength, beauty and power. Through such creative excavation work different aspects can become visible, are expressed and listened to, and in the context of coaching or group work, witnessed by others. This can be in itself cathartic and useful in getting to know ourselves better. When we create we might tap into playful parts of ourselves, which can help us approach talking about sex and engaging with our sexuality in a freer, more playful way. Also, learning to be less precious about the outcome of our creating and valuing the process, the sheer joy in ‘making stuff’, might help us in how we approach sex.
I have found that working with a combination of tools is the most potent approach I can offer people to connect back with their sexuality. Working with stream of consciousness writing, mask work and exploring archetypes can be wonderful creative tools to explore different aspects of our erotic selves in a safe, embodied way and help us feel more empowered. Some other examples are using ‘body maps’- life-size body outlines that can be used to express feelings, mark and track body sensations and somatic experiences during and after somatic sex education or bodywork sessions in simple, visual ways. I facilitate playing with the relationship between erotic and creative energy, by encouraging clients to raise erotic and sexual energy in various ways such as through breath, self-touch, movement, fantasy etc. and then move from this state of heightened energy and/or arousal into free-writing/stream of consciousness writing or drawing for a timed period and back to self-pleasuring.
My upcoming workshop ‘Creating from the Body – a journey into the Creative and the Erotic’ is an invitation to experience different ways to tap into the rich ground that is our body for inspiration and authentic creating and explore how creativity can support us in our unique erotic expression. Through creative offerings and playful exercises such as working with clay, collage, mask-work, painting, free-writing, movement, breathwork and simple somatic exercises we will:
Tune into the body’s wisdom and let it expresses itself;
Create from impulses we find in the body and let our creations inspire us in our erotic expression;
Explore how we can move from connecting with our own erotic energy into ‘making stuff’;
Celebrate spontaneous expression and process, rather than product, and have fun.
If you would like to explore the relationship between sex and creativity more deeply, learn more about your sexuality or get back to sex, please contact me. I am available for one to one sessions and a new workshop programme for London and Brighton:
‘Writing from the Body- an embodied creative writing workshop
‘Creating from the Body – a Journey into the Creative and Erotic
This Blogpost was first published in Sexpluszine