Why Women Disconnect From Sex, Work, and RelationshipsSep 27, 2022
I am yet to meet a Woman, who has not been shamed, criticized or rejected for ...being a woman. And I don't even mean the overt hostility, violence, and oppression that women experience in some religious regimes. I mean women in the Western cultures, generally enjoying the privilege of freedom of movement, education, dress, if not for some in US, the body (Roe vs Wade Ugh!).
Despite the progress we have generally made, women suffer so much from burnout, overwhelm, shame, self judgement, and not-enoughness syndrome. No matter what we do, not matter how, and how much, we are told we are not enough because .... we don't do it consistently.
As usual, we don't have to look farther for the source of this "shortcoming" than the masculine model of the world. Men are different creatures. They generally are subject to a pretty steady flow of hormones, making their energy levels, degree of engagement, productivity, focus, and presence, dependent mostly on their general personality, which is not super volatile, and their choices (sleeping, eating, drinking etc).
Women on the other hand must content with a wild rollercoaster of hormonal changes, making them virtually different people depending on the time of the month, sometimes of the day. We are changeable.
How do hormones affect us sexually?
During ovulation you may be turned on, seeking connection, be open, sexy, exciting, adventurous. Premenstrually irritated, emotional, not wanting to be touched in certain places, or wildly, primaly aggressive. During the period you may want to do nothing, withdraw from the world, eat ice cream and watch Netflix. Sex? What's that? Past the period, the energy is coming back, you may start wanting to connect again, creativity soars, so you are most open to trying something new, you are engaged, playful.
This is of course just a broad stroke. Every woman is different. Every cycle is different. Women are also more sensitive to noise, temperature fluctuations, smells etc, and those change in intensity during the month as well. During perimenopause and menopause, the ride can get even wilder. Post menopause, even when we don't cycle, we still experience hormonal fluctuations, though they are generally less dramatic. In this time we generally experience long term impact of lower levels of all hormones.
How does that affect work?
Your ability to concentrate, focus, be productive, listen, get shit done, persevere with difficult tasks changes as wildly as your hormones. One day you are sharp as a tack, on top of your game, mover and a shaker, checking things off the list like nobody's business. The next day all you want to do is watch kitty videos.
Same deal. One day you are patient, loving, responsive, and listen well, and the next day you are edgy, irritated, and can't be bothered with other people's nonsense.
The common feedback we receive that there is something wrong with us.
Them: "Your performance is inconsistent".
You: No Shit! Have you ever tried to finish the project while bleeding through your suit pants, with raging hormonal migraine, and no energy? I suspect not!
Them: "Why are you like this? Yesterday you were fine, and today you are so emotional. You are so moody. Something wrong?".
You: Yesterday there was a different hormonal soup running through my veins, therefore all yesterday's bets are off.
Them: "Why can't we just have sex regularly? You said you enjoyed it last night."
You: Just because something felt good yesterday, doesn't mean it feels good today. It's a nature of the Woman.
We wish we could have some version of this conversation, but instead, we internalize messages that it is wrong to feel the way we feel. We over-ride our body's needs, our instincts, our wisdom, the need to slow down, speed, up, come forward, withdraw, and multitude of other ever changing impulses. The result is a deep, internalized shame, inner conflict, resentment, bewilderment, and most importantly, deep sense of unsafety.
It's time to stop. To fully realize and acknowledge that it is not in our nature to be the same every day. That to be a Woman is one of the most exhilarating, maddening, wild, and chaotic rides we could be on, and to make the best of it.
Stop trying to be consistent. Stop trying to stuff yourself into the masculine definition of a human. No matter how you contort yourself to get in that box, YOU WILL NOT FIT. All you will do is burn yourself out trying.
In sex, allow yourself to flow with your natural rhythms of connection and disconnection, and learn to say no, when no arises from your body. Your sexuality is yours and you are not obligated to offer your body just because your partner happens to have more predictable desire. They are not wrong, but neither are you. Talk about it. Explain that your No to sex is not a rejection of them, or your intimacy. It is honoring your natural rhythms that are as natural as the moon cycles.
At work, notice how your hormonal cycles affect your productivity. During times you feel social and want to collaborate, schedule brainstorming, and activities that would benefit from team effort. When you feel super creative, do the tasks that would benefit from it. For your period week schedule mundane, repetitive tasks that don't require a lot of brain power, nor do they have much urgency, etc. Learn, and honor your rhythms. You will struggle less, get more done, and most importantly, you will stop beating yourself up, wondering why you can't do things the same way your male counterparts do, or worse, override your body and burn out trying.
In relationships, my advice is communicate, communicate, communicate. Your partner (if male) doesn't have a clue what is going on with you, and may project old, cultural, and often toxic narrative of "you are too emotional", "you are crazy", "you are unreasonable", etc. They may feel like they are to blame, or that there is something wrong with them, or you don't love/like/respect them. They may feel like they have to walk around you on egg shells, not knowing who they will meet when they get home. Tell them.
Share with them your new found understanding and clarity about what it means to be a woman, and literally do public service announcement and tell them who you are, how you feel, and what you need TODAY. Most partners want to support you AND they love peace at home. Help them out and tell them. They are not mind readers.
And the last, but most important thing is to share this understanding with other women. Let's normalize this beautiful, creative chaos that is a Woman. Let's mine the power of making things happen the Woman's Way. With connection, regulation, flow, sensuality, and surrender. Let's end the perpetual tug of war, and stop proving that we are worthy players, by emulating the way of being that is not aligned with the essence and truth of Women's energetics. Lets contribute our own deep, undulating wisdom, and bring color to the sterile, rigid, and linear world, which overprioritizes thinking over being to a point where we lose our humanity. Let's gather together in the original women circle, and light each other up like we used to. Remember. Stand united. Not in opposition or defiance, but in our raw power.
Now I have an invitation for you
- you deeply desire to get out of your head, and expand your life experience by connecting to your body, your sensuality, your instinct, and your primal wisdom
- you want to stop living according to what you "should do or be", and would rather follow your inner rhythms and truth, and desires, without stress or drama,
- you want to enjoy your midlife, and beyond as the rich, creative, sexy, and playful time it really can be,
- you want to let go of the past and do something different that delights YOU. Whether career, relationship, or bedroom adventure,
connect with me. Between free intro classes, deep dive in a transformational group coaching program (coming this November)The Second Spring - Midlife Reimagined or deep, deep, deep dive in 1:1 container, you will find the right place to re-connect, re-ignite, re-imagine, and re-do your midlife and beyond. My work is powerful, deep, and effective.
Hop on a match-making call here, and I will help you find the best place, the best solution, the best next step (whether it is with me, or not).