Libido is the energy that makes us tick. Libido turns us on; it activates our lust, or our instinctual sex drive. But libido also ignites all other human realms: our love, power, creativity, expression, inspiration and spirituality. If libido is stepped upon, in whichever area, it will turn us off to some degree in one or more areas, which may be why Sigmund Freud, who introduced Western culture to the concept of libido, came to the conclusion that many of our psychological problems stem from the suppression of libido.
We can thank Carl Jung, a student of Freud, a friend of Einstein and an explorer of Eastern philosophies, for expanding the meaning of libido into energy. He wrote, “If we conceive of libido as energy, we can take a comprehensive and unified view...such as is provided in the physical sciences by the theory of energetic...I see man's drive as various manifestations of energetic processes, forces analogues to heat, light, etc.”
Other terms for libido are life force, sexual energy, vital energy, creative energy and Kundalini Shakti, to name just a few. The idea that sex equals energy is big because we don't live in the good old “sex-is-for-procreation-only” times anymore. Thanks to birth control, most people face the complexity of sex and lovemaking as a way of relating for many other reasons. Unfortunately, this new sexual opportunity didn't come with an instruction manual and many people end up frustrated, sad, and confused about sex. This is partly because we often don't know what we want and/or we don't know what possibilities are available.
Many of us, women especially, reach a time when we feel that we no longer have libido or can’t seem to find it anymore. There is a list of reasons why we can feel this way, but technically speaking, we can't run out of libido or we wouldn't be alive anymore. Our libido can, however, be distributed in such a way that it stops activating our sexual drive center; Consciously or not, we have developed different priorities and put our energy toward other aspects of life. But this doesn't need to be the end of the story. We can choose to reintegrate our sexual center. For lovemaking to be fulfilling in the long run, it helps to let go of old scripts that were written by (usually unspoken) expectations, “shoulds” or by fixations on a certain outcome—and sometimes, all of the above. Sex is the ultimate here-now-all-that-we-are-present event. Our body is the ultimate guide in presence. Our inner body can show us where we are energetically, emotionally and mentally.
Now we're back to libido and how it can guide us in daily love and life. The libido paradigm teaches a tool, the Libido Compass, which allows us more conscious choices in how to use our life force, how to access it, and how to distribute it in our body-mind-soul. For most people it's easy to become familiar with the Libido Compass as an inner map, because it’s a natural part of us; it's based on ancient Eastern science, using the “inner centers of perception,” each of which has its own vibration, color, consciousness and expression. The more we can embody each realm, the more fully alive we feel. In sex, the more we occupy of our Self, the more we can share with another person and the more choice of expression we have—from arousal, to play, to love, to meditation, which we can call Full Spectrum Sex.
So, imagine you have a map of your inner landscape and your partner has one for her/his inner landscape. At any moment you can look at these maps and know where you are, how you feel, what aspects of you are turned on, which are turned off, and which ones you would like to turn on or off more. Imagine you can then translate what you sense into action, something you wish to do at that moment in the context of sexual intimacy—kissing perhaps, or holding or wrestling or taking a bath. The key is you are now in the present moment with all-that-you-are, versus you in some pre-written script. You can now ask for what it is you want, because you know what it is you want in that moment.
This, in a nutshell, is how libido can help us live life more fully—in and out of bed. The Libido Compass is very easy to learn. It feels good because it calms the nervous system; connects us to our self on a deep, energetic level; and gives us a shortcut vocabulary of what-where-how we are at any moment. The Libido Compass is a practical, down-to-earth tool that brings us to Full Spectrum Sex and Life; it can transform the good old mechanical, genital oriented sex into a holistic, fluid, honoring celebration.