Episode 44: SEXUAL DESIRE: PERMISSION TO HAVE WHAT YOU WANT with Gina Ogden

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SEXUAL DESIRE: PERMISSION TO HAVE WHAT YOU WANT, Gina Ogden, PHD in Sexology, Over thirty years as a family therapist, sex therapist, teacher, speaker, researcher, poet, editor, and author. Gina Ogden is a 21st century pioneer who combines rigorous science with intuitive energy healing. A shaman of sexual soul. Author of "The Return of Desire: A Guide to Rediscovering Your Sexual Passion," as well as " Women Who Love Sex" and "The Heart & Soul of Sex."

In this episode Gina reveals how sexual desire is an integral part of life force energy and offers steps on how to enhance and share your Turn On. Turn foreplay into fairplay. With 45% of men and women saying they have lost sexual desire, Gina brings us the science and the practice of opening and engaging with the many faces and meaning of desire. Discover how one letter can manifest what your truly want.

Transcript

Narrator: This program is intended for mature audiences only.

Francesca Gentille: Welcome to Sex Tantra and Kama Sutra bringing you the soul of sex. This is your host Franscesca Gentille and with me today is Gina Ogden. Gina, I am so delighted to have back, is the author of "The Heart and Soul of Sex" and "Women Who Love Sex". But today, in just a moment, we are going to be going deeper into her new book: "The Return of Desire: A Guide to Rediscovering Your Sexual Passion". Gina has been a therapist for over 30 years. She is a sex therapist, a teacher, a speaker, a Shaman. She is someone who really knows rigorous scientific research and intuitive energy healing. It is a delight to boast the intuitive side of my mind and the very intellectual side of my mind.

Gina: That sexual desire is part of our life force energy. It is way more than we can count or measure. It is part of the basic human earning and we have to connect with our self. When I began to meld the science and let's say the art of feeling good this was really the inspiration for "The Return of Desire". We began to cut ourselves off from a part of us that is vital in connecting us to ourselves, to nature, to God/Goddess/Wolf-whatever we perceive to be out there and certainly to one another.

I should say that the "Return of Desire" is filled with stuff you can do, stuff you can try at home. Maybe not all of it works for you but there is bound to be a lot that will work for you.

Francesca: Welcome Gina.

Gina: Francesca, I love being back here and talking with you over the airwaves and sending it out into the beyond.

Francesca: Absolutely. Giving people really precious information that they need to connect with one another. The book "The Return of Desire", what inspired you to want to go into this one?

Gina: Lot's of inspirations. One of the major ones is my life experience, my therapy experience, my scientific experience that sexual desire is part of our life force energy. It is way more than we can count or measure. It is part of the basic human yearning and we have to connect with ourselves and our partners by body, mind, heart, and spirit.

Francesca: And scientifically how is that part of us?

Gina: Let's see what science tells about sexual desire in the first place. There are surveys in the 20th century anyway that have told us that 43% of us our dysfunctional because we lack sexual desire. I have to ask, desire for what? What do we talk about? What sexual desire is? What is it we are wanting? Are we talking about desire for intercourse, are we talking about desire for orgasm, which are the kinds of things that science can count and measure. When I talk with women, when I talk with men, the desire is for much more than just those countable, measurable things. Really it is the desire for heart to heart connection. It is the desire for feeling good.

I have talked with you about this before on this radio show. I did an enormous survey on integrating sexuality and spirituality in which thousands of women and men actually came up with some statistical data about the kinds of things they wanted which included things like sharing deep feelings, laughing together, touching each others heart and soul, as well as each others genitals. When I began to meld the science and lets say the art of feeling good this really was the inspiration for "The Return of Desire"; for the book.

Francesca: The science and art of feeling good is which more than just orgasm or ejaculation, and still both included, and it is that sense of you mentioned to me it earlier and it intrigued me to have you back-that sense of that sacred union. How do we get there? I think that is the question. Given that survey showed that we really want this. How do we get it?

Gina: This is of course is the 64 million dollar question. I think what we have to understand is that the desire for this, and let's couch it in the notion of desire, that sexual desire has many many faces. We need to allow ourselves to go beyond that notion that sex is all about intercourse and orgasm. We need to understand that the connection with each other, which may begin in our heart, which may begin in our head with a meeting of minds, it may begin in our genitals with hot physical desire for one another, it can begin with the meanings that we create. I talk about spirituality and integrating sexuality and spirituality. I am talking a lot about meaning. For all of us, sex means something. Sexual desire means something. It may mean a quickie on Saturday night. It may mean "Oh, I want to get married and have you support me forever." It may mean "I want safety." It may mean "I want children." Different strokes for different folks. Many, many different kinds of meanings.

Francesca: So are you saying that, "With the Return of Desire"people lack desire, but in a way what they lack is a language and a way to honor what their desire really is? So that they might say "Well maybe I am not aware that I want intercourse." But if you delve deeper what you find out is that they do want touch or that they do want heart connection. It's almost like the dirty little secret is the thing that really moves them that they are afraid to admit that they truly want. Is that right?

Gina: Exactly. Language is an absolutely crucial part of it. I think it takes them deeper than language because when we lack language or when we lack, the collective we, lacks in the culture, then it tends to disappear. It goes off our radar screen and we begin to lose energy. Literally it's like having energy siphoned out of us. I'm picturing "Star Wars" at this point. When we lose touch with our life force energy we lose desire. Think depression. Think lethargy. Think not interested in much of anything. Think disassociation. So we begin to cut ourselves of from a part of us that is vital in connecting us to ourselves, to nature, to god/goddess/wolf, whatever we perceive to be out there, and certainly to one another.

Francesca: Oooh...This is exciting. I have experienced this. I have experienced depression. I have experienced lethargy. I have experience feeling stopped of disconnected from myself. If someone would ask me what I want I would almost feel like the deer in the headlights where I was frozen and I didn't know and I couldn't say. What I discovered is that I had lost some of myself. The way I would say it is I lost my authenticity. I didn't know who I was. I was afraid to speak up for it. With that lack of deep connection to myself I couldn't be connected to anything else. I couldn't be connected to life. I couldn't be connected to you.

Gina: Exactly. I've had clients scream at me: "Stop asking me what I want! How do I know? Nobody ever asked me that before!" This just brings up so much sadness I think particularly for women, but for men too, particular that emotional part of their lives. We don't stop to ask what is it we really want. Part of what I do in my book, in fact at the end of the book I have this whole manifesto, what do you want? How do you say what you want? How do you find out what you want? How do you make what you want concrete? Asking for what you want is part and parcel of the law of attraction because so many of us know what we don't want. "I don't want you to touch me that way. Stop asking me that stuff." But to really stop and open up and say "This is what I want. I want you Francesca to read my book. I want you to find where you find the wisdom in it. I want you to give me feedback. I want you to find your own story among the many stories of women and men in this book."

Francesca: I want to discuss more about those wants and how we find them, how we share them in safety with ourselves and with others when we come back from a break and a word from our fabulous sponsors. I want to encourage our listeners to please support our sponsors because supporting our sponsors supports shows like this to keep being out in the world and changing our lives. We will be back in just a moment.

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Francesca: Welcome back to Sex Tantra and Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex. We are still talking to Dr. Gina Ogden, 30 year family therapist, sex therapist, Shaman, amazing author with so many books including my favorite "The Heart and Soul of Sex" and also "Women Who Love Sex" and now about to be my new favorite "The Return of Desire: A Guide to Rediscovering Your Sexual Passion". We were talking about our wants and how challenging it is to know what we want in a culture like ours that often says don't be too needy, don't be too demanding. If my wants are left to myself or my partner doesn't know what he or she wants, how can I support me or my beloved to go there when it is so vulnerable?

Gina: You are asking me to tell you these things.

Francesca: Maybe a way to discover maybe a tip or tip or technique from the book. Tantalize us here with something that you discovered works to start this journey.

Gina: I should say that "The Return of Desire" is filled with stuff you can do; stuff you can try at home. Maybe not all of it is what works for you but there is bound to be a lot that will work for you. I wrote it as kind of the practical applications of the heart and soul of sex. One of the things that I love to tell couples to do, and you can also do this by yourself, but if you have a lover, even if you have a friend you can do this exercise, and it is written out in the book. It is an old Distalt [sp] exercise with a new twist. What you do is a sentence completion. "I can turn myself off by___". And you and I can....and there is another part to it too, but you and I can do this for a minute Francesca. "I can turn myself off by spending so much time on the computer that I don't have time to tune into my body." And now you complete the sentence to me.

Francesca: "I can turn myself off by overeating."

Gina: "I can turn myself off by over thinking." Etc. And we go back and forth until we get really tired of doing this. Then we go into "I can turn myself on by breathing into my body and opening up my heart." And then you...

Francesca: "I can turn myself on by envisioning my beloved or envisioning my own vulva."

Gina: "I can turn myself on by remembering times that have been absolutely ecstatic for me." Etc, etc. And you do that for five minutes. And if you are doing this with your lover, you can begin to move, if you wish, you can just stop talking and start moving your body with one another. If you are doing it with a friend you can simply talk about it and discuss it. And understand that the point of the exercise is that you understand that "I have, you have responsibility for....", let me phrase it about me, "I have responsibility for how I am turned on and how I am turned off. It starts between my ears. It starts in my brain. It starts with how I think, with how I envision and then moves to my heart with how I feel about myself, about my sexuality, about life." So that is one really quick easy exercise.

Francesca: I love that sense of our personal responsibility for our desire. For myself I have gotten so lost when I think that my desire is the responsibility of my partner. It just leads to a lot of blaming and shaming and criticizing.

Gina: Or, that my partner's desire is my responsibility, you know?

Francesca: Oh yah, Pressure and performance, oh my God.

Gina: It's the old performance notion of sex. The other suggestion, in fact I end the book with this suggestion, is that you create a manifesto for yourself of what you want. You can do it in many forms and one of the forms that I love is that you write a love letter to yourself as if you are your own lover. And really saying what it is you want, what it is you love, what turns you on, what do you need for the care and feeding of your sexual desire? In fact, the care and feeding of sexual desire begins with knowing what we want. It begins with knowing when to assert ourselves, when to surrender and just let go.

Francesca: There is a saying that I wrote down when I was much younger; a little realization, you know how we have them. I said "You know what? We can have anything we want predicated on three things. We know what we want; not always easy." And I said two things: "We know what we want, and we believe that we deserve it."

Gina: That's right.

Francesca: It's so simple but it can be so challenging. So how did that love letter sound? Could you just give us a little snippet of how that love letter might sound?

Gina: "Dear beautiful goddess. I am sitting here tuning into you right now and I can feel your heart beating largely and wanting to reach out into the universe with great love." That might be a way that I would start my letter right now. If you asked me an hour ago it might have been very different. An hour from now it might be different.

Francesca: That's so gorgeous. And for men they might start out "Dear Divine God." or....

Gina: Or, "Hey Butch".

[laughter]

Gina: It doesn't matter! "You look so hot in..." whatever it is you are wearing.

Francesca: That is so attracting. Is there anything more attracting that someone who has their own delicious sense of their own attractiveness?

Gina: You know, I also suggest that when you go out into the world, or when you are sitting in your living room or your bedroom, it is as if you have a mirror that can shine down from you upon you from the heavens all of the wonderfulness that you are. If you are depressed, if you are plugged into "Oh, life is so hard and awful and I will never make enough money and I will never have what I want" there is no way that you can be a lover to yourself, of the world, or to your girlfriend, boyfriend, or whatever.

Francesca: Yah. Yah. It's just this black hole. And no one can see us when we are in a black hole. It's coming out of that hole so we can shine.

Gina: Yes. I believe so strongly that as we develop that relationship of lover with our self; I'm not talking about narcissism here. I am not talking about not noticing anybody else. I am talking about with the life force; with nature; with the god/goddess in you. As we develop that relationship and as we let that move out into our relationships with our beloved, with our family, with our community, with nature, we have developed a template that is crucial to all of our relationships. So that the care and feeding or our desire, our sexual desire, really is the secret to the care and feeding of the universe. That we are putting out, again this is the law of attraction, that we are putting out positive energy, positive vibrations. Use whatever language you want; feel good energy. People are going to smile when we come into their presence because we are creating an energy field that is so luscious and so delicious and so attractive that people feel better in our presence. And again, this is way beyond just sexual performance.

Francesca: It sounds like it's an aliveness. And I want to talk more about that when come back from a break and a word from our fabulous sponsors.

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Francesca: Welcome back to Sex Tantra Kama Sutra bringing you the soul of sex. We are talking with Gina Gogden, author of "The Return of Desire: A Guide to Rediscovering Your Sexual Passion". We have been discovering what we want; some techniques to uncover what we want and to in a sense raise our attractiveness energy by the partnership and love that we have for ourselves. In the book there is a lot about partnership and some new ways of looking at partnership. How does that support the return of desire?

Gina: When we move from the partnership with our self to the partnership with another person there is so much written, again going back into the science literature and the hot sex literature about foreplay, gotta have foreplay, because women can't come to orgasm unless they have enough foreplay. And I am saying "What about fair play? What about when we are talking about partnership, and sexual partnership, and sensual partnership, and alive partnership?" We need to be able to have trust, we need to be able to share our feelings, we need to be able to share the work in the relationship, we need to be able to have a real partnership model of sexual relationship. One of the most wonderful models that I find comes directly from Riyann Aisler [sp]. I think you know her Francesca, yah. She talks about dominater relationships and partnership relationships. Dominater relationships are based on people who yell at you and have authority over you and sort of biddle you with their wealth and ownership and want you to suffer. Whereas partnership relationships there is a lot of very equal flow between people. This then gets very complicated because there are other wonderful people who say "Yah, well if you are in one of these safe relationships where your best friend is your lover", that can feel like as Ester Perel [sp] says "Mating in captivity". Where does the excitement come from? So the trick is to be able to have one of these equal flow relationships that also is filled with excitement. I think we are back into...its like a loop that goes from your relationship with your partner back to that relationship with yourself and keeping yourself alive and excited and interested and understanding that there is sacredness and pleasure in living.

There is the teacher that I love to be taught by, talks about four sacred questions that we need to ask of ourselves. And again we can use this as a partner exercise. It goes like this. When did you last dance? When did you last sing? When were you last alone together? Alone together by yourself for an extended amount of time. And when did you last tell your story? I've been in my partnership....we just celebrated 27 years together. That's awesome right? There is still in our own stories that we are discovering about each other. This is totally exciting because its fun; its interesting. We share a history and yet we are always tapping into something new.

Francesca: It sounds like you are staying open to that there is something new. You are not allowing yourself to fall into that trap that we often do. It's like "Oh, I know my partner. I've heard that story before". Sometimes even the same story, we hear it, and we really listen, and something new is revealed.

Gina: That's right. One of the things I ask people to do in my workshops...and by the way, I have a new one coming up. You can find on my website. I ask people to bring into our circle two objects. And again, this is making concrete what you want and what you don't want. One of the objects is to represent a part of your sexual story you want to keep and one object represents a part of sexual story you want to move beyond or change. And once everybody has put these objects into the center there is this enormous amount of energy and we work with the energy of the stories. I would say this is a lot...this kind of describes my book. It's a book that is full of stories. It's full of the energy of women's stories and also of men's stories. There is a chapter in it called "Are Men the Problem". My answer is sometimes yes, but not always.

Francesca: And sometimes women are the problem.

Gina: And sometimes women are the problem. Sometimes there is no problem. As you can become as concrete as possible about the story of your life, about the story you want to tell, about what turns you on and turns you off, you are going to be able to light the fires of desire in yourself, in your partner, and around the world.

Francesca: What a beautiful completion to our time together and what a beautiful opening to new desire in everyone's life. I want to thank you so much for joining us Gina.

Gina: Francesca you are always such a delight to talk with.

Francesca: If you want to learn more about Gina connect to her website and find out about her workshop, you can not only go to www.Ginaogden.com, you can also go to www.personallifemedia.com. And thank you all for joining us on Sex Tantra Kama Sutra, bringing you the soul of sex.

Narrator: Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com.