Episode 95: Libido: Where Sex and Spirit Meet (Part One) with Isa Magdalena, Author, Sex Educator, Healer, and Teacher

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Hear Dr. Patti talk with Isa Magdalena, author of Libido: Where Sex, Science, and Spirit Meet. She’s a sex educator, healer, teacher, and pioneer in the field. What is libido? How did Isa come to study it? How does libido compare to kundalini and prana? What is her system of colors and how and why are the colors so important in her system? Dr. Patti asks about the significance of the colors… starting with red. What is the importance of this color and how does understanding it (red is our primal libido center) help us get more libido? What is orange? Purple? (etc.). Learn about the movements that can be made with different chakras, or energy centers. Why is it so important to have a balanced view of sex, energy, and libido in order to feel fully alive? What should people do to get more libido? Find out this and more on this fun, enlivening and educational show!

Transcript

Dr. Patti Taylor: Welcome to the Expanded Lovemaking show. I’m your host Dr. Patti Taylor of expandedlovemaking.com, and I teach you how to make exquisite love. This is part one of a two-part series. We’re talking about libido today where sex and spirit meet. So have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to feel sexy or even sexier, but just didn’t or couldn’t? Well I call that situation wanting to want. What is that wanting to want? Lets back up. That place where you want, that’s your libido. So today we’re going to learn how we can generate more libido. Now instead of wanting to want more, we can insert ourselves into those desires and fulfill on them. Our guest today is Isa Magdalena. So I want to welcome you Isa to the show. Welcome.

Isa Magdalena: Thank you Patti for having me here.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yeah, so it’s a delight to have you. I want to tell you a little bit about Isa. Isa is a sex worker, educator, coach, pioneer and teacher since the early 90’s, and she’s very active, I might add, as a lifelong student of the sexual and the mystical. She has developed a model for holographic sex that is down to earth and totally accessible. She’s been a teacher for the Body Electric School in Oakland California and has co-authored several leading books on sexuality, as well as writing her own book called Libido: Where Sex, Science and Spirit Meet. She facilitates classes and also hosts individuals in small groups in Taos, New Mexico, and also even hosts something called The Libido Getaway, which sounds like great fun for me. So I think we should jump right in, and I think the obvious first question is what is libido?

Isa Magdalena: What is libido? That’s a very good question. In our culture most people think of libido as sex drive, you know. People will say, “I need more libido” or “Where’s my libido gone” or, and there’s libido pills and there’s enhancing your libido, and mostly what people talk about as libido is they want to feel more sexy, they want to feel more lust basically, more hot, more heat, more sexually alive. And that is actually very narrow use of libido.

Dr. Patti Taylor: So what’s the broad use of it then, of this term libido?

Isa Magdalena: The broad use of libido is life force. And I like to use the term ‘libido’ because it is a western word, and actually is Yu, psychoanalagist Yu who studied using the word ‘libido’ as life force, as the big life force, as that thing that makes us tick, as that thing that basically activates and inspires all of our desires and all of our expressions. And genital sex is only on expression of libido. Love and connection is another expression of libido. Meditative states are ignited by libido. So it is a, it’s a whole spectrum, it’s a full spectrum of expression in life and in sexuality, or in sexuality and in bed, but in our daily life constantly. It’s the creative force, it’s the life force, it’s the force that connects everything basically. And that is a little tricky because it’s abstract.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well I love what you’re saying because I think that in our western society we tend to think of libido as sexual libido, and yet when we disconnect it from all these other things, aren’t we in a sense disconnecting our potential for the maximum life force, from its maximum expression so to speak?

Isa Magdalena: Yeah, absolutely. I think I have found over the many years of kind of like playing, working, researching, exploring this field, that libido is really the center, the core of our sexual expression and just being alive, period. So by taking away, by taking away our understanding is one part that can help with libido, but mostly what is important to actually sense libido in our body again by taking that away from our culture that has really separated sexuality from spirituality. And so for, our culture for a long time has put sexuality kind of like something that happened apart from everything else. It wasn’t integrated. It is not integrated in how we move ourselves through life, and it is certainly not integrated with how we experience our spirituality. And so I found that libido or sexuality or cundolini or prana or whatever it is, chinchi, just every culture has its own name and terms for that, that that very life force is the key to reintegrating all the expressions of sexuality.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow! Well I am really looking forward to talking more about this, but before we jump on in I want to find out how you personally got involved in this work.

Isa Magdalena: Well I started in Amsterdam, where I’m from, Holland, and I started as a body worker. I started as a massage therapist. And in Amsterdam we tend to be… Well there’s a different culture in Amsterdam I have than there is in America in terms that, and I’m not saying this with any judgment or anything, it’s just that in Amsterdam there’s more freedom and there’s more openness and certainly things like nudity are, it’s not even an issue for most people. So when I was working as a massage therapist I, me too, I was trained to drape up and this and that and, although we didn’t drape that well, but we did drape up the pelvis. That was about it. And I worked in spa, which also is a very social, socially accepted thing there, so people were naked there all the time. And I started very quickly, I realized that, I worked a lot with men and I realized that the penis was just always there. Whether it was, “Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me. I hope I don’t get an erection”, whatever it is, or it was, “Yes please touch me. Yes, I want you to do something”, it didn’t matter. In a massage, the penis was there, and obviously it is. And so I, in my training I wasn’t taught either how to really deal with that. We were just taught well ignore it and pretend it’s not there. But I had a hard time with pretending that. And so I wasn’t really willing to go the route of, “Okay, you’re turned on, I’ll jerk you off”, which is also fine in itself, but that wasn’t quite interesting enough for me. So what I started to do is I wouldn’t really touch peoples genitals, but I would come very close and I would definitely work with, if I look back now, I didn’t have words for it then, I was definitely working with erotic energy. And, but I didn’t bring it to some kind of usual climax. So there was erotic energy that definitely happens in the pelvis and in the genitals, but then I would keep on massaging again to other places in the body; the shoulders, the head, the da-da-da-da-da. So if I, again if I look back I would say that erotic power that is so, that is again, is our life force, it’s so alive and so sparkling and it feels so good that innocently in some ways I was using that force throughout the massage and spread it through the whole body.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Were the customers happy anyway? I mean even if you didn’t touch their genitals, did they feel fulfilled?

Isa Magdalena: They were. They were. I have had… I mean, I was very popular, let me put it that way.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Great. So a great introduction to erotic energy. And how about the breath? Did you get any introduction to the breath at that point or did that come in a later point?

Isa Magdalena: That came later. That came later, particularly through Joseph Kramer’s work, the Body Electric work.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, great. So we’re going to take a break, and we’re going to find out more about the body of work that you have developed over the years. So that was quite a long time ago. You’ve actually, you’re actually a pioneer in this field, I want to say you have been in this field a very long time and have developed quite a body of knowledge, so we’re all really lucky to have you here. When was that, just if you’re willing to put a date on that, when you got started in Amsterdam?

Isa Magdalena: That was in the beginning of the mid 80’s.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, so that’s…

Isa Magdalena: More than 20 years ago.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Right. We’re all learning from you even today, so we’re all very lucky. Okay, well this is Dr. Patti Taylor and I am here with Isa Magdalena. And you can learn more about Isa at her website, libidomedicine.org. So please stay with us. We’ll be right back.

Dr. Patti Taylor: We’re back, and we’re talking with Isa Magdalena about libido and where sex and spirit meet and all the other good stuff in between, all the other places in human beings. So lets get going. You developed an entire holographic system in your book, called Libido: Where Sex, Science and Spirit Meet. Can you maybe tell us a little bit about the concept behind your system that you wrote about in this book?

Isa Magdalena: Yeah. I call it also sometimes ‘full spectrum sex’, and it’s really a map. It’s like an internal map. It’s actually, it has several layers, okay. So I am using colors, as in the full spectrum from red to white. So there’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white. They form a spectrum, like the rainbow and, you know, it comes back in many places in nature. And one of the places it comes back is inside our body, is inside our spine basically. In India the fatic system, many people are known with the term Chakras these days, right? Those are four taxes of energy. Now don’t let me get too abstract here, okay. But basically our spine, in our spine there, in our nervous system and the spine being the center conduit for our life force as our life force travels up from our pelvis up to the top of our head, it kind of ignites centers, wheels, plexus’s, whatever you want to call it, that have, each have its very own vibration, frequency, and really a realm of consciousness. Like the red, which is in our pelvis and, so I’ll call it, I will talk about red sex for example. So I’ve translated that phenomena, the phenomena of those centers of inner perception. I’ve translated that into sexual expression, which is, which I didn’t find anywhere else. So, and I use colors, which is annoying for people who are colorblind. But you can also as well use the locations in the body, but to make things simple I started to use the colors because that is really, and that’s what the science part is about, the science part is about that color is frequency and color is vibration and color is light, and every color has its very own, very specific power and its own specific expression. So translating that into sexuality, it’s a paradigm. So I will talk about red sex. That’s usually, that’s the sex that most people think of when we talk about sex. It’s the genital sex. It’s, red happens in the pelvis, and there’s a whole landscape, a whole language of the pelvis and usually we translate that as lust. And then, and so a little higher in the spine there is the orange and the yellow and each have different expressions, like the lust in your pelvis, then engine of our system really, the engine of our life force. We need, we really, really, really truly need that lust, lust energy, that lust vibration to ignite and set in motion the rest of our, the rest of our system.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow! Well that’s a really beautiful explanation, and one of the things I really love about your book, Libido, is it’s so unique. I’ve never really seen anything like it, and I also like the way it’s organized. It’s very clean and crisp and easy to read, so…. It’s very practical, your little comment there, and beautifully laid out and it’s very unique, and I’ve just never seen anything quite like it. Lets talk about, I want to talk about orange sex. I don’t know why, I’m just picking a color at random. Maybe because it’s, looks like pussy sex. I’m not sure why. But can we just talk about orange sex? What is orange sex?

Isa Magdalena: Okay, let me go back for one second. We are never one color alone, okay. We are always a combination of colors, but for the ease of it I will talk about orange sex and da-da-da-da-da. But orange sex is very, is very playful sex. It’s really the biggest expression of orange is sensuality. It’s skin, it’s play, it’s touch, it… In orange, when red is really the drive that keeps us alive in the procreation literally, orange is more a play and an energy that begins to, it wants to know what’s in, what’s inside and what’s outside, so it explores, it’s sensual, it wants to touch, it wants to lick, it wants to taste skin. It’s the meeting of inside and outside, so skin is a very big part of orange.

Dr. Patti Taylor: I love orange sex.

Isa Magdalena: I love orange sex too.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Mmm, yes. Okay, so how about… So if some, lets go to the other side of the equation. Lets just say a woman’s not in the mood and she has your book, and it’s her husband’s birthday and she wants to get into the mood. Could she use your book and do one of the exercises, and what might she, how might she use your book?

Isa Magdalena: Mm, that’s a very good question. How might she use my book?

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well would she like pick, you know, a color to decide what libido she would want, or would she say, “Honey, this is the kind of evening I want. I want to have a green evening”, or, you know what I’m saying? Or “I want to start with some orange and then go to purple”, you know.

Isa Magdalena: Yes. So what I’ve been trying to, what I’m offering in the book basically is, again, it’s a map. So it makes clear the different expressions so that we actually can be more precise about what it is we want. So lets say, okay I’m, I’m thinking here for a second. I’m, it’s my husband’s birthday and I’m not really in the mood. What would I do? It would be very important to start with, to figure out what is it that I want? What is it that I need first? Because if I, if I can’t come from a place that is, that I, where I really am, if I try to pretend I’m hot but I’m not, I’m going to run into myself. So with that, using the map is one way that I could say, “You know, I would actually, I don’t feel hot, but I do really want to be with you. I do really want to connect with you”, and yes, that would be more, that would be more green. And then, so you can say to your husband, “Honey, I’m really in the mood for some green right now”, and what happens….

Dr. Patti Taylor: I’m going to interrupt you. Green is the heart?

Isa Magdalena: Yeah, okay. Yes, the green is the heart, it’s the connection, it’s the love, it’s the loving. It is the whole being rather than doing also, but yes, definitely heart love. Intimacy, intimacy. And then so what I usually advise people try to find where you’re really at. Do you really feel green? Do you really feel… And start with where you’re at. And usually what happens is it doesn’t stay still. We don’t have to hang out in green the rest of our lives. But starting with where we are at, then the rest can start to connect and stream and then it is very likely that sooner or later when, lets say I am with my husband and we do cuddle, for example, we hold each other, we, maybe we do some breathing together, but when that, when that there’s really full, then it’s very likely that I will also end up feeling much more sexual. Or orange.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, well I’m, we’re going to continue with this example, and so we do need to take a break. We are talking with Isa Magdalena. This is Dr. Patti Taylor. And you can find out more about Isa at her website, libidomedicine.org. So please stay with us. We’ll be right back.

Dr. Patti Taylor: We’re back, and we are talking with Isa about libido where sex and spirit meet. And why don’t we just continue on with this loving wife who wants to give her husband the birthday present, and so…. Okay, what should she do? Is there anything practical that she can be doing?

Isa Magdalena: Yeah, yes. Thank you for that question. I’m talking completely generalizing now, so, you know, every woman is different, blah-blah-blah, and… But generally speaking there’s a lot of women who will say, especially older women, who will talk about that they can’t find their libido, which is really impossible because if you can’t, if you don’t have libido you wouldn’t be alive. But the fact is that libido can be more concentrated. Lets say you’re busy all day long and you’re hiding behind the computer. Then that libido, that life force is much more concentrated in the upper part of your body. So what can happen with libido, it’s out of balance. And so that’s the first concept to understand is that libido is there, but it can be concentrated in places that are right where you want it during the day, but maybe not at night. So one way to go and practice libido is, in red, lets say you sit on a chair. To activate your red you sit on a chair and you bring your attention inside of your pelvis all the way down. You kind of, you kind of sit on the chair like, like a chicken that’s going to lay an egg, so your attentions all the way down there, and you feel yourself on the chair. And then you start to just rock your pelvis back and forth. And you rock like you are sitting on, maybe not an egg, it would break, but a little rock for example. And you start just rocking your perineum and the place between your anus and your genitals, gently rock back and forth. And that in itself of time, sooner or later you will start to feel that there’s, it starts to feel yummy, starts to feel good, and that’s what you want. And that’s one way… If you, I can highly recommend to do that regularly, wherever you are really, to just go, “Hmm, I have a pelvis. Hmm, I like this feeling”, and rock back and forth. That’s one way to kindle more hot and achieve more sexual feeling.

Dr. Patti Taylor: I love that suggestion, and you know what, I think if you’re, you know, if it’s during the day you can always just say you’re, you know, back doctor told you you need to do it, right?

Isa Magdalena: Absolutely. It’s true. I do it, I do it, sometimes I’ll do it just when I’m having dinner with people and I feel I’m not quite, can’t feel my body, or I just want to have a feeling of yummy, then I’ll rock.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Yeah, don’t wait ‘til you get home for goodness sakes.

Isa Magdalena: Yeah. And the thing is it sets the whole spine in motion, so it actually is a practice that feels good for the back.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Oh, it’s got to be great for you. I mean you’re getting your whole life energy going, right?

Isa Magdalena: Yes, yes. Yes, that’s the idea. And it’s not only the idea; the point of this libido thing is that it’s not like just a concept. Like a lot of us who have, we have learned about chakras and this and that, but it tends to be, stay an intellectual concept, whereas the idea is really, well how does it feel? And how can we use it? That is, it’s about sensation. Sensation in our body, that’s when it really starts to be alive.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, now how about men? I mean I guess obviously this is a, all genders apply, right?

Isa Magdalena: Yes, yes, very much so. Very much so. I mean, you say all genders, I would like to emphasize that because there’s men and there’s women, but there’s many people who are much, very fluid in this gender, gender galaxy.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Right, so all genders can do this. So, so I love those suggestions. So okay, so you’re rocking your pelvis, and so you’re connecting up all your colors by doing that. What else can you do to bring all the chakras more into balance?

Isa Magdalena: The practice that I am describing in the book is like each color, which is seven colors. Each color has its own movement, and they are really very natural to the body. And, for example, how do I know that, that they’re natural to the body is because for example when we have an orgasm we do those movements naturally. They happen without thinking, especially we have more full body orgasm. But I lost your question there Patti, I’m sorry.

Dr. Patti Taylor: No problem. Blue, you say, is the tantric orgasm, so naturally I was very interested in that color. So what is the movement for the blue? Wasn’t it blue? Anyway…

Isa Magdalena: No. No, I would say, I would say, okay…Actually Patti, to be completely honest I would say tantric sex to me is not, tantric sex to me is quite equivelent actually to full spectrum sex.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Oh, okay.

Isa Magdalena: It is true that when we think of tantric sex more as lets say spiritual sex, then that means that the purple and our forehead and the third eye and this and that and our crown is more activated. And so it is more, it feels more spiritual, it feels less embodied maybe, and that is important to keep that grounded, that it doesn’t, that we don’t go disassociate somewhere.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, well lets pick purple then. What would be the body movement for purple sex, ‘cause I’m sure lots of our listeners are wondering that.

Isa Magdalena: That is actually, the lower colors have a movement of the body, of the spine. Purple and white, that is an internal movement. So to activate and open purple you, it’s like you close, this is something you, it’s best to do with your eyes closed, and to activate that, it’s in the forehead, it’s the third eye, what I call the third eye. And you can imagine somebody coming to you that’s, you feel a lot of affection for, and, or an animal or something. And what, you feel that affection and what you will notice that automatically will happen is that you smile. But it’s not so much a smile with your mouth, it’s your eyes smile. And your eyes smile and that affection, that feeling of affection spreads through your whole brain. And so you feel your forehead smile. And through that your eyes relax, your brain relaxes and that whole sense of affection then can spread through your whole nervous system.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Okay, and you do this before, just when you’re thinking about having sex? When do you do this?

Isa Magdalena: I would say, I would recommend ideally you do the whole practice, all the movements, on a regular basis outside bed in your daily life, okay. And that can happen anywhere between, you can spend five minutes on it, you can spend an hour on it. It doesn’t really matter, no matter how, depends how much time. But so ideally you will learn to move that energy through your body, through your spine when you’re not in a sexual situation, so that when you come in a sexual situation you can very quickly open this door, open da-da-da-da-da, let all the rooms talk to each other. If you really, if you like, when you, when you’re talking about the forehead and you are into sex, and you, lets say we having sex, I’m having sex with my husband, and when we want to involve more of that tantric aspect, yes, we will at some point lay down together or sit down together, and we will actually bring our foreheads together and have that smiling, have that sensation in purple.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Wow! Well that is a great tip. I’m so glad we’re doing a second show because there’s a lot more I want to ask you. We are going to be bringing this show to an end, and there is so much more you talk about, which is why I’m so glad we’re talking ‘cause you are a wealth of information. So before we close out this show I’d just like to ask you, is there some small tip or large tip or any tip, thought for the day that you’d like to leave with our listeners?

Isa Magdalena: Hmm, let me see. I would, if anything, I am hoping that everybody who is listening is really encouraged to really feel our body and just be in your body and begin or continue to listen to what our body has to say. And that is a process because we really have betrayed out of our body, and we have, we have learned to distrust our body even. And so, and that is one of the obstacles we have to deal with even in sexuality because sexuality’s such a physical thing, if we don’t, if we’re not in touch with our body how can we know what we want when we’re in bed. And so that is, that, I think that is why I encourage and I hope in the first place for men, women, all genders. And also for men in particular, I think, my hope is that they can sometimes feel that it’s okay to not do anything, to just be there and not have to perform anything, but be okay as we are, as you are.

Dr. Patti Taylor: Well thank you so very, very much. Well on that beautiful, beautiful not we’re going to bring this show to a close. This is Dr. Patti Taylor, and we’ve been listening to Isa Magdalena, and you can find out more about her and her teaching and her getaway libido weekends and programs, they sound great. And her book, Libido: Where Sex, Science and Spirit Meet, it’s a beautiful book obviously, amazing, very original and brilliant and all of that, so that’s at her website, libidomedicine.org. And so thank you once again. This brings us to the end of our show. Thank you for listening. Please send me email, [email protected]. For text and transcripts of this show and other shows, please visit our website, personallifemedia.com. Also please visit me, Dr. Patti Taylor at expandedlovemaking.com, where you can join my mailing list and find out more about my products, services and events. This is Dr. Patti Taylor. That’s all for now. I remain yours in ever expanded lovemaking, and I’ll see you next week.