Loveologist Wendy Strgar, CEO and founder of Good Clean Love lubricants and author of the new book “Sex That Works: An Intimate Guide To Awakening Your Erotic Life,” has been having sex with the same man (her husband) for 34 years and counting—and, she says, it gets more and more explosive and satisfying with age. Ummm, can we get a bit of what she’s having?! Strgar, who also blogs at MakingLoveSustainable.com, shares her tips and insights on her orgasmically charged life.
Organic Authority: What are greatest health benefits (both physical and mental) you see when people finally experience sexual freedom and start enjoying sex?
Wendy Strgar: Our sexual health is in many ways a barometer for our overall health, which is to say that we cannot be fully vital without a healthy sexual life. Overcoming the blocks and shame that keep us from experiencing the freedom and wonder of what it is to live in a human body sexually is almost like beginning a new life. It translates into more freedom in every aspect of living: Your senses become more attuned, you taste and smell more, you appreciate touch of all kinds, you become both more curious and courageous about understanding your pleasure response. Maybe even you become more compassionate, which often happens to people when they experience a new level of freedom in their lives.
OA: In your book, you talk about how you and your husband’s sex life is dynamite—and it gets better with age. What is the single most important reason for this?
WS: If only there was a single reason that my 34-year-old sex life is more vital every day… and if I could just put it in a bottle! [It is the sum of many parts.]
I am not talking about some kind of happily-ever-after marriage. I have never had an easy marriage. We are very different people. One thing that I believe helped to preserve the passion in our relationship is that we didn't succumb to becoming more like each other to avoid conflict. During some of the years of our marriage, conflict drove us apart sexually in the classic but unavoidable initiation question of “Who wants sex more?”
I write in the book about courage and curiosity, which have to both be in play to have the kind of sexual life that is really dynamic and evolving over time. It takes a lot of guts to show fully naked (not just our bodies) and to claim your sexual desire. Asking yourself always, “What more is there to know or understand here about this person in front of me… about this touch? About my willingness to surrender to something larger than myself?” It is a complex and mysterious process that you have to keep coming back to.
OA: People are obsessed with orgasms and tend to fixate on the destination and not the journey. Many people say that they feel pleasure and are satisfied without the big ending. But is a totally fulfilled sex life at all possible if you rarely or never orgasm (from intercourse)?
WS: Orgasm is indeed the holy grail in most people's thought process about sex. I don't think that's incorrect. I just think that most people don't know enough about their own pleasure response and often hold onto a teenage idea that someone else gives you access to your orgasm or worse, has emotionally shut down their own access to orgasm, and then say they are indifferent to it because it seems unattainable.
Orgasm is a kind of grace, which is to say that it is not something we force to happen in us or to someone else. Instead, there is an opening, like the feeling of surrender that we embody, trusting the body to find its own way there. Orgasm cannot happen in a mind that is trapped with anxiety, whether that comes from previous painful experiences, body-image concerns, or performance pressures. Whatever is holding your anxious mind captive will prevent you from letting go into the wonder of orgasmic release. Some believe that orgasm is what the forbidden fruit refers to in the classic Adam and Eve story.
I agree that pleasure comes in multiple forms and just the intimate act of holding, touching, and kissing another person is profoundly relaxing and invigorating, but I also know that there is no other single act available to us that completely resets our emotional, physical, and even spiritual centers as orgasm does. Everyone contains the seed of this capacity. For some the layers upon layers of painful sexual consciousness makes it very challenging to uncover. Still, I think it some of the most healing and worthy work of a lifetime.
OA: What are your top tips for people who know what they want during sex, but have trouble communicating them to their partner?
WS: Learning how to communicate our fears and desires about our erotic self is a universal challenge. Between the lacking education that most of us didn't get and the taboos about saying words like masturbation or vagina that persist, we don't have much language to work with. This is one of the reasons the book has a “Courage” chapter. It takes a lot of self-trust to be vulnerable to express our sexual needs and it isn't a one-time thing. Real sexual courage requires you to be resilient so that you can ask again or differently if it doesn't work out the way you hoped. Persistence wins the day—not giving up on these hard conversations is everything.
OA: What can you do if you and your partner don’t see eye to eye on things like frequency, certain acts and even things like intensity?
WS: Our sexual differences often boil down to what I call the initiation question, the issue that plagues all long-term relationships at some point. It is normal that once we have moved on from the powerful cascade of neurotransmitters that inspire our "falling in love" sex, we have to work to find that ground again. This is when our real long-term sex life begins, the one that we choose with our intentions instead of just relying on our biology to do the work.
Sexual rejection is one of the most painful issues that couples face and in many ways, being rejected is no more painful than constantly turning away. Here too, there is a kind of surrender that both partners have to agree to get beyond the endless scorekeeping that is responsible for the premature ending of many relationships.
Finding the ground to meet our partner sexually is one of the great dances of lasting love. When both partners take responsibility for their own sexual needs and are both genuinely curious about what more their sexual life can teach them, many of these differences become fuel for more passion.
OA: What are the real benefits of masturbation, besides simply feeling good?
WS: Masturbation is referred to as the cornerstone of our sexual health by many sex therapists. Not only is it the most common and safest sexual act on the planet, but there is no one besides you who will have a better understanding of the kinds of touch that turn you on. The practice makes you a better-partnered lover because as you become more comfortable with your own sexual touch you have a lot more language and skill to share with your partner.
Besides these obvious benefits to our sexual health, masturbation is also widely recognized as an overall body healer- for everything from chronic pain to insomnia. As I mentioned before, orgasmic release works on our physical, mental, and emotional bodies as a reset button would. Everything feels better.
OA: You recommend we should “learn how to witness your fantasy life.” Would you please elaborate?
WS: Our fantasy life is to our sexuality as our dreams are to our waking life. What I mean by that is that our fantasy life is a product of our subconscious mind in the same way that our dreams are. Some sex therapists believe that they form subconsciously as we mature sexually. The subconscious takes the painful and unresolved emotional tissues of our childhood and eroticizes them to bring us pleasure. Although there is much more to say about this work, suffice it to say that the fantasies that we all have hidden inside of us are a veritable source of rocket fuel for our intimate lives. Having the courage and curiosity to witness the fantasies holds not only an amazing source of passion but also the source of deep healing.
OA: As a loveologist, what is your opinion on aphrodisiacs? Are there any foods, beverages, snacks, or anything else you consume that you believe are aphrodisiacs?
WS: I believe the most powerful aphrodisiacs interact with our sexuality through our olfactory sense. Our sense of smell (or our olfactory bulb) is co-located in the limbic brain, which is where we also process our emotions, memories, and sexuality.
I began my career as a loveologist, sex educator and founder of good clean love with the discovery of love oils, which when used in all kinds of foreplay and oral sexual pleasures, completely heightens our sexual response. Our aphrodisiac blends interact differently on all body chemistries and so create a kind of scent bridge not only between partners but also more magically into the deeper recesses of our sexuality. Kind of like pulling back a curtain on all the sexual thoughts and fantasies that we don't easily have access to.
I am also a big fan of oysters but can't say I have had the same kind of intense sex after eating a dozen as a good bottle of love oil is sure to do. I never travel without it!
OA: Do you have any lifestyle tips you would recommend you believe enhances you, mentally and physically, for sex?
WS: Our sexual wellness is intimately connected to our overall well being. I believe that we have to aspire to live our best life in every aspect of how we live. the food we eat, how much sleep we get, keeping our body moving and strong—all of these contribute or
take away from our ability to let desire live deeply in us. In short, I think living cleanly and truly in our body is a key to awakening the potential of your erotic life.
OA: What are the words you live by?
WS: I am a big chanter in life. The older I get, the more deeply I am attached to Sanskrit chants that ground me and connect me to a source of love and light that I crave. At the heart of it all I think are Buddha’s words: "You are what you think. With your thoughts you create the world." I meditate everyday trying to learn to listen for what comes after my thoughts fade away.
OA: Do you have any unusual or uncommon habits for the sake of health/wellness?
WS: I am a dedicated evening bather. I have even been known to switch hotel rooms when I travel to find a bath. I have always felt like a long soak in a hot bath at the end of the day with a cup of tea or glass of wine nearby is a direct line back into myself and clarifies my feelings like nothing else.
OA: If you could be remembered by once piece of advice for generations to come, what would that be?
WS: In the last minutes of your life, the only thing that you will be thinking of is the people you love and those that loved you back. All the achievements, wealth, or whatever else was accumulated falls away—and we know once and for all that our only real legacy in this life is love. If we would consider this ending that awaits us all, even if only for ten minutes a day, we would make clearer decisions, we would be carved into a better version of ourselves.
OA: Do you do anything unique or unexpected to maintain a healthy libido?
WS: I would definitely call myself a lubricant lover. Over the years, I have developed many products always starting with my own needs. Being the initial tester has made me so aware of not only the problem ingredients that saturate this market but also the personal impact they create for women's health. I depend on a good lubricant during sex but also in between days to make sure that my vaginal ecosystem stays balanced.
Because we don't spend a lot of research money on female sexual health and many women have limited education about the importance of maintaining a healthy vaginal ecosystem, the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis is rampant. One of the things that I am most proud of the work I have done is the patented bio-matched feminine hygiene products that I developed at Good Clean Love. I know that I would not be sexually well without them.
OA: What’s the best piece of health or wellness advice you’ve ever received?
WS: Listen to your body. It doesn't lie. If you feel something that doesn't feel quite, right go see someone. I have always told my children that our bodies will keep us safe if we listen to the messages they are sending us. A lot of new research suggests the truth of a gut-brain and I personally have always felt like when I get a message from my gut, regardless of how it compares to what my brain is saying, I listen. It has always served me well.
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