My journey with a more ‘yin’ approach to sexuality was strongly initiated during menopause. I began to notice with a new sensitivity where I was being overstimulated emotionally and sexually (the two are deeply connected). Emotional release practices felt like the volume was too loud inside my body. My usual sexual cadence with my partner felt like a dance I knew well but wasn’t in rhythm with my body anymore.
I began to pause more in my emotional and sexual practices. Something interesting happened in this yin space. First, with emotion. If there was any emotion that needed healing, it naturally popped out. It came with listening and waiting, rather than forcing the emotion out in a hyper-yang practice. The energy is
built organically, rather than trying to stimulate something to happen from ground zero.
With emotion, the body can go into a deep freeze as a form of protection. You can’t always crack the ice to get out what’s needed — what you need is presence to melt the ice in its own time.
The word ‘passive’ means non-active, but we often have so many negative associations with it: inert, dull, dead… but being passive is not unhealthy! The cycle of life, intimacy, and healing is not all about activation; it’s also about the waiting of winter, of pregnancy… There is so much happening under the surface of ‘passivity’: bio-mechanical processes are underway, ready to pop out at the right time. you can’t force it, it happens at its own time.
When it comes to sexuality, we tend to have an impatience with yin energy. It’s like there’s a rush to get to summer and no one wants to be in winter. Is it a fear of waning, the sense of loss and change? There is deep wisdom in this meditative part of the feminine principle… listening and responding to what’s there. Not making anything happen. Active listening.
Is anything happening?
With sexuality, there is a confusion that stillness means nothing is happening. When I enter the yin of my sexuality and go still, inward, I haven’t detached. I’m not disinterested. I’m here. I’m just sensing myself more deeply.
We may have a subconscious expectation that sexuality is meant to be super dynamic and highly activated. Sometimes we can get into a ‘mode’ of being hypersexual and think ‘this’ is our true sexual nature. It may feel good physically, so we stick to it time and time again. But are we really listening to our body? Are we congruent with how we’re feeling and the rhythm, the song, of our body now? And now? And now? Next time you are self-pleasuring or making love, check-in with yourself, “where am I disconnected from myself or not feeling myself?” Where we are out of sync with our true needs, we override our nervous system. That’s how we get burn-out and adrenal fatigue (especially at menopause).
I began to notice what happens when we let our sexuality and arousal bloom on their own rather than generate them.
From this space, magic happens! Allowing the body to respond as it does. Whatever naturally wants to happen… it’s coming from a place of calm. If you start to listen deeply, you stop ‘doing’ sex and it starts to do you. Sex becomes an energy that moves through you. It animates you.
Self-worth, breaking the norm, and sexual performance
Letting myself drop deeply into the yin depths of my sexuality has brought up questions about self-worth. Is it okay for me to break expectations? Am I worthy to take up space in my process? I’ve had to acknowledge YES, this is necessary and that this voice really matters and I need to listen.
I think it’s why so many menopausal women go off sex because they’re not listening to this voice.
We have to learn how to check in with how we’re actually feeling and clock our nervous system, especially when we’re intimate with another person. If you’re both feeling slightly ‘off’ or not listening to what you really need, it’ll never feel like full intimacy between you. How can you connect with another person when you’re not connected to yourself? Yes, you can have orgasms and wild sex even in this state, but will you feel good afterwards?
4 Steps to allow yin into your sexuality
This is great for solo self-pleasure or lovemaking.
Slow down. Slow down some more.
Breath deeply and slowly. Sigh on each exhale so you can feel the vibration of the sound in your body (if you put a hand on your throat as you exhale, you can feel it vibrate). This tones the vagus nerve and stimulates ventral vagal activation (calming the nervous system). This sounding doesn’t have to involve high energy — it can be quite gentle while audible. Keep breathing like this.
Focus on relaxing the body in arousal. Rather than tightening, let everything melt and open. Welcome whatever arises in this place! Sometimes there’s sexual arousal, grief, sleepiness, or something else. Let go of all agendas and expectations of what this should be.
Connect and attune with yourself and your partner. Awaken your sensitivity and really listen and feel. What do you notice? What do you perceive? What do you sense? Take it all in.
For more on yin sexuality, or to go on the waiting list for the online program (about to launch this soon) and see my coaching packages. see yinsexuality.com,