January man. I fucking hate January. It’s dark. It’s cold. Here in New England we’re surrounded by 8 foot heaps of snow. And all I want to do is eat carbohydrates and sleep. I definitely don’t feel like writing blog posts.

Traditionally I spend the entire month hibernating. February gets a little easier. By March I start to come back to life. And by April I’m a person again. But January, man. I fucking hate January.

So here’s a post about mood and sexuality, eh?

90% of people experience a drop in their sexual interest when they’re depressed. Lack of sexual interest is even a SYMPTOM of depression. This can be a drag both for the individual and for their partner(s), if any.

So what works? What helps?

Well medication is a strategy. SSRIs (like Prozac) are more likely to have sexual side effects (i.e., kill your sex drive) than dopamine agonists (like Wellbutrin), which sort of defeats the purpose, if you’re looking to revive your dormant sexual interest. Vitamin D and Vitamin B complex supplements may help. Blue/white light in the morning often helps. Physical activity – aerobic exercise – definitely helps, if you can find the energy or motivation to do it.

But I’m generally inclined to feel that these kinds of things miss the point.

If you’re depressed – and lots of people are, especially this time of year – and if your sex drive went south with your mood, consider this a window into non-erotic sensory experience. Sexual desire may not be immediately accessible to you, but you still live inside a body with a somatic nervous system. And that’s something to celebrate.

So look: it’s totally dark at 6pm. You’re facing 4 hours of bleakness before you can justify going to bed. You could watch TV. You could stare at the ceiling and cry. You could get drunk.

Or you could take a shower.

Yeah. Go take a shower.

Stand under the water, lean against the shower wall, close your eyes, and notice the water making contact with your skin. Notice how it slides in rivulets down your body and flows across your feet. Take a deep breath, and notice it all again. Keep noticing it. And notice that your mind will wander – and it will, that’s how brains work. When it wanders, just notice that, and then gently return your attention to the water on your living skin.

Wash your living body. Your hair. Your back. Your arms. Your hands. Wash each and every individual part, and notice the sensation, the smell of the soap, the texture of your skin – how it’s different on the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands.

Notice the inside of your body too, where muscles are tense, to hold your physical weight, how your stomach or your shoulders or your jaw or your scalp is tense, to hold the psychological weight. Notice where you’re dark and shadowed inside, and notice where you’re light and glowing.

Tune in to your living, breathing body. Because here you are. And what you have, all you have, is the next breath. Nothing else is guaranteed. Just this breath.

And then this one.

And then this one.

You’re alive in a body.

Pay attention to it. Tune in.

Will it ease your mood? Maybe. Maybe not. Will it revive your sexual desire? It definitely might, but it might not.

Will it help you reconnect with life and relationships? Yes.

Will it enrich you in ways that TV, directionless grief, or alcohol can’t? Yes.

And if you want to follow it with a couple glasses of wine, a good long cry, and 3 episodes of “The Dog Whisperer,” well I’m hardly the one to cast stones.

More in dysfunction
https://flic.kr/p/uzoTK
knowledge is power.

Jezebel has an article about Orgasm, Inc, Liz Canner's marvelous documentary about the medicalization of women's sexual dysfunction....

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