Friday, March 20, 2009

Libido: Bay Area Boosts

Libido is one of my favorite topics both as an area of physical, mental and spiritual inquiry and as a scholarly pursuit. Plus it's just fun to rev it up as much as possible especially when in a long-term monogamous relationship.

Now, as an aside, let me reassure my friends who are depleted and gave up caring about libido months or years ago: you can get your game back. My heart and pharmacoepia especially goes out to fellow depleted moms. That reminds me - I need to do a blog post on Depleted Mom Syndrome.

We are blessed in the Bay Area (and in New York and Los Angeles, and tell me if there are more libidinously enriching parts of our fine country) to have many places that offer succor to the libidinally-challenged.

My personal fave haunt is S Factor in San Fran, but also available in other cities. What is "S?" It's a hybrid form of movement that weaves yoga, pilates and connecting to your erotic creature. It's completely hot and a lot of fun. Take an intro class or sign up for a private with my dear friend, Michelle Cordero. Since I have a tendency to overachieve, I have attended 3 intros, devoured Sheila Kelly's book on "S" and practiced every DVD she's put out. My husband and I haven't figured out a way for me to attend a session in San Francisco - at two hours plus the commute time - it just doesn't fit into my schedule. But maybe your schedule? Get the intro schedule right here.

Here is Sheila teaching Oprah how to move.

Did you see the cover of last Sunday's NYT's Style Section with the orgasmic woman on the front page? So great. The article was about the Bay Area's OneTaste Urban Retreat Center, a co-ed gathering space with a focus on pleasing women. Where do I sign up? The founder, Nicole Daedone, is the creatrix of the joint, and at 41, she is tapping into a hugely unmet need among women -- the idea that we access freedom, full embodiment, and full-throttle living through our sexualty. A core of 38 men and women live in the SOMA location, but OneTaste offers workshops, a thriving online community (read: free), and a residential program. Check 'em out right here.

My brain tends to cluster around groupings of three, so here is another favorite resource: famous Bay Area sex coaches Celeste and Danielle. I met these women three years ago over lunch at Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley. They offer sex therapy, workshops and hands-on-in-the-bedroom, down and dirty sex couching (they wear gloves!). I have one patient with low libido who had picture-perfect hormones, and we discussed Celeste and Danielle's workshops. She asked her husband to go to their workshop, "Become an Extraordinary Lover," and that was the only intervention she needed to reconnect deeply and wildly with her man.

Wish it were always so easy....

For the rest of us, libido is a complex and very interdependent mix of the right hormonal balance (the players are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol among others) plus emotional connectivity, healthy body image, time and commitment. More on that later, in the meantime, enjoy your local resources and share via the comments section other discoveries for raising your libido.

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I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.