I Went To A Sexual Retreat To Get My Libido Back

Photographed by Lula Hyers
I’m a woman in my late 20s, living in London with my soon-to-be husband. By all accounts, I’m very successful. At 24, I started my own business, a PR agency. At 26, I started another business that helps entrepreneurs scale. Now, at 29, I’m getting married, doing tons of speaking, mentoring and the other sort of stuff that makes people go, "Ugh, that’s so cool."
But underneath it all, something far less cool has been happening: Even as my professional success has reached new heights, I've lost my sexual energy and, to some extent, my femininity.
You know that thing you get where your vagina tingles and you're like, "Get something inside me now"? For me, that’s gone. It just disappeared. I realize that not all women who start their own businesses have this same experience, but I figure if it's happened to me, there must be other women out there, too.
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I used to be really into sex. I was a sexual person who loved touching and enticing. But somewhere along my road to "success," I became scared, tired, and prudish. At the smallest hint of sex, my body would go into a meltdown, freezing up if anyone tried to touch me. It was as if my body was screaming "NO ENTRY."
So in a bid to find out what was going on under my hood, I decided to pop it open and start exploring things that might help me get my sex drive back. I explored so much that I’m actually writing a book about it!
The first thing I decided to do was go about "connecting with my sexual woman." I do realize that this sentence sounds slightly wacky, but hear me out. Right at the beginning of this journey, I had started seeing a life coach. I thought the issue was work rather than how I approached work… Turns out, stress comes from within, but that’s another story.
My life coach runs a weekend event that helps women reignite their sexuality. She begged me to go, but I was nervous — and embarrassed. Surely I didn’t need to go that far? But after much persuasion, I took a deep breath and signed up.
The program claims to help women connect with their inner "electric woman." To you and me, this essentially means that it makes you feel empowered within your femininity and helps you learn how to "own your sexuality." I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen. I think if I had, I probably wouldn’t have gone. As an adult, it's hard to knowingly do things you don’t want to do.
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The woman I had to seduce was standing in the middle of a ring of other women. There was no getting out of it: I just had to do it.

The idea of "owning my sexuality" had never crossed my mind until this point — surely your sexuality is just kind of there? Apparently not. To really own it, you have to work at it. You have to allow your sexuality to be free from cultural stereotypes. You have to understand that if your inner sexual woman needs certain things in order to feel most sexual, then that is A-OK and no one should judge you for it. This was a huge breakthrough for me because my life is so serious, I had allowed this attitude to filter into my sexuality.
One of the toughest things we did on the course was seduce another woman, in front of a room of about 20 other women.
I’m straight. I do think women are beautiful, but I’ve never tried to seduce one before. Also, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t really know what I'm doing when it comes to seducing a man. We always just kind of end up doing the sex stuff.
The woman I had chosen to seduce was standing in the middle of a ring of other women. All of them were staring at me in my white dress. There was no way of getting out of it by making a joke or anything, I just had to do it.
As I stood there preparing to "seduce," I lost it. I don’t know what happened but I started crying helplessly and dropped to the floor in a ball. It was weird. After a bit of consoling, I was helped up off the floor and told to stand tall, stand strong and to get my power back — which I did.
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I closed my eyes and I slowly started walking towards the woman in the center of the ring; I opened my eyes to see her staring directly at me. I stopped about two feet away from her and started to peel my clothes off, slowly, until I was completely naked, not once losing eye contact. I brushed her skin gently with each movement. I dropped to the floor, keeping my eyes on hers and rose slowly, stroking her inner legs. Then she closed her eyes and let out a moan: "Okay, you’ve done it."
And then it was over. I was shaking. I was so scared, excited, empowered — all of it.
That experience forced me to "own it." To "own" seduction, "own" my sexuality; to be empowered by being feminine. It was without a doubt one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but it taught me so much.
We did many other strange and wonderful things on the retreat as well, like sitting naked with our backs to the wall and allowing the course leaders to feed us different foods. I’ve never actually felt my senses like that before; the softness of chocolate on my lips, the pure joy of the touch of a feather against my skin. This was all about being present, feeling your body in that moment.
So often when I have sex, my mind is not there. And I know I'm not alone in this. How often do you ever catch yourself thinking about work, stressful relationships and meetings right when you should be focusing on your pussy? Quite a lot, I bet.
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We’ve evolved to be so fast at doing everything — work, typing, thinking, Facebooking, Instagramming — when, actually, the one thing that will continue our humanity needs to be approached slowly and with care.
I can’t thank my life coach enough for encouraging me to do that course. Those three days were full of some of the hardest things I’ve ever done. They broke me down and built me up again.
I'm not going to pretend that it fixed my sexuality, but it seriously helped. And every woman should understand the pressures they put their sexuality, libido, and femininity under, and be free from them. That's a huge success, all on its own.
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