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Hey there, Friend!
 

How have you been feeling lately?


If you’re one of the many people experiencing winter right now, you might be noticing a correlation between the changing season and your mind and body.

As the days have become shorter, you might notice mental health playing a much more prominent role in your daily life, thanks to our old friend: seasonal affective disorder. This shift in your mental health can have a significant impact on your sex drive. When you’re down and sluggish, it can be very difficult to feel sexy and get in the mood.

But that’s not the only way Mother Nature’s cycles affect our bodies and sex lives. Light is a powerful sensory trigger that can be a leading character in our sexual biographies.

For example, seasonal light can affect our body’s natural cycles:

It may affect testosterone levels:
Andrea Fagiolini, MD told WebMD: “In the northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November through April, and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October. You see the effect of this in reproductive rates, with the month of June showing the highest rate of conception."

It has the power to affect fertility:
According to Dr. Eden Fromberg and Naomi Wolf (and their recent book, Vagina: a New Biography): “Women used to menstruate during the new moon (when it’s dark at night) and ovulate during a full moon (when it’s light).”

However, “now, in a world full of artificial lighting and bright screens, women are not as in tune,” the two explain, “with the connection between their biology and nature. Some have tried ‘lunaception,’ altering the lights in their bedrooms based on the moon lighting to change their ovulation.”
 

Manipulating light can be a form of sensory play.


Sensory play and sensory deprivation are ways of blocking out, heightening and stimulating the five senses during sex.

For example, when you blindfold your partner, you are depriving them of their sense of sight by submerging them in darkness. In cutting out one sense, you are triggering the brain to focus its energy on all other senses and, in turn, heightening their sense of touch, smell, hearing and taste.

This could also be simulated by turning off all the lights in a room.

Many advocate for having sex with the lights on because it can be empowering to give yourself entirely to your partner(s), being completely naked. But plunging yourselves into darkness can be exciting as well.

As Robin and Liam say in their blog, Couples Playthings, “Messing with a person’s senses can be very erotic, fun, exciting, discomforting, and scary.”

We recommend making sure you are communicating honestly and empathetically to help minimize any fears or anxieties.
 

What our partner experts say . . .


We asked some of our experts what they thought of when they heard the phrase “sex and light.”

Here is what they said:

Morgan English, of the @chillpolyamory project:
“I guess it'd be the spontaneity of a mind free from trauma. Levity within sex is crucial to my own personal healing, as someone with a religious upbringing who experiences PTSD in some sexual situations. I need to avoid feeling shame or pressure to perform, to instead just laugh and shake it off with my partner(s).”

Kathryn D. Ewers, MFT:
“My first thoughts are vulnerability. I think of when I was younger and I saw a lot of folks say to turn the lights off. I questioned that a lot, and did just that until I got older! Light and sexuality to me is shining a light on your most vulnerable parts. Your worries, your insecurities, your curves, your hair, your needs, your wants, your desires, and Fantasies. When I think of light and sexuality...I think of space to heal...space to be your true sexual self.

Dr. Susie Gronski (@dr.susieg on Instagram):
“Let's shine the light on being human, let's not pathologize normal.”

Jessica Clark Graham:
“The first thing I think of is bringing sexuality into the light and bringing light into sexuality. Sex and sexuality is such a place of darkness for so many, and certainly for our culture. When we wake up in this realm, by shining the light of kind and curious awareness on sex, we transform ourselves, and possibly the world.”
 

Effects of various lighting:


Blue light:
  • Blue light is what we see when we look at screens (tv, phone, computer, etc.)
  • It is extremely stimulating and, therefore, it’s not great to stare at our screens just before bed or while trying to fall asleep. It can lead to sleep deprivation and insomnia which, in turn, can lower your sex drive and increase depression and anxiety.

Bright / stark lighting:
  • Intense and bright lighting can heighten all emotions, both good and bad.
  • That means if you’re having a fun romp in the hay – it could be even more fun with bright light! But, if your mind is racing or somewhere else, you will likely be even more anxious and, therefore, have a poor sexual experience.

Sunlight:
  • The increase in Vitamin D can boost libido (on top of the fact that exposure to sunlight can boost our mood altogether)!

Soft / warm lighting:
  • In addition to creating a romantic atmosphere, soft lighting can also change the way we eat! The softer the light, the more likely we are to eat slower – though dark lighting can lead to our eating more than we normally would and feeling uncomfortable. Not the most sexy feeling if you’re on a hot date.

Multi-directional lighting:
  • Having lighting from multiple sources can be a fun way to play with shadows when lighting your sex setting.
  • Cory Silverberg wrote for My Domaine, “Experiment with using your lamps to make shadows on the walls. Aim a light at a wall through colored glass and you may get beautiful patterns, but even better, position a light so that the moving shadows of you and your partner are projected larger than life onto the walls around you. Shadowplay can be hilarious and very sexy.”

Writing prompt:
 

How do I feel when I have sex with the lights on vs the lights off?
What are the pros and cons?
What are the anxieties?
What excites me?
How could I experiment more with the intersection of light and sex?
 
This voluntary monthly prompt invites you to explore your sexual biography.
Tips on exploring this:
Set aside 20 minutes with your phone on silent and relax yourself in a comfortable space with a pen and paper. Go slow. Start with what comes to mind from your first read of the prompt. Continue writing your stream of consciousness.

Researching our sexual biographies:


Would you rather have sex with the lights on or off?
 
 
On!          Off!
Each month we ask a question in support of our leading mission at My Sex Bio. As we grow we plan to help fund and supply research for sex education. The results of these questions may be shared on social media as well as the following month’s newsletter. These results will also help curate relevant content for our readers, like you, moving forward. Responses are voluntary and anonymous.
 
—The MY SEX BIO Team
 

Thank you for your support, Patreon Community:

Janet Coderre
ACC

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