Dr. Taryn Deane, BScKIN, ND

Every human comes into this world as a mix of feminine and masculine energies. This is how life is created. This is how life is sustained.

The Chinese have brilliantly bypassed all the brutal biases about gender by giving these energies other names: Yin and Yang.

When I learned about Chinese medicine principles in medical school, I’m not sure I really “got” it. Only after years of speaking with people about health, relationships and sex do I now feel like I have a handle on how this theory applies to all of us – today and everyday. I hope to shed some light over the next few posts so you can use this info to take your health (and sex life!) to the next level.

The sun is to the moon, as fire is to water.

Heaven is to Earth, as energy and information are to matter and material things.

Summer is to Winter, as light is to darkness, as sunrise is to sunset, as activity is to rest, as life is to death…

And so goes the theory of Yin and Yang.

They are opposites, but they only exist in relation to each other and do not exist without each other – they (we) are interdependent.

Yin and Yang are never static, constantly changing and transform into one another when necessary. If they are out of harmony, disease and pathology occur. Too much of one can weaken or consume the other, while too little of one, makes space for the other to overshadow it.

EVERYTHING has some Yin aspects and some Yang aspects, including every human on the planet. I believe the strict, unwavering division of the genders has been one of the most detrimental things to happen to Earth and all its inhabitants.

If we could recognize this duality in our relationships, nature and our lives, we would be more mindful when imbalances occur and act on them before they cause too much harm (ie. sexual repression leading to mental health leading to violence; excess consuming leading to pollution leading to climate change).

The only way to move forward with this knowledge is to breakdown our barriers to redefine masculinity and femininity and generate mutual appreciation for each side of ourselves (and each other).

Sex is the fast track. When we are in tune with both our need for love and our need for desire, then we feel less threatened when those around us exhibit habits that are in pursuit of their own needs because we get it, we’ve been there.

à desire (to want): adventure, curiousity, imagination, creatitivy, mystery, masculinity

à love (to have): security, knowledge, responsibility, nurturing, comfort, safety, femininity

As a result, we free up preconceived notions about how we should speak and act (according to our “sex” or “gender”) and we let the veil fall to reveal our truest selves. It is only in this vulnerable state that we get to experience pleasure completely…the way we were designed to.

Common reasons libido fades:

– Expectation that your partner is your everything (best friend, lover, confidente, colleague…) and requiring more than they are possibly capable of providing

– Transitioning roles affecting how we view sexuality: parenthood, adulthood, marriage

– Lack of self-confidence: one or both partners feel they are unworthy of pleasure

– Slut-shaming: alive and well in most cultures, making us believe that wanting sex is wrong

– Concurrent fear of rejection/abandonment and commitment issues due to a traumatic event or period of time (often related to the threat or discovery of infidelity.

How can we sustain desire?

  1. Keep your partner at a safe distance, nurturing your autonomy as an independent person with individual needs and take full responsibility for your sexual fulfillment instead of relying on others for it – ie. masturbate!
  2. Add love-making to the list of all the other things you enjoy doing together to unwind and relax
  3. Disconnect from daily tasks and responsibilities; know that pleasure tunes out anxieties and obsessive thoughts; it is the antithesis to fear
  4. Encourage uninhibited vulnerability, both emotionally and physically; share something scary and have your partner hold the space for you to open up all the while displaying that you are still loved
  5. Touch for the sake of making each other feel good, not with sex as the inevitable endpoint (the pressure to perform kills the ability to relax and let your mind wander)
  6. Begin fourplay at the end of the last orgasm: sexy texts, innuendo, long embraces, cop a feel, forecast what you plan to do to each other when you are alone and talk about it
  7. Sexual excitement is politically incorrect, often thriving on power plays, role reversals, unfair advantages, seductive manipulations and subtle cruelties; use fantasy and sexuality to explore these needs so they are not expressed in your work, social or family life.

Next post we’ll dive deeper into understanding our Yin bits and how they relate to health, sex and relationships.

Helpful Resources and References:

Esther Perel – her first TED talk is groundbreakingly accurate and useful

KimAnami – sign up for her blog posts, beautifully erotic photos and briliant insight about life, love and sex

Dan Savage – listen to his podcast or read his articles on Savage Love

Brene Brown – The Gifts of Imperfection – she breaks down shame and explains how to battle it in this book

Deane_headshot_revisedDr. Taryn Deane ND hails from New Brunswick but now calls Vancouver home, where she moved 7 years ago to study Naturopathic Medicine. She currently practices downtown at Evoke Integrative Medicine, where she specializes in skin, sex and self-esteem by following a unique holistic approach to the underserved population suffering from these ailments.

Born into a family of teachers, it is no surprise that when she is not practicing, Dr. Deane is committed to improving the education of holistic healthcare practitioners. She’s thrilled to be teaching at both her alma mater – the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine – as Chair of Clinical Diagnosis, and at the Institute for Holistic Nutrition where she passionately teaches nutritionists about the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. In her spare time, she loves playing sports, dancing and spending time wandering around the Kitsilano community with her rescue mutt, Monte.

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