There’s this precise feeling of euphoria that I’ve been chasing my whole life. I’ve found it in the most unexpected places: dancing in the middle of a throbbing crowd at a Black Keys concert, the moment I finish a piece of writing that speaks some kind of truth, singing Beyonce at the top of my lungs in the car, chanting during the Women’s Rally surrounded by thousands of other fervent protesters and, of course, in the throws of passion, mid-romp.
Call it love, joy, creative flow or orgasm—they all feel sort of the same.
Finding this common thread between creativity, love and sex has in many ways saved my life. If that sounds a bit dramatic, I can at least say that it has saved my career. As a writer, having a constant flow of good ideas is impossible. Everyone hits the brick wall of writer’s block eventually and staring at that blank page can be painful and demoralizing. When wit and insight run out (and it will) you need a reliable way to refill the creative coffers.
Nothing feeds the creative soul like a bit of afternoon delight or a late-night makeout sesh. Even the promise of romance and the giggle-inducing sexual tension of a first date is enough to thaw the creative juices and get ideas flowing.
For those of you who don’t consider yourselves “artists,” sex is the perfect avenue for exploring your creative side. Just knowing how to start can be intimidating, and exploration with an open mind can help connect you to the projects and ideas that light you up with excitement. What better way to kick off exploration and experimentation than in the bedroom?
The sensual inspiration you need might be found in a new lover or in leaving a bad relationship and finding your own creative and sexual revolution in the freedom of being your own greatest turn-on.
It’s true that creativity exists on a continuum. Some people have more of it, some people have less. The unfortunate truth is that once we identify our place on the creative spectrum as teenagers, we can feel stuck there. But creativity is fluid—you can become inspired later in life, or you can lose your creativity if you let it wane.
While sex has helped me tap into my creative flow, my creativity has returned the favor. You see, art and music have often been my antidote for monotonous sex.
All relationships hit a rough patch, and sometimes that means the bedroom escapades become boring or unpleasant. Trying to force romance and sensuality can be the final blow in a crumbling relationship. Starting new projects like music, art and writing has often given me new ideas, confidence and creativity that breathe fresh life into my partnerships. And looking back, I can see that by focusing attention outside the partnership, I’ve saved myself from overthinking things and suffocating the relationship with well-intentioned analysis.
Creativity and sexuality may seem like separate but equally important characteristics, but at the core, they are almost entirely made of the same ingredients. Both are just an amalgamation of spontaneity, passion, selflessness, selfishness, experimentation and pleasure.
So next time you are feeling uninspired, consider a fun sexual adventure. And if relationships are bringing you down, maybe starting a new creative project will help you work out the situation.
Emily Straubel is a writer and ceramic artist living in Portland. Writing about design and technology by day, and the unpredictable world of love and dating by night, her work is driven by curiosity and FOMO.