Adapted from Positive Energy Harmony Books, April, 2004
It’s important to learn how to read sexual energy in the world. In our busy lives we get hit by so much, so fast. Sexual vibes are a major part of that assault (especially relevant if you’re an overwhelmed empath). Many of us don’t realize we’re exposed to them everywhere, are clueless about what we ourselves give off. Some vibes invigorate: a sweet good-night kiss; an acquaintance flashes you a winning smile; a friend admires how sexy you look. In contrast, negative vibes abrade: a construction worker’s cat whistle on your way to work; a business associate calls you “babe”; another passenger on the train keeps ogling you. Signals come in. You’re the receiver. Get accustomed to reading them.
As an Energy Psychiatrist, part of knowing my patients is reading their energy, from emotional to sexual. This doesn’t require touching or even talking. Here’s what I do: A new patient sits in my waiting room. I open the door. The first few seconds, I quietly notice my body responding as a kind of litmus paper registering their vibes. Some people exude a natural balanced sexuality. But, often, in our culture, both men and women are taught to lead with sexual energy, whether they’re aware of doing so or not. Pow! In some people it’s downright obnoxious, not respectful of boundaries. I read other patients’ sexual energy as anesthetized, mummified, or withheld, particularly with the abused. Here an awakening is called for.
I’d like you to begin to notice the effect of sexual vibes in small and large interactions. The knack is to identify them, especially the dicey ones, so you won’t protectively glaze over in the daily hubbub. Sometimes, in the bank line or car wash, you may feel someone’s vibes just by being near their energy field. The person need not specifically “do” anything. On the other hand, think about flirting, an erotic energy exchange which is often intentional. A provocative word. A come-hither glance. Your energy meter may register such gestures as positive–a possible prelude to romance–or negative, a smarmy imposition. No right or wrong about your intuitions. What matters is how you feel around a persons energy.
For scooping out vibes, here are some trusty indicators:
Signs of Positive Sexual Energy:
- Respectful of boundaries
- Vitalizing, safe, whole
Signs of Negative Sexual Energy:
- Smothering, manipulative
- Chilling (creepy, crawly, like you’ve been slimed)
- Intrusive (draining, unsafe)
Make Changes Now. Reading Sexual Energy in Daily Life.
Now you’re going to put the above signs to work. The gist of this exercise is to notice how your body intuitively responds when gauging the vibes of someone new or familiar. It could be a romantic interest or not. Get used to tuning into this aspect of people. Pay special attention to sensations in your sexual energy center. I intuitively sense this area as a flower: around some people it opens, around others it tightens up. See what your response is. In addition ask yourself: Am I generally relaxed with how he or she projects sexuality? Repelled? Neutral? Rate the intensity. Is the energy too much? Just right? Not enough? Don’t make excuses for the person. When it comes to intrusive energy, a cigar is usually a cigar. Call it like it is. Practice self-care by moving toward vibes which suit your sexual wavelength.
When others exude a natural, non-intrusive sexuality, it can be an expression of wholeness and energetic health. Balanced vibes may have nothing to do with romantic intentions. Sometimes we get too apprehensive when simply sensing a person’s sexual self. It’s signifies our well-roundedness as humans. If we only register a big erotic blank from people we cease to be alive! In this program, you want to comfortably embody sexual energy, and attract those you’re in synch with.
Inevitably, though, you’ll also be exposed to negative vibes and must know how avert them. At times it’s an easy call. You’re out with a guy who won’t stop groping you. The solution? Don’t see him again. But how about less obvious cases? A friend’s husband keeps gazing in your eyes just a little too long. The car mechanic gives you the sexual willies for no “obvious” reason. You may doubt your read of the situation or try to ignore the energy, yet it won’t let up.
Here’s my advice: trust yourself. You don’t have to condone unnerving sexual vibes. Or walk around with a reeled in sensuality because you’re afraid. I know how disturbing these vibes can be; I intuitively perceive them as vandals who have no business being anywhere near my space. As I tell patients, by dealing with such vibes, you’re taking responsibility for self-care. However, if you have a constant sense of jeopardy or no partner feels safe you must explore your barriers to intimacy and mend sexual scars; these can distort perceptions. Otherwise, action required.
Interventions To Combat Negative Sexual Energy
Eliminate clear-cut predators. If someone is coming on too strong, this unseemly behavior must stop. Treat him or her as would any skunk, (in the weasel family) who’s about to putrefy you with a foul odor. In a social situation, make a quick escape. No excuses needed. Sexual impropriety at home and in the workplace also must be addressed. Not to say it’s easy. Summoning all your strength, you may have to insist that an emotionally or physically abusive spouse get professional help. Or go to employee relations about a boss or coworker. Blatant sexual harassment is more than inappropriate; it’s control obsessed and cruel. Being continually exposed to this negative sexual energy will consume you.
Speak up and set boundaries. In more ambiguous situations sensitively surfacing the issue may resolve it. For example, take your friend’s husband aside and say in a non-blaming but firm tone, “I might be wrong, but I keep feeling you’re flirting with me. It makes me feel awkward. If you are flirting, please stop.” This direct approach often does the trick with people who’re unconsciously motivated, or who need to have your limits of appropriate behavior defined. If you don’t do this, you feel slimed all the time. You know the feeling–like being smushed by the gooey otherworldly ectoplasm in Ghostbusters. You need a bath afterwards.
If the person still doesn’t stop
Option A: Recruit Outside Help Make an intuitive call whether it’s productive to go this route. If the behavior is really bothering you, you can up the ante. With your friend’s husband you might ask a neutral party you both respect to mediate. Or you can tactfully solicit your friend’s help directly. The idea is not to disparage her husband, but to couch your vantage point in, “This is how I feel…I’d be more at ease if…” I realize this is potentially explosive between friends, but a heartfelt tone can often work things out. Always, part of using your intuition is to access whether someone is receptive to this kind of communication.
Option B: Don’t give negative behavior any juice. Be careful not to engage negative sexual vibes. Limit eye contact with the source of difficulty, and avoid handshakes or hugs; this reduces the energy exchange. Emotionally, keep breathing and centering yourself. Exhale negative vibes out so they don’t stick in you. Also, don’t silently sizzle with irritation or rage; this energetically signals that you’re still playing this game. Instead, go about your business. Be loving with your friend, and cordial to her husband. When the problem person doesn’t have anything to hook onto energetically he or she will likely lose interest.
Respect your intuition about the sexual willies. If someone doesn’t do anything obviously creepy, you can still get the willies. Instinctively, you’re picking up something unsafe about this energy. Say, it’s a group of teenagers on the street: don’t hesitate to maneuver around them. In the case of the auto mechanic I mentioned, get a new one. One of my patients couldn’t put her finger on why she felt strangely uneasy around an electrician during a remodel of her home. She downplayed the intuition until one day he took it upon himself to tuck in the label of her blouse. This trespassing of her space pushed her over the edge; she hired a different electrician, an option I’d supported all along. Sometimes it’s simply smart to duck out of a situation without making an issue of the vibes. Whenever you can switch a peripheral people, do so.
Inappropriate vibes also can arise with a masseuse or energy healer. It isn’t necessarily what they say or do. Knowingly or not, they mix sexual energy into treatments. Many of my patients have tolerated this too long because they’ve questioned themselves. It’s the worst feeling to be stuck in a massage, totally exposed, and have these weird vibes, intrusive vibes coming at you. You may want to get someone different. (Some people are more comfortable with same-sex masseuses). Or, if you have rapport with the practitioner, mention the issue once. If he or she was unaware of sending this energy and are open to change, terrific. However, if the vibes doesn’t stop, the person is not for you.
My friend Angela, a gospel choir director in a church with a congregation of thousands, has had to become the queen of boundary setting. Now, she does it with such grace, though coming from an abusive home where boundaries didn’t exist, it took determination to get good at it. Garbed in brightly colored African robes, Angela likes to greet her congregants after a service. A few words for each, sometimes a hug. Angela is an expert reader of energy, is clear about staying heart-centered, but not sending sexual vibes. Sometimes, though, people have their own agenda. Angela told me, “Every week this one man kept hugging me too tight. It felt needy and slightly seductive. His energy was gooey, like fly paper. So I had to communicate to him, ‘It’s nice to see you, but I’d rather we didn’t hug. It doesn’t feel comfortable.'” You’d think a statement like this might set someone off or offend them. But Angela conveyed it with such sweetness and respect that the congregant took it in the spirit intended. From then on, he respected her boundaries. The upshot was she didn’t have to dread seeing him each week or be subjected to energy that felt off.
As a medical student I experienced the horror of having to keep my mouth shut around hot-shot surgeons who’d tell disgusting sexist jokes in the operating room. At a time when a patient is exquisitely vulnerable–out cold and being cut open–only positive vibes are called for. Of course, the surgeons didn’t acknowledge that words are action, that their talk energetically violated both patient and students present. Perhaps I could’ve said something to my supervisors–but I lacked confidence, was afraid of retaliation. Today, with increased public scrutiny of workplace indiscretions, I’d counsel medical students to surface these issues with their program chiefs.
We are wising up. Dissatisfied with the Old Boy’s Club mentality and cultural stereotypes, we’re overdue for a fresh take on sexuality. A more enlightened model integrates the heart–being cognizant of the positive energy you carry, choosing the right time and place. Also the new model necessitates a war on victimhood, going all out to rid your life of unhealthy sexual influences. This adds up to more energy for you. So, when approaching sexuality begin with yourself, then evaluate your environment. From here, you’ll have a sturdy foundation to cultivate your erotic spunk even further.
Judith Orloff, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist and a medical intuitive. This article is adapted from Positive Energy: Ten Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength and Love (Harmony Books). She’s also written the bestsellers Guide to Intuitive Healing and Second Sight. Dr. Orloff is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA and an international workshop leader on the interrelationship of intuition, energy, and medicine. For more information on Dr. Orloff’s workshops and national book tour schedule visit www.drjudithorloff.com.