Mojo: a quality that attracts people to you and makes you successful and full of energy (Cambridge English Dictionary). There’s nothing worse than losing your mojo – your enjoyment of life. Your self confidence, self-worth and sexuality. Life is grey, flat, without joy. You may go through the motions, or avoid situations that highlight that feeling completely. Somewhere, in the depths of your memory, you remember things feeling different. You remember excitement, positivity, a sense of adventure. Yet somehow now, though you try to reconnect to it, it seems like a dream. Is it gone for good? What can you do?
What happened to my sexual mojo?
Firstly, take it easy on yourself. Whatever your situation the last 2 years, a lot has changed. We’ve been faced with isolation, mortality and loss of so many kinds. People had it better, people had it worse. Our instinctive nature when faced with unsafe situations is not to perform procreational activities. Though we can sometimes relieve ourselves of negative feelings by burying ourselves in distracting pleasure, this isn’t always how our bodies and minds respond. So what if our mojo won’t play ball? We’ve had bigger fish to fry.
However much we may have hoped for, longed for, desperately clung to, opportunities to do the things we once did, sometimes the reality of that isn’t going to match up to the feeling we held in our minds- the thoughts that kept us going. It’s like desperately looking forward to Christmas as a kid, only to tear open the presents and feel deflated by 10am.
How does sexual mojo work?
Our mojo is a tricky beast, lodged somewhere in a fire-triangle of stimulation, novelty and self-image. We’ve been exceptionally vulnerable. Powerless. Uncertain. We’ve been stuck alone, reminiscing about the past with rose-tinted spectacles. Longing for human connection. A soothing voice. Human touch. We’ve endured a world without distraction, without continuous progress. As per Orange is the New Black – taking steps is easy, standing still is hard. And you’ve got time.
So, when the world finally (briefly? temporarily?) allows us to resume the things we used to do- to flirt, to touch others. To connect. To kiss. After being forbidden for so long? Why isn’t our mojo where it should be, making the most of it?
For some, it is. They have gone wild, done everything. We see them and wonder why we don’t feel the same. The same as them, or the same as we used to. Why it feels trite, pointless and surpassed by a huge, dark shadow.
Here’s why some people are fine and you aren’t:
- We are different people. We process things differently
- We’ve had different experiences
- We need different things now. Being stuck with a long term partner for 2 years was not the same as being stuck alone
- We have different triggers for our mojo. Sexuality is complex, and dynamics of fear, safety and reaction to stimuli is different
- You’re a different person now. You need to learn what works for the new you
Here are some tips for rediscovering your mojo:
Rediscover yourself and what your mojo needs
Start from scratch, like you’ve just hit puberty or come out of a long, awful relationship. Forget what you knew before, or thought you knew. Rediscover what you like, what you want now, and what has changed about you, with complete acceptance. Were you a socialite who is now happiest reading alone? You’ve adjusted to your world. Were you a conventional person who is now out for hyper-stimulating experiences? You are embracing life. Whatever has happened to you, it was adaptive. Your mind and body did whatever was needed to survive. You can’t wish your way out of feeling remembered trauma, and just move on like nothing happened. However far you thought you’d got, whatever algorithms you’d figured out about yourself and the world, it’s time to start over. New world, new life, new you.
Give yourself time to find your mojo
There’s no set date at which you ‘get over’ things. And if you are waiting to be the same version of yourself you were before, you’ll be waiting forever. Personal growth and learning about ourselves is a lifelong process. There is no ‘going back’, though there are always good, new things to discover for ourselves in the future. If you are trying to slot them into your life and can’t feel them the way you thought you would right now, that’s okay.
If you feel like a disembodied version of yourself, for whom your brain is conscientiously attempting to perform ‘self-care’ like it’s for someone halfway across the world, with zero emotional feedback, that’s okay too. Take the steps to put positive experiences in your life. Take the time to consider what really appeals to you right now, and assess whether your cues are actually coming from the black dog of depression, or benevolent self-parenting. Odds are, it’s a mix of both.
Forgive yourself for some strange reactions
Decided to do something you used to love and just find yourself totally numb? See something lovely and find yourself crying? Find yourself strangely suddenly attached to someone unsuitable, making extreme plans for yourself or acting ‘out of character?’ It’s okay. We are like babies again. We have to re-learn how to be ourselves. We move forward, and pause. Move forward, and pause. Sometimes accidentally step back, feel like we’ve messed it all up and it’s all hopeless, and need to give ourselves brain and heart space to make better decisions.
Re-evaluate whether you are feeding your mojo
A lot of things took a backburner, for a long time. Perhaps diet, exercise, curbing our vices. Are our issues physical, mental or emotional? Most likely a mix of the three. Do you look at your face, body, demeanour and feel confident and sexy now? Did you before? What are three things you can change over 3 months to give yourself the best shot at feeling good again. Is it taking up exercise? Or maybe buying nice new clothes to fit your shape?
Time is unkind to us all, but so is stress, deprivation and isolation. What are things you can do for yourself that have nothing to do with sexuality that make you happier? What can you start that’s new that you can develop a passion for? What can you resume that used to give you zeal? Learning new things makes you interesting, fills the gaps in life and sparks joy. Just what you need to rekindle your mojo.
Stop assuming how others see you
Have you got stuck in a situation with few friends or playmates? Are you spending time with people who reject you physically, emotionally or make you doubt your self worth? The hardest thing to do when you feel like garbage is get out there and meet new people, project positivity, confidence and a sense of abundance (which is exactly what you need to do).
You imagine everyone is going to reflect back the negative feelings you’ve had from those you’ve taken on before. Whatever virtue they may have had, as a lockdown voice, a sense of continuity or something to cling to, ultimately those people aren’t going to suddenly step up and fill the void. If they were, they’d have done it before lockdown. Let’s differentiate a lifejacket from a yacht. New people aren’t going to see you like that. They see the fun, exciting, sexy you, full of wonderful quirks, eccentricities, strengths and power. Let yourself bask in experiencing that. If anyone makes you feel bad about yourself, they aren’t your person.
Say that again.
They are NOT your person.
Keep putting mojo-boosting things in your diary
We all need things to look forward to, to stop us wrapping ourselves up in nostalgia or self criticism. Book things in to do, whether it’s going to a garden centre on Sunday, attending a party, arranging to meet an old friend or going on a first date (try Thursday date for a one-day a week fast-meet site that won’t take over your life or leave you with endless admin). Give yourself a social life. Give yourself structure of pleasant things to do that you HAVE to do, whether you think you are going to feel it or not. Nine times out of ten, you might not. But that one time you might actually feel marginally better.
Consider how our brains work
There are neurologists who may disagree with my comparison, but we understand life by narratives, so for this purpose let’s look at it like this: Our brain is a network of streams. There are streams for happiness, sadness, fear, anger. The more we let the water flow in these streams, the stronger and clearer the channels become. The more we block the flow, the more silt and garbage accumulates, so that when the waters try to flow, they can’t.
We’ve had reason for a lot of sadness, fear and anger. We’ve been cut off from our water supplies of happiness for a long time. Expect resistance when it tries to flow. It doesn’t mean you are broken, or silted up forever. It just means its going to take some real floodwaters of joy to clear it, or a patient approach. Erosion works. It created the Grand Canyon after all. But it did take a while.
Getting your mojo back
All in all, what’s the secret formula? Take risks in baby steps. Remember not winning all at once or every time is okay. Give yourself opportunities to socialise, talk casually and feel comfortable with others before you worry too much about flirting. Get comfortable flirting before you worry about getting physical.
Don’t expect every physical experience to be mind-blowing! Whatever you imagine, and however much you might want complete sexual healing, it honestly wasn’t always mind-blowing before. It’s okay to feel weird. It’s okay to take it slow. It’s okay to freak out a little for no reason and wonder why. It’s all part of the healing process. And on the right day, at the right time, in the right situation, you’ll feel your mojo back again. This too, shall pass.
Photos by Pixabay