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Curiosity 101

Curiosity is one of the most curative traits of our humanity. It is this natural and beguiling capacity that defines us through our urge to understand, to explore, and to go beyond our own limits.

As the mother of four, I have witnessed over and over how little I actually taught my children, and how much of their development was really about me keeping them safe while they followed their own curiosity. As adults, we often lose sight of the expansive and life-giving practice of listening for and following our own curiosity. Instead, almost imperceptibly, our desire to discover the world, both outside of us and in our own souls is replaced with judgment, spurred by unnamed fears, that separates us from our own experience and often to the people closest to us.

“Intimate relationships are natural incubators for our curiosity.”

The truth is that our curiosity is hard to access when we feel insecure and unsafe. It is easy to lose our sense of wonder when we continuously feel defended. This is especially true when it comes to the most mysterious part of our human existence – our sexuality.

The great news is that intimate relationships are natural incubators for our curiosity. Just as children learn best within a safe environment, adult relationships thrive within the safe container of intimacy, which at its best provides a living laboratory to explore the powerful emotions triggered within the felt erotic experience of the body. Yet, just as an unsupervised child is at greater risk of harm, as adults we are more likely to get hurt — and to hurt others — when we explore our emotional and erotic world without the protective embrace of loving and respectful relationships. Even as I write this, I know this statement moves against the new cultural norm of sexual transactions with strangers. And yet, I would still argue that our curiosity most freely emerges inside intimate connections.

The beauty of cultivating our sense of curiosity inside of a relationship is that it reinforces itself in a vital and self-perpetuating cycle. Our curious explorations make our relationship stronger and more open; and as the relationship changes and grows, it invites more and more curiosity from us.

Allowing our curiosity to roam is a natural ally to freedom, especially sexual freedom. It is an enlightening and inherently sexy process, because adding wonder – without judging – makes relationships more spacious, inviting in the unknown, opening to places that have yet to be discovered. Judgment-free curiosity is contagious, providing your partner with the permission, even encouragement, to explore in a new way.

Giving your partner the space to become more of themselves is a gift you're giving yourself, too – especially when it comes to sex.

For most of us, our erotic selves are the least developed and most mysterious parts of who we are. If you are busy trying to become more like someone else or control some part of who you are that sets off a bad reaction in someone else, your access and safety to explore who you are erotically also gets shut down. When the love container of your relationship is strong enough to hold your differences without threat of reprisal or rejection, then the wild side of your erotic self has space to come out and play. This is where our differences become passionately intriguing.

Becoming more curious also allows us to become more vulnerable. So in many ways, creating safe space for curiosity is the antidote to fear. When our desire to know trumps our fear of being seen, we are emboldened to venture into the unknown and otherwise frightening territory of sexual exploration.

So get ready – sandwiched between grounded love ideas, we will explore this space of curiosity together and expand our approach to everything sexual as well as broadening our everyday approach to life. Because truly, how we do everything is how we do everything.