I’m really excited in this post to introduce you to a FABULOUS author and speaker Esther Perel. Apart from being beautiful, brilliant and funny she also captured and articulated something amazingly well in this TED talk about how to use the child (limbic) brain to keep passion alive in long term relationships. The talk is about 15 minutes so listen when you have time to savour it.
What was so exciting about this talk is that she captured the essential dance that occurs between the baby and child brain in intimacy and exploration. For starters lets just acknowledge that great sex occurs when our responsible adult brain is able to approvingly take a little break. Now our baby (brain stem) wants to feel safe, held, touched, secure, validated, cherished, gazed at, surrounded. It makes for tender, trance-like, familiar, gentle and kinda routinised sex. This sex is great, fantastic and what lots of us experience. The limbic (child) brain is all about exploration and discovery, it likes dress up, noise, mischief and naughtiness, it wants new experience, it feels alive in risk-taking experiences. The child brain is fully alive and in their body delighting in touch, fluids, silly contortions, impossible dramatics. Most of the all the child brain is NOW, impulsive, impetuous. Remembering however that this brain thrives in the bedrock of secure attachment, the safe place to retreat, where bruises can be nursed and kissed away, where confidences are held and fantasies cherished.
This dual dance between the baby and child brain is mediated by the conscious attention of our adult brain giving attention, permission and priority to our deep need for playful exploration and mischief, and full body expression of our vitality.