Slow Sex Author Nicole Daedone on Sex, the Brain, and Tantra

Nicole Daedone is best known for her book Slow Sex. In this interview she describes the brain ‘on sex,’ paralleling the spiritual tradition of tantra.

Nicole Daedone: The limbic system is your reptilian brain.  It’s your nonverbal part of yourself, the feeling body.  Ultimately, in any tradition, that’s what we’re looking to open up.  In Buddhism, in yoga, there’s a part where your limbic – your feeling body takes over and your frontal cortex, which is what determines what’s appropriate, can relax. 

And they’ve shown that they – I just went to the neuoraesthetics conference and they showed that when a human being enters orgasm, the cortex actually shuts down.  That part of your brain that’s constantly trying to decide whether or not you’re doing it right can relax.  And then your true wisdom can rise up and tell you what works in and integrated way for all of you.

Sex, the Limbic System, and Tantra

Sex, the Limbic System, and Tantra

Dr. Patti Taylor:  So when you’re engaging your limbic system, you actually are engaging a completely different part of your brain.  Is it a better part of your brain?  Is it a higher consciousness?  Or is it just a different part of your brain?

Nicole Daedone:  Yeah, I don’t think it’s any higher.  I think that it’s a neglected part.  And that when it actually does rise up, we’re – most of us are so thirsty, it feels more profound.  But I don’t think it’s any more profound.  I think integration is the most profound state we can get to.

Dr. Patti Taylor:  Well, but is it like a more loving part?  I mean, how would we know if we were in our limbic part?  Is there some way we might recognize that in our – I mean if you and I gave each other a warm, juicy, yummy hug, would that be like that we were limbicly connected versus a really mental hug?  Or, you know?

Nicole Daedone:  Mm-hmm, yeah, I think the best description for me is when all the voices in my head are silent, and I can experience where I’m at.  I mean that’s the best answer I can give.   And then, in terms of my feeling body, like in us giving each other a hug, the way that I would notice it would be that the boundaries become less impenetrable.  I’m not as clear where you begin or where I begin.

This is the goal of tantra.

Edited: February 11th, 2012