TRANSCRIPT – Love, Sex, What Men Want, What Women Want | Philippe Lewis [EP11]

[EN11] Philippe Lewis
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PL: This is Philippe Lewis and you’re listening to EntheoNation with Lorna Liana.
LL: Hello beautiful visionary tribe. This is Lorna Liana for another episode of EntheoNation and I’m very happy to have as our guest today, Philippe Lewis who a sex and intimacy coach, certified sexological bodyworker. I didn’t know that those certifications existed. He’s also a trained somatic practitioner and an epic event producer, and I will definitely say “yes” to that. I’ve been to a number of Philippe’s events.
So for the past 18 years he has been exploring relationships, intimacy, sensuality, and sexuality with individuals and communities through teaching, writing, coaching, and sexy events with the goal of growing men and women into better lovers and better humans. He’s a father, lover, partner, husband, teacher, producer, writer, and a social artist, social engineer, coach, counselor, and much, much more.
Wow! Okay. So I can say that indeed his love for life is as polyamorous as his love and his sex life. So thank you so much for joining us today Philippe. I’m really glad to have you with us.
PL: Hi Lorna. Yeah, good to see you again!
LL: I know it’s been a while, so I’d love to get caught up on who you are and what exactly got you to this very interesting profession that you’ve created for yourself because I don’t know where it was that I ever saw a job posting on Craig’s List for “certified sexological bodyworker” and “Sex Coach”.
PL: Wow. Where do we start? That’s always an interesting question. When I was born? When my parents met? High School?
LL: Okay so I remember when you and I first met, you were working in like an I-Tech Company. [Laughs]
PL: You’re right, yes.
LL: And then since then you liberated yourself from your cubicle job and you just created a purposeful, passionate like super fun lifestyle and business for yourself. And that is amazing.
PL: Yeah I think that I’m still going to have to pick. Working for I-Tech Company, that was a good chunk of time. It was about 10 years. So there is – I’m trying to think… What would have been like an inception moment?
LL: Exactly. What caused you to take the leap and say, “You know what? I can actually make a living doing what I love
PL: Well okay, phew. Again, still, it’s been such a – so let me take a moment. I think if I go back there’s one inception moment that really connects a lot of this together. It was a moment about 12 or 14 years ago when I asked myself, “So what is that I really love? What is it that really jazzes me up and drives me?” And it’s going to sound very much like a guy thing to say, but I’m going to say it anyway; and what drove me at the time was women, was my engagement with women and the way that they were responding to my offerings, the way they were responding to my moves, the way that they were responding to my conversation.
Some of it was probably hormone-fuelled in some way; some of it was definitely fuelled by having been a nerd all of high school. That’s why I said, “high school,” a minute ago. I was like, have you ever seen the “Revenge of the Nerd” movie? That was me. That was totally me in high school. In fact, first year of high school I had all my books for all six periods, even after lunch with me with a big thing of pencils and pens – a big little pouch full of pens and pencils and erasers.
And I remember my first day like some little bully, some tiny little bully guy who knows a lot of martial arts just decided to just kind of toss my books. And it was really like the scene: here I am, I just showed up, I’m so excited. I love science, I love astronomy, I love growing plants – I mean, total nerd thing. And there are my books all over the stairs even as you would see in a beginning scene of a movie. And that’s, I mean that’s not where it got started but that’s just to give you a sense of where I’m coming from.
And then a few years later, going through my teens not really knowing how to engage, I could see there was this thing called “being cool” and being socially intelligent and knowing what to say and the girls approaching some guys, but not me. And then eventually I went to college to do computer science because I was just, I really loved that stuff and my dad’s an engineer and I just followed in his footsteps in some ways. And then after college, being sent to California for training, and I ended up hooking up with a girl in my class, which I’d never done. It’s like I hadn’t had many experiences.
And just kind of feeling so good in California I decided to move. And then shortly after that, a year or two after that, I went to Burning Man for the first time, which totally shifted my perspective on everything.
LL: What year was that?
PL: You know it was like one thing after another; California, then Burning Man, and then there was a point where I realized like I did not want to be in a cubicle for the rest of my life. And so I started asking myself like, “What is it that you want to do? What is it that really,” again back to the same question; “What really get’s my blood flowing?” And I realized that it was engaging with women. And so from that point I started getting really curious and at that time, shortly after Burning Man I joined a troupe called “Mystic Family Circus”, which…
LL: I remember that! Yeah.
PL: You remember that right?
LL: So what year was that when you first went to Burning Man?
PL: So ’98 was my first time at Burning Man. ’99 was when I joined Mystic Family Circus.
LL: I love Mystic Family Circus.
PL: 2000 was when we did our very first ritual performance. And so there I was, I was a street performer doing characters. I would build my characters by just walking into an event or party or festival, and just finding people to engage with. And I realized this was the perfect place to engage with women and also men too. But women were way more attractive and way more attracted to me, so I just kind of naturally went in that direction. And the practice of being, sort of exploring who I can be in the presence of another person – and especially another woman – kind of gave me the space to practice and discover myself in that area. And also to get curious, because I had an unending number of opportunities to engage and see what happens.
LL: So when did you actually quit your day job?
PL: That’s probably in 2001-2002. That was around the time where the company I was working for, it was [Seabulk] Systems and they were just firing a bunch of people and I realized, “Wow, this is my chance.” So I called up and I said, “How about you add me to the list.” They fired half the workforce, and to this day I’ll never know if I was already on the list or not on the list.
LL: [Laughs] You volunteered. And then you became ‘fun-employed’.
PL: That’s right. And from that point I had a little bit of stock options, so I had money from stock options saved. And so that helped me sort of carry me forward for a couple years as I developed other skills such as, making chocolates, and I wasn’t doing coaching yet. I did counselling training called “Interchange”, which is really popular now – Interchange counselling training. And you can Google that. My friend Steve Bearman teaches that.
That was sort of the beginning part because I’d been with this woman for about six years, I’d told her I want to experience polyamory – open relationship. I had no clue what that was all about, I just knew I wanted to explore that and our relationship ended cause she wasn’t up for that. And that was around the time when I started doing the interchange counselling training and that kind of gave me a basis, not only to do my own work, my own personal work, but also to be able to do similar kind of work with other people. And that allowed me to pursue my curiosity about people and relationships and sensuality and sexuality.
And that was around the same time that I started producing events at the time, which were called “Mystic Temple of Bliss”, which are essentially some version of a sexy or play party. Again, more space for me to explore, engage, and that space allowed me to become much better, and better, and better over the years at engaging with women.
LL: Okay so it seems your primary work right now is oriented around supporting men and women to become better lovers. What does that look like?
PL: Well because I’ve been through it, it looks like – well at least my version of it – looks like, while you’re in the presence of somebody that you really love, you really enjoy, and there’s all these blocks that kind of stand in your way. You might be thinking, “Oh I feel really triggered about what this person said or what they did, and I know if I just knew what to think or had a different perspective or if I just had somebody to support me, I could walk through it like it’s a walk in the park. But I don’t have that and so I’m stuck. I just don’t know what to do and what to say, or how to react. Well I’m already reactive and I don’t know where to go from there.”
And that happens in intimate relationships all the time. Very, very early on in my development I realized there was a part of me that could just kind of sit there and thinking, “Wow, if I could just step out of this like it was nothing, then I would definitely be a much happier person.” And so that’s what I’ve been doing with people all over in my life. My friends and loved ones and clients are coming up to me. I’m supporting them in shifting in their perspective, having somebody to love them and nurture them through these difficult times or these places that are more reactive, until they are able to grow into something that’s a little bit more self-confident, that is just more confident and has a better sense of what’s going on inside themselves and inside other people.
LL: So do you work with people primarily in a coaching or mentoring type of role? Or is some of the work that you do hands-on?
PL: Oh yeah, I knew you were gonna ask that.
LL: [Laughs]
PL: [Chuckles] So it depends, I mean I have some clients who are perfectly satisfied with just the conversation. And that’s where I came from originally. I just love conversations, and it just so happens that my primary language of love, or one of the primary two is words of affirmation, which to me occurs as communication. And when I’m in communication with someone, whether it’s in touch or in words primarily, I feel most at ease and I feel most gotten.
And so some people just like words. They just like to talk and that’s perfectly fine for them. Some people, on the other hand like a little hands on, or to just tell them like, “Do this, do this, and do that,” without actually doing anything with their body. They just don’t know what it feels like. So that’s where sexological bodywork comes in. And sexological body work is essentially hands on sex education. So you teach – I teach people how to better orgasms by actually showing them on their body. So they get to drive, they get to decide what they’re up for, and I get to sort of show them the territory a little bit.
And a perfect example of that is a lot of women if you’re using your fingers on them, or if they’re using their own fingers on themselves, if they don’t do it very often, they don’t exactly know where – I mean they know when they’re touching because they’re doing it, but if somebody else is doing it they can’t quite tell. So they know that some things feel good – like I had a client recently who came to me and she said, “I’ve heard of the cervical orgasm, and a lot of women have told me about it, and I wanna experience it. And I know that when some guys are inside of me, that it feels really good. And it feels much better than other times. But I have no idea what they’re doing, and I have no idea why their cock is in this particular way doing it for me or not.”
So what we did is we had a session where we explored the inside of her vagina with my fingers, of course with gloves. I have clothes on, it’s with gloves, we’ve decided what the boundary is. So it’s all done in a way that basically it’s about serving her. I have no desire other than being in full service of what feels good to her. And she has to be in a space that’s receptive. And so we explore the inside of her vagina and found different areas that felt much better. And we strongly believe that we found that cervical spot that they call “the deep spot”.
So that’s just an example, and that’s called “mapping”. So mapping is to explore the inside, find out what feels good. And also I would tell exactly how my fingers were and how deep so if she were with a lover, she could actually request the same things.
LL: That is brilliant actually because first of all, it’s so difficult for a person to map themselves. Because the reach of your hands and the angles, like you just can’t you know? It’s not gonna be the same as with your lover. And then secondly, to be able to figure out where those places are and then communicate that to a future lover is a skill that no one, we don’t get taught this school.[Laughs]
PL: No not at all! [Laughs]
LL: We don’t get taught this by our parents! [Laughs]
PL: Can you imagine how radical that would be? To have people, you know, high school kids practicing with each other. That’s like heresy right there.
LL: It’s like part of, a central part of sexual education. Like, “Okay, not only should you learn how to prevent pregnancy, but you should learn how to ask for better pleasuring for your lover.” Could you imagine? [Chuckles]
PL: Well that’s because that would only work if you were in a society that declares sex as a pleasurable thing and it doesn’t matter that the sex industry is the biggest industry, way beyond the car industry and a bunch of other ones put together, but to actually admit that people have sex for pleasure would mean that we have to – and it actually makes perfect sense. It totally goes right up against the education, sort of the education that we got from the puritans way, way, way back when as a culture.
LL: I know. Sometimes I wonder what’s going on in the mainstream, I don’t get it. I don’t get it. But okay! So when you work with clients then, when you work with the men and the women who are your clients, what are the most important areas of development or their most powerful transformations after they work with you? What do they get?
PL: Okay well for women, a lot of the areas are about knowing they can have their own desires and those desires are valid and know that that’s possible. A lot of women have culturally, that’s often promoted, is that women are focused more on what pleases their man. And to actually start focusing on themselves and knowing that that’s a valid thing to experience and to have. That can be a big break through. Now after knowing that it’s possible to have your own desires, the next step is to discover what these desires are and it’s not always obvious.
So the mapping is one example to knowing what are desires and also what feels good, especially in the body. But I would say women have a pretty good sense of what feels good emotionally, but not necessarily as much what feels good on the body. And you’re probably a fairly awakened woman, so you’ve done a lot exploration consciously. But when you’re with a lover and all they want is to fuck or make love, but they just wanna play and they don’t wanna slow down and experiment and try different things, then that doesn’t open up the space very much to find out, “Well what else do I like? What else do I want? What else might I want even though it sounds a little strange at first?”
So to actually have that space is something that, to actually know that this space is a valid space to be and to be able to learn in that experimental space I think is really key for women.
LL: Wow that’s so interesting because it’s something that I actually only recently discovered and it was something that kind of like seemed like the norm for so long, and then I was like, “Wait a second, there’s something really odd with the fact that if you look at adult films or videos, that it’s all – most of it is focused on the male orgasm.”
PL: Oh yeah of course.
LL: Yeah, so then it kind of like subliminally has a really powerful affect on having women focus on the male orgasm, and the men – the lovers that they’re with – focus on the male orgasm. So yeah, it’s really great to empower women in this way to get in touch with the validity of our desires and then of course be able to communicate them in a way that enhances the overall sexiness of the experience rather than kind of creates an emasculating effect, which would not be good for your love-making.
PL: I’m gonna put it in a slightly different perspective by adding to what you’re saying is; well if we look at women, what are the different areas? I call them “The 6 Intelligences”. So there’s like mind, body, spirit, heart, spirituality, and social. So those are the six intelligences and erotic intelligence. So if we look at women, the areas where I often see where they could be more intelligent is erotically. Sometimes somatically, which is to know their body and know what feels good. Erotically in terms of allowing their inner animal to come out and to be able to derive an experience without them feeling guilty about it.
So those are some of the areas. But emotionally women are often very intelligent because they’ve had a lot of practice. Now if we turn the tables and we look at men, then men are often not so emotionally intelligent. So a lot of the training I do with men is about being more emotionally sensitive. And also being sensitive to what’s going on in the other person in front of them. So it could be at an emotional level, but it can also be all sorts of other levels. What’s going on in this woman’s body? How is her body reacting to your touch? So that’s about being more somatically intelligent as well.
But I think one that men tend to be intelligent, if not very simple and primitive, it’s erotically. Like men could most likely just fuck until tomorrow and not even think twice. The problem is if that comes in, into a relationship, without any sort of emotional sensitivity, then it just feels like they just want, want, want, want and they’re not able to pace themselves with the woman in order to awake her own erotic, her own inner animal, her own eroticism.
LL: That’s really fascinating. So then if you were to work with couples, like both a man and a woman, then how would you work with them?
PL: Well it depends; whatever I spoke to right now, that’s just sort of a rule of thumb. There are, I just had a woman who just contacted me online just the other day, and she said, “I am a really awakened, very erotic woman, and my man is much more ‘feminine’ and he’s much more affectionate and cuddly and he doesn’t satisfy me sexually.” So that’s just an example where the rule of thumb doesn’t apply. Or you can use the rule of thumb, but you always have to look at each individual and see what’s really going on between them.
So what I do with couples is I just, we’re having a conversation about well, “What’s gone? What’s missing? What would you like? What is it that if you had it, that you would feel much more fulfilled? You would feel much more yourself? Because the main issues in relationships is that, well you’ve got two beings and they each have their own values and they each have their own expression of values, and it’s when one of these things are not quite in-synch that people have conflicts. If you had the same values and the same expression of values as the next person, then you would just get along all the time.
Because whatever you want they would want, or they would want it in a similar way or they would want to express it in a similar way. So what I look for is the discrepancies between the values or even if they have the same values, like they say, “Well I want honesty,” and the other person says, “I want honesty too.” And I say, “Okay, well how is it that you don’t, that you’re not able to find each other in that similarity?” And one person said, “Well for me honesty means you go out and you come back and you tell me everything.” And the other person says, “Well to me honesty is I get to ask you questions, and you get to answer them truthfully,” and that’s not the same thing.
LL: That is so fascinating actually because it’s so easy to, especially in the beginning of a relationship to think, “Oh wow, we’ve got like all these similar interests and values and all that,” and you discover that the difference is, there’s a lot of devil’s in the details. So I recall in my last relationship we both believe in community. But my idea of what community looks like is very different of what his idea of community looked like.
And so then we had this major conflict because I didn’t wanna join the community that he was offering me because that was not the community that I felt safe in, for example. So okay, so that’s really interesting. What do you think the most important thing is for anyone a relationship to remember, if they want the relationship to work out so that it is a mutually fulfilling, empowering, juicy, positive experience?
PL: Well I would mention two things that kind of go hand-in-hand, if I may?
LL: Okay.
PL: You said, “What’s the most?” And I’m like, “Oh this is hard!” On top of recognizing values and expressing values, I would say first of all is to realize that relationship, that is to approach relationship as an opportunity for growth. You’re in a relationship in order to grow. And the second one is, whatever happens, it’s all part of the grand experiment. There is no, what did they do in website design? Like there’s the AB testing, half the people go to the one website look and feel, and the other people go to the other site with a different look and feel. And then you get a sense of what works and what doesn’t work.
Well, you know, in your relationship with somebody you only have one person to test with. There’s no AB testing with this person. You either do it one way or you do it another way and you see how they react. And then they might be in a different mood, there might be something else going on. And so to be in a relationship means to always be experimenting and always trying to figure out what works best, what doesn’t work as well, and there’s no – I mean you can do do-overs, but essentially you’re experimenting live with this person all the time. It’s like there’s just one take, there’s not five takes.
LL: So then how would you use relationship as a crucible for spiritual growth? So when I see relationship I agree, relationship is a great opportunity for growing. Now you can grow and then it gets uncomfortable, and you stop, and you move on to the next person.
PL: Ah yeah.
LL: Or you can decided to like stay in the fire and like let those challenges forge you where you emerge into a more magnificent version of yourself, or you crash and burn. [Laughs] So like how would you know, how do you use it as a crucible for spiritual growth? And how do you know when it’s time, if you need to just sit in the fire some more because it’s gonna make you a better person or whether it’s time to like flit on to the next person, and the next person, and the next person? Where if you keep doing that, the same issues are gonna keep emerging just with different names and faces because you haven’t actually worked on those issues.
PL: I mean this is like the age old question; when is it time to breakup? That is generally such a difficult question. I mean there is like, I mean if you think of the hero’s journey and how the hero goes through all these challenges and then faces the abyss and get’s through the abyss – in hero’s journey sections of story. When the hero faces the abyss, that’s when they don’t think, that’s when they think they’re gonna die. You see this in all movies where there’s a hero. They think they’re gonna die, they think they’re gonna be destroyed. And then something inside rises up to get them to go one step further and then they vanquish the dragon, they get pass that difficult thing.
Well so here’s the thing; everybody who leaves a relationship when things get a little too hot or too crazy or too hard, they will never know if they had stayed one more step if they would have gone through it. So that’s one thing. Like you can never quite tell. What you have to be able to discover for yourself is what’s your ability, what’s your degree of resilience? Because what happens is if you keep on needing the same fire every day, all the time, it could erode you over a long period of time. And then you sort of like forget, you sort of like realize you’re not who you were before. That happens in situations.
Or you become something else. You become a different person. It kind of shifts your compass, you don’t really know who you are anymore, so in situations where there trauma or abuse in relationships it works like that. Like six months later, or a year later, or five years later you’re like, you talk to your friend and your friend says, “You’re not the person I remember. You’re much darker, you’re not as happy,” and that’s when you realize, “Wow, this relationship has totally shifted me in a way that’s not me. Or that’s not who I want to be.” And then you can get the heck out.
But there’s also a way that a relationship can push you towards growth. So then we get into the conversation of like, “What are your boundaries? What are your soft boundaries and what are your hard boundaries?” So I’ll give you a quick run down; the soft boundaries are the things you can push up against, and when you push up against them it forces you to grow. But you also have to have a certain pace because if you do it all the time it might actually damage you over time.
So same thing for working out; if you’re working out every day and you don’t give yourself a chance to heal, or you don’t get a chance to recover I would rather say, then you will always be sore and at some point it might actually affect your health. But then there’s a point where past pushing your soft boundary where you reach what’s called a ‘hard boundary’. And when you reach that hard boundary, if you go past it, it will hurt you in some way and you’ll have to have a space for healing from that. Like real healing where you have to process, you have to understand what happened, you have to understand and integrate it in a way that can take a long time.
So what I’m saying is that the point where it’s time to get away from the relationship is when you realize that it’s no longer just a soft boundary that fosters growth, but it crosses over past a hard boundary. And what does that look like? Well it can look like you’re engaging with somebody who doesn’t have the same values, usually that’s what it means. Basically you’re engaging with someone who has values that are so radically different than yours, or their sense of reality is so different than yours that it actually either erodes you slowly, or impacts you tremendously and you can’t see straight anymore. Your own sense of values, your own sense of self, your own sense of boundaries is destroyed either quickly or slowly.
LL: Wow, that was just such wisdom there. Than, you so much. Wow, I’m gonna mull that one over.
PL: Yeah, rewind and listen to that again.
LL: [Both laugh] Exactly, wow.
PL: It was pretty packed, sorry!
LL: [Both laugh] No it was great, it was perfect. Okay so…
PL: Oh yeah, one more thing I just wanna add, the biggest deal around this is you have to know what’s okay for you. You have to know where your soft boundaries are, where your hard boundaries are. That’s the hard work. That’s the hardest work because you’re discovering – boundaries are not something that you just know. I mean some people think they just know, but mainly these are things that you test against. So for example for weight, well how do I know how much I can bench press one time? Well there’s only one way I can find out, it’s to actually go about and do it.
So I would try 100 pounds. Okay I can do that. But then can I do 200 pounds? Can I do it now, or can I do it in a day? Okay so I can try both. But when you’re in a relationship you don’t necessarily have that opportunity and so things that you get pushed in all these different ways, and then sometimes you feel like it was a soft boundary. Like, “Okay I’m growing and learning,” and then you realize, “Wow, I’m not recovering from this.” And that’s how you know that it went over from a soft boundary area to more like a transgression – more like a crossing into the hard boundary.
And that’s how you know! You can only know if you’re getting hurt. So being in a relationship has a call to learn, but it’s also risky.
LL: I agree. I agree completely because I mean I can say like from my own personal perspective, I am an entrepreneur and a self-employed individual. So if I’m involved in a relationship that’s really emotionally disastrous and draining a lot of my energy, that has very real affects and very real impact on my ability to generate income and pay my own bills. So yeah, relationships can be risky and for me, maybe that does limit the extent of my intimate relationships, but I do kinda have a bit of a, kind of like a gauge so to speak. So if the relationship is starting to dip into negative, then it’s like, “No, I can’t do that. Because I have to protect my business, my livelihood, my clients.” My work, my body of work that I’m creating in the world is probably my – well you know it is my primary priority because it’s also how I feed myself.
PL: It feeds you in different ways too. It feeds you emotionally, and it feeds you energetically too. Not just how you pay the rent and how you get food on the table.
LL: Absolutely. And it doesn’t have the same safety net as being an employee does, whereas like you can have a really bad day or a really bad week or month, but you have your job and basically your employer is absorbing the cost of your lack of productivity during that difficult time.
PL: [Laughs] Totally.
LL: You know? And like you’re clocking the paycheck and if you’re checked out or like disappearing on longer, and longer breaks because you’re on the phone arguing with your partner, you can get away with that. But you know, if you’re self employed it’s gonna have a real impact on you. So yeah, absolutely.
So I wanna wrap up this really fascinating conversation because we’re at the end of our segment. I’d love to ask you, well two questions; so first is, we’ve talked a lot about relationships and men and women and how to try to have relationships that are successful and work and are fulfilling. What do you think are the main differences between what a man wants and what a woman wants in love relationships? Because I see like getting that right is a key to the logevity and the fulfillment of a love relationship.
PL: Well it’s interesting you asked for that because I just posted a blog post on my website called, “Graceful Connections: The 5 Keys to What Women Want.” So that’s a good start. [Laughs]
LL: Okay.
PL: So I would say that women mainly, and it’s interesting because what I’m gonna say is something that applies more to people and it’s just a matter of what it looks like. So in my blog post I say essentially women want to be gotten, women want to be held, accepted, loved, supported – but in a way they just wanna be held or gotten. They want to know that somebody else knows who they are so well that they feel held. So that’s what all my experience and all my research and all my personal experiences with lovers have led me to believe and led me to see.
And then the flip side of that is I think men want that too. And what that looks like really is dependent on their ability to perceive it. So I would say that men are more likely to want that in a sexual way. Although men are very emotionally intelligent – no sorry! Men are very – sorry – Women are very emotionally intelligent and because men are not so much, they can’t really receive being held in an emotional way. But they can receive being held in a sexual way a lot more.
And then women on the other hand would want to be received in an emotional way because they can receive really well, or they can perceive that and see that somebody is there for them in this particular way much more easily because they are much more intelligent in those areas. So I think even though men are as emotional as any body else, I think they’re not as intelligent around it. Meaning that even if an emotion arises, they’re not as able – and I say this again as a rule of thumb. Will not apply to all men, and in fact if it doesn’t apply to you, awesome! Because that means you’re a little bit more emotionally intelligent than most men.
But I’d say everybody feels, and that’s a matter of somebody else getting how we feel, and I’m not just talking about feeling emotionally but also feeling with our mind, feeling with our body, feeling with our inner animal, feeling spiritually. If somebody can approach you as a person and feel you in all these different ways, then you will feel fully gotten. And if you feel fully gotten then you feel connected. And if you feel connected then you feel at one with this person and you feel like you’ve found your soulmate. And I think this applies to both people, it just looks different because of their capacity to receive that love and to express it too.
LL: Oh so you brought up a really interesting term that I’ve been trying to really grapple with too; so ‘soulmate’. So what are some of the characteristics of a soulmate relationship? And do you think it’s something that already pre-exists? So you meet someone and you really resonate with them and you’re like, “Wow, that person’s my soulmate!” Versus, you know, you meet somebody and you’re like, “Oh he seems kind of nice,” and get to know him better. And then eventually it’s like, “I think this person’s my soulmate,” after like maybe two-five years of working on it. What is your take on what the elusive soulmate is, and how to make a soulmate relationship work?
PL: You’re not asking me the easiest question today. Oh my gosh.
LL: Oh I wanna know! [Both laugh]
PL: “I wanna know,” well I’ll give you my best shot.
LL: Okay.
PL: So soulmates, characteristics of soulmates, I’ll put common values, similar expression of values – not necessarily the same – growth that feels like it’s at a right pace. Let’s see, what else would I put in there? Similarity of movement, like energetic movement which means like wherever you’re at and wherever they’re at, it’s in a similar place. So you’re dancing together and it feels like you’re dancing in the same dance and to the same music. Let’s see, soulmates… That deep connection, like a deep connection that doesn’t get broken up all the time. And also somebody who can get you in the same way that you can get them.
And ultimately, we get down to like a particular synergy that feels growthful, that makes you feel more alive, which also means, generally it also means that it’s pushing you in a way that’s causing you to grow. But it’s pushing you to grow in a way that feels right, that feels it’s the right pace, that takes into account where you’re at, that takes into account what’s too scary where you don’t wanna go, that takes into account what you desire for whatever reason you desire these things.
So when you have two people doing that together in this really beautiful and deep way, then you can call that being soulmates, or at least in my interpretation of it. At the same time, you have to understand that when you first meet somebody there’s a ton of chemicals that are running in your body and you’re sort of on drugs for a little while. And those kinds of drugs are the drugs that make you feel like you’re even more connected, and actually causes you to be even more flexible at the beginning with a total stranger so that you connect more deeply.
So a lot of people will express love in all five love languages for the first few weeks or months, and it’s the romantic base of the relationship where you’re basically building up all these positive experiences so that when you start doing the real growth, it doesn’t come from left field. It’s a gradual process of like perceiving this person as almost all fantasy and a little bit of reality. And that reality grows and the fantasy gets smaller and smaller, and you’re starting to really see the person, and you’re starting to really see the diversity and the richness of this person. Not just in the comic experiences you built together, but also you start to see more deeply into their soul. And that’s a whole new type of intimacy compared to, “I feel close to this person,” versus, “I can see deep into their soul.”
But it all contributes together to create this graceful dance, and that if you stick with it and you’re willing to learn, you will go into that deeper dance. You go talk to anybody who’s been together for 20, or 30, or 40, or 50 years. Grandparents who are still together, parents who are still together, and ask them like, “Is being a soulmate all it’s cracked up to be?” And they’ll give you all sorts of different answers. But the main thing is, they’re still there still doing the work. Even if it’s in a light way, even it’s they’re just hanging out together day in, day out, they may not be in this full-on growth trajectory, but they’re still together, they’re still doing it. So that can be very meaningful for some people. And so some people it’s all about growing fast.
LL: Wow okay. Well that was very juicy information. Thank you so much for your time here with us today. How can we best stay in touch with you Philippe?
PL: Okay you go to my website, and it’s both for men and women. I see that every person needs to become an exquisite lover. And when I say ‘lover’ I don’t just mean in bed. I also mean in all possible ways that we can love each other and whether it’s in conversations, in emotional connection, in bed, in the ways that we dance, in the ways that our bodies engage together, in the ways that we’re spiritually connected, in the ways that we show up in the world together within our community. I think these are all ways that we can love each other and we can become better lovers. So
LL: Thank you so much. You have a beautiful day!
PL: You too.