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How does the menstrual cycle affect libido? Does the type of sex you want to have change at different times of the month? How do hormones change your sexual desire? How does menstrual cycle affect libido? I’ve been wanting to have a conversation about sex and sexuality on the podcast for some time now. Sex, desire, sexuality, and sexual pleasure are such taboos and often get left to the wayside and yet its such an intrinsic part of the menstrual cycle, and of our humanity.

Who better to speak to on these intersecting aspects of ourselves than my beautiful guest on Wild Flow Podcast, Ruby May.  

With a background in working professionally with intimacy and sexuality and a stint working as a dominatrix, Ruby became fascinated in the phenomena of Feminine leadership and how the womb could become a gateway into embodying this. 

tune in to hear:

In this episode we bring to you a beautiful conversation illuminating topics including:

  • How sexuality can change across the menstrual cycle, both according to hormonal changes and the inner stuff that comes up for Ruby and I in different seasons of our cycles on deeper levels, including wounding, shadows, needs, desires, and ways of expressing and relating to partners.

  • How sexuality can change over time and phase of life,

  • How we can work with our inner archetypes to explore our sexuality,

  • How feminine leadership can be rooted in our capacity to embody our sexuality

  • Why being live on an LA Porn set, and working as a Dominatrix deeply changed the way Ruby feels about, relates to and experiences sex in her personal intimate relationships.

  • We also talked about why sexuality is such a taboo, just like menstruation, and how healing it can be to bring it back from the shadows to be loved, understood, healed and expressed.

  • And so much more…

This conversation has left me feeling nourished, connected, soft, curious and whole. I hope that in listening you feel that way too.

[00:00] Ruby: It’s an invitation to really pay attention to, like, what energies are there in me today? What are my impulses? What are my needs? Like, what am I desiring? What am I moving away from? And yeah, noticing that there are certain times in the cycle where I feel more frisky and interested in sex, and there are certain times where it’s the last thing on my mind. And then there are times where I want this kind of sex or that kind of intimacy. It becomes more of a journey of discovery and perhaps easier to just meet what’s there and be curious rather than have an expectation and a sense of should and guilt about not feeling the same way every day.

[00:53] Charlotte: Welcome to the Wild Flow podcast with me, Charlotte Pointeaux for a really beautiful, nourishing conversation about sex and the cycle with our guest Ruby May. I’ve been wanting to have a conversation about sex and sexuality on the podcast for some time now. Sex, desire, sexuality and sexual pleasure are such taboos and often get left to the wayside. And yet it’s such an intrinsic part of our menstrual cycle and of humanity, so we can’t ignore it. I’m glad that we’re now having this conversation. This conversation left me feeling nourished, connected, soft, curious, and whole, which I wasn’t expecting. So I hope that in listening, you feel that way too. Allow me to introduce you to our guest Ruby. Ruby May is a devotee of the yin facilitator, community and connection catalyst. She’s midwifeing a world in which cyclical awareness is integrated into the way we relate and shape the world. With a background in working professionally with intimacy and sexuality, and a stint working as a dominatrix, Ruby became fascinated in the phenomena of feminine leadership and how the womb could become a gateway into embodying this. Ruby is the community leader for the graduates of the Menstruality Leadership program for the Red School, which is the biggest education centre globally for menstrual cycle awareness and her own initiative, know your flow, both support the cultivation of community for developing body literacy, inspired leadership and social change with over 200 members from over 20 countries, the author of know your flow, a cycle tracking journal for personal and planetary revolution, and the Creatrix behind the game, Ruby currently lives in the creative cauldron of Berlin in Germany. So listen, enjoy, share with your partner and friends, maybe, and allow this conversation to inspire you into deeper relationship with yourself, your body, your cyclical experience and your sexuality. Happy listening, Ruby May.

[04:01] Charlotte: Welcome to Wildflow Podcast. How are you today?

[04:05] Ruby: I am happy to be here, yeah. Thank you, thank you.

[04:10] Charlotte: Thank you for coming on. I’m so excited to have this conversation and get to know you and your work and see where we go down this rabbit hole about sex and sexuality and the menstrual cycle. So I would love to start with a cycle, check in and invite you to share if you have a menstrual cycle, whereabouts in your cycle you are today and how that feels for you and otherwise, do you connect in with any other seasons and cycles and just how’s that influencing you today? And then I’ll share mine afterwards, if that’s okay.

[04:49] Ruby: Yeah. Beautiful. Thank you for the invitation. So it is morning here and evening where you are, and I’m grateful for this invitation because I haven’t had much time for a little internal check in. So I am, I think, day ten and because the cycle before this one was a 95 day cycle and I’m kind of getting a bit perimenopausal, I feel a little disorientated in my cycle, even though I had a long one and then a very short one. So I’m feeling definitely still like expanding outwards and sort of riding a wave of energy into life. I haven’t quite started receding yet, but I still feel a bit like, oh, I’m not quite sure how I feel. What I feel more strongly is the larger seasonal cycle. I adore this time of year. I feel like each year towards the winter solstice, I deepen my experience of it and I have this beautiful luxury, which shouldn’t be a luxury, but this year I’m really relaxed, like I’ve managed to. I don’t know if I’ve consciously created it or it’s a bit of luck as well, but I’m not so busy. So I feel like I’m really slowing down and I’m simplifying and I’m feeling the call to just, yeah, really simplify. So that’s very present with me this morning.

[06:37] Charlotte: Thank you so much for sharing. That’s so interesting to hear. There’s a few things in there that you talked about the season, the slowing down, the simplifying, but then also your experience of having such a long cycle beforehand and that you said you’re moving into perimenopause and just how that can be. I feel disorienting, and you said you weren’t quite sure where you’re at and how you’re feeling in that. And so I think that that’s really insightful for anyone else who’s listening, who’s sort of experiencing varying cycles and wondering, feeling a bit lost, perhaps, and hearing you speaking to the larger cycle, the season, as a way of holding you even when things are a bit unknown and unpredictable.

[07:32] Ruby: If I may add on that the biggest gift for me in having an unpredictable cycle is that I realized when your cycle is like clockwork and you know about the inner seasons and you have that map in your awareness, it’s very easy to then be like, oh, I’m day ten, therefore I must be feeling this way and have that influence you, even though consciously you’re really trying not to do that. But I noticed that, wow, I’ve really been doing that. And so to not have a map and have to be able to just be all the more present with yourself to discover how you are and whAt’s actually going on is a good muscle to use.

[08:20] Charlotte: I think that’s such a great point. Thanks for adding that in. I think that’s something I’ve often had thoughts of similar nature before, of where mental circle awareness is such a powerful, incredible tool, but we have to be careful not to tip into its gospel in that way of, like you said, well, I’m here, and so this is the archetypal experience of that. And you’re trying to squeeze yourself into a box of, yes, I am feeling like that, aren’t I? And in fact, you’re really not. And I’ve had quite a few years differently, but postpartum breastfeeding, not having menstrual cycles for quite a lot of the last. For about five years, I reckon, there. And when it returned, just being very unpredictable and just finding that the more I could just let go of needing to have as a regular cycle and instead just in the moment tuning into how I’m feeling and what I need at that time and saying, well, today I feel autumnal, even though yesterday I felt really spring like and letting it bounce around a little bit had supported me in that. So I love hearing that that’s supporting you at this time. This time in your cycle this time in your life? Yeah. Fascinating. Thank you for adding that in. So I do my check in. So I’m cycle day 19 today, and I had to just check before we started recording. I thought, oh, because I find that more and more that I have a loose grip on exactly which day I’m on. And for me, it’s more I know within a few days whereabouts I am, even if I don’t know day 19. And so I still have that awareness and that knowledge of, like, oh, this is where I am. But without needing to be so purest about it, perhaps. And today I really felt a shift. Over the last few days, I’ve had some really good resilience and energy and capacity. I’ve got small children and they’re on school holidays now. And I’ve been like, come on, kids, you know, we can do this. And today I had a day to myself, and it was the perfect day for it because I felt so tired and I had to lie down this afternoon. I thought, oh, just go and have a five minute. Just curl up on the couch. And I did nod off, and I thought, oh, isn’t that beautiful? And I was thinking, oh, how clear were my thoughts and how articulate am I going to be for a podcast episode? And all of those kind of thoughts coming in and notice real feelings of vulnerability today as well, and this real tenderness. And I sat down and did look at the day and kind of really worked out exactly where I am. I thought, yeah, this is that point for me where I clunk over and I drop down a gear and I go, I have a wobble. And then after the wobble passes, I’ll be fine. But it’s that wobbly point. So that’s where I am right now. And as you mentioned, it’s evening time, so the sun is just setting where I’ve got summer solstice and your winter solstice in one week. So that real peak, the poles of the cycle. And it’s been really cold and windy here today, but everything’s pretty lovely and beautiful. And, yeah, I feel really kind of enchanted by summer. It’s not been so wet like it’s been the last few years. So, yeah, it feels good. Thank you for listening.

[12:25] Ruby: Yeah, what a beautiful way to begin. Thank you.

[12:30] Charlotte: Okay, so, rui, I would love to invite you to start this conversation with sharing with us who you are today and what you do. And if you would like to bring us on the journey of how you got to this point in this place, it would be so lovely to hear about you. Would that be okay?

[12:59] Ruby: Sure. I can just begin and see where we go. It’s hard. You asked me, who am I today? That’s a hard question to answer. Yeah. Because, well, I think it’s fascinating how everything is cyclical. So the way that we sometimes there are times in your life, aren’t there, where it’s about solidifying identities and carving out niches and boxes for yourself and going, this is who I am. This is my title. This is what I do. And then there’s times in your life where it’s about dismantling those and allowing yourself to be joyfully disorientated and not know who you are. What am I doing here? Who am I? And I’m in a dismantling phase right now. And I’m also in a phase of having really defined myself through my work. I’ve been self employed my entire working life, which is over 20 years now, and really looking at the question of who I am beyond my work, which is lovely. So maybe I’ll start with my background, which is that I have a background in working with the topic of sexuality, and not so much in a kind of nerdy physiology, nitty gritty way, but more like sexuality being. I mean, it’s the reason that we’re here. It’s how we ended up here. And there’s something very central to every human on this topic, and it connects with so many different things. Our ability to be in our bodies and connect with who we are beyond our bodies and our ability to give and to receive and to reveal ourselves and all of these things. So people will be like, oh, Ruby works with sex. And it’s like, well, I kind of rarely work, actually with sex. I work with everything around sex. So that was my previous life. And from there, I became fascinated in the feminine. And sort of, if you identify as a woman, how your capacity to lead might be different because of this feminine principle that we all have access to. But if you have a feminine body, maybe we have a slightly different capacity for channeling that somehow that led me to cycle awareness. So that’s since about 2017, that’s been a big focus of my work. And then I have a kind of fun, entrepreneurial side to me. So I invented a game last year that supports people to connect. It’s a simple card game, and so my inner businesswoman gets to play with that game. I do that on the side as well, and I love having different parts to my work. Yeah, I don’t know if that answers your question.

[16:32] Charlotte: Yeah, thank you for sharing. Love. What you said in there about people thinking you work with sex, but you’re saying that you work with everything around it, and it’s so interconnected, isn’t it, with all things, as all things are. But I really get the sense that that experience, what you were saying is it’s guided you into your body and into your leadership and into your body’s wisdom and your cycle wisdom, and then learning to express that and flow with that sounds like really interesting. Really interesting work. So we’re going to have a conversation about this intersection, then, of sexuality with menstrual cycle awareness. And first of all, I think it would be really useful to just. Do you want to define what you mean by sexuality? Just really simply? Maybe it’s not really simple there, so we can get that sense of what we’re talking about, and then we can go into how that really comes up across the cycle, what the challenges are with it, et cetera. We’ll go into that.

[17:59] Ruby: Yeah. I don’t know if I’d be able to define sexuality because it is connected to some of the profoundest mysteries of being alive. But I can say that we have, as a species, in this particular culture, quite a limiting concept around sexuality in that it’s very much connected to our genitals. And then there’s this word eros, which is often used, which I like as well, because it kind of expands our definition. And it’s more to do with, on an energetic level, how life moves through us and this dance of giving and receiving and, yeah, this dance with life. And it’s not just with humans, but perhaps there is something profoundly erotic about just being alive and being connected to the elements. And that might sound a bit woo woo, but again, sex is also. We’ve managed to reduce it to something so profane and so limited, and yet there is something deeply sacred about it because it connects us to the mystery of why we’re here, what we’re doing here, the nature of life, somehow. And I love that there’s this polarity of sex being this animalistic, physical act, and then something much bigger and more mysterious, more sacred. I adore that polarity and the dance of the different parts of it.

[20:02] Charlotte: Yeah. Thank you. So I think that’s really great because we can really sense that this is not just sex and an intimacy with another partner, or even with yourself in that way. This is more about that erotic expression and feeling and interaction with all things in the world. And I think that that’s really beautiful, and I love that you’ve explained how we’ve reduced it so much, but actually there’s so much more potential within that. And when we can think about sexuality in those kind of terms, it just opens up so much more to us. More life, more possibility, more pleasure and opportunities to get to know ourselves more deeply too.

[20:53] Ruby: Yeah. Such a fascinating. Our relationship with our sexuality, as in the aspect of sexuality that is about sharing our bodies with another human, is such a microcosm to much bigger topics in life, like what our relationship is to trusting life, to opening to being assertive and all of this.

[21:25] Charlotte: Yeah, absolutely. There’s so much in there. Juicy topics. Okay, so if we bring it down to this link with menstrual cycle awareness, can you speak a bit more about how your work in the sex realm, why connecting with menstrual cycle awareness was that link for you, that portal into what you do now, why that was the piece that really spoke to you.

[21:58] Ruby: Yeah. So I find it so fascinating that as someone with a female body, that I have a particular relationship to surrendering and being receptive in a sexual encounter. And yet if I just allow myself to sort of sink into that and I lose the ability to remain assertive and also direct and co create my experience, I’m going to end up in trouble. I’m going to end up going over my boundaries. I’m going to end up having a sexual experience that might not be very satisfying. So I need to honor how my pleasure is connected to deep surrender, and yet also stay present and assertive and creative. It’s like such a dance. And so I just became really fascinated in that dance. And how do I stay connected to this creative leadership that wants to be part of my encounters? And around that time, I was also working as a dominatrix for a while.

[23:36] Charlotte: Amazing.

[23:38] Ruby: That’s a whole other story.

[23:40] Charlotte: Yeah, I was going to say it’s a whole other podcast.

[23:44] Ruby: But I was so open and curious just to explore different facets of my sexuality, and I thought, I’ll just give the kind of stereotypical dominatrix a go and see how that glove fits. And it just didn’t at all. I felt really fake and awkward and the kind of stereotypical dominatrix who’s like barking out orders and kind of cold and icy. And so then I started experimenting with like, well, when do I feel confident in leadership with a man? When do I feel joy at being in control and leading a situation, an encounter? And so I just was really curious, what are the ingredients? And as I mentioned earlier on, is there such a thing as feminine leadership. And this felt kind of controversial because also I was navigating in kind of queer gender, queer circles and the whole idea that, of course, gender identity and biological gender are two different things. And isn’t it old fashioned to talk about feminine leadership and all of this? I was like, but there must be something to this. So I just decided that the most logical way for me to explore that was through my body and particularly through the womb, maybe the womb and her deepest nature has something to reveal about the feminine. I was really fascinated by that possibility. And so that’s when I discovered, through doing research online, I discovered the red school. And then I immediately signed up for their menstruality leadership training and began tracking my cycle. And then that whole world opened up for me. So, yeah, that was the bridge.

[26:05] Charlotte: That’s so interesting how you were in that dominatrix role and you talked about wanting to be assertive and that being more of your comfort zone, but not in that expressed way of like a typical dominatrix, and then trying to find what felt good to you and noticing how that changed and shifted across what would have been maybe your cycle, but might not have known it at the time. And when do you feel confident in that leadership role? I think that’s such an interesting thing that we can become really aware of for ourselves, for ourselves in our own sexuality, our own experiences of sex, our own interest in sex, and how our sexuality can change across the cycle. I think it’s something that is incredibly empowering for people to start to think about and maybe track and become more conscious of if that’s not something that’s occurred to them before. So would you share with us, if you’re happy to, what you noticed when you started tracking your cycle and how you noticed that you did change across your cycle? In terms of.

[27:16] Ruby: With my libido, you mean, or like my.

[27:20] Charlotte: Yeah, maybe in your libido, but also in your kind of, like, what came up for you? Did anything come up for you around your sexuality as well?

[27:30] Ruby: And it’s still ongoing, by the way.

[27:33] Charlotte: Yeah.

[27:37] Ruby: So I think that, well, a big thing that happened through my cycle awareness is starting to realize the level of trauma that I was carrying, completely unaware and how disconnected from my body I was, which was a shock because I was a trained yoga teacher. I considered myself fairly embodied, and I realized how I wasn’t at all. So that was a shock. And that led me to really earnestly begin the journey of reconnecting with my body and really feeling the pain of the parts that weren’t connected. And I think that that’s one ingredient for good sex. And being in a good sexual relationship with yourself is your ability to really be in your body and not floating above it. Because that engaging sexually with ourselves with another, is a physical act, not just, but it requires that we are in our bodies, but also, that’s where our desires live and our boundaries live and where impulses arise from. And so it was a journey of a painful, challenging journey of realizing how disconnected I was. And then gently, or perhaps not so gently sometimes, but bit by bit, moving towards inhabiting myself more. So one of the powerful things about psycho awareness is its capacity to be this deconstructum, deconstruction process. So because you’re just getting so intimate with yourself, you’re starting to see what is me and what is my conditioning? Which, wow, what a powerful thing to do in this lifetime. Exactly that question. What is me and what is my conditioning? What’s not true, what’s not authentic, what’s just like, the outside world shaping me in ways that aren’t really honoring to who I am and how life is. So part of that conditioning is also the sexual conditioning we have, how. How you’re meant to be as a woman sexually. I think that, yeah, the cycle awareness for me has been also a confronting process of. An example of that is, oh, I’m meant to want sex all the time.

[30:29] Charlotte: Yeah, good one.

[30:31] Ruby: And I’m there to meet my partner’s needs. I think that’s quite a kind of archetypal, common dynamic. And so the cycle, an invitation to really pay attention to what energies are there in me today. What are my impulses? What are my needs? Like, what am I desiring? What am I moving away from? And, yeah, noticing that there are certain times in the cycle where I feel more frisky and interested in sex. And there are certain times where it’s the last thing on my mind. And then there are times where I want this kind of sex or that kind of intimacy. It becomes more of a journey of discovery and perhaps easier to just meet what’s there and be curious rather than have an expectation and a sense of should and guilt about not feeling the same way every day. And I don’t think we realize because it’s so implicit, but there is this kind of underlying narrative in our culture that we should be feeling the same way every day. Like, look at the way that you guys are living in Australia towards the summer solstice. And the way that we’re living here in the winter solstice. Probably not that different, which is insane. And the idea that we’re meant to feel the same every day, we don’t talk about that because it’s so ingrained.

[32:22] Charlotte: And it’s so male serving of people with male physiology and hormones where it’s that same cycle every day. And yeah, I think that’s such an important point. And what you said there about pleasing your partner and feeling the same and being available and interested at the same level just feels like such a. You said ingrained female pleasure is such a taboo, isn’t it? For a woman to own her desires and express what she needs and to hold a boundary around? That’s what she’s available for. And what she’s not available for too.

[33:14] Charlotte: I want to interrupt this episode with an invitation for you to come and download your free gift, twelve magical rituals to nourish your menstrual cycle this guide features twelve rituals, all beautiful practices, rituals and gorgeous experiences you can give yourself in each of the four phases of your cycle in a winter, spring, summer and autumn to help you to come back into beautiful, loving, nurturing, empowering relationship with your body, your cycle and your wild feminine power. Come and download it now from my website, www.charlotepuanto.com freegift.

[34:02] Charlotte: And you’ve said to me about menstrual cycles and sex sharing the same thread of taboo love to hear you speak more about that.

[34:13] Ruby: I think that’s why I was so drawn to working with sex and the cycle as well, because I remember the first time I ever felt turned on. I don’t know how old I was probably like eleven or something. And I was like, what is going on in my body? Like, no one had told me about this phenomena. No one had told me about the phenomena of being aroused or turned on. So I was like bamboozled by this sense of every cell in my body dancing and being in this heavenly, blissful state. And I was like, wait a minute, you’re telling me that this is wrong and sinful because I was brought up religiously and yet this is the most life affirming feeling I’ve ever felt. Something’s not adding up. So I had an intuitive sense that there’s something around the taboo that basically it means that something’s very powerful and you shouldn’t have access to that power. Or there’s something that wants to be protected and sort of taken away from your sense of empowerment or ability to understand or experience or. Yeah, um, I think because we try so hard to reduce sex to something meaningless, like, collectively. That that’s in response to how powerful this force really is. And I think as women, we also are blind to that. Generally speaking, there is a tendency that we forget how powerful we are as sexual beings, and that is very taboo in this world to own how powerful you are as a sexual being. I mean, there’s a human aspect of that as well, beyond gender, that connecting with this force within you, I think, yeah. Is a way of connecting with who you are beyond your mortal, physical, little human self and kind of tapping into something much bigger and more mysterious. And there are perhaps agendas out there that would rather us stay small and not tap into the bigness of who we are. And then when it comes to bringing gender into it and power imbalances historically, that there’s something dangerous and plenty of agendas out there that would prefer women to not understand the power that we have sexually. So the taboo is a kind of way of attempting to keep the status quo. And then I think also that the cycle and the way our blood has been demonized and kept in this shroud of taboo and disgusting and shameful and a curse, that there’s also something incredibly powerful about being cyclical and having a womb and the womb’s ultimate identity being a vessel for new life. I mean, wow. To be tapped into those archetypal forces of life, the amount of respect and reverence that that then invites would just change everything in our society. And, yeah, there are forces that would rather that not happen. The taboo is a method of keeping the status quo.

[39:02] Charlotte: Yeah. And it runs deep, doesn’t it? It’s something that I see influences us from, like you said, right. From when we’re really young, getting that message really soon, that to feel sexual feelings and pleasure in our bodies is something that we hide, we don’t follow, we disconnect from. And I’ve got memories of similar things happening to me when I was about that kind of age and then just that sense of shame that came up when it was something that was either I mentioned or other people mentioned. And it very quickly became something that I really, really shut down. And I think most people, a lot of people are really disconnected from their sexuality because of that conditioning. So I think it’s really powerful that you’ve brought that up and how what’s taboo holds power. Yeah. And what could happen if we were all tapped into our sexual pleasure and power and what we might put up with and not put up with and revolutionize.

[40:22] Ruby: Yeah. We’re human beings on this incredible planet, and we could be creating heaven on earth, couldn’t we? We could be creating heaven on earth, and instead we are just making a big old mess. But if we really understood the sacredness of pleasure and well being and the life affirming possibilities of being in our bodies and being joyful together, if we owned that need and celebrated that need, then we would be creating a very different reality for ourselves, I think.

[41:03] Charlotte: Yeah. And I just got a thought about consent as well, about how if we had that respect for our bodies and could be in our bodies and could feel, and boys and men were being taught the same thing, and that respect for each other and safe, healthy relationship, I think that we wouldn’t be seeing so many of the problems that we have right now if we could in right relationship with each other, regardless of gender, but all people in our interactions, especially sexual interactions.

[41:44] Ruby: I wonder also if there is something around the origins of these more christian principles and rules around sex, like no sex before marriage, that there’s something in the seed, the origin of those guidelines. That’s actually really beautiful because it’s coming from a place that’s understanding that sex is like fire. You have to be careful with it. I mean, you can create new life. So you might want to bring some awareness into that. But also it touches us in such deep ways, and it can also be tainted very easily with compensation mechanisms and impulses that come more from the shadows. We need to bring mindfulness and consciousness and integration into our experience. Otherwise it becomes destructive, so to say, like, oh, all these religious principles are really bad, and we just need to be free. Well, maybe the last decades, we’ve been on a rebound from those religious and repressive guidelines or commands and look at where we’ve got. So it’s like a pendulum that’s swinging. And actually we need to find a kind of healthy balance where we do. Yeah, I really question the hookup culture and the sort of promiscuity and the casualness with which we treat sex. And as someone who really was on a soul path with trying to discover as much as possible around sexuality, I also felt like in order to understand sex and feel like I’ve wrapped my mind around it, I’ve got it. I had to be tabooless and shameless and be able to do everything with anyone, and then realized that that’s just not the right approach at all. And that where I was coming from was an attempt to try and feel a sense of control. Okay, I’ve got it. I get it. I’m not overwhelmed by this force anymore. And then I realized, actually, I ended up witnessing **** being shot in LA. That was a whole other. You know, I was on a live **** set seeing what sex could be reduced to, thinking that, yay, I’m on my way to liberating myself sexually. Look how sexually liberated I am. I can hang out on a ***** set in LA and it’s like, fine. No, this isn’t fine. This is horrible. I don’t like this. I don’t like what sex can be reduced to. I’m climbing up the wrong mountain, actually. I feel like I want to bring more sensitivity and more sacredness and more respect, more discernment into my sexual experience. And that’s my path, actually, when it comes to liberating myself sexually, rather than anything goes, I’m shameless. Bring it on. There’s nothing that can faze me. That was a bit of a ramble.

[45:27] Charlotte: But yes, love that. I think that’s such a great example of. I think it’s really interesting because I’ve often had the thought, like, when I was young, I used to watch Sex in the city. And they’re know, like girl power kind of know. We can kind of be like Samantha if you’ve ever watched it, know, have a different person every night, kind of, you know. I think that when I’ve really thought about it, it’s like, well, just because we can doesn’t mean that that’s what we really feels good to us. And that’s just one example, a funny reflection that I’ve had about sex in the city. But I think that when we can be really tuned into what feels good to us and right to us, and know that that’s enough without needing to push beyond that, we can be in safety and in self honoring and be in a better place to open as well.

[46:40] Ruby: No one gets to tell you what liberated is. I love that everyone gets to decide for themselves. What does feeling free mean for me? For some people, like for me right now, that’s being monogamous. Oh, my gosh, I feel so free being someone else. That might be completely different. You might be being wild and promiscuous, having multiple lovers, sharing your lover with another, not being sexual at all. Like, how beautiful. We each get to decide. But, yeah, I think it’s important to have conversations like this also with our friends, with our lovers, if we have lovers. Because sex is taboo, it’s easy to push it to the back of our mind and kind of compartmentalize it. Oh, that’s just my sex life. But it’s not is it? It does ripple out into so many different facets of life. I think because we’re so domesticated in our culture, we’re so sort of prim and proper and have all these social rules, and we’re so disconnected from our animal selves. And at the end of the day, we need to be wild sometimes. And even that word wild, we have connotations that that means, like, loud and cathartic and. No, it just means rooted into our nature, in our bodies, following impulses without the mind getting in the way. Always this appropriate. How am I coming across? Is this okay? We need to have times where we just let our bodies speak. And there’s something very like. Well, I don’t know. I’m curious how you experience it, but for me, it just feels very nourishing and balancing and healing. Like, I feel like I feel more integrated if I have times where my animal body can just play.

[48:47] Charlotte: Yeah, I agree. I think the way you described wild for me is what it means to me. It’s not about being destructive or, like, dirty or feral or anything like that. It’s coming back to our nature, our true nature, beyond all those layers of, like you said, the conditioning and the fitting in and being acceptable. And, yeah, I definitely feel like if the times when I’m not tapped into my primal self, then I get sort of spun into this, up into my head and become quite disconnected. And those moments then when I can just drop back in and be. Express how I’m feeling in whatever way that might be, it feels so healing and soothing as well. Yeah. Thank you for asking the question. So I’m curious if we go and have a closer look at the menstrual cycle. We’ve obviously got different phases within the cycle, different seasons. The hormones are doing different things, and you’ve got the follicular phase, that rising energy, that more yang energy, and then the luteal phase from ovulation back towards the bleed, and that descent kind of energy pulling you back more inwards, and ovulation being the peak of the cycle. The purpose biologically is to ovulate and procreate, and hormones naturally support libido at that time. But I would really like to have a chat with you about sexuality across the cycle. And kind of like, I’d love to know where you feel really comfortable in your cycle, in your sexuality, and to share different ways, because we all have our own unique ways of experiencing sexuality across the cycle. And just because we might be ovulating and have a biological imperative to ovulate and maybe have sex. It’s also true that people can connect more with their sexuality at different times. And I know that sexual shadows can come up around ovulation time, and people feel disconnected and maybe less keen to have sex and more self aware, or boundaries coming up or finding it hard to drop into their bodies. Whereas for other people, it’s, like, kind of thing, that openness and wanting to be intimate and connected. I’d love to just hear from you, just have that conversation about. So, first of all, is there a place where you feel more comfortable or connected to your sexuality in your cycle?

[52:16] Ruby: Well, to be very honest with you, I’ve just come out of a longer celibate period that lasted a few years. So I’m having a sort of sexual renaissance at the moment, and I’m discovering. But I can tell you that I’m most intrigued at the moment by period sex because it feels, like, so much more intimate and edgy for me. And to be met during that time by someone who’s not phased. Wow, that’s powerful. It’s like supporting me to access or to embrace my body in deeper ways than I have the capacity to do on my own. And I think because the conditioning around the blood being gross or runs so deep, even though I feel like I’ve done so much work on that already. But it’s ongoing. It’s lifelong. I feel like also, when it comes to living cyclically, living according to your cycle, that’s not something that you work towards achieving. It is a lifelong practice, and something is very relaxing about saying that and honoring that. But, yeah, I’m curious also about the energetics of period sex, where I feel like my ability to draw my partner into, like, a deep bond with me energetically is enhanced during menstruation if there’s something around it that feels more profound. And, yeah, so that that’s my current growth edge or sort of part that’s speaking to me of the cycle. But, yeah, what’s so beautiful to remember is how different it is for everyone, and I think it’s really important to keep reminding ourselves of that. I was speaking to someone a couple of days ago who, because of medical reasons, doesn’t have much of a cycle, but she notices that when she bleeds occasionally, right before that, she feels really horny. And she was like, this isn’t meant to be this way, is it? And it’s like, well, actually, lots of people do have a rise in libido right before they bleed. I believe if you want a physiological explanation, it’s because there’s a little peak in testosterone right before we bleed. I’m not sure why. There must be some kind of reason. And then for other people, lots of resistance comes up to having sex before or, like, during ovulation, because the desire to not get pregnant is so strong that that time becomes very charged. And then for other people, it’s like prime time for feeling frisky. So I think if we’ve been socialized as women, there’s just so much conditioning around fulfilling other people’s expectations. And, for example, being sexually available all the time that it’s so liberating to keep reminding ourselves that perhaps it’s also different from cycle to cycle. Perhaps that can also be a trap to say, oh, you know, towards ovulation, I. I have a tendency towards my libido rising and, yeah, to also honor that. The cycle gives us access to sort of different qualities and energies within us, like maybe different archetypes. And so the kind of sex that we might be drawn to would change as well. I can’t remember who said this, but I’m so enchanted by this quote. Something like, I don’t need to be polyamorous, because every time I make love to my partner, I’m making love to a different woman because. Yeah, and that. Yeah, sometimes the energy that’s there is a kind of wild, high energy, and sometimes it’s very slow and sultry. And sometimes it’s that maybe it’s more the priestess who wants to really invite someone into her world. And maybe sometimes it’s like the maiden who brings this more innocent, playful quality, or maybe sometimes more flutty and. Yeah, and maybe there are archetype or sort of patterns in our cycle where we would. But again, that can become a trap.

[58:06] Charlotte: So much goodness in there. Thank you for sharing all of that in your own experience and with period sex. I really hear you on that and how that’s where you’re. You’re currently being met and witnessed and accepted and loved, received just as you are at that time by your partner, which is so special. And I think that can be incredibly healing for people who bleed to not need to hide it or pretend and to come into contact with your actual blood and for both of you to do that, I think that’s really special. And I think if somebody doesn’t want to have penetrative sex whilst bleeding, there’s all kinds other touch. Other forms of sex can be just as beautiful as a way of being intimately connected at that time, too.

[59:13] Ruby: Yeah. Or it might also be the perfect time to just come back to oneself and say, for this week, no sex and to have that as a kind of rhythm that you can relax into.

[59:30] Charlotte: Yeah, gorgeous. And I love the archetypes that you just shared as well. So I heard you say, priestess, wanting, like, inviting that powerful energy of it being on your terms is how I felt when I heard you speak. Like, I’m inviting you in because I want to. And this is how I’m inviting you in. And I really feel like that archetype for me comes up in my pre menstrual phase in my autumn time. I feel like a real, once I get over this wobble, when I mentioned at the start of this, I’m in this wobble, and then after the wobble settles, I feel this priestess sort of energy rising in me and I feel like I can really? Yeah. The way you described it, I thought, oh, yeah, that’s how I feel in my pre menstrual. And the maiden for me is where I currently am experiencing challenges, more so with my sexuality at that time, which makes sense, brings up shadows from my maidenhood time of life. But I feel like that’s the time when I need to be slow and gentle and really going at my own pace and being intimate if I want to be, but always knowing I can say yes and then say no and kind of dance with what’s coming up. I feel like it’s a real shadow time for me. Whereas my husband just got the snip this year. So the challenges that you mentioned about if you’re not wanting to fall pregnant, it’s something that has just lifted for us. And that time of thinking, oh, and now I feel like we can both just be very present with each other in more of a playful way and an exploratory way as well, without having this thing in the back of our mind going like, warning, warning, warning. You don’t want to have. We’ve got three children, so we’re quite happy with that. So, yeah, it’s so interesting, isn’t it?

[01:01:53] Ruby: What is it that helps you stay in integrity and really ask for what you need?

[01:02:05] Charlotte: It’s such a good question. It’s for me, it’s listening to myself and honoring that because for a lot of my life, I’ve pushed through what my body has been telling me in order to just fit in or play the part or please or not wanting anything to come up kind of trauma wise or trigger wise or just complicated. Yeah, just push it away, don’t think about it kind of thing. But I’ve learned that I really cannot do that. If something comes up for me, it’s like, aha, I need to listen and honor that. And then being met and held in that, it’s very healing. And so I find that the more I can just listen and say, this is how I’m feeling right now. And as you’ve said, it can be different cycle to cycle. So sometimes I’ll feel really good and enjoy that time of my cycle. And other times I think I’m going well and fine and then something can pop up. But I think it’s that listening in the moment and just being where I’m at, not where I wish or think I should be.

[01:03:39] Ruby: I think that’s so beautiful, what you’re describing. It’s a kind of emotional maturity that we don’t have much education around. And this sort of cultural autopilot is to romanticize relationships because we want our partners to kind of meet our unfulfilled childhood needs. And therefore there’s a sense that this needs to be perfect and feel lovely all the time.

[01:04:09] Charlotte: Like a fairy tale.

[01:04:11] Ruby: Yeah. And actually relationships. And it’s about how do you navigate the challenges and the shadows and the twists and turns of life together with honesty and openness and compassion and just be with what is, because that’s what it’s about. Not like, oh, it’s going to be lovely and we’re going to both come at the same time and have multiple revenues. Yeah, I think that is an interesting definition of emotional maturity, and we need to talk about that much more. And especially the gendered aspect. People socialized as women are so used to accommodating other people’s needs and neglecting our own needs that it’s so powerful to reach a point where you’re like, I’m not going to do that anymore. And sometimes we’re forced into it because our bodies come up with weird symptoms and don’t have much of a choice but to start prioritizing our sense of integrity and well being over keeping things smooth, not being complicated, making sure our partner has a good time, that’s a very pivotal, important point, which maybe it’s not as simple as, oh, I’ve reached that point, and now it’s always easy. No.

[01:05:47] Charlotte: And I think really, this is something that, like you said, it’s something that you always work through. But I think over the last few years, this is something that’s finally dropped in for me. And having cycle awareness as an ally has been just so powerful and understanding for me. The archetypes of maiden mother Maga or enchantress and crone. And for me, recognizing that I have these shadows that come up at this springtime, like when my bleed ends, and in that first, before I get towards my summer, for me, understanding that that can be the maiden energy archetypally and linked to maybe that phase of your life or the tenderness and that kind of transitional point from inwards to back and relating to people again, perhaps having just learning about that and experiencing it and tracking it and just noticing how my sexuality does cycle, making that link between how I experienced that point and where I am has just been completely powerful and really forgiving. It feels really like, oh, there’s nothing wrong with you. I think you can feel sometimes as well. It’s like, oh, what’s going on here? But it’s like, oh, I have this awareness that maybe something might come up for me, maybe not. Just this is that point of my cycle, to be tender with myself and to listen deeply instead of being really thrown by things as it comes up, it’s like, oh, it’s really changed my relationship, I think, to myself, to sex, to pleasure, to my body, to my experiences, and, yeah, to my partner, to be able to have that language as well.

[01:08:05] Ruby: Have you been with your partner? Have they been able to witness your journey into psycho awareness and see how you’ve changed?

[01:08:14] Charlotte: Yeah, so we’ve been together for a really long time. Yeah, I was 19 when we got together. And so, yeah, 18 years. It’s been a really long time. It’s been like my whole, really, my whole adult life. And, yeah, psycho awareness has been really powerful for the both of us. I mean, I was on the pill for a long, long time, so it was something that was kind of shut down. My libido was just really nonexistent. And I didn’t have any relationship to my libido at all until I came off the pill. It was about ten years ago. Yeah, nearly ten years ago. And so then discovering it for myself at that time and my partner, my husband, discovering it as well, we did it kind of together and it supported him to understand. And he now is like, oh, always wants to know where I am, and he’s tracking. And he said to me today, oh, you’re going to be bleeding at Christmas, aren’t you? And how are we going to manage that? And I was like, oh, that’s so lovely, because I just clocked that at the same sort of time. I hadn’t really thought about it before. And to feel not alone in this, it’s a really beautiful, really beautiful thing.

[01:09:56] Ruby: I love that. I feel like when we are in touch with our cycles and the different, how what comes through us, how we express ourselves, changes day by day. There’s something awe inspiring in that, I think. And when our partners are full of awe and intrigue and want to support us with that, I think it restores the dignity that is very beautiful and powerful.

[01:10:41] Charlotte: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much, Ruby. I’ve loved this conversation. I think it’s just been so rich and deep and really gone into other realms as well and really illuminated how all these things are connected. And love the conversations about taboo and relating to ourselves and understanding what feels good for us as well as then being able to share that and be sort of flexible and let go of any ideas of perfection maybe of this is how it should be or this is what the textbook says, and giving ourselves permission to be where we’re at at any given point and knowing that can really change. Thank you.

[01:11:42] Ruby: I love having conversations like this because then through your awareness and questions and what you share, then I am able to think about things in a different way. So it’s beautiful for me also to affirm again the power of cycle awareness for deconstructing our conditioning and just really inhabiting ourselves and our truth and the link between that and our sexuality.

[01:12:12] Charlotte: And you. Thank you, Ruby. So where can people find you and your work and your game as well and any other offerings you have?

[01:12:22] Ruby: If you go to Rubymay Co. That’s kind of my umbrella site that links you to various places. So yeah, I do international shipping for my game and my website. Know your flow. That’s where you can because I brought out a cycle tracking journal last year that comes from the lens of kind of what we’ve been talking about, the power of cycle awareness for deconstructing conditioning. So know your flow. Menstrual cycle awareness for personal and planetary revolution. And so that’s available from my website as well.

[01:13:06] Charlotte: That’s a great title.

[01:13:08] Ruby: Love that.

[01:13:08] Charlotte: I’m going to go check that out. Thank you. I’ll pop all of these links into the show notes. And so yeah, go and follow and find Ruby’s work. And thank you so much Ruby.

[01:13:21] Ruby: Thanks for having me.

[01:13:26] Charlotte: Thank you so much for listening in. If you’re loving this podcast and you’d love to help me spread the wisdom shared, please leave a review or rating or share this with somebody who you think would love to listen in. I’m really passionate about creating ripples of change and getting this information to more women, girls and people with a cycle so that they can reclaim their cyclic natures too. And if you’d love to dive in deeper with learning more about how to connect with your cycle and rites of passengers, come and join our free wildflow circle community. Or choose a course and learn with me on my online learning hub. All the links are in the show notes. And until next time, be well and go with the flow of your cyclic nature.

meet ruby may

Sex and the Menstrual Cycle on Wild Flow Podcast with Ruby May and Charlotte Pointeaux

Connect with Ruby

 

Ruby May is a devotee of the Yin, facilitator, community & connection catalyst, midwifing a world in which cyclical awareness is integrated into the way we relate and shape the world.

With a background in working professionally with intimacy and sexuality and a stint working as a dominatrix, Ruby became fascinated in the phenomena of Feminine leadership and how the womb could become a gateway into embodying this.

Ruby is the community leader for the graduates of the Menstruality Leadership programme for the Red School, the biggest education centre globally for Menstrual Cycle Awareness and her own initiative, Know Your Flow. Both support the cultivation of community for developing body literacy, inspired leadership and social change, with over 200 members from over 20 countries.

The author of “Know Your Flow: A cycle Tracking Journal for Personal and Planetary Revolution” and creatrix behind”The Game”, Ruby currently lives in the creative cauldron of Berlin.

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meet your host

Picture of Charlotte Pointeaux

Charlotte Pointeaux

Charlotte Pointeaux is an Internationally Award-Winning triple-Certified Coach, Youth Mentor, Host of Wild Flow Podcast, a sought-after guest menstrual educator and speaker. She is a Shamanic Womancrafter, a Priestess of the Cycle Mysteries.

Charlotte’s work as a Wild Feminine Cycle Coach weaves together shamanic womb healing and rite of passage work with menstrual cycle awareness and feminine embodiment tools, to guide women through their transformational journey of reclaiming their wild feminine cyclic powers to expressing their big magick as a sacred leader.

Charlotte founded First Moon Circles®, a renowned facilitator training program, to train new menstrual educators to prepare, honour and celebrate children and their care-givers at menarche (their first period). To date, she has trained almost 100 facilitators across 5 continents and is on a mission to infuse families, friendships, classrooms and communities with period positivity and menstrually inclusive practices.

Download your free menstrual magick guide by subscribing to my newsletter, and discover my coaching, courses and short classes at www.charlottepointeaux.com/coaching.

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