Saturday, April 13

Q&A: Liz Goldwyn shatters taboos around sex, will lead meditation at Hammer Museum

Wearing a red dress, Liz Goldwyn poses in front of greenery and flowers. The author — who recently published her book "Sex, Health, and Consciousness" — will be visiting the Hammer Museum on Tuesday to lead a guided meditation centered around love, just in time for Valentine's Day. (Courtesy of Glynnis McDaris)

Hammer Museum Conversations: Liz Goldwyn

The Hammer Museum

Feb. 14

7:30 p.m.

Liz Goldwyn is sharing her insight on achieving a holistic physical, sexual and mental well-being in time for Valentine’s Day.

The filmmaker, artist and writer recently released her book “Sex, Health, and Consciousness,” which shatters the taboos surrounding human sexuality. Goldwyn will lead a guided meditation at the Hammer Museum on Tuesday, where she will impart her expertise in the intricacies of self-worth and human desire to her audience.

Before her appearance at the Hammer, Goldwyn spoke with the Daily Bruin’s Natalie Glawe about the experiences and inspirations that shaped her trajectory in becoming an expert on the intersection of sex, health and consciousness.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Daily Bruin: What interests you about human sexuality?

Liz Goldwyn: What doesn’t interest me about human sexuality? It’s such an endlessly fascinating topic, and I was fascinated by it since I was a kid. I was stealing my dad’s “Playboys.” I was stealing books from my parents’ library bookshelf (such as) ‘Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)’ because I could sense, energetically, that all the grown-ups around me were obsessed by this word and driven by it with much of their behavior and their decisions, but yet would not speak about to each other, and definitely not to me.

I find that sexuality is a topic you’re always learning. You’re always learning about yourself. You’re always learning, culturally, about the topic because human sexuality is ever-evolving. And the way we talk about it would not have happened five years ago, let alone ten, twenty years ago. The medical system and our political systems are really outdated when it comes to this topic too, so there’s endless avenues to explore in the subject. I feel like it’s the kind of thing I could study for the rest of my life and not get bored.

[Related: Hammer Museum screens documentary chronicling life of iconic sex therapist]

DB: What life events propelled you to explore human sexuality?

LG: I think we all have life events that take us deeper. I would say in my new book, “Sex, Health, and Consciousness,” the consciousness and health are a key part of it. Because we tend to silo our sexuality away from mindfulness or spirituality, and for me, they’re really integrated. The purpose of my company The Sex Ed and my work in general is really to integrate those things. Because sexual energy is creative energy – it’s prana, it’s mana, it’s chi. It’s not just the act of penetration or an orgasm or even something that you do with another person. Your sexual energy and your creative energy are things that you can harness for other things in life.

I think the life events that have pushed me deeper into understanding my sexuality were events that caused me to open up my consciousness, and they were not happy events. To be honest, they were events where I really had to overcome an obstacle or a trauma or struggle. I do feel like those are the things in life that are our scars that make us who we are.

DB: What do you hope to share with your audience at the Hammer Museum?

LG: I’m doing a love meditation, which I’m really excited about. It incorporates a lot of brass and sound exercises that we’ll be doing together as well as a meditation on love and sound bowls. Sound and breath are a really great way to move energy through your body and bring you back to yourself. Especially in Los Angeles, I find that there’s this search for a pill that will heal you. But actually, a lot of the ways that you can come to a calmness, a stillness, are free. I want to give people tools and remind you that you have these modalities at your fingertips literally to ground into your body and meditate on love. I think we’re all in need of more self-love because we are not taught to love ourselves before we give it away, and I think that’s where we should be coming from.

[Related: The Quad: Student groups aim to demystify, destigmatize sex education for fellow Bruins]

DB: Why do you think it is important that people listen to your insight?

LG: I don’t claim to be a guru, so I don’t think I have all the answers. But I’m a seeker. I talk to and interview a lot of people, and I’ve learned a few things over the years. I’m here to help you understand that you have the answers that are best for (you). Somewhere along the way, we forgot how to trust ourselves, how to listen to our intuition, how to love ourselves.

My book and the practices within are here to help you along that journey. My book is full of moments of my failures and awkwardness, like embarrassing stories that I never thought – some of which I’ve never shared with a friend even – before I wrote this book. But in those struggles and those obstacles and those failures, there’s little diamonds.

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