We’ve been fans of Cynthia Loyst long before she became a household name as one of the exuberant hosts of CTV’s daytime talk show, The Social. Warm, approachable, authentic, hilarious, whip-smart, and bold: Cynthia embodies many qualities we admire in an on-air personality but also a close confidante or best friend. There is no subject too taboo or uncomfortable for Cynthia to tackle, and she always does so with gracious candidness, which is why speaking to her about tricky subject matter – especially when it comes to sex, dating, and relationships – always comes easy.
Last year, she added “Entrepreneur” to her long list of professional titles and officially launched Find Your Pleasure. We were so excited by the venture because if anyone can help encourage people to explore their sensuality, and feel good about it, it’s Cynthia. And there are so many of us that struggle with various aspects of finding pleasure, because the pursuit is often layered with complicated feelings that stem from our own self-worth.
If you haven’t already discovered the exciting online community that Cynthia is building, we think you’ll enjoy diving deep into this pleasureful world that offers positive experiences for the mind, body and soul.
Tell us why you started Find Your Pleasure.com?
I had just given birth only weeks before we launched The Social, so I was not only sleep-deprived but also very hormonal. And even though I was super excited about working on the show, I felt quite conflicted about leaving my young, breastfeeding son every day. I was also rushing around trying to be PERFECT at everything: I wanted to be a perfect host, a perfect partner, and, of course, I needed to be a perfect mom. But inside, I was pretty miserable.
It all caught up to me when a few months into working on the show, I had a panic attack live on air. I had to breathe deeply throughout the show to keep from passing out or screaming. I didn’t tell anyone at the time, but it was a real wakeup call for me.
The thing was, logically, I knew there were all kinds of things in my life to be happy about and thankful for, but I was drowning in “must-dos” and “should-dos” and striving for this thing called “perfection.”
At some point it dawned on me that I couldn’t remember the last time I did something indulgent or pleasurable just for me. When I started asking my friends about this, I realized that for so many of them it was the exact same thing. So I started doing research on pleasure and realized it’s a really complex and fascinating topic. Shortly after, the website was born.
What are the greatest things you want to achieve with this online community you’ve built?
I want to start a pleasure revolution!!! Because here’s the thing: pleasure has been positioned as the dirty little cousin of happiness…something that is to be feared and that will inevitably lead to ruin. And don’t get me wrong, if you aren’t grounded, some pleasures can lead to problems. But for the most part, I think women in particular need to be indulging in MORE of what they like, not less. Knowing and indulging in our deep pleasures helps us find our voice. And when we know what we like, our confidence levels improve everywhere from the boardroom to the bedroom.
You’ve always been so open about sex and relationships. Where did you gain that confidence?
I wasn’t always open about it…for sure I was always curious about sexuality. Growing up Catholic – I loved calling all of the contradictions I saw around me. (“Hey Mom and Dad – if sex is only for procreation, does that mean you only had sex twice to make my sister and me?!”) But growing up, I felt like I couldn’t ask any questions and I certainly couldn’t talk about any desires.
Then, when I was sixteen, my nineteen-year-old sister became unexpectedly pregnant, and I witnessed first-hand the impact of silence around sex. From that moment forward, I began researching and talking as much as I could about sexuality, which eventually led to me writing an advice column, then making television documentaries all about human sexuality.
This year I graduated from University Of Michigan’s School Of Social Work in the Continuing Education program and now have a certificate in Sex Education. So becoming confident around the topic has been a life-long project.
What’s your best advice for women to feel more empowered when it comes to their sexuality?
Before you hop into bed with someone else, spend a lot of time in bed with yourself. The more you get to know your own desires, fantasies and buttons, the better equipped you are to show and tell those things to a partner.
Give us your top 3 tips for couples who are having a hard time making time for intimacy, be it from exhaustion, kids, work schedules or low sex drive.
Tip 1: Find your pleasures first. Seek out something that gets you hot: it might be great erotica, a sexy Hollywood movie, pornography…whatever floats your boat. Then create an erotic database (it can be real or in your brain) that you can download at any time you need to. After all, your imagination is your greatest sexual organ.
Tip 2: Carve out time for it. This means that sometimes you are going to have to outsource or simply let certain things go. In other words, you are going to have to accept that the thank you card is going to be late, that the laundry pile will have to be stepped over and that you might have to order takeout. Only by letting go of certain things will you be able to make room for sensuality.
Tip 3: Don’t be afraid to get help. You can have all of the candles and elixir-filled baths and erotic accoutrements in the world, but if you are angry or resentful towards your partner, none of that stuff is going to put you in the mood. Imagine that you are a car: if you are revving the engine on your sex drive but your foot is slammed on the brakes – you are just spinning your wheels. If you feel like you’re at that point, it’s incredibly important to seek out a solid couples counsellor or therapist who can help give you some relationship tools to help manage sexual mood killers like resentment and conflict.
How has your view on sexuality or pleasure matured/changed in different chapters of your life?
I’ve been in the same relationship for over seventeen years and one thing is absolutely true: there is an ebb and flow to all aspects of your life, including your sex life. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m firmly against “obligatory” sex. I know so many women who still feel like it’s their “duty,” even if they have zero desire. We need to stop perpetuating this idea that men’s desires are more important than women’s.
Having said that, I do think there is a value to sometimes having “good enough” sex. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be pleasurable – I’m just saying that I think it can be important for a couple to physically reconnect when you’ve been apart for a while. That reconnection doesn’t have to be fireworks (it doesn’t even have to be intercourse), but having intimate physical touch with our partners can help soften the hard edges of a relationship.
When it comes to sex, pleasure, and intimacy – what should we all be talking about more?
Monogamy. The fact is that infidelity touches a great many relationships so we can’t just bury our heads in the sand and say things like, “IF YOU EVER CHEAT ON ME I WILL LEAVE YOU. THE END.” Wise couples have early and ongoing conversations about how they will endeavour to make monogamy work for the long haul (if that’s what they choose). Some adopt a “monogamish” attitude, some decide they might play with other couples, some decide on a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, and so on. But the most important thing is to talk about it. And don’t let the impetus to have that conversation be because you are already finding yourself attracted to someone else.
What are you finding pleasureful these days?
Long walks. Lazy, unscheduled days. Making puzzles with my son. Sipping on Prosecco. Connecting with readers on Find Your Pleasure.
What does “sexy” mean to you?
It’s totally a mindset. It’s about knowing what gives you deep and abounding pleasure and being unapologetic when it comes to asking for it.
Because we know you’ll love this beautiful space as much as we do, we’ve partnered with Find Your Pleasure to offer TEN DIVINE SENSUAL HUMANS a chance to win a “READ MORE EROTICA” t-shirt. For a chance to win, LIKE our For Your Pleasure post on Instagram and follow @FYPleasure now. Winners will be notified November 17th, by 4pm EST.