This is the eighth in a series of articles about sexual astrology. The first thing to understand about sexual astrology is, well—it’s complicated. A deeper analysis of an individual’s psyche, desire nature, kinks and attractions considers the houses of the natal chart, the placement of Venus and Mars and their relationship to the Sun and other planets, amongst other details.
But there is a LOT to dive into when we simply use Sun sign astrology—for which all you need to know is someone’s birthday. As Sex Coaches, astrological insight into a client’s energy and personality is invaluable. The Sun is the heart of our natal fingerprint and it shines its revealing and singular light on the rest of our horoscope. When you want to understand what drives someone’s erotic nature, you should understand the Sun first. That’s why Sun sign-based relationship astrology is the stuff of legend, going back to Linda Goodman’s Love Signs in the 1970s.
We can do without the antiquated gender stereotypes of that era, however. This is love and sex sign astrology for the true Age of Aquarius—where we are wholly inclusive, embracing the LGBTQI+ and non-binary spectrum. No matter how we identify, we were all born with the Sun in a particular sign, and so were the humans we love (or hope to love and/or touch).
Leo: The Playful Performer
Born: July 21 – August 22
Motto: I WILL
Symbol: The Lion
Planetary Ruler: The Sun
Leo rules the heart and back.
What is Leo energy like? It’s generous, vital, charismatic, affectionate, loving, open-hearted, wildly creative, daring, sometimes too hot to handle, and a bit high maintenance. All that Big Love demands to be recognized. This is the second fixed sign of the zodiac, so the glamour and drama that Lions bring can feel demanding, but the rewards for showing up to the show? They’re very much worth the price of entry. If you’re craving fun, immense pleasure, and ALIVENESS, book a seat at your local Leo’s next performance.
This sign was born to lavish love all over the people they’re devoted to. Loyalty, in fact, is a key feature in the Lion’s den, and if you fail this particular test, you may be cast out into the savannah to fend for yourself. On the other hand, there’s nothing like being defended by a Leo in public. If you’re their beloved or kindred and someone messes with you, your Leo will step up and let out their roar, or at least give the offender the most dramatic side-eye you’ve ever seen.
Leos tend to inspire you. Regardless of gender, they often pack a sexy swagger that is exemplified by one of the most famous Leos, Mick Jagger. Their ability to assert their will can challenge the shyest people to stick their necks out. The secret key to a Leo’s heart, however, is having compassion when you see that they’re only faking it ‘til they make it. It doesn’t happen all the time, but once in a while their fiery confidence is merely stagecraft that’s meant to conceal a fear of being rejected.
If a Leo doesn’t inspire you to push the envelope of your own confidence, they can have the opposite effect: making you feel even more shy, because they’re just so BIG. They do not merely enter rooms, they OWN rooms. If they don’t turn every head when they walk down the street or the grocery aisle at the supermarket, a Leo may wonder if they’ve lost their glow. They rarely lose it however—it’s something that tends to carry deep into their elder years.
That unrivaled glow comes thanks to the Sun, the ruler of this scene-stealing sign. The Sun is called one of the “lights” in astrology (the Moon, the ruler of Cancer, is the other light). These two summer signs aren’t ruled by planets like the other ten signs, giving them a more accessible set of qualities. The Moon and the Sun are the cosmic bodies we’re most familiar with in our everyday experiences on Earth, and they’re both integral to our own planet’s orbital path. The Sun corresponds to consciousness, ego, and public acclaim—the things we do and feel that are visible to us and others. The Moon corresponds to the unconscious and things that are buried, hidden, and private. This illustrates the differences between Leo (the Sun) and Cancer (the Moon).
Leo’s opposite sign is Aquarius, best known for its cool, calm, collected detachment and superior analytical skills. Leo energy can feel like it’s all id, all the time, not dissimilar from Aries, its sister fire sign. But you can dig into and tease apart what really makes a Leo tick when you look at Aquarius, its shadow. Many Leos will first strike you as being all heart, so taken by the drama and emotion of the moment that reality takes a backseat. But this can be a bit of overcompensation, because deep inside, a fear of not feeling anything at all resides.
Leo Relationship Energy
Meeting a Leo is usually fun and exciting, with a flair of drama that can make you feel like you’re starring in a rom-com and this is the definitive meet-cute. One of their most gorgeous qualities is their ability to boost your confidence, even if they just saw you across a crowded room. They may have no idea they’re doing this, but their powerful presence can draw you out and show you how amazing YOU can be.
You might not usually be brave enough to approach an attractive stranger, but the magnetism and magnanimity of a Leo can make you feel like it’s now or never, so you’ll just do it. In other situations, a Leo’s overwhelming presence and big personality can make you feel like you have nothing to say, but this is an excellent challenge to try and overcome, boosting and basking in the Leonian glow.
An example from my own life: when it comes to complete strangers that I find attractive, I can be an uncharacteristically shy Aries. Yet one night in a bar many moons ago, I was compelled to walk directly up to a very hot man and say, “Who are you and are you coming home with me?” as if I was possessed by someone else’s voice. When I found out my new friend was a Leo, I laughed so hard, because I understood I was merely channeling his energy. Leos are so vital and alive that they can have this instant effect on you.
Do tell a Leo how amazing they are on a regular basis, though. You might think—why should I lay it on so thick, this person CLEARLY KNOWS they’re a special specimen. It doesn’t matter how confident a Leo seems, however—make compliments, and lots of them. Be their cheering section, telling them not just how beautiful they are, but that they’re creative geniuses and the absolute best at everything they do. If you notice your Leo is complimenting you a lot, that’s a good moment to repay the favor. Remember, they can be secretly doing the fake it ‘til you make it thing, but you won’t always know the difference, unless you’ve been in a relationship with them for a long time.
Are the perks worth the drama? That’s something only you can decide. Once your Leo fixates on something they want, they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. (If you are the thing that they want, this can be pretty overwhelming.) But this can happen in mundane, everyday ways. For instance, if your Leo lover decides they want sushi for dinner and there are no reservations available at their favorite restaurant, especially if they’re a regular and think a table should always be there for them, there can be a bit of hysteria. Perceived social sleights can also wreak a bit of dramatic havoc, so it helps if you’re both tolerant of the fallout and able to navigate the situation. If you can arrange reservations at an equally fabulous restaurant or play mediator between your Leo and the friend who hurt them, you’ll do just fine.
A happy Leo is a playful Leo and getting into a relationship with one can feel like an extended visit to a free and easy childhood—even if that was not your lived experience at all. Leos are often put-together in public, yet they can be wild and wacky in private. Waking you up in the middle of the night for a tea party, in which they play the role of Queen? That’s the kind of thing your Leo partner might do. They tend to bring a party vibe with them wherever they go, and they are the hired entertainment.
The Leo Desire Matrix
What does a Leo want? To be stroked, of course. Leo, as the second tier of three fire signs of the zodiac, is a bit more evolved on the scale of potential conflagrations. Leos, like all fire signs, are extremely, extremely sexual beings. Yet where an Aries comes at you like an arrow of throbbing, uncontrolled desire, Leos tend to glow hotly, magnetizing others to want them first. In this way, they can seem slightly lazy, like a cat lazing about in a warm ray of sunshine, blissfully enjoying what they know they deserve. Yet if a Leo wants you, they want you, and they will not be deterred. Just as much as they expect to be cuddled and coddled and stroked, their hunting instinct is pure and feral. A Leo that is attracted to you will win your affections, nine times out of ten.
Speaking of pussycats, if you’ve ever been kept by one, you know that you don’t own them—they indeed own you. They train you. They use their affection and adorableness to manipulate you, in fact, to do their bidding. Leos are excellent at this, but with healthy, well-adjusted Lions, it seems to come from such a heart-centered place that you won’t care that you’re in the servant role (more on the master-servant dynamic in a bit).
The other appropriate Leonian metaphor, of course, is that of the King or Queen. Leo, after all, is the sign of royalty, and oh yes—they do enjoy having a court of potential lovers to fawn over them. If you’re in a monogamous relationship with a Leo, there is nothing hotter for them than going out and flirting with everyone else in the bar or restaurant, while you watch. This can be wholly playful, not sadistic, but it’s a major turn-on for them, and by the time you get home, you will likely have even hotter sex than you might’ve if your Leo hadn’t been eye-fondled by multitudes earlier in the evening.
Getting Down with a Leo
Accolades are one of Leo’s biggest turn-ons. You may think they already know how hot and sexy they are, but it helps to tell them over and over again. Some Leos will lay back and purr to the dulcet tune of your praise, recognizing at the heart level that the adulation is deserved. Compliments via text can be an ideal form of foreplay before a date. Saying something like, “I can’t wait to show you off tonight…” is always a good opener first thing in the morning. Escalate from there.
Sex with a Leo can be the ultimate self-esteem boost. If you can show up ready to open your heart center and connect with love, even if this is a one-night affair, it can be one of the most memorable sexual experiences you’ll ever have. Also: be ready to play and don’t take yourself too seriously, because this is truly about fun more than anything else. Leos are a force to be reckoned with energetically, so prepare for some erotic enthusiasm and athleticism.
Leos have endless stamina, and they can keep you busy all night long. Even if passions are consummated the first time by a quickie up against the wall because you just couldn’t wait to get to the bed, your Lion will likely be ready for more soon. They’re known to want sex once or twice at night, and again in the morning, near sunrise.
Lavish a lot of attention on your Leos chest and back, the body parts ruled by this vital sign. Back scratching sessions turn them on a LOT. Always ask for consent, but know that Leos are likelier to be open to some rough play. If you have nails, they might just love it if you dig in a bit. Leos with nails love to provide this service for their partners, as well. Cats will be cats.
Leos are strong, and if open to BDSM, they tend to prefer the dominant role. They’re just naturally good at telling you what to do and how to do it. Role play is incredibly fun for them, and if you take on a Leo lover, expect that a new character can join you in bed just about any time. When long-term sexual relationships with a Leo are in need of spice, role play is a great go-to. Inviting your Leo partner to meet you in a restaurant or bar and pretending that you’ve never met? That’s a pinch-hit that will have them purring in no time.
Most Compatible Signs for Leo
Sister fire signs Aries and Sagittarius are the most sexually compatible with Leo. They make the sparks FLY! These connections are beyond hot, but they can burn out quickly if not stoked and tended to. With Aries, the infant of the zodiac, the Leo must learn how to follow the leader—something that isn’t always easy for them to get used to. But the sex between Aries and Leo is off the charts, passionate, athletic, fiery, and worth any arguments (there will be arguments, but there will likely be a makeup session in bed.) With Sagittarius, Lions can open their minds and realize that not everything is about them all the time. The sex between Leo and Sagittarius is almost as hot as it is with Aries, but slightly more measured and thoughtful—accompanied by long conversations about philosophy, faith, and the meaning of life.
Leos also play well with Geminis and Libras, air signs that spur on their fire. These are both pairings in which flirting is an unrivaled art form. With Gemini, this flirting is mostly verbal—conversations, texts, and emails are epic romances. With Libra, coquettish glances, dressing up, and exceptionally tasteful dates at the best restaurants are at the heart of the flirting. These two signs aren’t quite as boldly passionate as Leo is, but they’re quick studies, so these relationships can last.
Taurus and Scorpio square Leo, so these relationships can be challenging. With the Bull, there can be a refusal to budge, and because both signs have a bit of a lazy streak, it can feel like nothing is getting accomplished. Both signs can lay around waiting for their partner to service them. Yet when it works, the sex can be sensual and worshipful. With Scorpio, each partner can try to show up the other in a game of dramatic one-upmanship. There can be outrageous displays of jealousy and public fights. But the intimacy is so deep and profound, it may be worth it. Couples counseling can tamp down the triggers and outbursts, but without them, the Leo-Scorpio couple might find their sexual spark is also gone.
Aquarius is Leo’s opposite sign and sometimes nemesis, reminding the Lion of their secret fear of being known. A reserved, analytical air sign, Water Bearers, at first glance, appear to be cool and detached, but a Leo partner can wake up their need to be seen. When a Leo needs to remember not to take up every ounce of oxygen in a room and make space for other egos, an Aquarian partner can be an excellent teacher. The sexual connection here can be hot in the sense that opposites attract; one wants what one doesn’t know or understand. But if the Aquarian can’t connect to their heart and they remain afraid of intimacy, it can frustrate the Leo into giving up.
The Leo Bottom Line
The Sun, as the archetype of the cosmological masculine, was the first god worshipped by humans. Without the Sun, we could not grow anything to sustain life—in this way, Leos are always looking forward, not back like the Cancers that come right before them in the zodiacal wheel. In many ways, we’re also going from the concept of mother to the concept of father when we transition from Cancer season to Leo season, so nurturing becomes less relevant than guiding the future-forward.
Proverbial kings and queens, leaders, movers, and doers—they are often Leos or have strong Leo placements. Note that the planet Saturn is also associated with father energy, but the Saturnian vibe can feel more like a harsh authoritarian, where the Sun vibe feels more like an effusive soccer dad cheering you on from the sidelines.
Not all Leos make the world their own private catwalk, sashaying and “werking” it for the crowds. (That’s more common with Leo risings.) But you may notice that even the quieter, more subdued Leos are easy to pick out of a crowd, because they just glow like the Sun peeking through the clouds.
No matter a Leo’s actual profession, they are all artists of some sort. Painters, actors, musicians, writers, sculptors, designers, dancers—you’ll find tons of Leos among them. But even the buttoned-up business types secretly long to make a creative splash. If there is any sign at all who NEEDS to express and emote through art, it’s Leo. When a Leo is depressed or anxious, encourage them to make art, or at least write in their journal to get it out of their system. They can feel a bit useless if they don’t have a container for what their wild heart feels.
No sign is more loving, open-hearted, deeply generous and loyal than the royal, regal Leo. Even if you can’t snag one for a night or a lifetime, find a way to spend time near a Lion’s glowing heart and hearth occasionally, because it will definitely make you feel good.
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