Sexual desire, particularly among women, is a still a hot topic.
When it’s not understood, women’s sexual desire can appear to be a complete mystery.
How much is too much? Are we normal? What if I don’t feel that way?
These are all questions that I have come across in my work as a sex therapist.
The most common questions people have though are:
Where did my desire go? And how can I get it back?
Lack of desire, can be confusing and frustrating.
I believe the biggest challenge in relation to sexual desire, is our lack of understanding.
There are many ways to boost sexual desire in women, both by a woman herself and/or by her partner, but we need to start by dismissing the myths and assumptions that continue to confuse the facts.
Knowledge is power.
When we understand fundamental facts about desire - we empower ourselves and enhance sexual intimacy.
Sex is an important part of an intimate relationship and I love seeing the way couples start to look at each other again when they reconnect and begin to reignite desire.
I love seeing the way women start to feel about themselves as they feel empowered around their sexuality. They are liberated from the blocks holding them back.
So, let’s debunk common myths and assumptions about women’s desire.
Here’s what we actually know based on current research:
Sex is not something men want more than women
Do men want sex more than women in some relationships? Yes, absolutely.
But in my experience, it’s almost equally women who want sex more than men - the latter group just tend not to talk about it or ask for help.
When our society believes it’s a biological fact that women have lower desire than men, we disempower ourselves and leave little room for change.
We must stop seeing sex as something men want more and that women control.
This view leaves sex open to becoming a bargaining tool, which only ever builds resentment and drives couples apart. Sex should bring us closer together, not take us further apart.
Sexual desire doesn’t fade with age
Despite the continued myth, a woman’s desire doesn’t necessarily fade with age.
Studies have shown that women who enter a new relationship at any age experience a surge in sexual desire.
This tells us that the cause of a decrease in desire isn’t age, but surrounding (confounding) factors, such as hormonal changes in a long-term relationship, power imbalance in a relationship and many others - that often, can be overcome.
Sexual desire is responsive, not spontaneous
We tend to see sexual desire as abstruse, something outside of us that we can’t control.
We’re sold a myth that desire is spontaneous and should just happen. But this just isn’t true - especially for women in long-term relationships.
We need to change our view to see sexual desire as responsive, rather than spontaneous.
What this means is that sexual desire responds to stimuli around us. These stimuli can be both positive and negative.
Put another way - we don’t need to wait for sexual desire to arise before engaging sexually with our partner.
We can be intimate and encourage sexual desire to emerge in response to our kissing, touching or flirting.
We can and must cultivate sexual desire
Sexual desire can be cultivated. Research has shown that sex needs to be considered a priority for it to thrive and remain passionate.
Sex and sexual desire should be treated as deserving of our attention and energy, not something that ‘should or will just happen’.
If sex is considered a loving act that is absolutely necessary to your healthy, loving, intimate partnership then it’s something that both partners can enjoy, while bringing you closer together.
This means making time for sex, making sure it happens regularly, talking about your sexual needs, and being willing to try new things together.
Sex isn’t the most important part of a relationship, but it is a vital way that we can feel loved and connected to one another.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, desire is something that you can work on.
Isiah McKimmie is a Couples Therapist, Sexologist and Sex Therapist who has been helping women and couples discover deeper pleasure, intimacy and desire for over a decade. Find out more and download her free resources at www.isiah-mckimmie.com