Maybe you don’t have low sexual desire after all?
The human sexual response cycle is thought to have four stages:
Stage 1: Desire, which is defined as having a sexy thought or sexual fantasy that often occurs out of the blue or in response to a trigger such as seeing an attractive person, smelling an aromatic perfume, or watching a hot movie. Desire then prompts us to become sexually active.
Stage 2: Arousal is the excitement we feel, the physiological changes in our bodies once we’re physically stimulated.
Stage 3: Orgasm.
Stage 4: Resolution, when our bodies return to the resting state.
But for almost half the population, stages one and two are actually reversed. They don’t feel sexual desire until they’ve been physically aroused until they’ve been touched. But once they’ve been stimulated, they feel plenty of desire. For these folks, arousal leads to desire, not the other way around.
If this sounds like you, it behooves you to do a little experimenting. Stop waiting for the fireworks to happen before you become sexual. Be receptive to your partner’s advances even if you’re not totally in the mood. Why? Two reasons.
You might just find that once you’re into it, you’re really into it. You may not have a low sexual desire at all. Instead, you may just be wired differently than your more high desire spouse.
Plus, notice the changes in your spouse. She or he will be much nicer to be around. But don’t take my word for it. Try it.
So many deeply committed marriages struggle and die sexually while one or both partners wait for the magic of desire to flash from on high. It’s not passivity, negligence or even a lack of love for the other — it’s that they have bought into a fiction.
They bought into a myth sold to us by Hollywood that sex really only works when that moment of passion and desire strikes.
They further sold out to the fiction that sexual intimacy is somehow much more special then emotional intimacy (or wrapping up in the arms of your spouse and praying for and with her) and that every other kind of intimacy must be properly built up for sex to occur.
The feminist movement, justifiably decrying rape, has further told us the story that anything but the Hollywood ideal is sexual servitude or even marital rape.
Put that all together and it’s no wonder that in our strange and desperate mythology about having the perfect sex, so many loving marriages are largely devoid of it.
The irony here? This myth has taken all of fifty years to wreak havoc on marriages all over our world — the highly functional alternative that preceded it is, at the barest minimum, several thousand years old.
Still not convinced? Michele Weiner-Davis and TED may help with that…