One of the biggest issues I see coming up, for people I work with, is probably not what you would assume!
The mainstream narrative only shows ONE form of desire.
It portrays “good sex” as being between people, who are spontaneously aroused, sexually excited, filled with desire and ready for action.
But this excludes a whole section of society.
Those with a Responsive Desire - a slow to build desire. A person who mostly starts off with sexual neutrality - no arousal or feelings of desire.
Have you ever heard of it?
Most people haven’t. Which is why, when couples have a mis-match, in their levels of desire, their instinct is to go about finding ways to match each other’s sexual needs.
It does not take into consideration the fact that the person with the 'lower libido', may in fact have a responsive desire. Being ignorant to this, can cause misunderstanding. On one side, there is a partner who really wants more intimacy, connection and sexual play. They are often the one to initiate sex and are therefore, the one to be left feeling rejected, when their partner’s expression of desire does not match their own.
These moments leave them worrying:
‘Is my partner not attracted to me anymore?’
‘Are they not enjoying it when we have sex?’
All the while, the partner that feels no desire to have sex, feels guilty that they cannot meet their partner's sexual needs. They feel under pressure, that what they see as a key element of a relationship is missing. They yearn to feel desire. But it’s just not there.
It leaves them wondering:
‘Will I ever feel like having sex again?’
‘What is wrong with my sex drive?’
They try so hard to meet in the middle, when the solution is to gain understanding. To communicate the realities of their desires.
Can you relate to this?
If so, instead of asking, 'How can I match my partner's desire?' Ask, 'Is my desire responsive?’
With this understanding you can open up a whole new world of pleasure and intimacy, for both of you.
Intimacy that's built on trust and acceptance.
Acceptance that you both have desire AND that the way your individual desire unfolds is different!