There are many things that can close down a woman’s sex drive, but for me one of the most common factors is a woman not knowing what she wants in bed.
It sounds super simple hey, but as Esther Perel states above, to desire simply means “to want”.
And if she doesn’t know WHAT she wants, or hasn’t given herself PERMISSION to want, it’s natural her sex drive will be affected.
Knowing what she wants in bed is part of a much wider concept of a woman being “in touch with her sexuality”.
Many people hear the term “sexuality” and they think it means sexual orientation, AKA who we fancy. But sexuality is a wide reaching term that also covers who we are, what we want and how confidently we ask for it in bed:
“Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviours.”
Many (seriously, MANY- including me!) women however struggle with a sense of ownership of their sexuality because they aren’t sure *what* they want in bed or *how* to express themselves and their desires!
This could be because they never had an opportunity to embrace or explore this part of their identity. Patchy sex education, myths about desire and negative messaging about female sexuality has meant many of us feel kind of clueless about what we want.
For others, maybe years of being in the same relationship/doing the same things in bed has lead to them forgetting who they are or what they like in bed.
Without this connection to our inner sexual self, desire can suffer because we’re not equipped to pursue the kind of sex that makes us satisfied. With ownership and standing centred in our own sexuality comes power, and feeling disempowered is a surefire way to a low sex drive.
There are SO many ways a woman might feel disconnected from her sexual self, below are just some of the ways….
The most common ways that women aren’t connected to their sexual identity:
We don’t know how we work: being unsure of how our sex drive functions leaves us at a massive disadvantage (thanks, crappy sex education!). This is because there are many misconceptions about desire and the different ways in which people experience it. This can make women feel like there is something wrong with them, when in fact the female libido viewed through a different lens works splendidly!
We hold limiting or negative beliefs about sex, sexuality and/or who can be “sexy”- many of us have both conscious and unconscious “blocks” when it comes to sexuality. Sometimes this is the day to day chatter in our brains we are aware of, and other times these can be deeply held beliefs formed through influential experiences throughout our lives. Some of these beliefs may harm us, for example feeling like we can’t be sexy because we’re a certain age, race, or dress size. These beliefs can limit our ability to pursue and/or enjoy sex, which over time erodes any desire to be intimate.
“A sexual appetite is built on knowing what you want”- Claudia Melli
We don’t know what we want! This is SO common for so many women- not knowing what they like or want in bed. Katherine Rowlands believes “the utter depletion of sexual interest might be more common to heterosexual women, because their desires are less clearly defined to begin with”. They’ve never explored it, never been asked, stumble across it accidentally, or over time they’ve lost touch with their desires. She might feel empty, numb, or passive in bed, go along with what pleasures her partner in bed, or feel lost in knowing what turns her on or what her fantasies are. This can be an issue because throughout history the focus of sex is often on male pleasure. Women are taught to be passive receivers of sexuality, not creators. Those that do go against the status quo might be called names or censured if they begin to explore and experiment with their sexuality. Not knowing what you want (or don’t want) means sex is always going to be about centring your partners pleasure- not yours.
We are sexual beings, yet even in our most intimate relationships, we often don’t know how to express ourselves. The examples we see around us teach us to objectify ourselves, rather than celebrate our sexuality. We often find ourselves reacting to being sexualized, rather than expressing our own desires- Naomi Katz
We struggle to ask for what we want- if you’ve worked out the above (or even a teency bit of what you like) telling a partner where we like to be touched or about our fantasies can be easier said than done. Maybe you’re shy, embarassed or just have no idea how to start. But if we’re not asking for what we want, sex might feel empty, boring or just unsatisfying. And our desire for it might decrease as time goes on….
Our bodies and minds feel closed down to our sexuality- this is a really important aspect of sexuality that is quite rarely talked about and has two parts to it:
Being stuck in our minds: In our day to day lives we’re often stuck in our planning, organising, logical minds, and we forget to just spend time being wild, free, creative, passionate- which are the ingredients required for great sex. We might feel like we never think about sex, that desire is the bottom of our to-do list, or we never experience spontaneous thoughts about sex. creativity, excitement, intrigue and tease. This can be indicative of a mind that’s just forgotten how to entertain sexual play.
Losing touch with our bodies: additionally, if our bodies are asleep to desire, we may feel empty, numb, lacking in feeling or unable to register a sexual response. Some describe it like a fire being extinguished- a deadening of sensation. For me, it was a complete loss of feeling. I felt like I’d completely checked out of myself, and I couldn’t remember or find my way back to even the tiniest scrap of feeling sexual, sexy or into sex. We might carry our bodies in ways that don’t seem sexual to us, or feel rigid, stuck or disconnected from places in our body where are sexuality resides- e.g. our hips, breasts, pelvis. Men have a penis that flaps around in the breeze, which means they’re reminded of their body and arousal every time they get a hard on. This is called “bio-feedback”. But because women don’t have this visual/physical reminder, it can take more conscious work for us to feel we’re fully connected to our body, and therefore our sexuality. Over time if we don’t consciously check-in, our bodies may become less aware of sexual arousal triggers and we experience a sense of numbness or not feeling “alive”. Especially for those so used to being lost in our thoughts or not used to seeing our bodies in a sexual way, we can feel completely disconnected.
Recognise any of these? Want to feel more sexually empowered?
If any of the above experiences have resonated with you and you’re wondering where on earth to begin, I’ll share with you my path.
The answer is through “sexual self-empowerment”.