Not Really Into Sex Right Now?
Have you lost interest in sex lately? Do you feel annoyed, edgy, or as one woman said in my office,
“I just cant get into it right now….It’s all this stuff on TV about these guys touching women without consent..using women…I just feel angry all the time at my boyfriend now, for no reason. It’s not his fault! He’s a nice guy. But for some reason I feel pissed and shut down sexually.”
Hearing about sexual ‘misconduct’ and sexual predators and even pedophiles every day on the news is a total sexual buzz kill. What’s worse is knowing that this is just an uncovering of the problem. This stuff happens every day to women. And since 1 in 5 women have been a victim of sexual abuse, its probably happened to you as well.
The stories in the news about Weinstein, Ross, Louis CK, Franken, Spacey and now Ryan Seagraves (really?!) can trigger both men and women who have had negative sexual experiences or intolerable sexual advances, or worse.
It can also throw up a fast wall between you and your loving, safe, caring sexual partner.
Women are like anti-viral systems, we will protect ourselves when we feel there is something dangerous around us that is trying to get in and harm the system. That means emotionally, physically, energetically and sexually, we can throw up a wall in a hot second and shut you down.
Or we can find ourselves in an ancient reactive place of fight or flight or freeze with our partner, even if we really would prefer to be sensual and intimate. It can feel out of our control, almost like a centuries old, cellular level response.
Why cant we just sit back and relax? Turn off the TV? Let ourselves feel pleasure?
Pleasure is a privilege for the non-stressed. In order to feel sexy we have to let our guard down, we need to get vulnerable. Right now vulnerability is counter-intuitive because the stuff getting uncovered everywhere in the media sounds scary.
One way to let this stuff go? Be mad at the right people.
Don’t blame your boyfriend.
It is time to separate the men from the boys.
We cannot let the acts of these men who have acted without integrity damage our love and desire for the many men out there who are mature, respectful and equally horrified by what these other guys have done.
There are men out there who we can respect and who respect us.
How do we bring back desire?
First, we have to understand ourselves. There are reasons why low sexual desire happens. It can be caused by stress, the side effects of medication, or your diet, as well as relationship problems. These low libido issues can be changed, though if you find you need help, if you cant do it on your own, you might need a therapist to help.
Related story: “How to Break Out of a Bedroom Rut”
Explore a conversation with your partner about what would make you feel safe, what would help you relax, and what gives you pleasure. And then make some changes. It’s up to you to add more pleasurable activities into your life.
You Can Increase Your Sexual Desire
You have control over this. You can turn yourself on, as easily as you turned yourself off.
(Gina Ogden’s “Women Who Love Sex” has some great suggestions.)
If you find you are still depressed, angry, or ‘can’t get no satisfaction’ it might be time to find a good sex therapist. Sex and Couples Therapy can help you deal with your frustration around the current crisis of Toxic Masculine behaviors in the media and it can also help you find ways to overcome sexual desire shutdowns in your relationship and in yourself.
Low sexual desire is a common problem. There are a variety of solutions. An individual with low desire or a couple with desire issues can work in therapy to create a more passionate relationship. It takes communication and empathy, a desire to spend time together, and attention to your relationship’s needs.
Want to start today?
Here’s a Hint: Turn off the TV and get affectionate with your partner. Tell them what you appreciate about them and what you want more of in your sex life. Take charge. Speak up. Find your voice.
This is an important lesson for all of us in these strange and difficult times.
Related story: “How Serious Are Unequal Sex Drives?”