Your elusive desire and sexual energy, where did it go? Is it lost, buried, starved, or strangled?
Many women and quite a lot of men struggle with sexual desire or the lack of it in their lives. Some of us blame our job or our kids. For others it is the bickering or outright battles that seem to suck desire out of our connection. The utter exhaustion of daily life can also be the culprit.
The lack of desire is by far the most common sexual complaint I hear from women who really love their partners and usually enjoy sex once they get into it. This desire deficiency feels puzzling, because they know that sex is important in a relationship and because they have repeatedly experienced the satisfaction fusion with their man brings. They even admit that they are aware they are making up excuses not to have sex while knowing it would be good for them!
Many a lovely, sexual evening is sidetracked because neither partner understands the basis of feminine desire. Newer research shows that women arrive at desire very differently than men. Most women do not spontaneously experience strong body/genital urges like men. Women need closeness, attention, affection, trust, and safety to get turned on. Foreplay really is an all-day endeavor for women. In fact, we can get outraged when our partner suggests sex after a disagreement or an icy exchange you want what?!!
In order for women to respond sexually, we have to know that we are valued.
That requires seeing and feeling our importance to our man and knowing that he is paying attention to us for more than sex. We want to feel his appreciation for the light, radiance, and enhancement we bring to his life. Once this has been acknowledged, we are happy to play, to indulge, and to open up sexually. If we feel, on the other hand, that his sexual interest is stemming from a need to have sex rather than the desire to connect with our feminine radiance, we are likely to find any and all excuses not to be bothered.
Our story to ourself is, “I have spent the entire day meeting needs and I do not want to do one more thing for someone else!” This resistance to meeting needs is common for all of us. We treasure the slow seduction of gradually being brought into connection with our man. So, if our mate approaches us from a sexually needy place, we are turned off not on. On the other hand, if he can indicate his desire to connect-without attachment to the outcome we are much more likely to allow his invitation to penetrate our resistance.
For men, expressing desire without need or attachment to the outcome is quite the challenge. “How can I want something like sex without being attached to getting it?” It does not seem logical at first glance; however, most men do understand making an offer that constitutes a win/win agreement for both parties. For a woman to feel she is part of that win/win situation, she must feel his desire but not be enslaved to his need. When men understand this, they can focus on making certain their woman knows how much her physical affection lights up his life.
In our couples courses, we have found that nonverbal techniques are the most effective for communicating the subtle signals between lovers.
If a man approaches his woman at the sink and begins to nuzzle her neck, she has the choice to move into the experience by arching her neck and pressing into him or to push him off by shrugging her shoulders and turning away. If she believes any encouragement will result in an immediate lovemaking session, she becomes cold. But if they have a contract that sex must be win/win for both, she is free to accept the affection and let it feed feelings of love and trust between them. Who knows? With that openness to outcome, she may be leading him to the bedroom!
We should not assume it is always the sexually needy man and the reluctant woman; there are many couples where the husband is detached from his sexuality and his woman.
Although the nature of the excuses might vary, the result is the same little desire and almost celibate marriages. Men can become so focused on achievement that they lose touch with the juiciness of life. They may “relax” with the computer, TV, or alcohol, but they resist emotional and physical involvement with their woman.
And, as women, we probably will feel that there is something wrong with us. His lack of desire must be because I’m getting old or wearing the wrong clothes or not coming up with new positions in bed. Rarely is that the case. Some men will avoid initiating because they are worried about their own ability to perform sexually. They cannot bear the thought that they are going to be part of the “Viagra generation” and would prefer not to start something sexually they are not sure they can finish.
Other men have become accustomed to the roommate status in their marriage and are too engrossed in their work life, golf game, or finances. They have forgotten that intimacy requires attention and maintenance just like everything else they value in life. Because of complacency, sexual exploration and physical pleasuring have lost out to other goal-oriented endeavors.
Ultimately, both partners have to consciously attune to one another sensually and sexually in order to produce desire. Desire does not just appear for most of us. We have to create the win/win contract and then issue invitations to connect in a myriad of small ways throughout our day. It is the casual, but intentional reach for his hand, the longer, more passionate goodbye kiss, the full body hug, the wink, the compliment, the palm brushed across the back or butt, the full-on smile that awakens our lust and summons our desire. Potent and yet fragile, desire feeds our zest for life. It is worth cultivating in partnership. It is essential for lovers.