The Dance of Desire

It is said that desire is a product of the will, but the converse is in fact true: will is a product of desire.  –Denis Diderot

It seems everyone is talking about female desire or actually, the rampant lack of it in the press lately. It is a conversation that happens often at my Good Clean Love office and in many ways is our raison d’etre. It was my own discouraging experience of female sexual dysfunction and the intense pain that was always a companion to sex that inspired me to experiment with product formulations in my kitchen.

The other two symptoms that often accompany painful sex for many women are the elusive and unpredictable ability to orgasm and the persistent lack of desire. For the many women who suffer from these issues, it is impossible to separate the symptoms or know where it all starts.

Sexual dysfunction problems are common. According to a 2008 study of over 30,000 women they define female sexuality for some 45 percent of women aged 45-65. For younger women, between 18-44, the statistics are only slightly lower at 27 percent. Yet, with all the pain and lack of orgasm going on for many women, the problem that most frequently drives women to seek help is their lack of desire. Low libido is rarely found to be a physiological disorder; instead it lies in the mysterious space where body and mind merge.

Going for help is often no help at all. A medical model, which starts with the idea that something intrinsic is missing, is like pouring salt in a wound. Clinical diagnosis frequently tells women that they are betrayed by what should be a normal sex drive. In actuality, not all sex drives are created equal and our relationship to our sexuality is heavily influenced by our gender, age and overall health. For many men, the signals to their sex drive are visible, hanging close by in their pants. Their body speaks directly.  For millions of women, sexual desire is a journey and a decision to discovering what makes us responsive.  By turning the idea that desire precedes and ignites arousal on its head, and opening up to letting arousal trigger desire, we begin to unlock the mystery of where body and mind meet.

For me, desire is usually a product of my decision to go looking for it. While I do remember times when it was just there, like hunger, unbidden, mostly in the middle of my fertility cycle. More often than not, I have to trust that by opening up to the places where arousal is sparked, I will feel my way to the place in me that desires and on a good day even lusts. I often talk about this back door to desire when I explain how love oils, or even more basically our sense of scent works as a back door to awakening libido. Our olfactory bulb, where we process scent is our limbic brain where emotion, memory and sexuality all converge. Using our most primary sense of smell to our advantage in uncovering our desire is nothing new. The recorded history of human sexuality has always been deeply linked to scent.

Rethinking our access to desire is perhaps the most productive way of cultivating a sexual drive. Recognizing that desire can be ignited through the process of receptivity encourages both partners to foster emotional connection. Creating and emphasizing the places where our desire creates desire is the dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

100 comments

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn3 years ago

thanks

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

disgusting

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thank you for sharing

Jennifer U.
Jennifer A.3 years ago

I think a lot of it is mental but it's also partly physical. I'm very attracted to my boyfriend but for the longest time I couldn't understand why sex was painful and I was always dry. I would get tingly all over and want him badly but I still wouldn't be wet for some reason. I looked into it and found that not getting enough water is a common cause for not being wet when you're aroused. Females over 18 should be drinking 2.7L of water daily. A liter has 4 cups so that's 10.8 cups daily. For me the mental aspect of it was related to not being wet and being afraid that I would be dry and it would hurt.

I hope that sharing my experience will help someone.

Alexandra R.
Alexa R.3 years ago

Thanks for sharing your experience Jane B, much appreciated. Though my experience had not been exactly yours, there's uncunny resemblances!

I've thought all my life I've no libido. Zero. Until I met my boyfriend two years ago. Phew! The power of falling in love with him, even just mentioning it now and I can feel my body's reaction!

As you say, it is a total addiction: mind, body, soul. I can never be normal again.

Now after two years the addiction is so much stronger, it both wonderful and scary to experience all these powerful chemical effects on my mind, body, soul.

Thanks for explaining about the chemicals. At least I can understand now what I'm(have been) going through is normal. Wish I had a MD I could have asked such a question, but I avoid them as most are more harmful than good imo.

It is impossibly hard dealing with such an overwhelmingly powerful mind, body, soul addiction - so it is good to know that your MD told you to just go with the flow.

Thanks for sharing, Jane B!

Jane Barton
Jane Barton3 years ago

(continued) I fell head over heels in love with this kid. I didn't know what hit me. I asked my doctor (a real MD) what happened. He said I found joy and happiness and to ride the wave.
It's been scientifically proven that desire resides in the brainstem. When you "look" at a perceived "mate" your brain triggers the release of a cocktail of brain chemicals that flood the bloodstream and give that warm fuzzy feeling, the breathlessness, the excitement, the sweating. Scientifically speaking it's simply an addiction to a particular person. And it's
programmed into all animals for survival of the species. This is the "high" feeling that everybody wants to keep alive during the entire relationship but I seriously don't think it's
possible except in very rare instances. So far all the people I've talked to say that high
lasts a year or two and that's it. The divorce stats back this up, relationships just don't
work and rarely can be fixed. I could give my reasons why I think this way but I won't because every time I do I get called sexist. And I'm really not, I just tell the truth.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton3 years ago

"Low libido is rarely found to be a physiological disorder; instead it lies in the mysterious space where body and mind merge."

This is what I've been told all my life and it's false. Low libido is not even a "disorder", it's totally natural. Nature causes menopause because women should not reproduce when they get older, too many genetic defects occur. At menopause Testosterone drops off as well and that's the horny hormone. Women have one fourth the amount that men have but that drop contributes to low libido. But from my personal field research, I can positively verify that with women desire is ALL mental. The daily grind of work and a boring marriage will kill any woman's sex drive but that wouldn't matter either if a woman had an extremely strong bond with her partner. If a woman is truly in love with a man she will never lose desire for her man. If a woman loses her libido for a particular man then I think it's gone forever and again this is totally mental. Women don't forget it when a man hurts her, those memories are imprinted on her brain. Those are the things that kill desire, how the man treats the woman.
Bad memories are stored in the subconscious mind and many times you can't even remember what's in there but it affects your actions AND your libido. After my divorce I wanted to experience different men and I met the 22 year old in my profile. My ovaries were removed 20 years ago so I had no hormones. To my surprise I fell head over heels in love w

AndyNoMail O.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you.

Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the article.