“Know that look a woman gets when she wants to make love? No me neither…..”
Comedian Steve Martin probably says what a lot of men who’ve been married five or more years are thinking … He and his woman started out not being able to keep their hands off one another and now he’s lucky if they get to have sex once a week.
His wife or girlfriend is probably thinking the same thing. “I love the guy so why don’t I feel more excited about sex?”
Well there are lots of reasons why women feel turned off in the bedroom …
His desire is robust, hers is conditional
Female libido is much more complex than male libido. While male libido is mainly physically rooted, female sex drive can be influenced by a number of factors – both physical and emotional.
As Sydney sex therapist Dr Rosie King outlines in Where Did My Libido Go? (Random House 2010) men had to be able to perform sexually when “under fire” – when sharing a cave with lots of others, in famine and flood.
For women, procreation is best served if she gets pregnant when the conditions for a baby to survive are best . . . so she will feel most desire when the environment is optimal and she is in a stable relationship.
For him, sex creates intimacy; for her intimacy must be present before she feels sexy.
Women often shame men about their sex drive, complaining they “only want one thing.” But for men, sex meets important emotional needs they generally cannot get met in other ways, while women are good at getting their emotional needs met in relationships with friends and family.
For a man, going without sex is like going without conversation for a woman, suggests King.
Reasons Women Experience Low Desire
A woman’s levels of sexual desire fluctuate depending on physical and emotional well-being and what is going on in her life.
Desire will be at its highest when she is healthy, rested, feeling emotionally stable and happy, when her relationship is working well, her lifestyle allows time for mutually pleasing sexual encounters and the sex is good.
(No surprise that your sex life will be better if you don’t have too many 5am starts, work frequently taking you away from home, pre-schoolers interrupting sleep and privacy, or a mother-in-law who sleeps in the next door bedroom.)
Things that Inhibit Women’s Desire
You’ll notice a drop in your sex drive from a wide range of “desire inhibitors.” These include:
It is obvious that every relationship will go through periods when circumstances work against a flourishing sex life – whether it’s lack of sleep and privacy resulting from raising young children, through to hormonal changes from aging or pregnancy.
A couple’s desire does not magically match up because they care about each other
The man will tend to interpret a lack of desire as indifference and lack of love; a woman will think she has to feel desire before she has sex and he is being selfish expecting anything else.
Both are victims of a common sexual myth that if you really care about someone you’ll want to have sex with them – and that you have to feel like sex to enjoy it.
In fact it is normal for women to lose interest in initiating sex after the infatuation stage of the relationship is over, and it is possible for women to enjoy sex once they are engaged even if they did not feel a strong urge at the outset.
Being open to one another’s needs, and sharing a fund of good will and commitment towards the relationship is the secret to balancing these needs amicably.