The number of times I have heard the phrase “I want to want sex but I don’t” has been too many to count. This is what often has many women come into my office asking for help. Their partner wants more sex and this puts them into a feeling of wide-eyed pressure and thoughts of “uhhhhh well I don’t want sex” and they feel stuck. This then creates a negative feedback loop which feeds on itself.
He wants and asks for sex → you feel pressured and pull away and blame either yourself, your partner or the relationship → your partner feels the distance and to close the gap he reaches out for connection in sex again … and the loop continues.
The more he asks for sex the more you pull away and the more you pull away the more he asks. It becomes a chicken and the egg scenario that can feel like you are stuck in never wanting to have sex. But don’t worry, with some intention and guidance you can find yourself in the “I want sex” camp in place of “I wish I wanted sex”. In this post, I will guide you the realistic expectations of what wanting sex looks like and the steps you can take to get there, including the importance of space to the desire flame to exist, how to fan the flame, and what prevents your flame from showing up or growing.
What Wanting Looks Like
You are not a movie star or porn actress, and even if you are this will still apply to you. Life is not like the screen. The purpose of most on-screen shows are for entertainment and they are not a documentary of what real-life sex and relationships look like. This includes what wanting sex looks like for women. In movies we see wanting looking like a person with a hungry lion “grr” look, jumping their partner and wanting to devour them. This scene in The Notebook captures this quite we
Yes, it makes for a great movie but it is not what a real women’s sexual wanting generally looks like. Yes, when you were in the honeymoon phase early in your relationship where your hormones were driving the show there was likely more “grr” energy, but in your long-term relationship, this happens on fewer occasions. Instead, 99% of the time your wanting to have sex looks different and more subtle. Instead of the I-want-to-pounce-on-you-now type of wanting, what wanting sex looks like for women in long-term relationships is more of a low flame, soft whisper of thought like “hmm it sounds kinda good to be close to my partner”.
Think of it as a scale of 0-10, where -10 is a “heck no”, 0 is neutral and 10 is the lion/movie-scene desire. Many women have more of the 0-3 initial feeling of wanting sex. It’s a low flame rather than a burning fire but many women expect the burning fire and so disregard the low flame. But why would we disregard what happens 99% of the time? I want you to change your expectation of what wanting sex looks like and embrace what it often actually looks like for you as a woman so that you can actually take the action steps based on reality. I go into more detail about understanding your low flame and how to activate and expand your desire in my previous posts R is for Responsive Desire: The Dominant Type of Desire for Most Women and S is for Spontaneous Desire: What Spontaneous Desire Looks Like for Women so make sure to check them out as they are full of goodies!
Give Space for the Wanting
Having realistic expectations of what wanting sex looks like for many women allows you to then take action on creating room for your desire flame to exist. There is no way that you can be a go-go-go gal all the time and expect any flame of desire and wanting sex to happen often or at all. If you pack your day from eyes open to eyes closed you literally have no air for your flame to breathe. Fire can’t exist without oxygen. Your desire cannot exist without space. I know you are a busy gal and as a high-achiever, that is what you do. You get stuff done! But if you want to move from wanting to want sex to wanting sex you need to create space in your day for breathing room.
You need to slow things down and give space or “air” in your day for your desire flame to have even a chance at showing up and to also allow your mind to notice the flame. If you are focused on work, kids, that new TV show coming up, picking up the groceries, the new project at work that is a mountain of paperwork, your Instagram Feed… your mind has no chance at directing toward your desire. You need to quiet the noise so you can hear the subtle voice of your desire. A great way to slow down is through meditation. And it doesn’t need to be an hour long meditation and using an app “Simple Habit” is great where you can choose as little as a 5-minute guided meditations to help you slow down and find space in your mind. Also, make sure to check out T is for Transitions: Four Transitions of Intimacy for Optimal Desire to learn more about how to transition throughout your day to allow your space for wanting sex.
Fan the Flame
When you have created the space and air for your desire flame to breathe, you want to fan the flame so that you can grow that feeling of wanting. This means taking that desire from neutral to a 2-3 on the desire scale. There are many ways to fan your flame to grow that feeling of wanting. The idea is to build your wanting, rather than expecting you will jump from 0-10. You can use your mind and think about things that are sexy and exciting to you on your drive home or right before your Intentional Intimacy night. This may involve reading some erotica. You can listen to sexy music or listen to erotica to absorb the sexy scenes through sound. Or perhaps think about a past sexual experience with your partner that was extra exciting or imagine what you want to do with your partner in the future. Touching your own body can also get the arousal sensations on board which can then help your mind get further into that wanting place.
Know What Blocks Your Desire
As you focus on creating space for your flame of desire and fanning it when it comes up, it is also important to know what snuffs out your flame of desire. Being aware of what grows and extinguishes wanting sex empowers you to take action because with intentional intimacy it’s all about taking action and not going on cruise control. One way to look at it is to visualize your sexual desire and wanting of sex as a flowing body of water. Everyone has a sexual flow although it may look different from one gal to the next, like a river or a stream. The steps above help you to encourage a greater flow of sexual energy; however, there are rocks and boulders that can get in the way and dam up your sexual stream. You want to not only increase your sexual flow but also move the boulders out of the way so they aren’t blocking your efforts.
Wanting to want sex is a great place to springboard into wanting sex but you have to take action steps to get there. As a woman you can’t sit back and wait for the desire to take hold but rather you need to have realistic expectations of what wanting looks like and to take action to create your desire. Making sure you create the space for your desire flame to exist, to fan that flame, and to remove any blocks, is what’s going to help you want sex.
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