Have you been feeling run-down and confused by your lack of desire? Do you remember a time you used to pounce on your man and make love every day (sometimes multiple times a day), but now you just don’t feel like it?
While many couples may turn to romantic weekend getaways, sexy lingerie and sex toys to help “spice up” their love lives, research shows that what really creates desire is the small gestures and acts of consideration we do for each other on a daily basis.
In her book, Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, Emily Nagoski, PhD, tells us that women’s sexuality is contextual, and because of this, there will never be a female Viagra.
Some of us may be familiar with the Masters and Johnson sexual response system, which follows the stages of Excitement, Plateau, Orgasm and Resolution. Since the time of Masters and Johnson, however, a newer system has been developed which considers the complex emotional and physiological nature of women’s sexual health called the Dual Control Model of Sexuality. This model is a revelation to many women because it takes into account the context of sex.
The Dual Control Model is a two-part system, which includes the Sexual Excitation System (S.E.S.) and the Sexual Inhibition System (S.I.S.). Dr. Nagoski describes the S.E.S. as the gas pedal, which includes everything that turns us on and the S.I.S. as the brake pedal, which includes everything that turns us off.
We all have certain things that turn us on and for each of us it’s different – the way your partner makes you feel special, the look of your partner in a stylish suit or boxer briefs, his cologne, how you trust him or how he makes you feel beautiful and special. We all also have certain things that turn us off – a long to-do list, a messy house, stress at work, family visiting or a new baby. When many of us are in “mommy mode”, we can’t easily switch back to “sexy vixen” mode.
So, what do we do? According to Dr. Nagoski, the solution is usually not to apply more gas. That is to say, it is not to apply more stimulation. For many of us, no amount of lingerie, porn or vibrators is going to turn us on when we are stressed at work, there is a crying baby or in-laws in the other room, a pile of garbage that needs to be taken out or dishes that need to be done.
The solution, then, is to stop pressing down on the brake by changing the environment. To create a healthy, dynamic sex life, we need a partner who will be our best friend and our lover as well as our helpmate. Though women now work outside the home as much as men, women still do a larger share of the housework, particularly the day to day drudgery, like tidying up, dishes, menu planning, grocery shopping, laundry and more. The sexiest lover is one who cleans up the dishes when you make dinner, takes out the trash (without needing to be asked) and tells you every day how much he appreciates you, then texts notes of affection during the day such as, “I am thinking of you…”, which serve as day-long foreplay.
For most people, the best predictor of sexual wellness is total wellness. So, if both of you are stressed, unhealthy and fighting, of course you won’t feel desire. But, if you take care of yourselves and each other, physically and emotionally by enjoying nourishing plant-based food, exercising and helping each other with daily responsibilities, you’ll find more time to relax together. This environment of love, support and appreciation will allow you to create a much healthier sex life.
By Emily Honeycutt, 2016. © All Rights Reserved. www.emilyhoneycutt.com