A Woman’s Empowered Sex Drive
Myths die hard. There are a number of old myths about female sexual desire: women don’t value sex, women are less sexual than men, predictable orgasm is the key to desire, since men have more testosterone they have more desire, etc.. In addition, new myths have cropped up in recent years: the key to female desire is erotic fantasy and playing sexual games, achieving G spot orgasms will build desire, scientists will find a medication to ensure reliable desire, the solution is finding a new partner each year, etc. Myths make for dramatic bar talk and media hype; it creates a lot of heat, but little illumination or understanding.
What is scientifically true and what relevant guidelines promote female sexual desire? The new mantra in couple sex therapy is desire, pleasure, eroticism, satisfaction. Desire is the most important dimension.
Female sexual desire is different than but not inferior to male sexual desire. Female desire is more variable, flexible, and individualistic. A little-known reality is that when couples become non-sexual (having sex less than 10 times a year) it is almost always the man’s decision, made unilaterally and conveyed non-verbally.
Most women begin a new relationship as a “romantic love/ passionate sex/idealization” couple. This is an important, but fragile, relationship phase lasting between 6 months and 2 years. The challenge for the married or partnered woman is to develop a couple sexual style which promotes strong, resilient sexual desire. Unfortunately, this transition is not successful for as many as 1 in 3 women.
The challenge is to balance her “sexual voice” (autonomy) with being an intimate sexual team. The second challenge is to integrate intimacy and eroticism into their relationship.