What zapped my zeal, with Dr Laurie Mintz

This sex positive story excerpt from A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex by Dr Laurie Mintz is published with permission.

Sex positive excerpt for sex therapy by Dr Laurie Mintz

Understanding Diminished Desire

Diminished desire means you used to have a yearning for sex and now you rarely or never do. Many women describe their loss of sex drive as a lost part of themselves. They lack something they once had, which is what makes diminished desire different than a steady state of never craving or liking sex in the first place. Women who never liked sex can derive some benefit from this book, but it isn’t really intended for them. It is for those of you who used to yearn for and seek out sexual pleasure and now don’t.

What Women Say

When describing their diminished desire, some of the things women have told me are:

I’ve gone from a woman of passion to a woman of obligation.

I’m never in the mood anymore.

It’s good once it gets going, but I don’t have any innate interest anymore.

I don’t care if I ever have sex again, but the problem is that my husband still does.

I never think about sex anymore and I used to think about it a lot.

I rarely feel horny, but I make myself have sex with Jim. I feel better after.

What these women are saying is that their physical sensations of sexual longing are gone altogether or perhaps only rarely and briefly felt.

A Fleeting Feeling

Jean, a forty-nine-year-old woman with one high school son and a ten-year-old daughter with special needs says “Sometimes I feel horny. “But, it’s rare and at random moments. And, it’s never because I am getting into bed at night.” Deborah, a similarly aged woman, describes her desire as a “fleeting whim…a dream that vaporizes when you wake up in the morning but try to recall.” Deborah says that she “might even have a sensation in my south central region but it is like a twenty-second sound bite. It never lasts long enough to change from whim to intent.” Part of this, Deborah says, is because it “takes too much work to get from point A to point B.”

This sentiment was echoed by Rebecca, a woman who occasionally wants to act on her fleeting sensations of desire. Her problem however is that “I’m so tired that sometimes it is just easier to take care of it myself.” When Rebecca does occasionally feel horny, she doesn’t have the kind of energy that she needs for a sexual encounter with her husband, so she masturbates. “I can get there in two minutes” she says. And, besides, there is “no fuss, no foreplay and it’s always good.” Still, Rebecca knows that ceasing sexual relationships with her husband is a slippery slope that will harm her marriage.

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No Feeling at All

While Rebecca and Deborah both have occasional, momentary feelings of desire, many women for whom this book is intended simply never experience the pleasant and motivating throbbing, wet ache of desire. They remember feeling this way and they miss feeling this way. But, it is gone. “My libido isn’t low—it’s non-existent” says Cynthia, a 48-year old business woman and mother of two.  “Sometimes I can’t even remember what it used to feel like. It’s like that part of me is totally dead” laments Andrea. Diminished desire is an endless state of not being in the mood.

Sex for Obligation

Because women who are suffering from diminished desire either rarely or never long for sex, they generally don’t initiate sex to gratify their own longings. Instead, it is initiated by their husbands and reluctantly agreed upon by them out of a sense of duty or obligation–although it may be quite good once it gets going.

It’s Upsetting

Two studies found that some women who lose their sex drive say they aren’t bothered by this. A sexual problem is only a problem if is concerning. My assumption is that you are reading this book because you are troubled by your diminished sexual desire. You aren’t satisfied just having sex, even good sex, out of obligation. You used to yearn for and seek out sexual pleasure, and now you don’t. This is upsetting to you, your husband, or both of you. You want to feel the way you used to.

You are not Alone: The Epidemic of Lost Desire

One hopefully comforting thing to know is that you are not alone.  Some surveys report that as high as 52 percent of women say their sex drive isn’t what it used to be. Others put the percentages between 20 and 47 percent. The most comprehensive survey conducted to date included a representative sample of the U.S. population between the ages of eighteen and fifty-nine. This study found that 33 percent of women were suffering from a loss of sexual desire. Another well-done study found that one third of partnered women in the fifty to seventy year old age group had little or no sex drive. That means that one of every three women you know no longer feels as interested in sex as she used to feel!

No wonder that concern about diminished desire is the #1 problem brought to sex therapists.

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A randomized clinical trial showed that women who read this book to increase their desire, as well as their arousal, lubrication, satisfaction, and orgasm

Want to read on? You can buy A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex here.

Dr. Laurie Mintz is a feminist author, therapist, professor, and speaker whose life’s work has been committed to helping people live more authentic, meaningful, and joyful lives through the art and science of psychology. Her books include Becoming Cliterate and A Tired Woman’s Guide To Passionate Sex. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

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