You aren't broken. I promise.
There is nothing wrong with you, if you just don't feel like having sex.
It is normal. Half of women experience lessening desire at some point in their lives.
First of all, let's address the term "low desire". This means, that for you, in your experience, you are experience less desire (the longing for sexual interaction) than is normal for YOU. Not according to how often your partner wants sex, not for how often the "average" couple has sex. For YOU, darling. The bodies of women and V-owning humans are very different from the male body. Desire works differently for us. However, our education around sex, and society very portrays only the male centered perspective of this incredibly important piece of very complex world of sex.
Now that we have established that low desire is defined by you, and you alone, and that there is a profound lack of female centered sex education in the mainstream; lets' talk about the MANY things that can contribute to lower desire.
There are of course, things like illness that will absolutely affect our desire levels. Pregnancy, menopause and your menstrual cycle also all contribute to how much desire you will experience. Some people also experience pain with penetrative sex, which obviously will effect desire. There are certain medications whose side affects are lowered desire. If any of these are the case, open and honest conversations with your partner are important. You may also want to seek the care of a doctor, or pelvic floor specialist.
Desire levels that decrease are also greatly affected by stress, outdated beliefs about sex and pleasure, discontentment in relationships, and a lack of pleasure. These are the factors that I address with clients in my practice.
Stress - It can be really difficult to get in the mood when we have a million other things on our minds. Studies have shown that women and vulva owning humans are often under so much stress, pressure that they are unable to recognize arousal in their own bodies. Sometimes, we don't really know what the beginning of arousal feels like, we weren't really taught about it. (With male bodies, the erection is normalized and even glorified). Other times, we are simply so busy in our minds, it is almost impossible to pick up on the signals our bodies are sending us. The thing is, that pleasure and orgasm actually release oxytocin, which reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). Pleasure is literally the medicine to help your body heal from chronic stress. How do we move into pleasure when stress is in the way? We begin notice when we might feel like thinking about getting in the mood.... with zero obligation to actually have sex if the mood just isn't there.
2. Discontentment in Relationship - It is understandably impossible to have desire in a relationship that doesn't feel good. They key here, is safety. Desire is hard to access when we don't feel safe (physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually) with another. We aren't going to want to have sex with someone who only addresses their needs, and uses coercion to get those met. Desire for someone who does not support us, see us or value us is most likely not going to happen. When this is the case, desire is not actually the issue at hand. Addressing the underlying concerns in the relationship is what is going to create change.
3. Outdated Beliefs - This is a BIG one, and, is a factor in every single client of mine. We have been raised in a world that shames women and V-owning humans for their sexuality. We hold so many unconscious beliefs about our own sexuality, that sometimes, this creates a blockage to pleasure and desire. Unlearning these beliefs requires awareness, intention and often, some guided work. But, it is absolutely possible to change your beliefs about sex and your relationship to your sexual pleasure.
4. Lack of Pleasure - It can take up to 20-40 minutes for a woman or V-owner to reach their full pleasure potential. Plain and simple, if your partner isn't centering your pleasure, is rushing into penetration or taking their time to bring your whole mind and body into the experience, you won't be experiencing the full, expansive range of pleasure that is possible. No one is going to want to have sex if it doesn't feel good. Only 10% of pussy owners can orgasm from penetration alone, yet the patriarchal view of sex, portrayed in pornography is almost entirely focused on penetration. There are over 8000 nerve endings in the clitoris, and very few in the vaginal canal. How to we shift this? We learn to ask for what we need to achieve maximum pleasure, and we use our self pleasure practice (without toys) to explore how to expand our arousal.
Desire is different for everyone. Beautiful soul, there is no right or wrong way. There is only what feels authentic, safe and pleasurable AF for YOU. If you have any questions about your experience, please reach out.
Love and Magick Krystal Jannelle (she/her)