Dr. Aline Zoldbrod is a well-known Boston-based licensed psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She is the author of three commercially published books about sexuality and relationships. Her book, SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It has been translated into four languages and was recognized as one of the top three sex-help books of the year. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. You can find her at sexsmart.com.
Tags: sexuality | relationships | counseling

Inherent Desire: Things to Know

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 04:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Are you a woman who loved having sex in the beginning of a relationship and later on became uninterested in it, losing all sexual desire?

In my opinion, there are many women who feel that they “lost” their desire for sexual pleasure because, in some sense, they never had it. They never learned what turned them on growing up.

What they understood as their own powerful sex drive was actually a result of, first, the powerful hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel early relationships. These last about two years, at most

Second, many women get a huge turn on from feeling the reflection of their partner’s desire. They become charged up by their power to lure their partner and the potential of having a life together.

Sexual desire that is only “reflective” tends to fade as the relationship becomes more established.

In general, I like to divide women’s sexual desire into “reflective” desire (like that described above) or “inherent” desire.

I believe that each of us has the potential for an inherent sexual template; our own unique recipe for feeling turned on. If you were lucky enough to grow up in a family that was supportive and not sex-negative, and if your hormones were normal, by adolescence, you hopefully would have discovered what you like. (This is one of the Milestones of Sexual Development.)

If you have inherent drive, then being a sexual person is actually part of your self-definition. Feeling sexual pleasure is something you want for yourself, the way you might crave a particular food.

Some of us are turned on by romantic and sensual imagery and fantasy. Others maybe be turned on “kink” such as wearing rubber or other fetishes. These sexual interests start to blossom around adolescence, if not earlier.

If you have discovered your recipe and you felt uninhibited and unashamed about it, then your body and mind learned how to give yourself the sensations of arousal and orgasm. The sensations became familiar, automatic, and pleasurable. You began to enjoy sex for yourself. And, like riding a bike, once you “get” your sexual recipe, you won’t forget it. Inherent sexual desire is then embodied.

If your inherent sexual desire template was a sensual one, you grew up with a sense of owning your own body, feeling safe in your body, and enjoying many sexual sensations, basking in your five senses.

I was talking with a patient with a sensual inherent sexual desire template, and I asked her, “What does it mean to be an erotic person on a desert island?”

She replied, “Oh, it would be all the good feelings I would have — dancing, being fit, nice smells, soft skin, taking deep breaths, having clean hair, feeling my own flesh, just for me.”

If you discovered and practiced your inherent sexual recipe, and you have been open and unashamed about sharing it with like-minded partners, then even when the hormones that fuel the early stages of love and lust fade, you’ll still have inherent sexual desire to fall back on.

Granted, you will not be as driven as you were in the opening stages of your relationship, but you’ll still find time and space for sex, because you love it.

If you never figured out your inherent sexual template, you can do it now. That’s the good news

Luckily, there are some good books and resources to help you in your journey of self-discovery. Consider finding a book on erotic massage, or reading Emily Nagoski’s Come as You Are, or Sherri Winston’s Anatomy of Arousal, along with some erotica that matches your template.

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Are you a woman who loved having sex in the beginning of a relationship and later on became uninterested in it, losing all sexual desire?
sexuality, relationships, counseling
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2019-27-04
Wednesday, 04 September 2019 04:27 PM
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