“Psst. Hey! Are you awake?”
“Hey! Wanna do it?”
This scene is played out in bedrooms across the world every night. And this is the pivotal moment where many women either feign sleep (maybe even throw in some light snoring to sound authentic) or grudgingly give in and have sex.
I say grudgingly because many of these women have no desire to have sex, but they are afraid to say no and disappoint their partners yet again. For decades, these women have played the matryr or the “good wife” role and put their partner’s sexual needs and desires ahead of their own.
Time to start talking about the Right To Desire Movement
But now, finally, millions of women think it is time for an open and honest discussion about sex and desire. Right To Desire is a website dedicated to Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). It offers information, statistics, funny videos and perhaps most importantly, support for women.
Roughly 1 out of every 10 women (10%) will experience HSDD at some point in their lifetime, but until recently, people were reluctant to talk about it.
Think about that for a minute. Approximately 1 out of 8 women (12%) will be diagnosed with breast cancer and it seems like everyone is talking about that. Why should women be ashamed to discuss their sexual desire, or lack thereof, especially since HSDD is considered a medical condition too?
Thanks to the Right To Desire website and movement, women are finding help and an outlet to talk about their libido.
The unofficial counselor
My day job is selling lotions, lingerie and bedroom accessories to women. I am a completely unofficial, totally unqualified, counselor and yet, these women pour out their heart and soul to me.
They are desperate to have someone to talk to about their issues in the bedroom. I have heard about abuse, adultery, metal blocks, stress, physical issues and some of the kinkiest things you could ever imagine.
But do you know what comes up over and over again? Low or completely non-existent sexual desire. This is by far the most common issue in the bedroom and women are afraid to publicly talk about it.
They won’t discuss it with their friends because they think they will be judged. Many women internalize the problem and blame themselves. They think if they were younger, thinner or smarter, they would feel more desire.
Sometimes, their partners shame them for their lack of interest. Doctors tend to blow them off and attribute it to having children or aging. These women are made to feel like there is something wrong with them because they are not raring to go at every moment.
A letter to the partner of a woman with HSDD
So after years of listening to their stories, here is the collective voice of these women. If they could tell their partners how they are truly feeling, this is what they would say.
I know you are mad at me again. You’re disappointed and think I am a cold, dead fish in the bedroom.
I know you miss the way our sex life used to be. It was exciting and spontaneous, but now, sex feels like a chore. I understand, because I miss it too.
I miss the thrill and the tingling I used to get when you kissed me. Now, there is nothing and it makes me feel ashamed that I can’t muster up that feeling anymore.
We used to hump like bunnies. Everywhere and all the time. And I loved it.
I still love you. It’s not that I don’t want to have sex with you. I just don’t wan’t to have sex at all. With anyone. Ever.
When I turn you down or make excuses, it doesn’t help that you get mad or sigh loudly. That makes me feel worse and shuts me down even further.
If you are still reading this and want to work on it, here are some things we could try:
Let’s connect mentally before we try to connect physically. I want to feel like you are listening to me. Let’s have a date night. Put away your phone and look at me. Truly see me and appreciate me as a women and a partner.
Let’s run away. Sometimes, I feel more sexual when we escape the house, the kids, work and all the daily stresses. Vacation sex is amazing because there is nothing weighing us down.
Please help me around the house. I’m tired. And when I am exhausted, sleep takes priority over sex. Instead of watching TV, offer to help clean the kitchen after dinner. Or better yet, don’t halfheartedly offer, just DO it. Switch the laundry. Change the poopy diaper. Help with the school projects. If you do any of these things without me having to ask you, the chances of sex go up by roughly five hundred percent.
Don’t make me feel like I “owe” you sex. Regarding my above point; just because you swept the floor, it does not mean that I owe you anything. Not a medal, not a trophy and not unlimited use of my vagina. We are a team and teams work together without expecting anything in return.
Heat me up. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Men are like microwaves and women are like toaster ovens”? I know that if I accidentally flash you some cleavage, you are ready to go, but I’m not wired that way. Take your time to touch me. Give me the time and freedom to get excited. Make me want you instead of practically forcing yourself on me.
Be open to the idea of outside help. There are doctors, counselors and medications that may help me. Don’t take this as a personal insult to you or your appeal to me. It is not about you. It is about me and my low sex drive.
Please be patient and try to help me through this. Please understand that I am upset about this too and I am trying my best. Your wife
Stop blowing off a woman’s right to desire
So can we all agree to to start acting like grown ups and stop dancing around the issue? If your friend tries to talk to you about her lack of sexual desire, don’t brush her off. Listen to her. Just listen and offer support.
If your partner has a low sexual desire, be patient and understanding. Offer to assist her in getting help. Stop pressuring her and making her feel worse about herself and the situation.
If you are the one with the issue, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Visit Right to Desire or seek out a doctor or counselor.
Let’s agree to see HSDD as a medical condition, normalize it and support each other.
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