For many women, sex drops to the bottom of the priority list. Whether it is because of the kids, busy lifestyles, disappointment in the sex they’re having, hormonal changes or stress, at some point in their lives sex goes off the table. It can be easy to instead turn to things like Netflix and a good cuppa or a glass of wine to experience some satisfaction and pleasure.
“I just don’t feel like sex anymore”
“I don’t feel sexual”
“Sex feels like a chore”
“I do it just for my partner”
Sadly, I hear comments like this a LOT from many women I work with. Sex is supposed to be a wonderful part of life that has the capacity to fill us with pleasure. So what’s going on? Why are many women turning away from SEX?
The common reasons I hear for women not engaging sexually include:
• Sex requires energy and I’m too tired
• I need to feel turned on/aroused/sexy first
• I can’t relax and I can’t stop my thoughts
• We just go through the motions, the same routine and I’m bored
• I rarely orgasm and am left feeling disappointed or a failure
• I’d rather have no sex than just do it for the sake of it
When I explore the deeper issues with women, there is often a history of speaking up about what she wants sexually but feeling like she isn’t being heard or nothing changes. After a busy day at work or with the kids, these women can’t seem to switch off their mind or unwind their bodies easily.
They start to resent their partner’s sexual advances or even his affectionate touch for fear of this leading to sex.
Something shuts down in a woman when she has unfulfilling sex, is not properly aroused or ready, or is not heard in her requests to be approached differently. She can be left feeling empty, angry and resentful which doesn’t bode well for wanting to repeat the experience next time.
Over time the cost of this shutting down for a woman is often a duller, more dry experience of life, loss of intimacy and closeness in partnership and not feeling deeply nourished, loved and appreciated as a woman.
Sex approached with consciousness, openness and sensitivity, on the other hand, can be deeply fulfilling, nourishing and enlivening and often can leave you feeling more energised than before.
Whose Fault is It?
I often see blame being apportioned in these situations, men bringing their partners saying “she’s the one with the problem”, women blaming themselves and thinking “there’s something wrong with me”, or men being blamed for not being attentive lovers or not understanding their partners needs.
My feeling is that we’ve all been sold a lie around our sexuality and we are all paying the price.
The blame, if any, lies in a society that is terrified of sex and yet fascinated by it and uses it to sell everything under the sun. Our culture gives mixed messages to both men and women about sex and expects us to wade our way through and create a healthy sexuality. As children we are given minimal education, which is mostly fear-based around what can go wrong.
Porn, TV and movies give an unrealistic depiction of sex and women’s sexuality. We are not taught how to listen to our bodies or to talk about our desires. This leads to a lack of connection and so many of us missing out on real sexual satisfaction and intimacy.
What if we had been taught that our sexuality is natural and life giving and energising? What would be different if we had ways to know and communicate what we wanted sexually?
The good news is that there is still time to learn and it is possible for women to regain the connection to their innate sensuality and sexual juiciness and aliveness. It all starts with connecting back into your body again, learning to relax, taking the pressure off, and opening the capacity to feel.
Take time to discover what you do enjoy – it will make a difference.