Original article by Catherine Elton entitled Learning to Lust in an article of June 2010 Psychology Today; Info compiled her from that article by Don Boice (still relevant)
She writes that sexual desire in women in less directly tied to physical arousal than it is in men; in fact, it often follows arousal, rather than precedes it….more a matter of mind than mechanics…
Many women engage in sex feeling neutral and experience desire only when they are physiologically aroused.
Data show that what ignites women’s desire, regardless of any generalized decline in desire, is a new partner.
Ester Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, contends that domesticity undermines desire. “Good intimacy doesn’t always guarantee good sex,” she says. “The very elements that nurture love- reciprocity, mutuality, protection, closeness, emotional security, predictability- are sometimes the very things that stifle desire. Love wants a certain kind of closeness; desire needs space and distance to thrive.”
Marta Meana supports this “formalizing their relationship by marriage rendered sex so overly available and so sanctioned that it lost a forbidden and erotic quality that formerly turned them on. Among others, overfamiliarity with their partner led to a decline in romance and in sexual innovation, as well as to a loss of their own sense of individuality and desire to care for their appearance, which they felt promoted sexual desire. The roles of mother, wife and professionals were not only overwhelming but highly desexualizing.” Journal of Sexual and Marital Therapy
Women often fantasize about being ravished or found irresistible. Perel and Meana say that women yearn to be uniquely desired- to be chosen as the one. Women want a commitment because it signals they are uniquely desired. Once you are married, he is stuck. His advances no longer signal your unique desirability.
Meana points out research- “Women find is arousing to think of themselves in lingerie or nude. Thinking of themselves as sexy boosts their desire. Feeling good about themselves emotionally and physically appears to be a bigger mediator of women’s desire than men’s. Women are often distracted during sex by their own negative evaluations of their physical appearance.
Meredith Chivers notes that women may just need more time for their minds to catch up to their bodies-perhaps explaining why they want more foreplay. Men are more in tune with what is going on with their bodies than women are.
One solution: learn the basics of mindfulness (Lori Brotto) to reconnect the mind with the body’s sensations. Then examine their bodies in a nonsexual way without generating distress. Lessen distractions by judgment of physical appearance during sex. Allow your mind to just be and just look, not to judge. Then Brotto helps women change the way they look at their body and enjoy sensations in a sexual way. Lastly, she teaches them to connect bodily arousal and emotional pleasure. Tune into the sexual sensations of your body.