by Adriana Velez
Feel like your libido could use a kick in the butt? Well, a new drug called flibanserin has been created to treat low sex drive in women. It’s awaiting approval from the FDA. But should we even be trying to “fix” low sex drive with a drug? I don’t think so.Sex educator and author of Come as You Are: The Surprising Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, Emily Nagoski, says the biggest problem with the drug is that it’s trying to treat something that isn’t a disease.
So if we can stop acting like there’s something wrong with women who feel like they have a low sex drive, what else can we do? Nagoski has a few suggestions.
1. Get physical first, then feel desire. In a recent op ed piece, Nagoski pointed out that psychiatrists are changing the way they think about women’s sex drive. They used to assume everyone felt desire first, then arousal. And if you weren’t experiencing that desire spontaneously, something was wrong with you.
But it turns out that many women (and some men, too) feel desire only after they’re sexually aroused. In other words, you may not be in the mood for sex until you get in bed and start doing some foreplay. Your partner helps you get into the mood through physical stimulation.
2. Create distance. What is desire, anyway? Nagoski suggests its when you want something you do not have. “If that object of desire is lying in bed with you every night, of course, that craving isn’t there.”
So to build desire, you need to build barriers. If you’re having sex fairly often but you’re not into it, try having sex less often and letting sexual tension build — for you.
3. Stop worrying about wanting sex and just enjoy the sex you have. Nagoski’s favorite solution, though, throws out the idea that desire is even important for a happy sex life. “Shift your focus from wanting sex, from desire, to actually feeling pleasure when you have sex.”
It’s like the difference between being hungry versus sharing a delicious meal with someone you love.
So when you have your date night, you get the kids out of the house, turn off the phone, and “allow pleasure to happen without an agenda,” Nagoski says. That means you’re enjoying the sensual experience without feeling like you have to have an orgasm, or he does, or you have to have one together, or anything like that.
4. Ask yourself, what kind of sex is worth having? What makes sex worth the effort? Nagoski says if you don’t usually like the sex you’ve been having, change the menu. Talk with your partner about what would make YOU feel pleasure, and what would make you feel closer to him.
“It would be so easy if there were a magic pill that could make you spontaneously feel desire,” Nagoski says. But that’s not the only way to experience sex. “There are so many other ways to have fun.”
Do you ever spend time thinking about what pleasurable sex would be or feel like for you?