“Dear Dr Eve,
2020 was the worst year for me. I experienced many losses. I lost a close
family member, had a miscarriage and my income dropped. At one stage I
think I was depressed as I struggled to get out of bed and really could not
take care of myself very well.
I write to you as my husband is frustrated and resentful as I have very little
desire for sexual activity. We do it like once a week as I want to please him
but I really don’t enjoy it – and he knows it – which makes him even more
How can we fix this so I regain some of my old desire again?
You have experienced so many losses on multiple levels – no wonder your
brain and body took care of you by sending you to your bed to curl up and
protect yourself from any more surprising shocks.
Your bed then became a place of safety and security – and not a sexy
boudoir. When under threat, the brain shuts down pleasure centers and
merely gives you resources to survive. And you survived Vanessa…
I get that your husband is restless and frustrated sexually. And I’m pleased
that he is getting “duty sex” is not really pleasurable for him either. Time for
kindness and compassion towards each other. And a whole lot of education. I
invite you to share this with him with the hope that as your losses feel more
integrated, your appetite for intimacy will increase.
Sexual desire in women is so tricky. In one sexual session, desire is there
and wham, the very next session, you’re searching around to find it.
So I am going to invite you to consider the SEXUAL EXCITATION/SEXUAL
INHIBITION FOR WOMEN ( Reference Graham, Cynthia A, 2005) I was a
clinician who used to assess sexual desire in people.
Fill in: one scale of FACTORS THAT INHIBIT AND a scale of FACTORS THAT EXCITE you
sexually. Share this with your husband and you may well find a level of
honesty and compassion that can heighten your desire and arousal. By the
way, I do recommend trauma counselling for you.
Sexual Excitation factors
– When I think about someone I find sexually attractive, I easily
become sexually aroused.
– Fantasizing about sex can quickly get me sexually excited.
– Certain hormonal changes definitely increase my sexual arousal
– Sometimes I am so attracted to someone, I cannot stop myself from
becoming sexually aroused.
– I get very turned on when someone wants me sexually.
– If I see someone dressed in a sexy way, I easily become sexually
– Just being physically close with a partner is enough to turn me on.
– Seeing an attractive partner’s naked body really turns me on.
– With a new partner, I am easily aroused.
– Feeling overpowered in a sexual situation by someone I trust
increases my arousal.
– It turns me on if my partner “talks dirty” to me during sex.
– If a partner is forceful during sex, it reduces my arousal.
– Dominating my partner is arousing to me.
– Often just how someone smells can be a turn-on.
– Particular scents are very arousing to me.
– Seeing a partner doing something that shows his/her talent can make
me very sexually aroused.
– If I see a partner interacting well with others, I am more easily
– Someone doing something that shows he/she is intelligent turns me
– Eye contact with someone I find sexually attractive really turns me on.
– Having sex in a different setting than usual is a real turn-on for me.
– I find it harder to get sexually aroused if other people are nearby.
– I get really turned on if I think I may get caught while having sex.
– If it is possible someone might see or hear us having sex, it is more
difficult for me to get aroused
Sexual Inhibition factors
– I really need to trust a partner to become fully aroused.
– If I think that I am being used sexually it completely turns me off.
– It is easier for me to become aroused with someone who has
– It would be hard for me to become sexually aroused with someone
who is involved with another person.
– If I am uncertain about how a partner feels about me, it is harder for
me to get aroused.
– If I think a partner might hurt me emotionally, I put the brakes on
– Unless things are “just right” it is difficult for me to become sexually
– When I am sexually aroused, the slightest thing can turn me off.
– It is difficult for me to stay sexually aroused
– If I am worried about taking too long to become aroused, this can
interfere with my arousal.
– If I think about whether I will have an orgasm, it is much harder for
me to become aroused.
– Sometimes I feel so “shy” or self-conscious during sex that I cannot
become fully aroused.
– If I am concerned about being a good lover, I am less likely to