Struggling With Loss of Sexual Desire .  .  . Not interested in sex? Need to work very hard to feel minimally aroused? Is your partnership or marriage suffering because of the loss of sexuality and the lost erotic component?

Loss of sexual desire is said to be a woman’s biggest sexual problem.  This is true for all women, both straight and lesbian. Medical terminology calls it hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) but it’s commonly referred to as lesbian bed death or marital bed death.  It’s noted to be the most common form of sexual dysfunction in women of all ages.

There are Many Reasons Why women experience a decline in their sexual appetites, particularly as they age.  Those reasons are not new.  They include a natural change in hormone levels, a close link between sexual desire and emotional stability, vulnerability to negative self-image, impact of loss of romance in relationships, of overfamiliarity, of daily responsibility and of the numerous de-sexualized roles that we all must play.  But, it’s just not enough to say there’s no room for sexuality anymore.  There’s probably always room for it, if room is made.  It starts with understanding desire.

Desire is Impossible to Nail Down in a good specific definition.  At best, we can say that it’s the state of wanting to engage in erotic activity. For some, desire is very close to arousal, which may include an erection in a man, or an increase in vaginal lubrication among other changes, in a woman.  For others, desire is not close to arousal, but it’s on the road to arousal.  Desire might arrive as the feeling of wanting something; or as the beginning of a promise of erotic pleasure.  Desire might arrive as an anticipation of a particular kind of engagement.  Desire is a sort of hope.

Embedded in Desire is what I call the personal fantasy—we all have them—! The personal fantasy operates to bring desire out of hiding and into the foreground.  The fantasy is an important player here—it is a special collection or arrangement of titillating images and scenarios that resonate with our erotic selves and helps to increase and organize desire into a framework for action and satisfaction.



It’s a Long Road from loading the dishwasher, to the quiet panting of rising desire.

When women complain of lack of sexual desire, I suggest that for some, they’re complaining not only of not having that rush of heat, that spike in wetness and that single-mindedness that is desire.  I suggest women are also complaining about not being brought properly down that road from daily asexuality to the erotic state of the promise of pleasure.


The job of seduction is to bring someone out of an asexual orientation, into an erotic state of mind.  And, as the word suggests, it’s slightly mysterious, slightly naughty, slightly personal, a bit magical, and very very specific to the person being seduced.  Most importantly, seduction is not goal oriented.

Say what?  Seduction is not goal-oriented!

Goal-Oriented Seduction is Foreplay.  And foreplay, for our purposes here, is a bit of a problem.   Foreplay pretends to enjoy what’s going on, but, of course, it has the end goal in mind—sexual climax.  Because it has the end goal in mind, there is no seduction involved.  There’s no bringing someone from one orientation into another if there’s an agenda.  No.  In stark terms, foreplay is business.  And with any good business, you’ve got to get to where you’re going.  Bringing someone into an erotic state of mind really has no place in foreplay because in essence, they don’t have a shared goal.  With seduction, the goal is the process of shifting someone from an asexual state into an erotic state; foreplay’s goal is sexual satisfaction and climax.

Seduction vs Foreplay

Good Sex Therapy Can Help a couple distinguish seduction from foreplay.  Good sex therapy can also teach you how to tune in to your own brand of eroticism, and to your partner’s, in order to participate in seduction—in the slow and careful shift from an asexual state of mind, to a sexual state of mind.  I will write more on this question in future posts.

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