Do you feel sex is dirty/messy/boring/overrated? Do you have a ‘low sex drive’? Do you feel ‘broken’?
Stop it. You’re not. It isn’t. You’re fine.
Read Come as You Are, and you’ll know why. Dr. Emily Nagoski, a sex educator for twenty years, says everyone is normal (I’m guessing there’s a few disturbed outliers, but you’re probably not one of them, so keep reading.) Her book, based on well-researched, meticulously documented studies not only explains the reasons women have such anxiety about sex, but how they can make it better.
Picture this. It’s the end of a long stressful day and you can’t wait to go to bed. To sleep. But your partner has that look in their eye and you know what that means. You groan (maybe internally, but maybe not) and wonder why don’t you have desire any more. And your partner wonders why you don’t love them any more.
Are you broken?
Nope. Chances are you’ve been “chased by a lion” all day and your body can’t turn off that mental and physical strain. It’s normal. But you can change the way you view sex, react to sex, to make it seem less like a chore and more like a gift.
Dr. Nagoski’s research identifies myths that lead to women considering themselves broken (these are my interpretations of her work and any misrepresentation is my own fault):
- Myth #1: You should experience spontaneous desire- no matter what your day has been like. If you love your partner and they want sex, your body should automatically flare with interest. In reality, while 75% of men have this ability/reaction/whatever, only about 15% of women have spontaneous desire. The rest are on a slow burn. They need the right mix of “Accelerators and Brakes” as Dr. N calls them.Accelerators are the positive things in your life that get you turned on – it may be sights, sounds, smells, touches, behaviors. And the brakes are what stifles those urges – stress, exhaustion, kids, anger, resentment, sounds, smells, touches, the temperature, your body image, religion, trauma, your upbringing—the list is extensive. The tricky part is learning how to ‘turn on the ons and turn off the offs.’ Everybody’s are different and everybody’s matter. Don’t beat yourself up because having the TV on distracts you. Just turn it off and enjoy the home entertainment.
- Myth #2: Vaginal orgasms are the norm…if you can’t have one, you’re doing it wrong. Only 30% of women have vaginal orgasms, whereas 70% sometimes or NEVER do. It’s actually more normal to have clitoral orgasms. Dr. N explains,”We have all the same parts, just organized differently.” So you not having one is not because your man isn’t big enough or thick enough or goes to slow or too fast, it’s because that’s just the way you are made. It’s fine. Who cares! Take your pleasure however you can.
- Myth #3: After a stressful day, just toss back a glass of wine, and BAM, your sex drive will pop on. Nope, probably not. When experiencing a stressful situation, whether chronic or episodic, your body requires you to finish a cycle to dissipate the stress. This may mean exercise, yoga, talking, meditation, a massage or just breathing until you begin to relax. Then you can consider working on your accelerator. Without completing your stress cycle, you’ll be all brakes.
- Myth #4: There will be a female Viagra that solves all our problems. Viagra fixes a physical problem. For most women, the issue is more mental. If you’re embarrassed by your body, angry at your partner, frustrated by your career, overwhelmed by your children, a pill won’t be able to force desire.
Great, so now what do you do?
Fortunately the fabulous Dr. N. includes worksheets so you can figure out your accelerators, brakes, stressors, hang-ups, moral inhibitors, etc. and address them. Chances are, if you can show your man that giving you a foot massage or letting you take a bath while he does the dishes can lead to orgasm for both of you, he’ll be up for the challenge.
Read the book. You’ll enjoy it. It’s educational, entertaining, enlightening and surprisingly funny. Once you read it, share it with your friends. Hell, share it with your enemies–maybe they’ll stop being such crotchety piss-ants.
If you find any value at all, share it with the world. That’s what I’m doing.
This is an unsolicited review. Sorry to sound like such a fan-girl, but really, it’s a good book.