The topics of love, sex, lust and all the in-betweens have been studied numerously and have been main topics of conversation in podcasts, articles, books, etc. And of course, it has also been analyzed by men and women alike. In the past few decades, researchers still do not have a unified or solid explanation as to what female desire is, nor do they understand how it fully works. I know women growing up are not exactly taught on how to feel comfortable in their sexuality or unfamiliar thoughts. According to healthline, female desire and arousal are two separate things, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Here is a more in-depth explanation what the difference between arousal and desire is.
I want to help empower young women and remind them that their bodies are not mere trophies to be won, or objects of desire that men can manipulate. Women are allowed to feel pleasure as much as men can, and society needs to stop shaming them into believing otherwise. Female desire exists because it’s an integral aspect in fulfilling a woman’s happiness which eventually leads them and other people in becoming more body positive and sex positive.
Men and female desire
To keep it simple, the worst of men wouldn’t know what female desire is. And the best of them would. I cannot speak for men, but I will speak on research and my own opinions. Lisa Diamond, a professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah, explains that “[w]omen don’t have lower sexuality than men. What they have are more variable patterns.” The peak of a woman’s arousal is before their period, when ovulation occurs.
Men have been known to be disconnected, a sex and relationship therapist, Stephen Snyder, states “Men need a reason to have sex, too. But for most men, the reason can be as simple as your partner taking off their shirt. Most men’s minds tend readily to say “yes” to sex. Whereas most women’s minds tend to say maybe or that depends.
Essentially, women’s needs tend to be overlooked due to the lack of communication between both parties and what they think would feel the best for them. Sexuality has created many pathways for accessing pleasure and refusing conformity (to men’s standards). Low desire, or low sex drive is not always equivalent to disinterest, but rather, women feel like they need to hold themselves back from fantasies and what they really want. There is a preconceived notion that sex and love needs to look or feel a certain way for it to be enjoyable (porn, smut, etc), which essentially undervalues female desire or places too high of an expectation. Women force themselves into intimate encounters they aren’t comfortable with or encounters where their desire for said partner wasn’t able to develop.
Release all expectations and experiment!
Mainstream media hyper focuses on the difference between how a man or woman mentally perceive sex. But in reality, the way they think isn’t as different as the media makes them out to be. As I mentioned earlier, the difference is shown in various patterns of the menstrual cycle. The physical ways that your body responds to arousal, desire, or the lack of it — is influenced by some of the same hormones that fluctuate with your cycle, like estrogen and progesterone. Desire often increases leading up to ovulation, as well as after it. For many, desire allows women to divulge beyond the limits of what they expected of themselves. Fulfilling desire and pleasure doesn’t mean you have to settle for one man or woman forever in order to stay mentally and physically satisfied.
To not feel ashamed of desire, be intentional about where you want to see change or how you want to see it, this will make the thoughts of sexual activity more pleasurable. Release any expectations or predetermined ideas of what you think female desire and pleasure is. Experiment with others or with yourself, and discover what you enjoy or don’t enjoy. The whole concept of sex has always been catered to the male gaze, don’t be afraid to be more body and sex positive. As a result, this will help you openly and shamelessly, communicate your needs to yourself as well as others. Women are allowed to feel pleasure, and so, they should be allowed to direct their focus on what they enjoy.