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Untamed Heart

Female sexual desire?

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I hope this is the right place for this kind of question, but first, a little bit of background info:

I was thinking back to when I was with my ex this morning, and how I never initiated sex, at least, not until after he said he'd like me to ask first sometimes because he didn't like feeling as if he was pestering me, so I did, but wasn't bothered when he said no.

But I was honestly not even thinking about sex when he started asking things like did I feel like I needed permission to touch him (even though we were both undressed), and actually felt surprised when he first said he wanted to have sex with me (which I agreed to because I was curious, and trusted him to stop if I didn't feel right - nothing to do with attraction, because later I realised it hadn't been there on that night, if it ever had been. It was more a case of curiosity, trust in the other person and accepting it was something that happened in relationships. Despite my own confused feelings, I had wanted to make him happy, as well). 

 

I guess I really have two questions.

One, for the members who aren't ace and have been in consensual sexual relationships with women... in your experience, is it common for women to be like this - e.g. spaced out or distracted in the bedroom, stuff like that? Or do some women always seem up for it and focused on what's happening, and ask/pressure you for sex? 

Two, is it possible that weak and/or rapidly fluctuating romantic attraction could have a detrimental effect on sexual attraction (if I did feel it at all anyway? I'm still not sure but I don't think I did find him sexually attractive); is it possible for one type of attraction (romantic/sexual) to fade away leaving more or less only the other type? 

 

I don't think I'm totally ace, but then again I don't understand what an average, healthy female's sexuality is meant to be like? 

I'm not sure if me not missing/not feeling like I need sex has anything to do with being almost perpetually single and happier that way, mostly because of how confused and ill I tend to end up feeling when I "like" a guy. I'm wondering if I just assumed I was sexually attracted to some of my crushes before and it didn't occur to me that I wasn't really, because although I remember I loved hugs a lot, I don't remember if I thought about those guys in a sexual way or not! I did 'fool about' with a couple of them and enjoyed it, but I didn't feel any real anticipation/excitement about what was going on. I feel like, now that I know sexual/romantic attractions and desires can be separate things, if/when I do end up liking someone again, I'll know what to look for.

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Interesting topic & thanks for sharing :)

'Fraid I'm lacking the experience to answer your specific questions around sexual relationships with women (well, I'm probably more disappointed about that than you are, lol) but I'm hoping some other members will wade in here, cos I'm interested in what they'll have to say.

 

So you'll have to make do with some random thoughts instead xD.

Probably one of the tricky things about heterosexual sex is that men only know what a male body/hormones/arousal feels like and don't know what a female body/hormones/arousal feels like (and vice-versa for women). In martial arts, for instance, you get to apply the technique to a partner, but you can also feel them apply the same technique to you. Both add to your understanding of it. But with heterosexual sex, you'll always be tragically missing out on half of the relevant information! (I'll never know what a female orgasm actually feels like, for instance. How boring!). I guess gay people have an unfair advantage over us here? :P In Iain M Banks' sci-fi Culture novels, it's common for the characters to spend several years in bodies of different genders to what they were assigned at birth. That's be cool to try!

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Thanks for the response :) I can agree in part to the last bit - I feel like, if I had the chance to be someone else for a week or so, I might try being neurotypical, or compare how my 'sexuality' feels compared to another woman's - just to get reference points, of course :P that would probably be a pretty handy experience for me.

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Actually, your OP reminded me: @DeltaV put a link to this comic in another thread. Can you relate to any of it?

 

Also, my experience is that strong romantic and sex drive would make sex much more likely to happen than having only one (or neither) of those drives present would. I think I actually have reasonably high sex drive (I wouldn't say 'healthy' by the way - just high!) I just don't ever act on it: partly because the socially acceptable ways to act on it generally involve playing along with a lot of romantic expectations (as well as other potentially messy human consequences!) that send my anxiety into overdrive and partly because I'm actually not entirely clear on how to act on it appropriately a lot of the time! (as in: what's the appropriate way to communicate a sexual intent? It's pretty unclear!)

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Heh, I actually saw that earlier and I can relate to a lot of it. I felt like 'something' was missing, even though I enjoyed it but sometimes just wanted it over with. Something else I was wondering was, do most women start to miss sex when they don't have it for a while?

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14 hours ago, Untamed Heart said:

One, for the members who aren't ace and have been in consensual sexual relationships with women...

This would be a strongly self-selected sample. It wouldn't help you much to analyze the average female sexual desire. If we exclude asexual women, female sexual desire ranges from “insane” to “Panda” (not asexual, but very low libido). And those Panda-women, however common they are (I have seen estimates from below 10% up to 35%), surely won't be in a fwb relationship and probably have a low tolerance for a “romantic relationship” with an allosexual aro, too.


This is a question which has been quite intensively researched, and as far as I see it, there is no scientific consensus (for every study there is a study that reaches a very different conclusion), aside, perhaps, from the not further quantified statement “the average male libido is higher than average female libido” (duh!). So, we won't find it out here in our forum with a strongly biased sample.


The most perplexing thing is the role of hormones. It's not like a freak accident if a normal healthy woman has a higher libido than a normal healthy man, it's just something that happens from time to time.


So, what went on in this case? It's a mystery to me. We know that testosterone increases sex drive (though this may not the whole story), we see it, for example, in the transition period of many (strangely enough, not all) FTMs. And the testosterone reference ranges of women and men do not overlap remotely.

9 hours ago, Untamed Heart said:

Something else I was wondering was, do most women start to miss sex when they don't have it for a while?

Well,  “miss” and “most” what does it mean? I think, more than 50% of women would really like to have sex again if they didn't have it for a long time. I would be really surprised if that wouldn't be the case. How common severe sexual frustration is for women, is another question.

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AVEN's subforum for allosexuals has roughly as many allo women involved with aces as they do men, and they seem to have similar rates of sexual frustration. So I don't think there's a huge difference between men and women in that respect.

 

However, just because someone is willing to live without sex doesn't make them grey-ace or ace automatically. I'm not sure exactly where the line between allo and grey-ace is, but I'd say it's more about whether you can identify with the standard narrative of sexuality than whether you feel sex is a dealbreaker.  

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You all make very fair points, so thanks very much for your responses. I was beginning to feel calling myself ace was actually dishonest in a way (it feels better to drop it), and think low libido is more accurate - also, love the term 'panda woman'! xD That does sound a lot more like what's going on with me, anyway.

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15 minutes ago, Untamed Heart said:

also, love the term 'panda woman'! xD That does sound a lot more like what's going on with me, anyway.

I don't wanna spoil it for you, but if you do a google image search on 'panda woman', some weirdly kinky stuff comes up! xD

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:facepalm: I take it back!! xD I had this great mental image of being like a big squishy bear creature. Kinkies ruin everything lmao :P 

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On 4/18/2017 at 11:19 PM, Untamed Heart said:

You all make very fair points, so thanks very much for your responses. I was beginning to feel calling myself ace was actually dishonest in a way (it feels better to drop it), and think low libido is more accurate - also, love the term 'panda woman'! xD That does sound a lot more like what's going on with me, anyway.

I think gray-ace would be absolutely correct in your case. Especially since you're over thirty and that's how it has always been for you –  because if we say x% of women have a (very) low libido, it doesn't mean it has always been the case for them. So whatever you read about the prevalence of low libido in women, you're in a much smaller subset of it. From AVENwiki, “Gray-A”:

 

  • do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes
  • experience sexual attraction, but a low sex drive
  • experience sexual attraction and drive, but not strongly enough to want to act on them
  • people who can enjoy and desire sex, but only under very limited and specific circumstances

 

You would also fit a narrower definition: "experience sexual attraction very rarely, only under specific circumstances, or of an intensity so low that it’s ignorable"

 

Now, how does gray-ace not sound? Like this (from here):

 

Imagine keeping a lion in a small cat-carrier . . . for years. Day after day, night after night, he roars, he eats (a lot). His energy is endless . . . and yet you keep him caged.

As a single girl in my thirties who was committed, by God's grace, to saving sex for marriage, I often felt very much like that caged lion. Sometimes my physical drives were so strong, I despaired—the long, intense fight for purity in a sexually-saturated culture seemed impossible. And while there was constant dialogue about men's sexual struggles and temptations, there was this eerie silence when it came to women. Was I part man, or was this normal for women?

However, the more I opened up and shared my struggles with other single women, the more I realized I was indeed normal and in very good company. So why wasn't anyone talking about it?

 

Well, you obviously wouldn't have any problems with this lifestyle. Too bad your special talent is wasted on you! ;)

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3 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Imagine keeping a lion in a small cat-carrier . . . for years. Day after day, night after night, he roars, he eats (a lot). His energy is endless . . . and yet you keep him caged.

As a single girl in my thirties who was committed, by God's grace, to saving sex for marriage, I often felt very much like that caged lion. Sometimes my physical drives were so strong, I despaired—the long, intense fight for purity in a sexually-saturated culture seemed impossible. And while there was constant dialogue about men's sexual struggles and temptations, there was this eerie silence when it came to women. Was I part man, or was this normal for women?

However, the more I opened up and shared my struggles with other single women, the more I realized I was indeed normal and in very good company. So why wasn't anyone talking about it?

... and the rest of the article... :facepalm: 

Thank you for the reminded that I am very much asexual... I have a tendency not to notice it much of the time... until something like this reminds me.

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Thanks a lot, @DeltaV! :) I definitely haven't ever felt like celibacy was a difficult thing to endure, and very few men have really piqued any real interest in me at all.

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It's not my intention to hijack @Untamed Heart's thread with my own nonsense (xD) but I can actually relate to two out of four points without considering myself 'Grey-A':

16 hours ago, DeltaV said:
  • experience sexual attraction and drive, but not strongly enough to want to act on them
  • people who can enjoy and desire sex, but only under very limited and specific circumstances

 

I think the explanation is that a degree aro-ness/romance-aversion can explain both the "not strongly enough to want to act on them" and the "very limited and specific circumstances" above. 'Cos if your romance-aversion is strong enough, it could 'win out' over your sex drive - even if the latter can be pretty full-on sometimes! :P Plus, for most people, the 'circumstances' leading up to sex generally involve a fair amount of romance (wheras 'circumstances' that don't involve it could indeed be described as 'very limited and specific'!). Both points I remembered @DeltaV making way back when, in his intro post:

 

On 1/20/2017 at 6:37 PM, DeltaV said:

I wondered if most guys had much stronger libidos than me. Were they so sex-starved that they were willing to put up with a romantic relationship (and its extremely emotionally draining preliminaries) just to get sex? Nah, can't be that horny

 

And that's the thing - most (allo-romantic) people would see those 'romantic' things as, at the very least, a bonus, and not as "extremely emotionally draining preliminaries" to be put up with (or not) to satisfy (or not!) your sex drive.

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You're not hijacking at all, that post was actually helpful for me :) the bit about romance aversion (or repulsion) winning out over my (already limited) sex drive is probably what was going on for me with my ex - there were instances where I couldn't even bear to be in the same room as him, and even kissing felt weird then. And I do find romance generally draining. Might be different if I could experience that honeymoon period I keep hearing about! xD 

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6 hours ago, Untamed Heart said:

You're not hijacking at all, that post was actually helpful for me :)

Oh, good :) 

That was also my 100th Arocalypse post, yay! :aropride:

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On 4/21/2017 at 8:39 PM, NullVector said:

t's not my intention to hijack @Untamed Heart's thread with my own nonsense (xD) but I can actually relate to two out of four points without considering myself 'Grey-A':

Funny, I actually became interested in asexuality because of my low motivation to get sex. But I'm not Grey-A, not at all, yet extrapolating from my own, let's say, medium (contrary to the Christian lady quoted above I don't suffer from sexual frustration) but robust and undiscriminating sex-drive, I couldn't explain all the trouble people went through to couple up.

On 4/21/2017 at 8:39 PM, NullVector said:

I think the explanation is that a degree aro-ness/romance-aversion can explain both the "not strongly enough to want to act on them" and the "very limited and specific circumstances" above. 'Cos if your romance-aversion is strong enough, it could 'win out' over your sex drive - even if the latter can be pretty full-on sometimes! :P Plus, for most people, the 'circumstances' leading up to sex generally involve a fair amount of romance (wheras 'circumstances' that don't involve it could indeed be described as 'very limited and specific'!). Both points I remembered @DeltaV making way back when, in his intro post:

Both points are vague, of course. For example “act” – what does it mean?

  1. Trawling the relevant online communities every day? (strength-in-numbers approach, even a success rate of 0.5% would be enough)
  2. Going to a sex worker, where it is legal?
  3. Consciously (!) pretending you're romantically attracted to somebody to get sex?
  4. Or just making some move if you get an opportunity served on a silver plate?

Point 4 I have done in the context of my misguided attempts at romantic relationships, but not points 1, 2, or 3.

Point 2 sounds a bit too sleazy for my taste. Point 3: no way! Even if I was ethically challenged enough to consider this, it would be too exhausting for me. The worst I'm willing to to do is being not super-transparent from the start because this is something you cannot do, normally, it's a severe “breach of etiquette” :D (so I would potentially waste a bit of someone's time).

 

Sometimes I think if I should do point 1, that sounds kind of okay, but then I'm just too lazy.

On 4/21/2017 at 8:39 PM, NullVector said:

And that's the thing - most (allo-romantic) people would see those 'romantic' things as, at the very least, a bonus, and not as "extremely emotionally draining preliminaries" to be put up with (or not) to satisfy (or not!) your sex drive.

I must say that  I'm not guilty of any “player” behavior like consciously pretending to want love. I just didn't know any better and even thought I was pretty romantic (lol). It simply didn't fit my character to be aromantic, so the denial-mode was stronger. One can also confuse aromanticism with just being dating-challenged (more on this later).

 

Back in school I always thought “Yes, I'm not one of those shallow guys who's just in it for the sex, doesn't respect girls ..." hahaha, turned out I'm the shallowest of 'em all. Even the alpha bully in our class told us all in a weak drunk moment about his eternal love to his girlfriend and that he wanted to marry her (yes, seriously, I swear!). I have accepted it now, but I mean just to put it into words: the only thing I'm interested in a woman qua woman is sex. *shivers* Oh god, no! I always was worse than the bully.


I must add that there are allo-romantic people who are dating-challenged and experience the “preliminaries” as emotionally draining, too. They're scared that they will embarrass themselves and may experience severe anxiety of being unsuccessful again. But if it would work for them at some point and they get comfortable with another person, they would be happy in love. For me, it wouldn't stop to annoy the heck out of me at any phase. I can't conjure up any positive mental images in which I find myself in a romantic relationship.


At one point in university, when I was again in trouble to get notes from the lectures which I missed (and I missed a lot, because I agree with everything in here :P), I was asked out by a fellow student, whom I liked for her beautiful handwriting and faithful attendance at lectures. ;) She was the second poor woman in my life who tried this (maybe there were more subtle attempts, but I'm totally clueless regarding those). And I just thought:  “Oh, no! How can I get out of this and still get all the lecture notes from her?”. If somebody would be just dating-challenged he would at least be happy that somebody showed interest in him! So that's the difference.


PS: With your help the thread has been hijacked and I could again make this all about me, me, me. :D Mission accomplished.

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Lmao! I do enjoy reading your replies, though. You both seem very insightful and it's turning into an interesting thread!

(off-topic - I haven't played Kerbal Space Program but I love watching videos of it on YouTube!)

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I can relate to pretty much 100% of what you wrote in that reply @DeltaV

So much so that I want to write you a long-winded response that has nothing to do with @Untamed Heart's original thread topic! :P 

(but I don't wanna push my luck there, so I've taken the precaution of 'spoilering' it!)

 

Spoiler

 

22 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Funny, I actually became interested in asexuality because of my low motivation to get sex. But I'm not Grey-A, not at all, yet extrapolating from my own, let's say, medium (contrary to the Christian lady quoted above I don't suffer from sexual frustration) but robust and undiscriminating sex-drive, I couldn't explain all the trouble people went through to couple up.

Yep, same.

I've quoted this before (something @aussiekirkland posted in the headcanons thread) so I may as well do that again! (It's something an anime charater says, apparently):

Quote

Well, of course, the inappropriate curiosity all boys have is present in me, but not enough that it's worth the effort to act upon it. In other words, I'm interested in the erotic, but the process to get there is too much work.

Oh-so relateable :D

I also don't get whatever the romantic equivalent of sexual frustration is. Like, at all. Some people just struck me as incapable of being single for more than five minutes, but this never bothered me. I seemed to be more-or-less content with it, at least compared to their clawing at the walls to get a new boyfriend/girlfriend!

 

22 hours ago, DeltaV said:
  1. Trawling the relevant online communities every day? (strength-in-numbers approach, even a success rate of 0.5% would be enough)
  2. Going to a sex worker, where it is legal?
  3. Consciously (!) pretending you're romantically attracted to somebody to get sex?
  4. Or just making some move if you get an opportunity served on a silver plate?

Point 4 I have done in the context of my misguided attempts at romantic relationships, but not points 1, 2, or 3.

Point 2 sounds a bit too sleazy for my taste. Point 3: no way! Even if I was ethically challenged enough to consider this, it would be too exhausting for me. The worst I'm willing to to do is being not super-transparent from the start because this is something you cannot do, normally, it's a severe “breach of etiquette” :D (so I would potentially waste a bit of someone's time).

 

Sometimes I think if I should do point 1, that sounds kind of okay, but then I'm just too lazy.

Same! Exactly the same!

 

I too have considered trying 1. in light of my recent discoveries about aromantic identities, but not really sure how to go about it. Any ideas? When you say "relevant online communities" what sorts of places are you talking about? Arocalypse, for example? Or, could you 'subvert' the online dating process, writing an online dating profile 'marketed' at aro-spec women? (I've wondered about these sorts of tactics; but like you, I'm too lazy to actually try and put them into practice! :P)

 

I think I missed a few opportunities for 4. in the past, due to my general obliviousness to that sort of thing! xD 

I also perceived some opportunities for 4. that I didn't act on. Which, for a long time, I figured was because of this:

 

22 hours ago, DeltaV said:

there are allo-romantic people who are dating-challenged and experience the “preliminaries” as emotionally draining, too. They're scared that they will embarrass themselves and may experience severe anxiety of being unsuccessful again. But if it would work for them at some point and they get comfortable with another person, they would be happy in love.

 

I 100% thought that was me, until fairly recently. Then reading about aromantic identities made me question it - but not really come off the fence firmly one side or the other (hence joining this site with a profile that was essentially a question mark, lol). I was hoping conversations on here would help resolve some of the confusion and, in a way, they have. I can relate to some quite specific experiences cited by the people on this site, making me think I am quite possibly aromantic. I'm at the very least leaning more and more towards there being 'something else' going on with me - beyond just a general awkwardness and anxiety around new people compounded by the presence of sexual attraction (which is undeniably a thing for me, lol. Just not enough to account fully, or even mostly, I suspect now, for my lack of romantic/sexual relationships)

 

22 hours ago, DeltaV said:

I must say that  I'm not guilty of any “player” behavior like consciously pretending to want love. I just didn't know any better and even thought I was pretty romantic (lol). It simply didn't fit my character to be aromantic, so the denial-mode was stronger.

Oh, I wasn't meaning to imply you'd gone in for that sort of thing, Sorry if I did that :(.

 

22 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Back in school I always thought “Yes, I'm not one of those shallow guys who's just in it for the sex, doesn't respect girls ..." hahaha, turned out I'm the shallowest of 'em all. Even the alpha bully in our class told us all in a weak drunk moment about his eternal love to his girlfriend and that he wanted to marry her (yes, seriously, I swear!). I have accepted it now, but I mean just to put it into words: the only thing I'm interested in a woman qua woman is sex. *shivers* Oh god, no! I always was worse than the bully.


I've always had issues with aspects of conventional masculinity / expressions of male sexual desire. Stuff like lewd comments and 'marks out of 10' I just found really gross when my male friends did it and it's not the sort of thing I've ever done (or would do). But yeah, I didn't think you were really 'supposed to' want sex without the 'ennobling' aspects of romance to go along with it. So I wasn't really prepared to admit to myself that I wanted sex but not so much all the other stuff! Plus, I grew up in a conventional 'nuclear family' structure with long-term happily-married monogamous parents and that just seemed to me like the 'proper' way to go about these things. So admitting to myself that maybe I wanted something pretty different to that was difficult*. Although I wouldn't be interested in 'just sex' - in the sense that I'd have to like anyone I had sex with as a person, find them interesting, consider them a friend, and so on. Would you say the same thing? I mean, friendship and intellectual challenge is also something you can get from guys too - I guess that is what you meant by 'woman qua woman'?

 

22 hours ago, DeltaV said:

PS: With your help the thread has been hijacked and I could again make this all about me, me, me. :D Mission accomplished.

Um, you're welcome, lol.

 

 

* The following analogy has recently occurred to me. I'm somebody who really likes books. Now, imagine you told me that I had to pick just one book to read, for the rest of my life. No doubt I'd pick a really good book, one that I'd enjoy reading many times. I'd come to have a very deep understanding of that book and an appreciation for every aspect of what makes it great. Maybe far more so than if I'd spent my time reading a lot of different books instead. But after a while, wouldn't it get a little, I dunno, boring. There'd be so many other perspectives I'd be missing out on! Monogamy starts to seem a bit like that to me these days. I mean, it's not like we're only allowed one friend! Although I'm well aware that everything I just wrote is, for me, entirely hypothetical! xD

 

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It's OK if you want to keep posting - this was intended to be more a question on whether sexual desire could be impacted by romance repulsion/disappearing feelings lol. I feel my original question was answered, but it could still be useful to someone else in future.

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That's nice of you @Untamed Heart

It's just that I'm aware that the thread title here is 'female sexual desire', but has now kinda turned into two guys having a detailed discussion about 'male sexual desire' :D 

 

So I was adding 'spoilers' in to try and keep the 'noise' separate from the 'signal' :P  For the benefit of those future readers you mention, plus anyone else that may want to discuss your original topic in the meanwhile. For instance, I'd be inserted in what our female heterosexual members have to say about your original post (+ the thread so far) - if they feel like commenting? (@LunarSeas? @Rose?)

 

 

 

 

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On 4/23/2017 at 1:05 AM, Untamed Heart said:

Lmao! I do enjoy reading your replies, though. You both seem very insightful and it's turning into an interesting thread!

(off-topic - I haven't played Kerbal Space Program but I love watching videos of it on YouTube!)

Thanks for your tolerance! As a “reset” of this thread I'm going to post a video of Kerbal Space Program:

7:42: Neil Armstrong looks a bit green and cuddly here... oh, now it's totally off-topic. :D

 

And then I'm going to add a final thought about female sexual desire, so that this thread preliminarily ends with an on-topic post. The discussion about male sexual desire and how aromanticism impacts it – we better put it in another thread.

 

So as a counterpoint to the on-topic stuff I wrote (for epistemic closure) I add the following: there's the theory proposed by Rosemary Basson, that the overwhelming majority of women experience “receptive desire” (the willingness to engage in sexual activity is caused by non-sexual reasons but then “they are starting to like it”) as their primary mode of desire instead of “spontaneous desire” (desire for sex itself from the start). This leads to some quite awkward conclusions:

 

Incentives that might superficially appear unhealthy are also common, for example, to placate a needy (and increasingly irritable) partner, or “do one’s duty.” When the experience proves rewarding for the woman such that part way through she herself starts to feel — that she, too, would not wish to stop — it becomes unclear whether the original reasons (to placate/do one’s duty) are truly unhealthy. The concept of “rewards” or “spin offs” from being sexual is currently being empirically researched. (Rosemary Basson: Female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, 2005)

 

If that's the case, “enthusiastic consent” seems like a lofty, unrealistic ideal. Though, I admit, I always found “enthusiastic consent” strange, because IMHO there are other perfectly fine reasons to have sex which aren't necessarily connected with enthusiasm – the most obvious one is to get pregnant –, I still wouldn't describe “placating an increasingly irritable partner” as really healthy anymore.

 

Now I'm always very skeptical of all those sex studies, because they contradict themselves so damn often. And what about allo-sexual women who just can't be “sexually awakened” by men as described above, that is, lesbians? Assuming it's true for them what's supposed to be true for women in general, how do the majority of lesbian couples ever end up having sex regularly? Okay, maybe they need a non-sexual “intimacy-fix”, but why don't they get it from something else than sex if they don't really feel desire?

 

Also, both desire-types are very arbitrarily defined. For example, what about abstractly wanting to have sex just for itself without feeling desire, yet knowing one will feel it at some point after sexual activity has already started? Does this count as “receptive desire”, too? And if that's the case, why not also count somebody who needs overt mental or visual stimulation (but not sexual activity) to the “receptive desirers”?

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I'm rather convinced that women have similar sex drives to men, or would if they were socialized the same. I've been with men who aren't insatiable sex machines, who fall closer to the "panda" end of the spectrum, and it frustrated the bejesus out of me! But how dare a woman feel and openly express sexual desire??! 

Basically, what I've learned as an aro woman with a high sex drive, is if I act like "a man" sexually, it makes me a slut. Of course, in reality, all these gendered distinctions are nonsense, but I've still experienced problems in relationships with men when my sex drive outstrips theirs. It greatly upsets them, generally - but socialized reluctance to talk about their feelings leaves me guessing why, did my appetite make them feel emasculated, did they just not want to upset me, were they afraid of me straying, what??? I'll never know. The fact I am largely fine with one night stands never translated to me cheating when I was in a relationship, because I keep my word. 

But now that I know what aromantic is, I'm less likely to put myself in a monogamous relationship, especially if we're sexually incompatible. It would not end well.

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Thanks, LunarSeas! I think I've been in the opposite situation to yours a couple of times - I dated a security guard, briefly, and the one and only time I went to his flat he did hint at wanting sex (to me, it was subtle - "I'm wearing my camouflage pants tonight, hopefully might get some action!" and I didn't even realise until years later, possibly cos of my Asperger's making me take his comment literally and not seeing the subtext. I thought he was going to apply to join the army!). That was pretty much the last time I saw him, I'm also guessing it was because I didn't reciprocate at all, as I never got an explanation - he just ghosted me after making a bunch of excuses for a few weeks. 

I understand your frustration though, and I agree the gendered distinctions are at best stupid, and certainly unhelpful. 

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1 hour ago, LunarSeas said:

But how dare a woman feel and openly express sexual desire??! 

I'm totally okay with it, of course, but I know in the past that I reacted emotionally negative to it (though I did realize intellectually how stupid this is). I can't tell you why, it's probably socialization that women should be too pure to do something like this. Like when Kaylee Frye from Firefly says in front of the crew “Going on a year now, I ain't had nothin twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries.”, I thought “Whoa there, girl, don't say such things!”. Not that one should say such things, but if a guy had said something similar, I would just have thought “Meh.”.

1 hour ago, LunarSeas said:

Basically, what I've learned as an aro woman with a high sex drive, is if I act like "a man" sexually, it makes me a slut.

The question also is what's bad with sluts. For a term of such moral condemnation, “slut” is completely undefined. Probably something like a woman selling herself under market-value and therefore having little worth. But...

  1. this is based on the strange idea that sexual interactions are best described by a capitalist free market model (where men create the demand and women the supply and, I guess, men pay with romantic love or whatever)
  2. even if 1. would be true, so what? Are free software programmers code-sluts? Are Wikipedia-editors write-sluts? They don't lose any respect for doing something for free.
  3. expressing sexual desire openly and having a high sex-drive doesn't mean one behaves like “sluts” supposedly do.
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