Many times here it has been mentioned that often women have responsive desire. For those who would relate to this, what does it look like? Do you have little or no desire for sex until activities begin?
There are times when DW refuses to try and just says it’s not going to work for her this time. I want TMB to be a place where she can relax without pressure, so at these times, PIV might be off the table and she takes care of me in other ways. I want to make pleasure in TMB mutual as often as possible, and I wonder if at these times she might respond if she would be willing to try. I also don’t want to hassle her about it and be as loving as possible and realize that it can’t always be fireworks for her. I’m thankful that her enjoyment has been building. What does responsive desire look like?
@Tracker, I agree that hormones, health and heart (3 H’s) are key factors. It seems to me that education/learning is really important too. Without informed understanding of one another through education/learning at sites like this, or about one another within a marriage, the 3 H’s you mentioned might still leave one lacking.
Over the years I have marveled at how many people have been helped by the things they learn here. But, one of their challenges always is, how do they help their spouse learn new things too?
I am one of those women who have responsive desire only. I wish someone had told me years ago. It would have saved us both years of heartache and each of us feeling bad, all the time. Me, because I didn’t want sex, DH because he always did, and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. The interesting thing is, many or most of, the time, I would tell him after sex, that we should do this more often. By the next day, no desire again.
After reading on TMB, I realized I had a responsive desire, and my part was to just relax and let myself go and enjoy what I was feeling. I had squelched a lot of the arousal feelings for years.
I think I’m safe to say that it works every time. Just a few touches from DH ignites the desire. I think I’m also safe in saying that I never want sex and I don’t even want to masturbate. I need DH to respond to!
I rarely outright initiate. I may pester DH until he starts responding in a way, that turns me on. But I seldom have the actual desire to go have sex right now.
It can vary what it looks like. There are the rarer times where there is sexual desire before starting, which makes the mental thing easier, but there will likely still be foreplay required. (This is often what women are looking for in order to say “yes”.) But, there are times where I have zero desire, and probably what we could call “negative desire”, where it may feel like too much and there’s a dread of it. The dread isn’t usually a personal thing against my husband, it’s more about the energy and time it will take. If I get to the uncommon place that if it feels like too much that I am to the point of tears at the thought, (and I am not a crier), I have started telling my husband I just can’t, and I might offer an alternative or give him the freedom to take care of himself. (In the beginning of my change, I just did it anyway, I did no kind of refusal.)
For me, there is a certain thing my husband can do that will “neutralize” my thinking (a massage). It often can move me from “negative to neutral” or maybe even “neutral to positive”. Once I am there, I initiate the move to PIV and the responsive desire can kick in fairly quickly once we actually start our sexual activity.
What I have found, is I need to have a willingness to try. I need to keep my bad thoughts and attitude tethered and out of it. I try to just relax and make it welcoming for my husband, no matter how I feel. After that, my desire often kicks in and I enjoy, but there are times I am too distracted or too exhausted that it becomes obvious that desire isn’t going to kick in, and it really becomes about him, and we still had a form of connection.
A husband here. To echo what Seeking Change said, the heart has a big part to play when it comes to this kind of issue. My DW is a responsive desire type, and rarely if ever does she initiate love making. Because she knows sex is important to me, we schedule sex and most of the time when we begin she starts without really feeling any desire for PIV. My DW loves our foreplay, which consists of cuddling, or me giving her a back massage. But in order for PIV sex to happen, she has to at some point use her vibrator to get herself ‘going’. She does get pleasure and orgasms from this (most of the time), but the main reason she has learned how to pleasure herself is because she knows that her having orgasms is important to my enjoyment of our marriage bed. The key factor is a willingness on the part of both spouses to understand each others sexual needs and take whatever steps are necessary to arrive at a reasonable compromise.
I am uncertain whether I have what is considered responsive desire or not, but it seems like maybe responsive arousal. I can be absolutely mentally into the idea of having sex, very much want to engage, flirting back and forth, and yet have no tinglies whatsoever and if DH does not take enough time with foreplay (even if I am the initiator and aggressively so) I can find it difficult to reach a feeling of pleasurable arousal in my erogenous zones. They still need the attention, the touching, and I need the clear indications from him that he desires me for me to be able to go from mental desire to physical response.
It hasn’t always been that way. There was a time when I would be aroused (with actual increased blood flow to the vulva and increased sensitivity) just from thinking about having sex or from flirting. Age? Declining fitness? Menopause? All of the above? Don’t know. But now I need him to practice some seduction.