Sexual desire in females is both more complex and more fragile than it is in males, less tied to biology, more linked to psychology. Experts agree that, in general, sexual desire is lower among females than among males, so a drop in female desire for any reason may be more problematic in relationships.
Questions of female sexual desire, how it’s defined, how it differs from sexual arousal, what levels of desire could be considered problematic, etc are still very much up in the air.
Study participants in various researches on this matter do, in fact, physically react to a broad variety of sexual stimuli, but may or may not report subjective sexual desire despite this physical response.
Desire and arousal are experienced differently by different people. Defining desire is problematic, because the physical and the subjective don’t always match up with each other.
Meredith Chivers, an American associate professor and clinical psychologist at Queen’s University, lists out the varying number of ways in which sexual desire itself can be measured, including action tendency, motor preparedness, motivation to engage in sexual activities, actual sexual behaviours, sexual intensity, sexual frequency, and more.
On the other hand, Dr. Russell Stambaugh, a psychologist and certified sex therapist explains that “often, loss of desire is a consequence of how loss, anxiety, money, work/life balance, dominance or submission, household chores, or family crisis have been managed,” says Stambaugh.
Mindfulness can be useful when it comes to boosting female sexual desire. As Lori Anne Brotto, a Canadian psychologist best known for her work on female sexual arousal disorder, explains “Mindfulness improves mood and anxiety, which are highly concurrent with low desire. Women can be distracted during sex. Mindfulness is a way of refocusing on oneself. Mindfulness can also put women in touch with sensations they weren’t aware of and allow them to communicate that to their partners.”
Far from being a disorder, low libido is just the natural state of affairs for many women. Female sexuality is, in many ways, still mysterious. Since scientists can’t agree about what women’s sexual response is, what constitutes female sexual dysfunction, or if women have a definitive sexual peak, it’s unrealistic to expect all women to have a similar sex drive.
This inability to prove what is ‘normal’ should free us from comparing our sexuality to the sexuality of others and instead manifest our own sexual experience whichever way we feel.