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Demystifying The Female Libido

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Are women really as horny as men?

It seems like everyone is talking about female libido these days. Apparently there is a rumor going around that a lot of women have low sexual desire or low libido. I have to be honest: I am not sold on this latest "epidemic."

The women I work with in my sensuality and intimacy coaching practice really don't have low sexual desire. What they really are struggling with is what I would call "desire untapped."

More from YourTango: Are You Thinking About Sex Right Now?

Now that is language I can wrap my libido around ... because that's what I once was — a woman who didn't understand my own sexual desire. I knew that I had it, but it felt more like a simmering pot — close to boil, but not quite. And I wanted to boil, as so many of us do. I wanted to feel like those women look in Sex And The City, but I wasn't them. I would never be them. I was a mid-life Riverdale housewife and a fertility advocate. I had to find my own way, and I did. But along the way I learned a lot about how women tick. Smooching 101: 3 Easy Steps To Becoming A Better Kisser

I became fascinated with what turns us on as sexual creatures. I realized that I really didn't understand how most women's sexual desire worked. For instance, did you know that women's sexual desire is considered by many sexologists as responsive desire, while male sexual response is usually characterized by spontaneous desire? I didn't. And franklyl, I was not sure that I loved that language, either. It made me feel like a receptacle of male desire instead of having my own.

According to "Sex Nerd" Emily Nagoski on her blog:

"Responsive desire" is when the motivation to have sex begins after sexual behavior has started. As in, you're doing something else when your partner comes over and starts kissin' on ya, and you go, "Oh yeah! That's a good idea!" Or you and your partner set aside Friday night as "sex night," and then "sex night" gets here and you're like, "Oh, sex night. But I'm so tired ..." But you made a deal, so you get started ... and before long you've forgotten you were tired.

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This is contrasted with spontaneous desire, more typical of male sexuality, which works more like this: you're walking down the street and for no immediately obvious reason you think, Hm. I'd like to have sex! Or you're taking a shower getting ready for bed and you think, Hm. I'd like to have sex! Why European Women Ooze Sensuality

Regardless of what body or identity you have, if you're more of a "responsive" desire person, you might have worried that your interest in sex was abnormally low. Worrying about how much we do or don't want sex is something we've been well-trained to do. Indeed, so many people have asked me how often they're "supposed to want sex," I've started looking for a memorable, funny, stock answer that gently illustrates the absurdity of the question.

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