As I often do, I found inspiration in an interview with Esther Perel by Chantal Pierrat, Founder and CEO of Emerging Women, entitled “The Fluidity of Desire” https://emergingwomen.com/podcast/esther-perel-the-fluidity-of-desire/?
About the interview I wrote: “As always, Esther beautifully articulates the ‘what and why’ about desire, the lack of it and most importantly, why women are so challenged by-claiming themselves, their autonomy and their worth in the face of a culture which teaches them to focus on the needs of others and not their own. It’s my belief that in it’s most simple form, if a woman can give herself permission not to want, without guilt or obligation, she is most likely to free herself to become truly autonomous and discover she does want, after all. Often it is an internal struggle and challenge to have that exchange with herself, but necessary to free her from the ties that bind which can eliminate the possibility of desire.”
I believe this may take a great deal of practice and must become a conscious process in which she asks herself, “Do I want this?” and is able to answer without constraint regarding what’s expected of her or what others want. This may take a great deal of repetition, perhaps indefinitely, for her to achieve, but is so important in order to attain the desired results. This is especially obvious around sexual desire. Perel speaks to the idea that “women are socialized for connection and men are socialized for autonomy”. As a result, women have a struggle when it comes to separating their own desires from those of their partner and claiming themselves in the process. As Perel says, this is not only in the sexual arena, but across the board, and is often powered by the goal of attaining perfection. We must be the best at all we do, professionally, personally, socially and, of course, with our families. Since perfection isn’t attainable, life is spent reaching for the unreachable along with feeling like a failure. When it comes to sexual desire, men are free to keep theirs, for the most part, as it’s a part of their autonomy. For women, it is much more of a challenge. But we can choose to have and keep our own individuality and become empowered in the process. For more on this, see my posts: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/not-tonight-dear-mismatched-libidos-gmp/ and