Better sex is linked to good arousal
We typically desire sex, become aroused, have sex, orgasm, and then feel the euphoric “sex high” afterwards. Yet, it’s not always that straightforward and you may not feel “turned on” every time. This is because arousal and desire can be delayed or blocked.
It’s incredibly important to understand how the sexual response cycle works. It is a powerful tool that will help you be more in tune with your body. How so? If you feel your body is not responding positively, or “turned off” to a partner or sexual experience, you can better pinpoint why and decide what you want to do next.
Many researchers have proposed different models to show the sexual response cycle in a graph form. Here is the model that I recommend both clinicians and women check out. It’s a modern and comprehensive graph that shows the complexities of female sexual arousal:
We take a while to “heat up” and that’s OK
Arousal in men is clear: they get an erection. In women, it is not always as clear. When we are sexually aroused our blood circulation increases and our clitoris and vulva become engorged which causes vaginal wetness. Although we may feel some of these things happening, the average couple spends less than 12 minutes on foreplay while most women will actually need closer to 20 minutes to be fully aroused. Don’t skip the foreplay.
You won’t always want to have sex. Here’s why
There are several physical, psychological and social reasons why a woman may not want to have sex. Society shames us for not “being in the mood” or downplays the hormonal changes and difficulties that come with having a baby or working a high stress job, for example. It is perfectly fine to not be in the mood to have sex, and you should never feel pressured to. When you do want to have sex however, and feel like you are unable to get turned on, here are a few other factors that may be lowering your libido:
- Unpleasurable past sexual experiences
- Concern with getting pregnant or STIs
- Birth control or other medications
- Relationship problems
- Depression or anxiety
- Hormonal changes
- Your partner’s sexual function
Each of these on their own warrants its own deeper dive, but you can see there is a lot out there that can negatively impact your sex drive. Even for a women who wants to have sex –and the desire and arousal are present — it’s possible to not be lubricated much. This can happen when taking certain medications (some antidepressants, antihistamines and decongestants), being dehydrated from smoking or alcohol or becoming menopausal.
How to get that good arousal
Having sex without feeling aroused can be painful and is not enjoyable. I recommend spending more time on foreplay and incorporating more sexual stimuli to the mix: skin to skin, oral sex, a body massage, reading erotica to each other, taking a shower or bath together, stimulating each other’s inner thighs and genitals, or using other stimulation that you both enjoy.
I also highly recommend creating your own collection of nightstand goodies to use when you need that “boost” or simply want more slip. We created Bloomi Arousal Oil for this reason. It’s a beautiful blend of plant oils and botanical aphrodisiacs formulated to sexually arouse, increase wetness and heighten your sensations. I personally use this often and keep it –along with a few other fun products — on my nightstand for solo and partnered sex.