Sexpert Julie: How to Ignite Your Sexual Desire
Our new sexpert, Dr. Julie Elledge teaches us what turns women and men on, and how to channel that in your relationship.
-Julie Elledge, Ph.D.
Does a moonlight walk on the beach followed by snuggling together in front of a crackling campfire with your lover get you in the mood to make love? Or, do you prefer a hot sweaty nooner in the backseat of the car in the shopping mall parking lot?
It is a curious subject of what stimulates sexual desire, and perhaps one of the most common reasons that couples seek counseling. When the stars align and both partner’s sexual desires are in sync, it can lead to some exceptional sex. But, when two people don’t have the same cravings, it can cause deep injury to the individuals and the relationship. It doesn’t have to be that way. The root of the problem is a lack of understanding the nature of sexual desire.
Deep inside the primitive brain is the urge to mate. The sex drive doesn’t discriminate with who — that comes through the more developed aspects of the brain, attraction and commitment. These three systems work together and separately depending on how the nurturing went. Life experiences like family, church, school, friends, gaming, movies, books, and community all help to shape how these drives express themselves in each of us. With so many variables, how can we possibly come to the committed relationship with identical sexual desires? From your rich history, your sexuality has been forming and it gets to come to bed with you. So what does that mean to sexual desire?
What stimulates your sexual desire is going to be different from your partner. Now there is good news here. Often your man is turned on by your desire and you are probably turned on by your man’s desire for you if you give it a chance. Remember your kindergarten training? Taking turns in bed is a good idea, but this is not just about social skills. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. How do you turn on your sexual desire?
For some, intimacy gives rise to intimate sexual desire. Remember the beach example? That would be considered an intimate scenario along with romantic dinners, a good chick flick, slow massage, bathing together, holding hands, or looking into each others eyes and expressing love. Romance drives the intimate scenario. It affirms the love and commitment between the couple. Think of intimate scenarios as one bridge into desire.
For others, the invitation to erotic sexual desire comes through erotic scenarios. An erotic scenario emphasizes the differences between the individuals. What pleasures you and what pleasures him rules the scenario with role play, sex toys, light bondage, or sexual intrigue like almost getting caught in the shopping mall parking lot.