Hypo-sexual desire disorder is the mother of all bitches. When I first met my fiancee, he and I were constantly having sex.  I was incredibly attracted to his boyish good looks and still am. We fell into bed together the first night of our first date after many drinks and an accidental beer spillage on his pants while I was trying to stretch my legs across his lap on the couch during “Raising Arizona.”  We had a great first date, which turned into a great second date the following night, and it was hard to part with him that third night so that he could go to work.  We instantly bonded in a way that I truly never expected, which allowed for a great deal of intimacy right away.  It was hot and incredibly fulfilling – it still can be, it’s just hard getting there.

Three years and three rounds of anti-depressants later, things are not as hot or as frequent as they used to be.  Pop culture and porn all tell me that I am supposed to be having the best orgasms of my life more often and more frequently. I’m supposed to be fucking like some feral cougar, desperate to get pregnant. I’ve got a great relationship with my clitoris and so does my partner. What happens when the orgasm is not the problem but getting to the point of sexual acts is? I know that everyone’s sex drive is different, but when I was insatiable as a teen through my late twenties. The most sexually explosive relationships that I have had have all been with men that did not treat me well or acknowledge my worth. Because of these things, it truly makes me question whether or not I can have a strong sexual relationship within a healthy relationship. Is my sexual impulse permanently linked with degradation and hurt?

I make no secret of my fucked up sexual past. I have been raped, I have been with men that have treated me like shit, and I started having sex at the age of fourteen. I have also been with men that treated me like a queen, been incredibly attentive (sexually and otherwise), and truly good, kind people. The difference is one type of person has been able to make me scream like a slasher film and the other has just been nice. It took me fourteen years of screwing assholes (jerky women included) and “nice guys”  that just did not do it for me before I met a nice guy that is just enough of an asshole to do it for me.

Read about my sexual past and Chrissie Hynde’s victim blaming.

So how often is not often? Sometimes it’s a few times a week, sometimes a couple, and then sometimes it’s almost two weeks before we have sex. Life happens and trauma has a tendency to rear its ugly head just as things are starting to get hot and heavy. There’s nothing like the feeling of guilt or nausea while attempting to enjoy yourself or your partner to really kill ones’ boner, be it penile or clitoral.  I’m learning how to deal with these things, and unfortunately, my partner has had to learn to express his disappointment in ways that do not hurt me or blame me for past transgressions against my body and the physiological changes like chronic pain and hormonal changes that may be taking place.

I have spoken to a psychologist, who prefers to remain nameless, regarding chronic pain.  She suggests that you can partner up against the pain together, that you can change how you think about it as a couple by how you talk about it. Instead of saying “I hate that I can’t do this” or hating yourself, you can say “I hate my pain” or have them say “I hate your pain.”  Treat it as though it is an entity that is separate from yours or your loved ones’ body, so that you can partner together against it.  The same can go for trauma or whatever is preventing you from being physically close at the time. I can be more intimate with my partner when I am not feeling defensive about my lack of “enoughness,” regardless of whether I am projecting that feeling onto the relationship or they are frustrated and unknowingly voicing it in a triggering way.

Learn to screw with the lights on.

By ParentingPatch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By ParentingPatch. CC license.

Recently, an FDA Panel backed the new “female Viagra,” Flibanserin in a vote of 18-6, approving it on August 18, 2015.  Sexy name, huh? It’s hard to get excited about something that evokes images of Regis Filbin. Talk about death of a libido. Sorry, man. Digressions aside, this is huge news for women that have been quietly dealing with this issue. There are a few interesting things about this drug.  For starters, it differs a great deal from its male counterpart, Viagra.  Viagra works by increasing bloodflow to the erection.  It only works if the person with the penis is already aroused. On the other hand, Sprouts’ Addyi (Flibanserin) corrects an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain that can cause a lack of sexual excitement and arousal – it all makes a lot of sense, considering that it was originally developed to be an anti-depressant.  Kind of reminds me of what MDMA used to do for me, but hopefully without the woeful seratonin dumps and pesky potential drug felonies.  It sounds great, but I will certainly read much more about the drug before I jump on the chemical ladyboner train. Like all pharmaceuticals, including the anti-depressants that I take, I question the long-term safety and effects of the drug and I certainly do not trust pharmaceutical companies themselves – especially when all of the people blaming the FDA for being anti-feminist for having not released the drug previously are all on Sprouts’ payroll.
While I feel that the core of my problem stems from depression, trauma, and lack of communication with my partner, it’s nice to know that I could potentially pop a pill that might stimulate me enough to be able to overcome this stuff for one nice evening.  When I can get to the point of having sex, it is absolutely fantastic. I talk about myself a lot in this article (and in every aspect of my life), but I acknowledge that this is way more about my plight. I think of the women that do not have similar trauma that are often dealing with simpler physiological issues that become psychological issues due to the effects of not having sex, even if it’s just masturbating. It’s hard to feel sexy and harness that subsequent self-confidence when an orgasm is not an option for you. Maybe simply being able to snap one off, be it vibrator-induced or with a partner, is just enough to make a person feel a bit better about themselves and their lives in general. Sexual health is a lot more than an orgasm. I’m happy to see she-rections finally being prioritized. Too bad it took us 20+ years to get there.

Featured Image: Flickr user WillVision via Creative Commons