Myths and misinformation form most beliefs about the female sex drive. Sarah Lou discusses the current findings and how to support your libido naturally.
A female version of viagra has yet to be discovered. There are many reasons for this, and many mysteries of female desire still to be understood. It’s a relatively new field for science to study, oddly enough. I wonder, if it were that simple, would women actually take a pill anyway? I actually hope they never discover one, because it will place the power of the female libido in the hands of pharmaceutical companies, where it certainly doesn’t belong.
I see female desire like a flower that grows healthy with ample attention, support, love and sacred space. It’s a flower that women need to own themselves—so how do we take the power of cultivation back?
We can all be honest here. There is a lot of cultural and religious baggage that contributes to female libido diminishment, and a lot of misinformation left over from the past. That being said, both psychological and physical factors can also contribute to low libido in women.
Some women have a naturally low sex drive, just like some men do. However, the concept that women as a whole are less sexual than men is a straight-up myth. If you are one of these women, and are comfortable with your low libido—good for you! Not all women with low libidos necessarily need a boost. But if you feel like your libido is low, and want to change that, then read on.
I recently read Daniel Bergner’s new book, ‘What do Women Want?’. It is an exploration of female sexual desire, with some of the west’s most prominent researchers in Sexology. I was blown away at some of the findings.
For example, one study he reported on examined the sexual responses to pornography of women and men in different self identifying groups; heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual. The individuals were shown all different types of porn: men with men, men with women, women with women, group scenes and even monkeys having sex. The responses were recorded two different ways, with written analysis of the participants, and with devices that measure blood flow to the genitals.
The findings were astonishing to me in two different ways. Firstly, the rate at which women were indiscriminately turned on—almost all of the participants recorded getting turned on by all types of scenarios, even the lesbians were turned on by man-only porn. Most women reported being turned on by the monkey sex too! This was not the case for the men, only gay men were turned on by male-only porn. Not many men responded to the monkeys at all.
Secondly, the methods that women recorded their sexual responses with, were not consistently in agreement. The intellectual reports were much more conservative than what their genitals were actually saying. Women were not truthful, for whatever reason, about what actually turned them on.
I think there are many reasons for this, and this is where we see our cultural programs at play. It’s easy to imagine how decades of shaming women for sexuality creates internal dishonesty. There is also the fact that men are constantly getting visual feedback from their sexual responses, (whether they like it or not) where women do not. This could contribute to a disconnect for women with their sexual natures.
Either way, there is much we can do to empower women, now that we have debunked the myth that women have inherently weaker libidos.
In fact, there is nothing more powerful than a woman who knows her own sexual nature, and embraces it! Some might say it’s the thing most threatening to patriarchy, historically and today.
So how do we as women embrace, and commit to owning our sexual nature, and become more sex-positive?
Find a Sex-Positive therapist:
Talking out issues with a person who you are not intimate with can help immensely. If you are dealing with any past sex-related traumas, do not feel ashamed or alone. MANY women are. And if you are not, seeing a therapist is a totally normal way to get over programming that is installed in your psyche that you want OUT. Normal people go see therapists.
“If the public knew how little sexuality training most therapists receive, they’d be stunned,” said Dr. Marty Klein, a sex therapist, marriage counselor, psychotherapist, and author. “You can get licensed as a marriage counselor or psychologist without hearing the words ‘clitoris,’ ‘vibrator,’ or ‘amateur porn.’ So ‘How do I find a sex-positive therapist?’ is a very important question.”
Klein advises you start by contacting the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT.org).
Find out if you are depleting your vital essences:
If you are depleted physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, you are not going to be available for loving others. You might even be the dreaded emotional vampire, taking love and not returning it. This shows up in the bedroom eventually.
Enter Ayurveda! Ayurveda is an entire system of self-care, with wisdom specific to each person’s body-mind type. The topic of where to start may be daunting, since Ayurveda is a HUGE body of medicine. However, there is hope, and starting the process of tuning in and taking better care of yourself is easier than you think.
Some Ayurvedic do’s and don’ts for women with low libido:
- Smoking and drinking alcohol, tea, coffee, and packaged or processed foods should be avoided.
- Sex drive in females can be boosted with the use of fresh fruits, fresh fruit juices, almonds, raisins, figs and prunes.
- A good nutritive as well as balanced diet helps reduce frigidity.
- Drinking warm milk at bedtime.
- Exercise for your type is the best home remedy for frigidity.
- Avoid use of white flour and white rice; use whole-wheat flour and brown rice instead.
- Increase the use of spices like fennel, ginger as they are known to boost the sex drive for females.
- Self-massage with sesame oil helps to revive muscular vigor and stimulate the nerves.
Express your Feminine Self Love:
Many of us are working our tushes off in order to make up for gender gaps and to compete in the market, in various industries. The masculine energy required to stay on top of the pack is intense, structured, competitive and unbalanced in some of us. This in turn diminishes the power of the wild, subtle and intuitive nature of the female energy.
I felt this for about half of my life, while trying to make a living in a male dominated industry—actually; simply trying to exist in a patriarchy is sometimes a challenge.
Truly, we know that we cannot really subsist on little sips of life. The wild force in a woman’s soul demands that she have access to it all. ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Try these female energy boosters:
- Stream of Consciousness writing—just write without edits and let thought flow.
- Draw a Mandala—doesn’t have to be symmetrical, perfect or neat.
- Organic Movement—dance, yoga, prancercize—whatever gets you into your body and expressive.
- Explore the 2nd Chakra—Svadisthana, the Sacral Chakra and is the home of your creative and sexual energies, it is dedicated to your relationships to people and circumstances, pro-creation—your ability to nurture and give birth to the seeds of life. Wear orange, and tune into the pelvic region.
Get a Maya Abdominal Massage:
The ancient Mayan technique of abdominal massage is an external non-invasive manipulation that repositions internal organs that have shifted, thereby restricting the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi. It’s an incredibly healing modality that will bring you into direct contact with the energy of the feminine. I’ve never felt so realigned, grounded and centered. I was able to release old stagnation and free up places I didn’t even know I was blocked.
There are many Arvigo Institute trained Maya Abdominal Massage therapists throughout the country. Look up one in your area here.
Herbs for female reproductive health:
- Ashwagandha and Shatavri are great Ayurvedic herbs: listen to a talk on the benefits of these herbs for women here.
- Chamomile: tones nervous system without stimulating sympathetic NS.
- Dandelion Root: one of the finest liver herbs, helps process extra stress hormones out.
- Licorice Root: Adrenal support, phytosterol (protects hormone receptors from xenosterols).
- Alfalfa: Phytosterol, helps hormone system balance.
- Lavender: Mildly sedative to nervous system and respiratory system, soothes flatulence.
- Roobios: Rooibos tea is known to relieve stress, nervous tension and hypertension. It is also anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-mutagenic.
Gather with other women:
Since time immemorial, women have gathered in solidarity and support. This tradition transcends religion, race, class, and age. Whether you do it ceremonially, or casually, getting together in groups serves women immensely. The single family home can be isolating, and exhausting. As women, we have unique power to unite our flow and heal the world. Start small, organize a monthly group, invite all women, and offer to rotate hosts. Crafts, conversation, sharing of food, and skill shares are all great themes. Topics for discussion can be pre-set, or decided by the group, or not at all.
Remember to love yourself, no matter where you are on this path. No part of you is broken, incomplete or in need of fixing. Surround yourself with empowered and sexually liberated women, and men. Examine your self-depleting thoughts, perhaps with the help of a good therapist, and be patient. Tune into your abdomen, and the wellspring of creative and feminine energy there, and honor it. You have the unseen support of all of creation to claim that desire and sexiness which is rightfully yours.
A woman in love with herself is magnetic. ~ Abiola Abrams