Desire is dead. Long live desire.

By Steve Korver Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 11:46
‘Sex drive’ goes off-road … Boys giving up on girls … Asexuality hits mainstream, turns out to be major river … These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

Desire: ‘spontaneous’ vs. ‘responsive’

‘Sex drive’ and ‘libido’ are obsolete terms, according to ‘“Sex drive doesn't exist,” psychologist says; more women experience “responsive desire”’.

“If sex is a drive, then the desire should be spontaneous like hunger,” says a US psychologist. “When you see a sexy person or have a stray sexy thought, it activates an internal craving or urge for sex. That's called 'spontaneous desire’. It feels like it comes out of the blue."

But only 70% of men and 10 to 20% of women experience spontaneous desire, or sex drive, as their “primary desire style”.

The other style is “responsive desire” when interest is triggered in response to arousal. For example: “Your partner comes over and starts kissing your neck and you're like, 'Oh, right, sex. That's a good idea'."

Unfortunately, many women believe "that their ability to enjoy sex with their partner is meaningless if they don’t also feel a persistent urge for it; in short, that they are broken, because their desire isn’t what it’s 'supposed' to be."

Currently pharmaceutical companies believe such women should be medicated for low sex drives. A magical ‘female Viagra’ pill is being developed meant to jumpstart spontaneous desire.

But first, “women and men should discard any preconceived notions that their sexual desire is dysfunctional. After all, if we experience sexual pleasure in the end, the concept of sex drive becomes irrelevant.”

Feminism killed my boner

The Sexodus, part 1: the men giving up on women and checking out of society’ wonders why an increasing number of young men are giving up on sex and relationships in favour of video games, chemical abuse and porn.

The author seems to believe that feminism killed their desire.

“We’re treated like pedophiles and potential rapists just for showing interest,” sighs one gamer.

One can only wonder how he “showed interest”.

Instead of playing the blame game, shy young men are likely better off following the advice of ‘An open letter to all the men who have given up hope of finding love’:

“If you want to get to know her better, ask her out. Ask her to spend time with you during the day — you know, like when the sun is still out and you’re sober. If that girl at the bar is someone you’re interested in dating, ask for her number. Take her home if there is a mutual interest. But remember that she is a human being who has likely been hurt and had her heart stomped on — just like you. Treat her honorably. Be honest.”

Asexuality is dead. Long live ‘romantic grays’

“Rae tells me she’s an aromantic asexual, Sean identifies as a heteroromantic demisexual, and Genevieve sees herself as a panromantic gray-asexual,” according to ‘Young, attractive, and totally not into having sex’.

They are young people “who question their sexuality and gender identity, because they’re exploring an unconventional idea: life without sex. Or mostly without sex. They’re pioneers of an emerging sexual identity, one with its own nomenclature and subcategories of romance and desire, all revolving around the novel concept that having little to no interest in sex is itself a valid sexual orientation.”

Confused by all the new terms? Don’t worry about it: “Every single asexual I’ve met embraces fluidity – I might be gray or asexual or demisexual. Us aces are like: whatevs,” says one Whatever.

It’s estimated that between 0.6 and 5.5% of the population is asexual. While little research has been done, experts agree it's not a disorder.

In contrast to homosexuals, asexuals are generally not persecuted for their orientation. “We’re not demonized – we're laughed at,” says Mike who wants “to have lots of crazy, kinky sex, just not with anyone”.

Genevieve, the panromantic gray-asexual, is now married to James. “I knew we didn’t line up in terms of sex drive, but he didn’t hold it against me,” she says. “He was patient – very patient.”

It took three years before their relationship became sexual.

“I think when I knew him so well that my heart decided he was my soul mate, my body decided so too.”

Where do you live on the river between arousal and desire? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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