Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • What is being 'turned on' supposed to feel like?

  • According to all of the messaging around us,

  • it's this simple, automatic thing

  • that you should just get,

  • especially when you're young.

  • But sexual desire is really anything but simple.

  • And yeah, we're talking about sex,

  • but before ya'll go getting frisky in the comments,

  • sexual desire is an aspect

  • of physical and mental health.

  • There's lots of very legitimate science around it,

  • but it's treated as taboo

  • or inappropriate, and that leaves a whole bunch

  • of really important issues lurking in the dark.

  • -Sexual desire is the want

  • for some sort of sexual interaction

  • with someone or yourself, because

  • desire in and of itself

  • is not fully understood.

  • It is often referred back to food.

  • So with food,

  • you can have a desire for something.

  • But there is no arousal

  • for it, meaning that,

  • yeah, I really want some cake, but your mouth didn't water.

  • Right?

  • So the arousal portion is more

  • of the physical response to the desire.

  • -So basically, someone can want to have sex,

  • but they may not be physically aroused.

  • And the reverse is also true.

  • Someone can be physically aroused but have no mental

  • or emotional desire to engage in sexual activity.

  • This mismatch is called

  • arousal non-concordance.

  • And studies show that women are more likely to experience it than men are.

  • And to understand more about issues like this, it's really important

  • that we untangle physical arousal

  • from sexual desire.

  • In fact, there are actually

  • two different kinds of desire.

  • -So desire is actually split into the two.

  • It's the spontaneous desire

  • as well as the response desire.

  • -Spontaneous desire is where the thought or feeling

  • 'I'd like to have sex' just sort of pops into your head

  • out of the blue. And response of desire

  • is where you may not really be in the mood,

  • but after a little warm up

  • like kissing, touching, or flirting,

  • you do start to want to have sex.

  • -One of the biggest misconceptions about desire

  • is that it should be spontaneous only.

  • -This misconception feeds into common stereotypes

  • we see all around us, like men

  • having out of control sexual appetites or women

  • as having little innate desire.

  • -Stop it! I have a headache!

  • -But that's far from the truth.

  • And anyone, regardless of sex or gender,

  • can experience spontaneous

  • or responsive desire.

  • -Spontaneous desire actually doesn't happen

  • as often as people think it does.

  • Most people's desire tends to be responsive, though

  • you can certainly have both and people

  • have them in different measures.

  • -Responsive desire was only acknowledged

  • and defined around 20 years ago, and lots of the world's

  • messaging about sex doesn't really

  • talk about responsive desire.

  • And when they do, it's not really in a positive way.

  • Many people report experiencing

  • low desire, but could at least some of this be

  • because they're actually experiencing responsive desire

  • in a world that has only taught us

  • about spontaneous desire?

  • Really, it all comes down to brain stuff.

  • That's not me saying it's all in your head.

  • There is actual neuroscience.

  • Essentially, we've all got

  • brakes and accelerators.

  • The sexual excitation

  • system is your accelerator.

  • Your brain perceives something

  • as a positive sexual stimulus and ignites

  • this cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones

  • that can turn into physical arousal.

  • The sexual inhibition system is the brake.

  • This is stuff that stops

  • those positive responses in their tracks.

  • So stuff that gives you the ick.

  • This can be something your brain

  • consciously or subconsciously perceives

  • as a threat, like a fight with your partner

  • or the potential of a sexually transmitted infection.

  • And research has shown that these two systems work together

  • in what's called the dual control model.

  • -So when the S.E.S.

  • excitement is higher than the inhibitions,

  • you're probably more in the space to actually have sex.

  • When it is reversed,

  • you're less likely to have sex.

  • -Some people might have more

  • sensitive brakes or faster accelerators,

  • and you can really be any combination of the two.

  • That's totally normal. And our brains don't exist in a vacuum.

  • They're affected by everything around and in us.

  • Things like medications, past experiences,

  • physical and mental health,

  • body image, relationship status,

  • trauma, our personal history with sex,

  • and of course,

  • the ever-present societal messaging

  • about what sex, what kind you have,

  • who you have it with and when or how often you have it.

  • What that says about you as a person.

  • -Basically, everything impacts sexual desire,

  • and that is part of the reason why it has been difficult

  • for any professional,

  • like on the medical side

  • or on the mental health side

  • to be able to quickly pinpoint exactly

  • why Hypo Sexual Desire Disorder comes to fruition.

  • -People who feel, for whatever

  • reason that they have low sexual desire

  • might feel that they're broken or sick,

  • which obviously can impact quality of life

  • and make relationships and sex more difficult.

  • It also creates the opportunity

  • for wellness and pharmaceutical companies

  • to sell drugs and supplements that claim

  • to fix it.

  • But in some cases,

  • it might be that you are normal

  • and it's our perception of what's normal

  • that's the problem we should fix.

  • Because until the early 2000s,

  • most research into the dual control

  • model had only been done in men.

  • This data was then used to form

  • scientific and medical norms

  • of sexual desire and response

  • that were just applied to everyone else.

  • And that means that the norm is going to be off

  • base for at least some of us.

  • -I wish that people knew that

  • sexual desire is entirely changeable

  • as it changes throughout your entire lifespan.

  • But it also changes with context.

  • So sexual desire is not written in stone.

  • It's going to be about what you do in your daily life

  • to sort of feed back into it.

  • -Now I want to make it really clear here that we're not talking

  • about physiological sexual

  • dysfunction in this episode.

  • If you're experiencing pain with sex

  • or extreme emotional distress, if you're dealing with something

  • like vaginismus or hormone fluctuations

  • as a result of pregnancy or menopause,

  • these things can absolutely impact your desire.

  • And it's really important that you speak to your OB-GYN

  • or your primary care doctor about it.

  • But the bottom line

  • is that when it comes to pretty much anything in the health

  • field, you are unique

  • and this includes sex.

  • So what's normal is going to be unique to you

  • because there's no one normal

  • that can be applied to everyone.

  • So take the time to figure out

  • what revs your engine.

  • Get in touch with your own desire,

  • explore, talk about it

  • and find the contexts that work for you.

  • Thank you all so much for watching Seeker's Body Language.

  • If you have another topic like this, you want us to cover in this series,

  • let us know in the comments, and I'll see you next time.

  • Thanks so much

  • for watching Seeker's body language.

  • I hope you enjoyed this video and I'll see you next time.

What is being 'turned on' supposed to feel like?

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A1 desire sexual spontaneous responsive arousal physical

Sexual Desire Is Way More Complicated Than You Think

  • 4 0
    Summer posted on 2021/12/07
Video vocabulary