Ever wonder if there’s something wrong with you if you didn’t get turned on the “right” way? What if there’s nothing wrong… And you just have a different way of responding?
With Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com, Andi Cortland from http://www.LevelUpSex.com and Raj.
Cathy: What’s the difference between responsive and spontaneous sexuality? How do you know which one you have? I’m Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com.
Andi: I’m Andi Cortland from http://www.LevelUpSex.com.
Raj: I’m Raj, I’m married to Andi.
Cathy: Over lunch they were talking about this new book they’d read that I was very interested and I want to share some of the ideas, because I thought I resonate with some of what they said.
Andi: Totally. It’s called Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski. It is the best sexuality book that I have read this year. Go buy it on Amazon, support Emily’s work. Today what we want to talk about is responsive verses spontaneous desire.
As a society we will often expect if you want sex you should just say, “I want sex,” and then go and ask for it and go and get it. Yes! I mean that’s actually kind of how I work. I have been known since I was a teenage to walk up to someone and say, “Hey, I’d like to date you. Would you like to date me?” It’s worked pretty well for me. However, not everybody feels that way. Some people are like “Woah, like I want to get to know you for a little bit. What?”
Responsive desire is Raj, and other people. What it means is I might ask Raj, “Hey, are you interested in sex right now?”
Raj: Not really.
Andi: He’ll be like, “What? No, like I’m reading a really good book.”
Andi: “Do you really want to take me away from this book?” I mean we’re both nerds. We read a lot.
Andi: What will happen is he’ll say, “No, I’m not interested in sex right now.” Then I will do something sexy. Even if I’m just going back into my room to masturbate, and then he’ll say, “Oh, I’m suddenly interested in sex.”
Raj: Yeah. Responsive desire basically as the name suggests responsive. It sort of gets triggered when there is something sexually relevant happening around you that you like, or that you respond to. This could be somebody expressing their desire, or actually like actively seducing you. This could be something going on in the background where someone’s playing an erotic movie or something.
Raj: It’s a combat desire that gets triggered by things going around you as opposed to arising internally. Often that gets confused for lack of interest.
Cathy: Yeah. I love the just opening the dialogue to that that there’s different ways people get turned on. And that there’s nothing wrong. I think that our society emphasizes spontaneously being sexual. It really says men are supposed to all be spontaneous, which I hate that binary. Like if you have a penis you must belong here. Like it does … Yeah, so I really love that we can talk about that and just to have the question how do I respond? Well, I really do like to be cuddled first or have people kind of suggest sex or I just feel sexy and I want to go ask people to have sex. Like just knowing yourself and knowing how you function, at least right now, and you can change later in life if you want. It gives you doorways into yourself.
Andi: But, one is not better than the other.
Andi: That’s the other thing. It’s okay to want sex spontaneously, and it’s okay to not want sex spontaneously. Just because you don’t want sex spontaneously doesn’t mean that you aren’t interested in sex in general.
Cathy: Right, but just the self-awareness. If you know your partner is going to need some cuddling time first or sexy time it’s really easy to map that in, or says “Why aren’t you ever feeling sexy about me?”
Raj: If you know that you have responsive desire … I mean I haven’t figured this out yet, but maybe if watching an erotic movie gets you turned on into a state where you want sex than do that.
Cathy: Yeah. You mean schedule erotic movie night rather than sex night, and then have it go into sexy time.
Raj: Right. So, figure out what you need to turn on.
Cathy: Nice, thank you for sharing.
Andi: [inaudible 00:03:35]
Cathy: We hope this helps. We’d love to know what you think. Please leave comments below.
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