In the mid sixties William Masters and Virginia Johnson researched and developed a model of human sexuality. It’s basically a curve that starts with desire moves to arousal then to orgasm and finishes at resolution. Below is an image from The Return of Desire by Gina Ogden PhD.
What I want to know is – where does the desire come from? It seems to arise from nowhere – according to this diagram I could be washing the dishes and then suddenly desire will hit me and I will be resolved before I even know it. But desire is a complex business especially when you have so many other concerns competing for your attention – the other conundrum for us pre-fertiles is that desire for sex is tied up with desire for a baby.
Sex driven by baby making is hard, thankless and can at times be not very satisfying. Add to this the sinking feeling of failure after a few months of trying to conceive and the joy of sex sits right up there with visits to your batty grandma and cleaning the oven. The trick I believe is in re-igniting our flame for the actual sex regardless of the results and once you are on the pre-fertility path this takes time and planning. Planning I hear you groan – that takes the spontaneity out of things! Look girlfriend unless I am doing it wrong there ain’t no nothing spontaneous about pre-fertile sex – it’s all timing, pre-seed and kicking your legs in the air for 15 minutes afterwards. At least if we can get the party started with a little more spunk perhaps we could have a bit more fun along the way.
So here’s what comes before desire – some sort of action to build the desire – here are my top 5 suggestions;
1. Think About Sex
This seems obvious and yet needs to be stated. When G and I first started dating we thought constantly about sex (well at least I did). We lived apart so we only really saw each other on weekends – so the sex was planned just not pencilled into the diary. We spent the space in between thinking about each other and thus sex. By the time the weekend rolled around the desire had been building for 5 days.
2. Watch A Little sex
Now, I don’t want to mess with anyone’s politics about porn, but for me that most disturbing thing about it, is the fingernails! It’s all acrylic French manicured hands and frankly it gives me the creeps. If you don’t believe me google porn and you will soon find out. Your objections may be a little bit more feminist and political – in which case skip on to number 3. I recently watched a BBC documentary on female sexual desire – and they carried out a fascinating experiment where they sat women in front of 2 porn videos with a testing device in their vagina’s and lever by their sides. The women were to watch the porn and rate their level of desire using the lever and the testing device in their vagina’s would test their physical response. The first video showed a romantic scene – two people making love (as far as I could see there were no acrylic nails) the second video was a rather disturbing one showing an older man having sex with a younger women which was pretty full on and crude. Hands down the women’s levers were high for the first video but their physical response low. The levers for the second were low but their physical response sky-high. Point being you never know what will get your body hot and ready. Yes porn can be disturbing and demeaning for women – but its out there for a reason so don’t be afraid to give it a try. Check out PlaygirlTV for a softer more romantic porn selection.
3. Read About Sex
If acrylic nails make you squeamish like me then perhaps some erotic literature can float your boat. I could never buy anything like this in a bookshop so I use discreet Amazon, but you will find that the internet has an array of free stuff that you can read. I love sex coach Eric Amaranth’s real life exploits told in the erotic fiction format.
4. Do Something Physical To Relax
The biggest impediment to sexual desire is stress and the biggest by-product of pre-fertility is stress – talk about catch-22. Try to de-stressing in a way that connects with your body. Book in for a massage, go for a swim, stretch and do some yoga, get your hair washed and blow dried.
5. Talk About It
The worst think G and I did was try to ignore the stress and pressure of TTC sex – we just pretended it wasn’t there. Talk about ticking bomb – which did eventually blow up. Just admitting that its damn stressful can sometimes release the pressure valve. Also this piece of advise from Melissa Ford has saved us several times “Have sex. If you can. And if not, don’t stress and have it later.”