Do you know the difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire? How do these two types of desire show up for men vs. women? And why do the two types of desire matter in how you think about your own sexual desire, libido and sex drive?
In this episode we dive deep into the two types of desire and why desire is not a simple matter of wanting good sex more often.
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Spontaneous Desire Vs. Responsive Desire
How often do you feel sexual desire out of the blue? For many people, the sudden feeling of being horny happens pretty rarely. Yet this experience of “spontaneous” desire is held up as a gold standard of being a virile sexual being, especially for men.
Sometimes, sexual desire rises out of an internal thought. A memory of a sexy encounter or a private fantasy can trigger a cascade of desire and longing. This is sometimes called “psychogenic stimulation” – arousal coming from within your own system.
Sometimes, sexual desire rises out of an external trigger. Seeing an attractive person, feeling a nice sensation, even a great song can create sexual desire to rise in the body. Sometimes, emotional intimacy with an interesting person can trigger waves of desire that carry you for days.
But for many people, sexual desire doesn’t start rising until we are already in the midst of an erotic act. This is “responsive desire” and is an entire category of desire that is not honored and harnessed to it’s full power. Responsive desire happens when you are willing to receive pleasurable stimulation, from a safe source, and let that pleasure trigger the excitement for more pleasure.