By Mariana Ruiz
In my teens and early 20s, I had this idea that as a woman I was supposed to be this sexy vixen in the bedroom. It’s what I saw growing up in movies and from the women around me, so it’s what I perceived as normal. Just another womanly duty.
I had it in my mind that when it came to sex, I needed to be on like a light at all times. Because if I wasn’t pleasing my partner or meeting their sexual needs then, well, I clearly wasn’t a good partner, right?
Clearly, that mindset was unhealthy AF (hindsight is 20/20) but when you start having sex at a young age and the only advice you’re getting is from Cosmopolitan, your other teen friends, and TV – well, it’s like the blind leading the blind.
Fast forward to present day, and I’ve had plenty of time to think over and do some digging into what a ‘normal’ sex drive is and isn’t. (And I’ll tell ya one thing. It certainly isn’t changing your needs and wants to make someone else happy.)
What’s ‘normal’ anyway?
Does normal even exist? Is there something wrong with you if you’re ready for action anytime, any place? Or on the other hand, if sex is rarely on your radar
Normal is different for everyone. Normal for you is probably not normal for me. It’s what comes naturally to you, whatever feels right.
Or as Anita H. Clayton, MD puts it, “It's not a simple on/off switch for women. Desire is the result of a complex interplay of social, psychological, and biological components.”
In short, there are many factors that play into a woman’s libido. Friends, partners, societal pressures, mood, medications, hormonal changes — the list goes on. We are complex creatures, my friends.
One of my good friends said it best, “You shouldn’t ever feel pressured or bad if your sex drive is lower or higher than others. I think with all things in society, women are told they’re supposed to fit into this mold of what a ‘real woman’ is, does, says, and should be. You do you, whatever fits your lifestyle and makes you happiest.”
We’re only doing a disservice to ourselves and sexual satisfaction when we deny our personal normal.
Speaking our truths
Out of all the crazy things going on in the world today, one of the positives is seeing more and more women speak their truth. Not only about sexuality, but all of the intricacies that are experienced as women.
But there are still so many people afraid to speak up about how they really feel. Vulnerability, I get it. And sometimes, it just isn’t safe to do so.
During one of our chats, another friend mentioned she too felt the outside pressures from friends and mainstream media to mold her libido into what she thought it should be.
Whereas I used to try to amp up my sex drive to play a role, she has felt the need to tone it down in order to fit in.
“A lot of mainstream media makes it seem like women don’t want to have sex as frequently as men. I’ve also been in social settings where other women were discussing sex as if it’s a chore. Sometimes in those situations, I feel a tad “abnormal” because I can’t relate to that feeling or lack of desire. But I know I can’t be the only woman wanting a little more time between the sheets!”
Go with the ebb and flow
Sex is something to be enjoyed, savored, and explored. Not another thing on your stress list. (And if it is, don’t be ashamed to ask a professional for help.)
There’s a lot of undoing to be done as far as what we as a society consider normal, but the moral here is that whether you’re not in the mood more often than not, or you crave some sexy times every day (or even twice a day!), there's nothing wrong with you. The only person who can define your sex drive is you.
Have you ever felt the need to alter your sex drive to fit someone else’s expectations? Share your stories in the comments below!
Mariana Ruiz is a freelance copywriter using words and stories to connect with people. Her hobbies include traveling to tropical beaches as often as possible, and contemplating what it means to be human in this wild world.