Where desire is concerned, the brain is your target. Essentially, the more your brain is open to the idea of sex, the more desire can build. Alternatively, the more our brain is blocked, the less potential there is for sexual intimacy. What contributes to a brain being turned on or off to sex is dependent on what is “fed” into your mind. Much like eating or drinking things that are not good for you can make you feel sluggish, feeding your brain with negative/anti-sexy things will have your sexual desire tank close to empty.
There are many things that can turn your brain on to sex and also block your mind from entering into the yes zone of sexual intimacy. Importantly, the things that block your mind, and thus desire, can consist of things from your past as well as those in the present. Past blocks can include negative sex messages from your parents or religion, lack of education, as well as traumatic experiences. Present blocks can include things like the stress at your job, the way your partner initiates sex, lack of exercise, medications, kids, medical issues, and relationship issues.
Knowing your brain is the key source of sexual desire you can be an active participant in helping your brain to capitalize on the things that lead to building desire as well as eliminate any blocks. The key is to first identify what moves your brain to the “on” or “off” position. For example your “off” list may consist of your current work stress, an old childhood message that is lingering in your brain that says sex is dirty, and your partner’s current drinking habits. You might find your “on” list consists of relaxing with yoga, reading an erotic book before your date night, having a clean living space, and making sure your bedroom door is closed to decrease the anxiety of a kid or roommate walking in.
Next, instead of just waiting around for desire to take hold like we are inaccurately shown in movies, take active steps in eradicating the desire blockers and optimizing those things that build the desire in your brain. Although you may find you can confidently carry out many steps on your own, some professional help may be needed to move those extra heavy blocks out of the way to help open your brain up for more desire.
*At Home Exercise* - Write out four categories labeled Self/On, Self/Off, Partner/On, Partner/Off. List out in each category what you do to turn your brain on or off to sex and then what you notice your partner may do that turns you on or off to sex. As a bonus, have your partner do the exercise on their own paper and then share your answers. Sex conversations are hard so should you need an expert to guide the conversation, make sure to reach out to your local Sex Therapist.