What does 'Slow Arousal' mean?

July 09, 2018

What does 'Slow Arousal' mean?

  • Low Libido
  • Tired
  • Anorgasmic
  • Disinterested
  • Slow to arouse

Recognize any of these descriptors? I struggle with all of them, and I know I’m not alone. There are so many reasons why our bodies may be disinterested in having sexy times… adrenal fatigue, breastfeeding, overwork, menstruation, stress, hormonal changes, time of day, depression… the list goes on. And on. And on.

I want to talk about one reason today: Not quite getting what we need.

So often what we really need is time. Just time. Time to let go of the day, time to tune in to our bodies, time to check in with our partners. I hear from so many people (mostly women) who say that they are ‘slow to arouse’ and who deeply want to fix themselves. I have to wonder: Slow compared to what? Slow under what conditions?

Slow compared to the movies, where our heroes decide to get it on and three frames later, he’s inside her on the kitchen counter? Slow compared to our partners? Slow compared to porn performers, professional entertainers whose pre-show preparations would put a Cirque du Soleil contortionist to shame?

There’s nothing more stubborn than a clitoris that isn’t ready to party. The best we can do is to create the conditions in which she likes to play.

Assuming that we have our basic needs met like physical relaxation, communication, and emotional safety, there are a few external things that can help:

- Lubricant: In my experience there are two opinions about lube: LOVE IT or NOPE. Lots of folks don’t use lube because they ‘produce plenty of their own lubrication’ or because they see it as some kind of failure or crutch. I think lube is essential, and not just for ease of penetration. In fact, ideally not for that at all. Lube and slow, flat hands can do wonders for a meandering arousal process. You might want to try a hybrid water-based/silicone lube like Sliquid Silk. It’s long-lasting and has a good cushioning texture.

-Time: Turn off the Netflix one episode early and give yourself the time if you can. See how slowly you can move. Ask your partner(s) to buy in to the game. Trust me, it’s sexy.

- Attitude: Sex ain’t fair, and that’s alright. I think we would all be happier if we divested ourselves of this notion of orgasmic egalitarianism. So you can have one orgasm and your partner can have three? Awesome. Your partners want to orgasm and you just want to watch? Cool. It might take you 90 minutes and you might not climax at all? It’s only bad if you dwell on it. Shakespeare wrote ‘There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.’ And you know that guy was a baller, so.

In seriousness, I get that taking a long time to climax might be frustrating (it is), but why dwell on it? Go eat a Fudgesicle and try again tomorrow.

What if stressing ourselves out about what our bodies are able to do at any given moment just teaches our bodies that arousal is stressful, thereby reinforcing our reluctance to go there?

Point being, you’re not broken, you’re you. You have needs. You’re allowed to take the time it takes. Treat yourself to some nice lube. And don’t forget the Fudgesicles.


Photo Courtesy of Marco Verch | Blog

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