Arousal Non-Concordance: You Really Need to Know What it Is

by | Dec 1, 2021 | Libido, Uncategorized | 43 comments

Arousal Non Concordance
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I’d like to begin a longer, ongoing conversation today about arousal non-concordance.

To begin, a quick story. As a teen I always won the game Balderdash. Remember that game? You get a bizarre weird word, and everyone has to make up a definition for it, and then you read out all the fabricated definitions with the real one mixed in and guess.

I had a definition I used almost every time, and I always won that round: “the lint that collects in dryer traps.” It was simple. It was to the point. But more importantly, everyone thought: Oh, yeah, there should be a word for that. So they believed that that was a real definition.

Arousal non-concordance is kind of like that.

You may not know what it is, but as soon as I explain it, you’ll think, “oh, yeah. That makes perfect sense. I wish I had understood that was a thing!”

So here we go.

Arousal Non-Concordance

Sexual arousal has two components: your mind saying, “I want the sexy stuff!”, and your body saying, “I’m totally digging the sexy stuff!”

Sometimes, however, the mind might be saying, “let’s get it on!”, but the body hasn’t gotten the message. Or, in many cases, the body has gotten the message, but the mind is turned off, tired, or not even thinking about sex at all.

When the body and mind don’t agree on sex–you have arousal non-concordance!

In December on the blog our monthly series is going to be about Embodiment and Mindfulness.

I figure that it goes along with Christmas and the Incarnation well–how God took on human form and walked this earth, and then resurrected in a physical body, just as we someday will.

Our bodies matter.

So let’s talk about how to live embodied lives, where our minds and bodies are in accordance with each other as much as possible. Let’s talk about mindfulness, where we’re paying attention to our bodies and we’re living in our bodies, rather than making judgments about what our bodies should be doing.

We’ll officially launch that series on Monday, but I thought we’d do a preview today about arousal non-concordance, and continue that tomorrow on the podcast.

I spent some time this week looking up scholarly articles on arousal non-concordance, and it was fascinating. Here’s a bit of what I learned:

Men and women can both experience arousal non-concordance, but for women it tends to be more common.

A huge meta-analysis from 2010 that is still frequently cited found that the self-report, or subjective report of how aroused someone is does not always agree with the “objective” measures of heat cameras on the genitals, monitors, or more. So the genitalia would register arousal, but people would report that they weren’t aroused–and sometimes vice versa.

Men are more likely to say they feel aroused when their genitals do not show arousal; while women are more likely to say they aren’t aroused when their genitals show they are. Of the two genders, though, women’s arousal non-concordance tends to be much greater. The meta-analysis tried to figure out why this was so, and came up with several theories (the self-report may be correct but the instruments measuring arousal may be measuring the wrong thing; men may be more comfortable understanding arousal because they get more noticeable erections; women are made to feel more shame at arousal and so it doesn’t register as much, and more). After examining all of these possible explanations, they found that there was a real gender difference that couldn’t be explained away by methodological problems.

Women just seem to experience non-concordance more. 

Further studies have elaborated on this even more, with these results:

Women tend to be physically aroused by a variety of sexual stimuli, while men tend to be more aroused by a distinct subset.

Let’s talk bonobo apes.

They’re not exactly sexy (unless you’re a bonobo ape, I suppose). But when women watch movies of bonobo apes mating, they say they’re not aroused, but they do experience genital arousal. Men, on the other hand, say they’re not aroused and don’t experience genital arousal.

What’s going on?

Basically, two things: First, in women, the self-report of arousal and genital changes in arousal are less likely to match up than for men.

But second, women experience genital arousal at a wider variety of sexual stimuli than men do, even if their self-report of what is arousing is still quite narrow.

So guys say, “that turns me on,” and their penises tend to agree. Women say, “that doesn’t turn me on,” but their genitals do show changes.

This article talks about the two different pathways to arousal that are likely independent of one another: one the cognitive element and one an autonomous system that reacts to sexual stimuli (either with lubrication or erection). And women seem to autonomously to a wide variety of stimulation, perhaps partly because women are more susceptible to sexual assault, and we experience fewer injuries if there’s lubrication. So women’s bodies may say, “let’s get ready for the sex” even when their minds are nowhere near thinking that way. It’s a protective response.

Now, please hear what this research is NOT saying: It’s not saying that women are aroused and don’t realize it–so get with it, women! No, it’s saying that there are two different arousal pathways that operate quite independently of each other. So when she subjectively rates her arousal and she says, “I’m not turned on,” she’s right. She isn’t cognitively turned on. But her body is gearing up for it anyway.

The sex differences in concordance between objective and subjective arousal can best be summarized as follows: The physiological arousal process, which likely evolved to maximize reproductive success, appears to be quite similar in men and women. However, men react motivationally stronger to sexual stimuli … Women, in contrast, react to sexual stimuli with lubrication, to protect their inner sexual organs, independent of their experienced arousal. Due to the specific anatomy and social influences, men learn to better align their experienced sexual arousal with their physiological reaction. Women, on the other hand, learn early on, not to trust their bodily reactions, as they are often in contrast to social expectations.

The Inquisitive Mind

Sex Differences in the Perception of Sexual Arousal

The problem with desire among women tends to be less about physical arousal and more about mental arousal, or desire.

Why isn’t there a female version of Viagra? That’s what researchers have been trying to figure out: is there a magical pill that will make women aroused? And the answer has largely been no, because for women the problem is less in terms of genital autonomous responses and more in terms of cognitive responses. Another review of the research found again that women tend to respond automatically to sexual stimuli, often within a few seconds, but subjectively they’re not registering any arousal at all.

Unlike for men, then, when the problem is with keeping an erection, women’s problems tend more to be with how cognitively we interpret sex. This makes sense–we don’t need a pill to help us get lubricated, since lots of lubricants are available (and I highly recommend Femallay’s vaginal melts which help nourish your vagina and improve elasticity, too!). No, instead what we need is to feel like we WANT to be sexy. 

Here’s what these researchers conclude: 

Most theorists discuss women’s sexual arousal in terms of a feedback mechanism between these two components, but some studies indicate that genital and subjective sexual arousal are not closely connected for some women. Increases in genital arousal tend to occur somewhat automatically, within seconds of the onset of an erotic stimulus, and can occur even in the absence of subjective reports of feeling sexually aroused. Moreover, the degree of connectivity between genital and subjective arousal seems to be unrelated to sexual arousal function and dysfunction in women. This disconnection raises the question of what exactly sexual arousal in women is and whether physiological changes that occur in the absence of a subjective sexual experience should even be considered a sexual response.

Nature Reviews/Urology

Understanding sexual arousal and subjective–genital arousal desynchrony in women

The issue is not what the genitals are doing but what the brain is thinking. That’s where arousal gets blocked up. And as Rebecca says on the podcast which launches tomorrow, that makes sense. We’re created to be discerning. It’s not safe for women to want to have sex with people that they won’t be safe with or won’t feel safe with, so the mental component in arousal is far more important.

So it’s not that women aren’t aware of what actually turns us on. It’s that we need to pay more attention to what women say turns them on, because it’s the subjective part that makes us desire sex! So if we say we don’t like something, even if our bodies respond, that doesn’t mean we like it and we’re just wrong. It means we want more of that thing that we like! And then we’ll actually want sex mentally–which is the important part.

One last thing–and this one is super important.

Arousal non-concordance can often be at play in cases of sexual assault, and can make trauma victims assume they actually wanted it or consented.

Honestly, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was the first time I heard of arousal non-concordance (that show has seriously done a good job at educating people on consent and sexual assault!). I’ve talked about it since then several times, and I want to return to it in the new year when we look more at this last element of arousal non-concordance: How it plays a part in furthering sexual assault trauma.

I have known many victims of date rape who did not understand that it was date rape because they became lubricated and even reached orgasm. They assumed that because they were physically aroused, they must have wanted it, even though they had repeatedly said no. This can be even more difficult for male victims, because their arousal is often necessary for the sexual encounter, and so the fact that they became physically aroused seems to mean they weren’t assaulted. But if a guy did not want it to happen, did not consent, and said no, and then someone went ahead anyway and the guy’s body responded, this does not mean that it was not assault.

There’s ongoing research into this, but in some cases it looks as if some people have heightened physical responses to assault because the fight, flight and freeze trauma response is closely related to the sexual arousal response. When our senses are heightened, arousal may follow more commonly. This does not mean anyone wanted it to happen.

Arousal does not equal consent. Orgasm does not equal consent. 

I think a common scenario for Christian wives is feeling like you want to get aroused but your body won’t follow.

This one’s hard to measure in the lab, which is likely why they didn’t find a big incidence of it. But what I hear again and again is women who want to feel aroused, and want to enjoy sex, but their bodies do nothing. I talk a lot about this in both The Orgasm Course and the Boost Your Libido course (which we’re actually revamping over the Christmas holidays because it’s been out for a few years now and it’s time for an update! If you’ve bought it in the past, you’ll have access to the whole new Boost Your Libido course when it’s out in January!).

The Orgasm Course is Here to Help You Experience Real Passion!

Figure out what’s holding you back. Open the floodgates to orgasm.

What we’ll be looking at a bit this month is how the practice of mindfulness can bridge this gap. It’s what I’ve been trying to teach for years, especially when I speak and in the courses. How to be mentally present when you’re making love. Or “embodiment” is actually another way to put it. How to actually inhabit your body and how to experience your sexuality with your body and not just your mind. So more on that to come!

I hope arousal non-concordance becomes something we talk about more, and that it enters our common vocabulary, in the same way that I hope vaginismus gets talked about more. The fact that so many people don’t understand that this is possible means that people can feel guilt that isn’t theirs; people can feel like they’re perverts if they get aroused by erotic material they were exposed to that they didn’t want to see or didn’t even like; or feel like there’s something wrong with them when their body responds when they don’t want it to–or when it doesn’t when they do want it to.

We’re complex creations. It makes sense that arousal is complex, too.

Arousal Non-Concordance

Have you heard of this concept before? Does it make sense to you? What is your biggest struggle with it? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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43 Comments

  1. John 2

    As a guy, I guess I’m in a small percentage where arousal non-concordance occurs, but I think it’s my problem. My mind says “yes” but my body doesn’t follow, when I’m awake…but nocturnal erections are very common for me, so I believe it’s not an ED problem. It’s all very frustrating, and I don’t know what to do, or how to treat this. Pills help, but I know if my mind was “right”, it wouldn’t be a problem at all…Sheila, your thoughts and suggestions??

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Hi John! I would definitely talk to a professional about this. Have you ever had porn in your past? It’s quite common with a history of porn use. Also, you can ejaculate without having an erection, so it could be that the nocturnal emissions are not occurring when you are erect. So it may also be a medical thing that is really ED. Likely I’d see a doctor first, because ED can be an early warning sign of some conditions that do need to be dealt with. Then, if that’s not it, consider seeing a sex therapist.

      Reply
    • Flavius

      My first impulse is “relationship dynamic.” It’s an autobiographic respinse on my part. Put plainly, my wife just didn’t like me much. At a certain point, my penis could no longer overcome the headwinds of disdain and indifference, so if just quit showing up. But it worked fine when she wasn’t around to roll her eyes at me. I hope your situation is not similar, because mine had no cure.

      Reply
  2. CMT

    Yes this is a great topic!

    In my experience there is a connection with obligation sex.

    If you feel like you have to keep going whether you want to or not, you can (for some people) force a physical response that mechanically is an orgasm but doesn’t really feel like one. I experienced this off and on for years, and it’s hard to describe how dis-integrating it is. I did not know it was arousal nonconcordance until I really picked apart my relationship to obligation sex. Then the lightbulb came on.

    I gave myself permission not to say yes when I didn’t really want to, and to tell my husband if I needed to stop. That has led to some hard but productive conversations between us. It hasn’t been smooth but in my experience this has made a tremendous difference.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes! This is very, very common. Other women have told me the same thing (and we have a reader question on tomorrow’s podcast that describes this phenomenon as well).

      Reply
      • CMT

        The funny thing is, I knew about arousal nonconcordance in the sense of feeling aroused when you didn’t want to. I just never made the the connection that you could also have a physical response without really being mentally “turned on.” The common wisdom is that women don’t work that way – “women need emotional connection for sex” etc. It’s really confusing when you’re experiencing it, and also really hard to explain to a partner whose physical and mental responses are naturally much more congruent.

        Also, this line you quoted says it all:
        “ This disconnection raises the question of what exactly sexual arousal in women is…” It’s both sad and hilarious to me that as recently as 2019 this was still an open question in the literature!

        Reply
  3. Kat

    I never had a name to put with this but I’ve always recognized that my sexual desire is entirely linked to my emotions, love, trust for partner, etc. I need to feel connected emotionally to my husband before I can get aroused. I do engage with him, but honestly, during foreplay and the actual ‘act’ I’m jumping through hoops in my mind to get in the zone. And afterward, I feel empty, resentful and used. I crave having a soul connection with my husband but he’s just not capable of sharing himself that way. 27 years… 😑 We seem to be at an impasse.

    Reply
    • Jo R

      Hugs to you, Kat. You are most definitely NOT alone in either your mental processes or your reactions afterwards.

      Reply
    • Sue R

      I hear you, Kat. And like Jo R says, you are definitely not alone. I desperately want an emotional connection with my husband (and a better sex life, which I know would be a result), but like your husband, a change in that direction is exceedingly unlikely. 30+ years. I still hope, though.

      Reply
      • Eela

        It’s as if the males get hopeless and lazy in the bedroom. We don’t desire ‘it’ because we know we’re going to get rubbish sex and still be aroused at the end when they’re done and we are nowhere near. They no longer want to be .. nice. Rude and grumpy, demanding about day to day things. Who would connect desire with that. Men need to respond sexier, without being cheesy.

        Reply
    • Loretta

      I haven’t been able to enjoy sex since I found out last year my husband was watching porn while I was sick with Covid. Even after I found out, he continued to do it even though he knew how hurt and devastated I was and promised it would never happen again. We’re in couples counseling now, but my body just can’t seem to get over the betrayal. It’s so hard for me to respond or to feel aroused. I don’t feel safe anymore.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        That’s a totally normal betrayal response. It’s important to rebuild trust before you try to rebuild sex. I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I know how hard that is.

        Reply
    • Eela

      I understand where you’re coming from. For me it’s more like I want to be desired, I dont want all the smooshy emotional stuff, but someone who’s willing to get into it and not stop halfway through because I ask for a thing or whatever. He’s never interested, and he’s non responsive, he’s just an angry bad tempered guy. So my horney is there, but not for him 🙁

      Reply
  4. Martha

    I have always thought I was the only one who gets aroused by seeing animals mating… 😉

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      At least you didn’t have to have probes where you don’t want them to realize that. 🙂

      Reply
      • Lydia purple

        I kind of think it has to do with how women‘s hormone response is wired more sensitive then men’s… maybe motherly instinct ?! we get emotional watching romantic movies or when we witness an emotional encounter in real life or even when seeing a cute baby, we can have a let down while breastfeeding just by hearing a random baby cry or thinking about it… it’s all related to oxytocin – it’s triggered even if our mind is not there. It’s like we are wired to take in and respond to cues from the environment without having to think about it, which helps us being intuitive in nurturing but sometimes is funny because you feel like something is happening to you that you did not want to – like milk let down while your friends baby cries or your vagina gearing up when seeing the lions mate in front of you in the zoo 😂 this really happened to me visiting the zoo with the kids… the Lions mating i mean… all I remember is having an impromptu sex talk because they saw it all!!! They were like – this is how the penis connects to the vagina??? Eww 🤣🤣🤣 they knew about it but never imagined it… most memorable 10 seconds in the zoo ever.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I had that with Rebecca! The japanese macaques were all over each other–or rather one male was humping every female in sight. Rebecca kept saying, “they’re playing horsey! The monkeys are playing horsey!”

          Reply
    • Loretta

      I’m so glad you mentioned this. As a young teen (maybe 14/15) my friend’s cat jumped on me and started purring and kneading my lap. I was not just a little started when I started to get aroused. All these years later I finally realize I’m not some kind of freak!!

      Reply
      • Loretta

        **I was startled not started** LOL

        Reply
  5. Cara

    I have a history of childhood sexual abuse and am recently dealing with working through the effects of it and healing. I definitely have arousal non-concordance it sounds like my life really. My husband – who I know loves me – does not understand this and the majority of the time we get into a shame/punishing cycle when I don’t want to or can’t get in the mood to do it. I have tried to do it anyways, but it’s miserable and triggering, but if I don’t – My husband is angry and blames himself or me and it ends up really hurting our relationship. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It sounds like you could really use a licensed counselor, and especially a trauma counselor for yourself. But coercion and manipulation has no place in the marriage bed. Have you read The Great Sex Rescue yet? It may help him understand. But if he’s punishing you for not having sex, that’s actually coercion. Again, I explain it in The Great Sex Rescue.

      Reply
    • CMT

      This sounds really hard. Your experience sounds more severe than mine as I don’t have a trauma history. Even so I wasn’t ready to tackle this till I had been in therapy for some time (not specifically for sexual issues but it was all related). So I would think therapy would be the next best step for someone in a situation like yours.

      Also… I’m just a rando on the internet but if you were my friend or my sister I’d say, please, please don’t force yourself to have sex when you really don’t want to.

      Reply
  6. TK

    I found this part to be really confusing, because wouldn’t this be true for me as well?

    “And as Rebecca says on the podcast which launches tomorrow, that makes sense. We’re created to be discerning. It’s not safe for women to want to have sex with people that they won’t be safe with or won’t feel safe with, so the mental component in arousal is far more important.”

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      The difference is that women can get pregnant. So there are higher risks to sex with dangerous people for women than there are for men.

      Reply
      • n

        and in heterosexual intercourse, certain STDs are more likely to transmit from man to woman, than woman to man.

        Reply
      • Loretta

        True. But it can be dangerous for men too that women can become pregnant. It takes a man to create a pregnancy. But I think sometimes men fail to consider that…

        Reply
    • TK

      * Edit “MEN as well” not MEA as well”

      Reply
      • TK

        Even my edit needs edited… Haha

        Reply
  7. Anon

    That makes total sense to me. My issue is that emotionally/mentally I find it easy to be aroused, but my body takes a very long time to catch up. It’s partly due to early menopause and partly due to an autoimmune condition which a)makes my body hurt and b)makes EVERYTHING in my body very dry. The frustrating thing is that I can still produce ‘DIY lube’, but it turns up far too late to be any use. We’ll spend 1-1.5 hours being intimate (using lubricant from a tube) and then go to bed. 1-2 hours later, I’m having to hop out to the bathroom again because my body’s finally caught up and is producing PLENTY. We manage to work round it and still have fun, but it is SO FRUSTRATING the way my body plays catchup with the rest of me. Any tips for making the physical response less sluggish?

    Reply
  8. Jane 4

    Wow, this is really enlightening. My early marriage was plagued with obligation sex, (his) porn use, and psychological abuse from so many horrible Christian resources. I felt like I had healed all that. We have sex and I enjoy it and orgasm, but I never feel aroused toward him. I sometimes want sex but it’s not quite the same as being turned on. More like the “release” all those other books say men need. Anyway, it’s given me something to discuss with my husband and really work on building arousal mentally not just physically.

    Reply
    • Eela

      This! Yes. I agree. I totally know how you feel. I want sex but I’m not aroused by him.
      There is a difference being turned on because of someone- something about them, and wanting sex and doing it with who it’s infront of you. Exactly like the release men seem to want.
      So there’s being hot for someone.
      Being generally horney.
      There’s your body saying heck yes.
      Your mind saying let’s go. And vice versa for both those
      So that’s six combos… not easy

      Reply
  9. MBP

    There is such a close connection between this and what people experience who deal with Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD). Interesting that you bring up the mindfulness and mind/body component as I have become convinced this is the underlying issue with nearly all sufferers of this condition. My assessment has not been received well in that community, however, as it takes a good bit of nuance to explain the concept and most people just hear “it’s all in your head” and feel dismissed like they have been by so many doctors. It’s such a difficult thing to deal with and I feel sad for so many who don’t find adequate help for it.

    Reply
  10. MBP

    There is a lot of overlap I see between this concept and what people experience on the extreme end with Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD). I’ve come to the conclusion after dealing with it for 4 years now that it is likely a mind-body issue that has rarely anything to do with something physically or anatomically wrong. I wonder if you have heard of this disorder? I get so discouraged trying to offer hope to people in this community who suffer in such an isolated way because the moment I try to explain the mind-body concept they immediately react as if I’ve said the dismissive thing so many doctors have said to them: “It’s all in your head.” Honestly, the entire medical field needs a revamp to understand mind-body approaches to issues like this and chronic pain.

    Reply
    • MBP

      Sorry for the sort of doubled comment. You can delete one if you want

      Reply
  11. Jacqueline

    I teared up a bit reading this. It has been so frustrating as a young wife (3.5 yrs married) to have had this creeping, progressive problem and feel like an absolute failure when we are “young” and “newly wed” and should be having the “best” sex of our marriage. But after 2 babies (my due date is in 5 days), his porn addiction and subsequent acting out, my history of a healed porn addiction, growing up in a conservative “his needs matter more church”, and plenty of obligation sex, it just seems that the problem I’ve never had a name for gets worse and worse. I’m honestly terrified for postpartum bc he’s already moaning about the dreaded “6 weeks”, and last time I was postpartum he was acting out the entire time. I didn’t find out until my daughter was 4 mo old and it was one of the most traumatic events of my life. It’s just felt impossible to put my finger on the issue because I have no problem with orgasm, but achieving true arousal is like mental gymnastics that never seem to go anywhere. Or at least like they used to. I know a lot of this could probably be fixed with some very painful conversations with my husband, but since orgasm isn’t a problem I don’t even know where to start without completely trashing his belief that I enjoy it MUCH more than I really do. It’s so depressing thinking this will be our sex life from now on. I know God can heal any trauma or relationship, but how to actually do that completely eludes me.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Jacqueline, I’m so sorry! Congratulations on your new baby, and I hope you’re just able to enjoy that baby and let some of these worries go by the wayside! But I wouldn’t be afraid to stand up for yourself during the postpartum period if you have to. “I understand you’re frustrated, but I just had a baby, and I would appreciate it if you could express more concern for me than for your sexual frustration. The priority here is not sex right now.”

      The problem is that the more it just goes on, the more you ingrain the habit, and the more you could resent him. Save huge conversations for when you can better handle them perhaps, but it’s okay to speak up for yourself if necessary. And I hope you’re able to enjoy your time with your new baby!

      Reply
  12. Flavius

    Great post on a great blog. LOL, makes me wish I was on the writing team!

    Reply
  13. Flavius

    This is a truly interesting topic. Many of your thoughts above hinged on the idea that perhaps female physical arousal is a quite separate mechanism from sexual desire. Reasonable enough, especially in light of the evolutionary psych idea that physiology evolved over eons, but that behavior has evolved over mere millennia, following a “cognitive revolution.” I’m not selling evolution, but it captures the notion varying levels of consciousness, from the physical stimulus level up to the level of conscious, social mating choices. It’s a murky path from one level to the other.

    Reply
  14. Ashlee

    I’ve struggled to get my body to reacts all my life. I’ve never had an orgasm that I know of. It just becomes sensitive to the point that it’s too ticklish and can’t be touched anymore. With that said I’ve never had the ability to get aroused except 1 times in my life 10 years ago. I was rocking my baby to sleep and my husband was texting me things letting me know he was in the mood. Nothing he had not done before and he’s done it plenty since. Whine rocking my son to sleep I began to develop sensations I had never had and have never had since. Come to find out it was physiological arousal! My vaginal area had engorged with blood and gad heat and a throbbing sensation and I had a strong desire to be sexual with him suddenly. We’ve tried for a decade to get that back and have yet to be successful. I assume that’s why I’ve never been able to orgasm. I assume arousal is needed and that’s why it’s always just ticklish instead of orgasm. I hope someday to figure out how to get aroused again…. And maybe then an orgasm will happen! I struggle during sex to keep the pop ups out of my mind and focus… but the time I was actually aroused it was the only time I didn’t struggle at all!!! It made a whole world of difference! I wish I could bottle it up!!!

    Reply
    • Chelsie

      Ashlee, while I don’t have an answer. Know that you’re not alone- I just sent a message saying nearly the same thing you’ve said. I hope we get an answer! I was so encouraged just to know I’m not alone. Thank you for your question.

      Reply
  15. SB

    Since many men, and women for that matter, in current times have a hard time finding the clitoris how do we know that it was made for women’s pleasure? Since we are a more anatomically and sexually knowledgeable society I would assume people of past centuries did not know about women’s pleasure during sex.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It is made for pleasure. It’s really that simple. And it’s honestly not that hard to find if she communicates with him!

      Reply
  16. CP

    What are the blog posts that go along with this topic? I thought there were more than 2. I’ve read this one and the one titled “6 Reasons Your Mind and Body May Not Connect During Sex”. I thought there were going to be more. Am I missing something?

    Reply

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