Desire and arousal are words you hear a lot in our circle. Before I stepped into this journey of learning to dance with desire, I never even thought about these words. Maybe you are just discovering your sexuality and have heard these words too. Let’s break them down here:

Desire: 1. a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.{noun}

2. strongly wish for or want (something) {verb}

Desire could be defined as a sense of longing or hoping for a person, object, or outcome. Most men feel desire before arousal which gives them the reputation of always wanting and thinking about sex. I have heard from women who too, feel desire before arousal, which causes them an incredible amount of pain as they have to deal with being labelled a whore or a slut. See how backwards and messed up this is? Moving on.

Arousal: 1. the action or fact of arousing or being aroused. {noun}

It is the physiological and psychological state of being awoken or of sense organs stimulated to a point of perception.

Sexual arousal (also sexual excitement) is the arousal of sexual desire, during or in anticipation of sexual activity. A number of physiological responses occur in the body and mind as preparation for sexual intercourse and continue during it. Male arousal will lead to an erection, and in female arousal the body’s response is engorged sexual tissues such as nipples, vulva, clitoris, vaginal walls and vaginal lubrication. Mental stimuli and physical stimuli such as touch, and the internal fluctuation of hormones, can influence sexual arousal.

For a lot of women, sexual arousal is necessary for desire to appear. But the problem with that is if there is no desire, the act of being aroused is limited to whether or not one wants to be aroused. When a woman says she doesn’t feel like it or isn’t in the mood, she is telling the truth. She just doesn’t want to. This is very frustrating for men as they do not understand this. For most men, desire is always present and it doesn’t take much for that desire to create arousal. The two almost always work together. For women, it can be more complicated.

For years, I did not desire sex and therefore the feelings of arousal evaded me. I did not want sex so that in turn kept me from being aroused. Sure, sex felt good and I experienced orgasm but it was nothing I desired. I still didn’t want it. I went through the motions just to get my husband off my back (or in this case, off my front). I actually never allowed myself to be fully aroused. I had made up my mind that sex was not for me and that was that. Every time I started to get aroused, I pushed back. I didn’t want to be aroused so I resisted. This literally nearly broke my husband.

I remember clearly the last time we fought over this. Wes was listening to the song and he was inspired. He was excited cause he wanted to learn all he could to make me feel good. After all, he thought, surely she wants to feel good right? All hell broke loose.

I just couldn’t get myself to understand why I was suppose to want sex. I just didn’t desire it. I didn’t want to do it. I JUST DIDN’T! Why couldn’t he just accept that?

THEN, a miracle happened. I began to understand my sexuality was a gift from God for me. For me? That was a crazy idea. I started to read books from great Christian authors who led me through my own journey of discovery. They taught me how to embrace my sexuality and not to run from it. Shannon Ethridge’s book was the first book I read on sexuality and I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to begin this journey.

So here’s my take on desire and arousal: DESIRE CAN BE LEARNED. If you think you will never be able to enjoy sex (and this goes for both men and women), I am here to tell you that YOU MOST DEFINITELY CAN. The only way however, that can be a reality is for you to change your thinking. Desire will not come unless you invite it to come. And you most absolutely can train yourself to desire. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. I DID IT! Not only that, desire can and has preceded arousal. Now, that doesn’t mean it happens like that all of the time. But the more I allow myself to be sexual, the more the desire comes.  The distance that once was between desire and arousal has drastically been reduced. Before, arousal often had to happen and perform by herself. NOW, desire and arousal are working together. (But wait, don’t hear what I am not saying. If you have never felt desire before arousal and have tried everything, and you know this is how you are right now, then work with that. If desire only ever comes after arousal, don’t make a big deal about it. Unless of course, you don’t want it. Cause that is really the issue here.)

LEARNING TO DANCE WITH DESIRE should be your goal if desire has evaded you. Desire can be learned. Make the effort today to move from where you are to where you have never been. I guarantee you, you will not regret it. BE PATIENT. BE DILIGENT. TALK OPENLY WITH YOUR SPOUSE. And watch your life be transformed.


2 thoughts on “DESIRE VS AROUSAL

  1. I like your sentence, “the more I allow myself to be sexual the more desire comes.” For many women, that is the key – giving themselves first permission to consider the possibility that sexual intimacy is good! Thank you for sharing your story of hope with other!

    1. Women need to know they ‘have permission’ so to speak. For so many, like myself, I was never allowed to or encouraged to be sexual. It can be a tough pill to swallow for many, but that’s why we do what we do right?

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