I've seen an increasing number of studies demonstrating that female (researchers only asked cis women) desire declines in long term relationships not necessarily because of physical changes associated with aging, but because they aren't having good sex (Here, Here). Which also brought up the question for me (apparently not for researchers) if men, trans, and nonbinary folks are getting the sex they want.
This is a hard subject to untangle. It is not as straightforward as asking "Are you getting the sex you want?" Social pressures and beliefs dictate what we think we "should" want and how often we "should be" having sex. Many of us can't even clearly voice what our actual wants are when it comes to sex.
When it comes to erotic desires, there is another level which is often completely ignored in research. Some of us have erotic needs which do not involve "sex" in the traditional "penetrative sex resulting in climax" type sex. For many of us into kink and BDSM, we have erotic desires and intimate desires which do not involve the heteronormative version of sex at all. Still, this is sex and intimacy need for many of us.
Step 1: Figuring Out Your Desires
Before you can ask anyone to help you get your needs met, you need to know what they are! This means you recognize your desires, can express what you want in a way someone else understands, and feel comfortable asking for your needs to be met. That is a whole lot!
Let's start by detangling your actual desires from what you think you might want. This means getting in touch with your body and your mind.
Track Your Desires
Start tracking when you have the desire for intimacy and/or sex. I mean write this down on a calendar or in a notebook. Actually, put dates and times to it. We get so distracted by everything going on in a day we can blur when we actually want sex. Was it three nights ago or was that really two weeks ago? Tracking dates and times helps.
If you can add details as to what the desire was, this is also helpful. Is it just to reach climax? Do you want someone to touch you all over for a while? Does it involve a kink fantasy? Do you just want the perfectly chosen porn video and your favorite toy? Makes notes of this.
Letting Go of the Shoulds There are an overload of articles on how to increase sexual desire; how to maintain your stamina; how to lengthen your time for penetration. Ugh. This gives most of us the impression that "good" sex includes long, intense penetration sessions. This is not good sex for many of us!
Make a mental or actual note of the times you find yourself thinking "I should want more sex," or "I should improve my stamina" or "I'm not having the 'right' amount of sex." Consciously recognizing these thoughts is step one for letting go.
Step two is to remind yourself "good" sex is how you define it. It meets your personal needs for intimacy, connection, physical touch, and climax. There is no "right" or "wrong" amount of sex.
What Do You Want?
After tracking your desires for a few weeks or months, sit down and go through the notes. Pay attention to the actual frequency of desires. Then break it down into categories.
How often did you want to just masturbate?
How many times did you desire penetration?
How many times and what types of fantasies did you note?
How many times did you have sex that was satisfying?
How many times did you have unsatisfying sex?
The information will begin to provide you a realistic and personalized guide to what you really want.
Learning to Ask for What You Want
Asking for what you want is a whole different ball game. It means finding language you are comfortable enough with to say out loud to another person. It means finding a partner who can listen to what you want and who wants to know what you desire.
When it comes to finding the words, look at your desire list you created. How would you describe the sex, kink,, and intimate activities? Are there words you are comfortable saying to express these desires?
Yes? Great! That is a huge step. No? Okay, you need to find the language for what you want. There are dozens of ways to say the same thing. Start reading erotica. Or watching soft-core porn where the characters use different ways of asking for sex. Or read fan fiction (this is filled with all sorts of sexy talk!). Or check out BadGirlsBible.com and Kinkly.com for some options.
There are a couple of great resources for learning to express your erotic desires coming up!
The first is a multi-week class offered by Mir Green Deep Diving: Understanding and Voicing Your Desires beginning at the end of October. If you want to register for the class, use code FATCHICKS for 20% off.
The other fav of mine is Midori's Forte Femme. She has relaunched the weekend intensive for women exploring their dominant side. The October one is full, but she generally offers them monthly. They take place in northern CA and New York.
If you have a chance to take either course, you should really get a lot out of them!