5 Reasons Women Feel Shame
Updated: Sep 26
Let’s normalize a woman’s desire.
Women!! - stop beating yourself up for either wanting sex more or less than your partner. There are many reasons for your high or low desire and many of them can be addressed with your partner and/or your healthcare provider. Here are a few of the most common reasons…
5 Reasons Women Feel Shame with both High and Low Desire in Long Term Relationships
Women with low desire have something wrong with them.
Women have traditionally been dismissed when expressing frustration with low desire in a long term relationship. Many times, healthcare providers are rushed to get through the visit and do not spend the time to really get into why you are having low desire. Even worse, when a woman's desire decreases, she is bombarded with why psychosocially she could be having “problems” and her biochemistry or physical causes are ignored. This, blaming the brain/stress only, can come with shame that there is something wrong with her.
In reality, there are many things physically that could be contributing to low desire. Certainly stress and hormone levels can play a role, and that is why they must be tested accurately to rule out low levels of testosterone or high levels of cortisol. Is your sleep not what it should be? Lack of sleep can also lead to decreased desire due to weight gain, mental fatigue and overall not feeling like yourself. Your diet can affect your nutrient levels needed to make your sex hormones which is responsible for creating your sex drive. Much much more goes into desire than being a “stressed out Mommy’!
Women who have high desire are seen as “sluts” and “easy”.
With age comes wisdom and self-confidence! When you are no longer struggling with self confidence, some women feel more amorous. At the same time, their partner may be struggling with his own issues either mental or physical. Women traditionally are shamed if the balance of desire is more on her side of the pendulum. Unequal desire among partners is a source of stress for the relationship and the ego. There will always be a higher desire partner, it is rare that partners are 100% aligned. It is important to discuss with your partner with or without the help of your healthcare provider or therapist when things are out of balance and building resentment with one partner.
Women’s desire decreases as the pain with intercourse increases.
It goes without saying, if it hurts to do something, then why would you want to do it? As women navigate their late early 40’s and 50’s, hormonal changes decrease vaginal secretions. This can lead to painful sex and a feeling of shame and embarrassment for women. Additionally, some male partners, when they notice the need for additional lubrication, take it personally and sometimes conclude that they are not desired anymore. Explaining how hormones or lack there of alter vaginal lubrication can help these feelings of shame and frustration for both partners
Having a provider that can help with this aspect can be a game-changer for those who wish their libido would keep up with their anatomy. There are many options for vaginal dryness including topical creams and/or patches. Vaginal preparations have the additional benefit of increasing sensitivity as well as helping with incontinence. Having the right vaginal lubrication can cut down on urinary tract infections as well as bacterial vaginosis (an overgrowth of bacteria) and yeast infections.
Medicine favors medical intervention for male low desire, while ignoring females.
Where women are often offered mostly psycho-social reasons for her low desire, men on the other hand are bombarded with why biochemically or physically there is an issue and the psychosocial issues are often ignored. Women’s physical libido complaints have been long ignored while the male counterpart has a pharmacy full of options at his disposal. This leads to the shame of the female partner that it is “all in her head”.
Luckily, over the last several years, there have been some newer medications and supplements on the market that help female desire. Seeking testing for hormone levels as well as speaking with a professional who could help you navigate and experiment with these newer medications is really important. Starting the conversation is the first step. Finding a provider that has experience or willingness to navigate this area with you is a must.
Unequal distribution of household chores.
Yes, I went there. It is not so much the chores themselves, but the type of chores that can affect a woman's desire and lead to low libido and shame. Tasks that are traditionally on the female’s plate usually are ongoing and do not have a particular “deadline”. For example, there is no deadline for when laundry needs to be finished, let’s face it, it is always there. The same with grocery shopping, cooking or cleaning the bathrooms. Male chores usually have a deadline, taking out the trash, getting the cars repaired, cutting the grass. No deadline can cause anxiety and lead to lower desire because they are constantly there in the back of your mind. Having a laundry list (no pun intended) of tasks that just need to be done is not conducive to “sexy time” with your partner.
For women, making sure you make time for your partner can sometimes require preparations.. Mentally relaxing, or a nice bath, non-sexual massage can all help to relax you and clear your mind when getting ready for a one-on-one with your partner. Some medications to boost libido can be used up to 60 minutes before your sexy time or there are things you can use daily to help boost your desire.