NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Heterosexual Women Are Often Labeled as Having Low Sexual Desire When The Real Problem is Their Sexual Needs Aren't Being Met During Partnered Sex

There can be many reasons why a heterosexual woman might not be enjoying sex.  All too often these women are misdiagnosed as having low sexual desire when, in fact, the real problem is that their sex partner isn't meeting their sexual needs (see my articles: Closing the Orgasm Gap Between Women and Men - Part 1 and Part 2: How to Close the Orgasm Gap).

A Woman's Sexual Needs Aren't Being Met By Her Partner

The problem in these situations is often that the man either doesn't know what turns her on, she doesn't know how to talk to him about it or he's only focused on his own sexual satisfaction (see my article: Getting to Know Your Own and Your Partner's Sexual Turn-ons).

These problems often occur during casual sexual hookups where either the man's sexual pleasure is given priority or the two people just don't know each other well enough for the woman to have satisfying sex (see my articles: What is Good Sex? Part 1Part 2: Solace SexPart 3: Sealed Off Sex and Part 4: Synchrony Sex).

Generally speaking, the man won't have problems having an orgasm--even during a casual hookup because it's easier for a man to have an orgasm.

Every woman is going to be different, but most women don't orgasm from just PIV (penis in vagina) alone.  Most women need clitoral stimulation to reach an orgasm and this might not occur if the man isn't concerned about the woman's sexual satisfaction.

In many of these cases, when a woman doesn't enjoy PIV, both she and the man often believe there's something wrong with her.  But there's nothing wrong with a woman who doesn't enjoy sex that isn't satisfying for her.

What Are the Signs a Heterosexual Woman's Sexual Needs Aren't Being Met During Partnered Sex?
The following situations usually indicate a heterosexual woman's sexual needs aren't being met during partnered sex with a heterosexual man:
  • He expects her to perform oral sex (fellatio) on him, but he's either unwilling or doesn't know how to give her pleasure with oral sex (cunninlingus).  Since most women need clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm, this is a big problem.
  • He doesn't know where her clitoris is and he's not interested in finding out because it's not important to him.
  • He gets his "sex education" from watching porn and he doesn't realize that women in pornography are actors acting a role and not really being sexually satisfied.  He also believes that all women orgasm from PIV and he doesn't need to make much of an effort because he sees heterosexual women in porn having an orgasm quickly and without much effort from the man.
  • He thinks she should always be in the mood for sex without any effort on his part because that's what he's seen portrayed by the actors in porn (the female actors in porn are always ready to have sex because they're actors playing a part).

A Woman's Sexual Needs Aren't Being Met By Her Partner

  • He only cares about his own orgasm during sex.
  • He believes sex is over after he has an orgasm (even if she hasn't had an orgasm or hasn't even enjoyed sex).
  • He insists on having sex without a condom.  This is totally unacceptable because of the potential to get an STI (sexually transmitted infection).
  • He doesn't engage in cuddling or any type of affectionate behavior after he has an orgasm.
  • He becomes emotionally and/or physically distant after he has an orgasm.
  • He doesn't take care of his personal hygiene by showering before sex or "manscaping," but he expects her to take care of her personal hygiene for him.
  • He insists on certain sexual acts, kinks or fetishes he enjoys and he gets angry and resentful if she's not turned on by the same things.
  • He persists in asking for sexual acts she's made clear she doesn't like.
  • He makes negative and condescending remarks about her appearance (e.g., her weight, age, hair, makeup or lack of makeup, etc) and then he doesn't understand why she's not turned on or interested in having sex with him.
  • He gets impatient and angry if she has pain during PIV sex (e.g., dyspareunia, vaginismus, vulvodynia, post-menopausal pain) which can be due to many reasons, including but not limited to:
    • insufficient lubrication 
    • insufficient or no sexual arousal
    • medication
    • breastfeeding
    • urinary tract infection
    • other medical causes
  • He becomes offended and insecure when she wants to include sex toys during their sexual activities.
  • He blames her for his medical and/or psychological problems with erectile dysfunction or unreliable erection, and he refuses to get appropriate medical and/or psychological help to rectify his problem.
  • He becomes emotionally abusive by comparing her to other women he's known or threatening to see other women to belittle or pressure her to do what he wants sexually.

Heterosexual women are often labeled as having low sexual desire when the real problem is their sexual needs aren't being met during partnered sex.

Sometimes this occurs because the woman's male partner isn't sexually well informed or he doesn't know what turns on his partner.  

This problem is complicated by the fact that some women either don't know what they like or they feel too ashamed to talk about it (see my articles: Tips For Women on Sexual Self Discovery and How to Talk to Your Partner About Sex - Part 1 and Part 2).

Other times this occurs because the man is selfish and he's only focused on his pleasure.  This frequently occurs during hookups, which are often unsatisfying for heterosexual women.

If the man and the woman are in a relationship and they have been unable to work these issues out on their own, they could benefit from seeking help in sex therapy.

A Couple Attending Sex Therapy

If this problem is occurring during casual sex, the woman could benefit from being assertive about her sexual needs and not continuing to have sex with men who are only focused on their sexual satisfaction.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I am a sex-positive therapist who helps individual adults and couples.  One of my specialties is sex therapy (see my article: What is Sex Therapy?).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.