Healthy Women – Good Sex With Emily Jamea: The Paradox of Desire

Paradox of Desire

“I’ve lost my libido.” 

“He’s never in the mood.” 

“I feel constantly rejected.” 

“It wasn’t always like this. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other in the honeymoon phase.” 

“I’m in a sexless relationship.” 

“Please, help me increase my desire!” 

Desire is the most common, yet complex, issue that brings couples to sex therapy. I estimate that 90% of the phone calls I receive are from couples struggling with a difference in sexual desire. This was the problem Jacqueline and Zuri were desperate to solve when they called my office. 

“I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this,” Zuri said. They’d been together for 15 years and married for 10. 

They told a story I’d heard many times before. Things had been great in the beginning. They experienced a whirlwind romance after meeting at a cocktail party in London, where they were both attending a conference. They dated long-distance for the first year, and, like most couples who date long-distance, indulged in long weekends full of passionate sex whenever they got the chance. When it became clear they were falling in love, Jacqueline put in a request at her global company to relocate. She packed her bags and moved into Zuri’s tiny apartment in lower Manhattan.

“What were things like in those early years?” I asked.

“Naturally, things slowed down a little bit once we moved in together. I don’t think either of us expected to carry on the way we had the year prior.”

They looked at each other and laughed.

“I’d say we felt happy with our sex life for the first few years,” Jacqueline said. “It was always passionate and loving. It felt mutual. Zuri probably initiated more than me, but I don’t think either of us were concerned about that. It worked.” 

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