Remember when you first shared a bed with the person you desired? Back then when you drifted up to consciousness, you’d immediately notice the warmth of your snoozing sweetheart. Your thoughts would quickly turn to love, and your body would swiftly follow with arousal. You traced their spine with gentle fingertips, watching as they stirred awake. Your lover smiled and turned toward you with a sparkle in their eyes and a kiss waiting on their lips.
These days, instead of waking up thinking about making love, you’re thinking about the Twitter ban in Nigeria or the traffic you will face on Waiyaki way in Nairobi. And to be honest, that is normal. But it helps when you understand the two types of sexual desire; Spontaneous and Responsive
Spontaneous Desire: Spontaneous desire is that “I can’t wait to rip your clothes off” feeling. When you were dating, a kiss goodnight was enough to send desire and arousal southward of your body, wasn’t it?
“The honeymoon phase”, remember how glorious that was?
According to research (our own experience), the vast majority of couples lose spontaneous desire over time. If you are in a long-term relationship, you should think of spontaneous desire as a younger sibling who spontaneously offers to clean the garage for you. It’s rare, it’s wonderful, and when it happens, You should enjoy the heck out of it. But you definitely shouldn’t count on it.
Responsive Desire: To put in simple terms, something that occurs in response to something else. Think of responsive desire as when that your sibling cleans the garage for you after you offer to pay their Netflix subscription.
Now, let’s look at an example. Imagine a lazy Saturday morning, you wake up, stretch, and think about checking the news. Your sweetheart sits up in bed, trying to decide between a shower and a slice of bread. Neither of you is thinking about sex nor feeling turned on. In other words, there is no spontaneous desire.
However, what can happen if one of you says, “Hey babe, how about we make love?”
Ahh. Now you are tapping into the potential of responsive desire. Even though you are not in the mood, you choose to be open to exploring. Perhaps you start with a naked cuddle. You nuzzle and nibble necks. Maybe you reach into the bedside drawer for some massage oil to drizzle and caress. As you play, your body and mind begin to pay attention and to respond. You mindfully create desire by taking action.
Don’t just take my word for it. I invite you to check in with your own experience. Is it accurate to suggest that you are rarely swept up in spontaneous lust these days? If so, take heart. You are not broken or with the wrong person. Now that you understand responsive desire, you can choose to make your sexual life intentional and focus on this second type of erotic appetizer: responsive desire.
One of the various beautiful aspects of long-term love is learning new ways to explore the dance of eroticism together. Don’t wait for passion. Instead, choose to become a passion.
I want to challenge you to make circumstances throughout the day that encourage desire. Text a lust note to your partner. Hug more often. Tease a touch. Be kind. Then visit bed together with a little early tonight or linger in bed a little longer tomorrow morning.
If you are still looking for that long-term partner to practise responsive desire with, you should definitely download Vybe, a dating platfrom designed to help Africans make true connections.
Article extract from: The Gottman Institute