Feelings of Love can Kill Libido
Low Libido in Loving Couples
Whereas one side of the love-lust dilemma is the inability to desire to one you love, the other side – the inability to love the one you desire – is equally limited. Sometimes the people they are most turned on to are not the type of people they care to love.
The paradoxical result is that once a romance turns into an emotional attachment, our brains and bodies are wired to inhibit sexual excitement in ourselves. There is now a great deal of neurological evidence, biomedical, and psychological evidence to show that feelings of love and sexual desire often operate antagonistically and drive us in opposite directions. It all starts with our earliest programming.
Love & Attachment
We do want children to channel sexual energy outside the family. Yet the effect of disapproving or harsh gestures can be not only to cut off sexual feelings in the presence of family but also to associate any sexual feelings with fear or shame.
When we are adults, any sign of disapproval or discomfort in a partner can trigger old sense memories that can shut down sexual responsiveness. Commitment itself can initiate a process of projecting unresolved emotions from our original family onto our new attachments. Once that starts, the same sexual inhibitions we felt for family are reactivated in our adult bodies toward our partners.
All of this takes place to a large extent on a nonverbal, unconscious, and physically numbing level.
Better Communication is Not the answer.
The problem with words is that they keep you focused in your head. What inhibits desire is not just a mind-set but also a body-set, habitual tensions that can numb the sexual body even as your affection for someone grows.
No amount of talk can unlock a closed-off pelvis, particularly when the minute reactions to a sexual possibility are too subtle to be consciously registered, let alone verbalised.
What’s a person to do? If talking about it doesn’t go deep enough, what will?
The science can help.
Love and sexual feelings are linked in the brain and the nervous system. Neuroscientists are now discovering that the brain actually changes all the time, perfecting itself (neuroplasticity).
The healing process, it turns out, capitalises on the natural capacity to feel rewarded by playful activity by turning the ordinary life experiences that need to be relearned into games. As we shall see, the neuroplastic revolution, with its emphasis on our natural aptitude to evolve our brains, lends great support to our ability to evolve and to enjoy a sexy kind of love.
Sex can be drive by emotions and motivations other than love. Sexual activity can be fuelled by anxiety and a need for reassurance, by guilt and sense of obligation, by shame and an urge to be punished, or even by anger and a desire for revenge. But for sex that is impassioned by love, we need to begin our exploration of loving sex as we do, by taking a new look at love and its erotic counterpart, romance.
We have come to accept the mind-body connection. We recognize that how we think about things, affects our emotions, which in turn affect the physical body, and health.
The primacy of thought – how changing the way you think can change how you feel and act.
Most people have much to gain and to learn about themselves by expressing their feelings in the safe presence of a warm, intuitive, skilled therapist.