Celeste & Danielle Offer Sex and Relationship Coaching for a Passionate, Connected and Fulfilling Life

Women’s Libido – Social Messages and the Mother/Whore Dichotomy

In an earlier blog entry we talked about the importance of hormones, rest and the just-right-seduction in your libido. Here we will talk about the social messages and how they shape and play a role in your sexuality, desire and turn on. How you feel about yourself as a sexual person has a huge impact on your libido and, unfortunately, in our culture and many others, women’s sexuality is repressed and stigmatized. From the time we are girls all the way through the phases of womanhood, we are given messages that sex is not for women – sexual women are still called “sluts” or “whores” and we are told from early on to fear and feel responsible for preventing pregnancy and STD’s. We are also given the responsibility of gatekeeping boy’s and men’s desire in order to protect our virginity or our reputation as women are generally separated into two categories – marriagable mothers or whores who you sleep with.

In the midst of these kinds of negative messages, however, to get in a relationship and keep our relationships happy, we also are supposed to look and act sexy and want sex even though so much of what we hear is that we are not supposed to want it or do it. Have you ever noticed that most highly sexual women in movies and television shows are usually villains, who often end up being punished or killed, while the less sexual women get rescued, loved and married? In the face of a constant bombardment of these messages, some of it inevitably sinks in, leaving women shameful of their sexuality, distanced from their own sexual desires, and denied the freedom to pursue these desires openly and honestly. We distance from our desire to protect ourselves from being labeled “slut”, and end up not being able to reconnect with it when we want it. We often lose our natural abilities to walk in the world comfortably connected with our sexuality, which inhibits not only our libido but many other things including our ability to flirt, attract partners, seduce, enjoy pleasure, touch and move our bodies in sensual ways, make sexual sounds and reach orgasms. Unfortunately, because of all of this, women often don’t even think about the need for sexual compatibility when choosing a long-term partner. So take a moment to think about your own comfort with your sexuality and ask yourself a few questions:

1) Do you get embarrassed talking about sex?
2) When you get dressed up, do you pay attention to whether you look “too slutty”?
3) Do you feel comfortable initiating sex and asking for what you want sexually?
4) Do you move and make noises during sex to enhance your own pleasure (not for your partner)?
5) Do you notice people who you are attracted to and make eye contact or flirt with them?
6) If you have children, did you notice yourself feeling “weird” about being sexual once you had your children?
7) Do you feel comfortable talking sexually during a sexual experience?
8) Do you feel comfortable being naked in front of your partner and having them look at every part of your body? (We will talk more about this in the next blog on body-image).
9) Do you have fantasies about how you want to be seduced and taken?
10) Do you notice when you are feeling turned on or horny?
11) Do you masturbate when you feel aroused?
12) Do you feel comfortable helping yourself get orgasms however you need to (i.e. touching yourself or using a vibrator when you are with your partner)?

If you answered “Yes” to questions 1, 2, 6, and “No” to any of the others, your low libido is likely coming, at least partially, from sexual shame as a result of all of the negative messages about sexuality you received and it is time for some de-shaming!
We would love your comments on how you experience the mother /whore conflict in your upbringing and current life. Stay tuned for the next Women’s Libido blog entry, where we will talk about body image and give ideas of how to free yourself from low libido that is sourced from body image issues and negative social messages!

Comments ( 3 )

    • ja bond says:

      Men and women can pursue their sexual desires as they see fit. Neither men nor women may be considered marriage material just as any man or woman that doesn’t have a reasonable control over other desires (i.e. food and drink) may not be considered marriage material. You cannot have it all ways … all the sexual playmates you want and the respect of all/most men. There are a great many women who have no interest in dating or marrying a man-whore either! This is just like ANY other sphere of life – deal with the consequences of your actions. Recognize that there may be others – lots of others that may be turned off by your choices, whether in sexual partners, food, drink, smoking, etc.

    • Celeste & Danielle says:

      What an interesting response! We were actually pointing out that unfortunately, there is quite a difference and that women are socially punished for having sex with lots of men, while men are generally praised. If the word whore equally applied to men and women, you wouldn’t have to use the phrase “man whore.” When men have sex with lots of women, they are called “romeos,” “studs, “playboys,” “ladykillers,” or “casanovas” and are generally sought after, not shunned. Thus, it is not “just like ANY other sphere of life.” We do agree that folks have to deal with the consequences of being alcoholics or smokers and that those issues are equally shared among the sexes. If you’d like to further read about differences that males and females deal with in our culture around sexuality, and specifically to see how our culture treats young girls (as opposed to young boy’s) sexual development, you should check out the following two books: “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women” and “Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality.”

    • tido says:

      Hi Celest and Danielle,

      Being nice guy, I assume some of this advice can also be applied to men. For example, “3) Do you feel comfortable initiating sex and asking for what you want sexually?” Recently bought and read your book, Cockfidence, and I’m learning to love sexual embodiment, being relaxed and present with your desire. I had no idea women would respond to this, as I use to hide it (shame perhaps, fear of rejection, etc). Just today, a woman started a conversation with me, :). I believe it was because I was relaxed and aroused at the moment, and I just stayed with the emotion, in public! It felt great, but I have more work to do.

      You Guys are awesome!
      Tido