When so many women reach adulthood confused about their low libidos or unable to sustain sexual interest, it’s time to shift the focus and open the lens to include the societal and cultural context in which this so-called disorder develops. In a culture saturated with narrow and distorted ideas about what makes women desirable, it’s nearly impossible for any of us who emerge from our mothers as female babies to grow up free of crippling misconceptions about ourselves, our bodies, and our eroticism. Some lucky women may manage to stay intuitively connected to their erotic essence throughout childhood and adolescence, despite the social, relational and societal risks involved, perhaps even making it into adulthood relishing their sexuality on their own terms. A great number of women, however, wouldn’t have survived psychically or even physically without compromising or shutting themselves down erotically. Usually, this isn’t a conscious choice. It’s something girls learn to do within the context of their relationships as a way of maintaining caregiver’s love and approval. Even if you grew up in an open-minded family, fitting in with peer groups or feeling socially rooted can cost girls their connection to aspects of their sexuality. Girls may grow up lacking erotically vibrant, powerful female role models. Sometimes, their families and circumstances don’t allow them the luxury of a strong, healthy, intact relationship with their bodies. When girls suppress aspects of their deepest erotic impulses and experiences, layers of judgment and shame encase their core sexuality. Like a seed trapped in amber, a woman’s erotic potential can remain untapped as she develops and grows in other areas. It waits for the right circumstances to safely emerge.
Women who carry this amber-trapped seed within them may not even know it’s there. The time and the circumstances need to be right for a woman to turn inward to face this aspect of herself. Society trains women in particular to look outside of themselves for situations and people to turn them on. Often, women enter into long term-committed relationships hoping the sexual aspect of their marriages will fall into place relatively effortlessly. It’s not unusual for women to discover at some point not too long after the honeymoon, the baby, the mortgage payments, the visits from in-laws, when there’s no more novelty to jumpstart desire, no cat-and-mouse dynamic to keep the prize elusive, that desire disappears: poof, just like that.
Many women believe this is the end of their marriage. It's actually the beginning. When desire vanishes, or is never fully ignited with your husband, it can be a good thing. Truly. When sexual desire doesn’t follow the cultural script, the Sexual Chemistry Attraction Myth - the SCAM - can be seen clearly for what it is and exposed. For the first time in their lives, women who find themselves with no sexual interest in their partners or spouses have the opportunity to recognize that they’re out of alignment with an essential aspect of who they are. The fantasies they’ve gambled so much of their romantic hopes and dreams on have fallen short. For a woman with low sexual interest who desperately wants to want the man she has married—the man who is right for her in every way perhaps except sexually—for a woman, this can be the beginning of reconnecting with her true sexual power. This is the beginning of excavating the erotic treasure that has always been hers to claim, buried in her own back yard, dependent on no one and nothing but her own willingness to unearth it and cultivate it.The myth of sexual chemistry—the belief that a woman's desire is passive, receptive, unconscious, subject to changing events or circumstances or otherwise outside of her control—can be replaced with direct access to her own erotic power.
The SCAM is an acronym for what I call the Sexual Chemistry Attraction Myth. I define the Myth of Sexual Chemistry as a complex of cultural beliefs and messages that insidiously shape and influence how women think about their bodies, their sexuality, and their sense of personal erotic agency or sexual soverignty. If you’re a woman, remaining cut off from your own personal erotic agency has far reaching costs and consequences: we’ll explore these in more depth later. For now, we’ll focus on how the myth of sexual chemistry limits women’s access to power, desire and pleasure.
A scam is a dishonest scheme. It’s a fraud, a swindle, a racket, a trick, a con, a hustle. To scam someone means to cheat, deceive, trick, dupe, hoodwink, double-cross, gull, rip off, con, fleece, shaft, hose, sting, bilk, diddle, rook, finagle, bamboozle, sucker, stiff, shake down, and hornswoggle. Despite the fact that women and men are on far more equal footing than they've ever been historically, a newer version of an older scam established to perpetuate the status quo of women-as-subjects continues in new and insidious ways. Intelligent, autonomous, financially independent, sexually free, creative, outspoken women of all ages, across cultures and ethnicities, and from all walks of life are being openly, blatantly, consistently, regularly, shamelessly duped, hoodwinked, double-crossed, ripped off, hoodwinked, tricked, bamboozled, and hornswoggled when it comes to their sexuality and erotic power.
If you’re a woman who suffers from a lack of sexual interest, you may already intuit the truth of this claim. You’ve been cheated, even if you can’t quite put your finger on how it has been done.
Once you understand the SCAMP. and how it operates, it’s easier to assess the degree to which it has been interfering with your lack of sexual desire. From there, you can untangle yourself from the scam and make more conscious choices about how you view yourself and your desire. Later, I’ll provide you with a three-phase process for developing a successful desire discipline that will organize and operationalize approaches, methods, and techniques I’ve found helpful with empowering women to ignore the sexual chemistry myth and create a sustainable desire discipline to help them move toward sexual sovereignty. But for now, you’re right where you need to be. You’re perfectly positioned to crack the amber prison, reconnect with your erotic potential, and begin transforming your sex life.