Sex drive: How do you drive it if you have trouble even starting the car?
It’s the age-old analogy of talking about sex the way you would talk about driving a car or riding a bike. Sex is so much more than driving a car, but the analogy is on the right track. It’s this profound sexual, pleasurable, human experience. Evolutionarily speaking, humans have the highest physiological capacity for pleasure within the animal kingdom. This is thanks to our unique pleasure anatomy, us being an intensely social species, and our complex language system we use to communicate, to create stories, meaning and understanding, to connect to other humans.
Sex is so much more than just the biological and physiological reactions occurring in our bodies - the sweats and shivers, quickening heart rates, and contracted muscles. It’s emotional (obviously), it’s falling in love and unfortunately it’s the possibility of heartbreak and whole-body aches. And it can be spiritual too; it can hold meaning. It could be a solo exploration, a casual fling, a fumble in the dark, a touch under the sheets, or all-out eye-gazing, earth-shattering lovemaking.
Whether you are connected to your sexuality or not, to your sex drive or not, it will always play a part in your life as part of your identity, a slice of the pie that makes up you. Physical, mental, emotional, and sexual health. And if you are someone who may feel disconnected to your sexual energy, your sex drive – then keep reading to explore how I’ve learnt to understand and connect to sex drive, and ways to get that car of yours turned on again – pun intended.
While driving a car may not be quite as special as sex to most people – there are many similarities! When we think about learning to drive a car, we talk about the steps and the processes, the buttons, and the road rules. The first step is to get familiar with the car. When you’re speaking in terms of sex, it’s pretty similar. You have to learn the body parts and what they do, the reproductive and menstrual cycle (if that comes into play for you). You learn what you like, the different touches, sensations, and feelings that might arise in your body. The real basics. Finding out where you like to be touched (or not), what gets you revved up (I can’t help the puns), what gets those hips swaying and toes curling.
And that is where sex drive comes in. It is the drive for the passion, for the erotic energy. That energy that turns lacklustre gyrating into something more meaningful.
Once you have the basics down pat with your own self first, you can start to think about involving other people. In terms of sex education, this is the basics. But a lot of high school sex education misses the full picture (like 95% of the picture I’d say), it misses the pleasure, the emotion, the meaning. How will you feel when you do have sex for the first time? How do you break up with someone? Consent, boundaries, desires, what a healthy relationship looks like, anything even remotely queer? There’s so much more to sex than just P in V, condoms, STI’s and pregnancies. This is where the difference between purely physical sex, carnal mating, clinical penetrating, no desire, no passion, no love – is much different to sex with a bit more depth. And that is where sex drive comes in. It is the drive for the passion, for the erotic energy. That energy that turns lacklustre gyrating into something more meaningful.
In dictionary terms, a sex drive simply means ‘a person's urge to seek satisfaction of their sexual needs’. That is the first step. Know what it is your sexual needs are. Learn the brakes and accelerators for your own sex drive. Test drive ‘em out. The second step is to have the conviction and the trust in yourself to actually actively seek them out. To seek out your own safe and sexually satisfying experiences. It is your right as a human.
Not treating it like the same mundane drive to work, day in and day out, but making it an adventure, every time.
It’s important to understand that your sex drive is going to look different as you grow and evolve. At times, it might even feel non-existent and that’s perfectly okay too. There is a reoccurring theme with a lot of my female clients, that sex has become a chore. There’s a strong disconnect to their sexuality, to their sex drive, for their passion for anything, even in their day-to-day life. They feel like they have to for their partner, that they’re just along for the ride, with no passion - if anything, their feelings are actually closer to disdain. I have asked clients what they have drive for in their life and what turns them on in the simple pleasures of life. Sadly, many of them can’t tell me a single thing that brings them pleasure.
Pleasure – ‘a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment’. It could be freaking anything! Maybe a hobby that leaves them joyful, a certain location that fills them with warmth, the taste of their favourite food, spending time with friends or maybe family, a snuggle with your pet, a dip in the ocean, a walk in the woods. Or better yet – with yourself. Because if you can’t find your sex drive in the bedroom, find it in the small every day, in the menial and mundane. Not treating it like the same mundane drive to work, day in and day out, but making it an adventure, every time. The more you are able to be in your body, and recognise the bodily sensations that feel good for you, the more you are able to be turned on by your life. You become more in control of your own sex drive. The car turns on a little easier, the engine has had time to warm up. It’s more comfortable from there to be in a state of desire, in your pleasure, in your turn on. You’ve had a chance to recognise and become familiar with your pleasures, so in the bedroom they don’t go as unnoticed. And then from there, sex is no longer a chore, sex is something that you might even want to explore, because it isn’t about the sex itself, it’s about the pleasures that can be experienced.
For me, I know my own personal sex drive garage consists of a few different motor vehicles, and some I can sit with more comfortably, some are around more often, but it takes a bit of test-driving to see what works for you.
Your sex drive will change and flow between different intensities as you change throughout life. You are most receptive to being turned on when your nervous system is regulated - when you feel safe, and calm, when life doesn’t feel turbulent or ungrounded. When we are going through big life changes, such as break ups, having kids, work stress, mental/physical health implications, or even simply too busy - our sexual health is affected. Our sexuality is linked so innately to both our body and our psyche - these all impact your sexuality and your well-being. It’s not to say you can’t still be connected to your sexuality during these times, but often our peaks within our sexual selves is when we’re feeling good in ourselves as a whole.
You can learn to navigate the different types of cars you might experience while navigating your own sex drive. For me, I know my own personal sex drive garage consists of a few different motor vehicles, and some I can sit with more comfortably, some are around more often, but it takes a bit of test-driving to see what works for you. I have at least a big ol’ Landcruiser Troopy, with red-dirt-stained fenders and a pop-up tent on the top. She is my big girl, my cozy comfort, my choice I make when I grab the keys to take the road to pleasure - to enjoy the ride, the slow waves of sensation along my skin, full of deep kisses, and gentle sighs. Waking up camping on a Sunday morning with warm dappled daylight, and a lover making you coffee under the trees, next to the campfire. Those are the keys I choose when my ability to be turned on right now, is slow, and intimate, and wholesome. But I have other days where that’s not the case… where the lights that flash as I start to slowly undress are to those of a pretty pink Cadillac with white rims and leather seats, that just oozes 60s diner milkshakes and femme fatales. The engine that purrs as my hands caress my body in the candle-lit dimness of my room, my barely there lingerie helping my figure cast shadows along the wall, no one else there to watch me but every now and then I catch my own eye in the reflection of my mirror and smile. I smirk at the beauty I see, of the way I can strip-tease and play, even when I’m only with me.
You have to know how to turn it on: A basic sex education, or a good driving instructor is so important. It’s the first step. One that can teach you where all the buttons are, the wind-screen wipers, the cruise control lever.
So, what do you need to takeaway from this analogy about sex drives and cars - well let me remind you of the way the two are indeed similar.
You have to know how to turn it on: A basic sex education, or a good driving instructor is so important. It’s the first step. One that can teach you where all the buttons are, the wind-screen wipers, the cruise control lever. A partner that you feel comfortable and safe with, that you can explore your own anatomy with, work out what bits you both have, and the differences (and similarities) are.
It takes practice: You’re going to be a bit fumbly at first, do a couple of bunny hops, maybe even stall it once or twice too. But it takes practice to get good at something.
Exploring: It’s about building confidence. Once you’ve got the basics, then it’s time to start to explore. Maybe a bit of off-roading, or a trip down the beach, maybe bringing more passengers along for the ride. Maybe you’re ready to bring a partner into the bedroom and share a sexual experience. Or testing the waters a little bit, picking up the speed.
Brakes and accelerators: Working out what are your brakes and accelerators for your sex drive. It’s pretty obvious when we look at it like that. Accelerators could be things like date night, a massage, lingerie, toys, a certain type of kiss. Brakes might be things that instantly turn you off, maybe it’s basic manners, their breath smells, or maybe you just finished work and need time to switch off before you get in the mood. Your brakes and accelerators will be personal to you and your sex drive.
Don’t forget the scenic route: Always come back to basics. The joy of the ride. It’s not about reaching a goal, or climaxing, it’s centred on the simple pleasure. These bodies of ours are our playground and our toys to explore with. Find your meaning in sex, what does sexuality mean to you, and come back to that. Back to the intimacy, the pleasure, the connection, the pure simple feeling that’s available within sex. Explore the hills and the valleys of your body simply for the hell of it, the pleasure of it.
You are able to take the drivers seat of your own sex drive, explore the body that enables you this experience of pleasure, and remember to find the turn on in even the mundane.