Arousal non-concordance in the context of female pleasure
Have you ever wondered why in your mind you feel really turned on and ready to have sex whereas your downstairs is telling a you completely different story? So have we.
As explained by ph.D. Emily Nagoski, the award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller, Come As You Are: the surprising new science that will transform your sex life, this phenomenon called non-concordance. It is ultimately a lack of overlap between the blood flow to your genitals and the arousal in your brain, and it is much more common than you might think.
When compared to men, women are 5x less likely to have this connection. In short, men's genitals are more frequently connected with their mental state of their arousal than their female counterparts.
What does non-concordance then mean in practice?
We can start off by differentiating between physical and subjective arousal. A person can be physically aroused when, for example, watching porn, but that doesn’t mean being in the mood for having sex - in other words, subjectively aroused. You might also feel ready to have sex with your partner after a romantic night out but your body might not have caught up with the mind.
Non-concordance is a completely normal phenomena, although culture and society are frequently communicating the opposite. You might feel shocked, if this is the first time you hear about this. That was our response as well. For a very long time, women have thought that there was something wrong with them, something wrong with our partners, or our way of having sex. We as women had even felt ashamed about using personal lubricant, as if to signal we didn’t know how to become aroused or have good sex.
The truth is, your body is not broken, and all bodies are individual. It is our culture and society setting false and man-as-default expectations about how we are supposed to function, when we are aroused.
Tips for dealing with non-concordance and lubrication
Understanding the normality of the phenomena
When we get stressed about not getting aroused, it normally doesn’t help the situation. Instead, try going with the flow, and taking enough time for you to build up the arousal together with your partner.
Masturbate and get to know your body
Learn to understand what turns you on and what doesn’t, where you like to be touched and where not. When you do this by yourself in peace, it is easier to create a stress-free environment and also to share your experiences with your partner to help you out in your shared sessions.
When physical arousal is not the issue but subjective arousal is
You might want to consider starting practising mindfulness and self-compassion to understand your mental state better and let your mind catch up with the physical part of the arousal.