Desire is dead - long live desire

Desire is dead - long live desire
Desire is dead - long live desire

'Sex drive’ goes off-road … Asexuality is a highway … These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.


‘Sex drive’ and ‘libido’ are obsolete terms. According to "", psychologist says more women experience “responsive desire”’ (, 06-04-2015).

“If sex is a drive, then the desire should be spontaneous like hunger,” says a US psychologist.

But only 70 per cent of men and 10 to 20 per cent of women experience spontaneous desire, or sex drive, as their “primary desire style”.

The other style is “responsive desire” when interest is triggered in response to arousal. For example: “Your partner comes over and starts kissing your neck and you're like, 'Oh, right, sex. That's a good idea'."

Unfortunately, many women believe "that their ability to enjoy sex with their partner is meaningless if they don’t also feel a persistent urge for it. In short, that they are broken, because their desire isn’t what it’s 'supposed' to be".

Currently, pharmaceutical companies believe such women should be medicated for low sex drives. A magical ‘female Viagra’ pill is being developed meant to jumpstart spontaneous desire.

But first, “women and men should discard any preconceived notions that their sexual desire is dysfunctional. After all, if we experience sexual pleasure in the end, the concept of sex drive becomes irrelevant”.


“Rae tells me she’s an aromantic asexual, Sean identifies as a heteroromantic demisexual, and Genevieve sees herself as a panromantic gray-asexual,” according to ‘’ (, 18-02-2015).

It’s estimated that between 0.6 and 5.5 per cent of the population is asexual. While little research has been done, experts agree it's not a disorder.

In contrast to homosexuals, asexuals are generally not persecuted for their orientation. “We’re not demonised – we're laughed at,” says Mike who wants “to have lots of crazy, kinky sex, just not with anyone”.

Genevieve, the panromantic gray-asexual, is now married to James. “I knew we didn’t line up in terms of sex drive, but he didn’t hold it against me,” she says. “He was patient – very patient.”

It took three years before their relationship became sexual.

“I think when I knew him so well that my heart decided he was my soul mate, my body decided so too.”