When you're juggling a high stress job, long hours, big responsibility, possibly kids, and a partner, is it any wonder that record numbers of women are experiencing low desire?
Almost all women today suffer some level of adrenal fatigue - which occurs when our adrenal glands are pumping out adrenaline too often in order to keep us going - and constantly being further stimulated by caffeine and sugar. Eventually they get tired and stop functioning properly...
The result? Anxiety, constant tiredness, cravings, weight gain, reliance on caffeine to keep going, insomnia, and loss of desire. The adrenals don't consider sex essential to life, so when they're under stress, they divert sexual energy to keeping the heart and brain functioning properly.
So what's the cause of the problem - and what's the answer?
The cause: Spending too much time in left brain activity and "doing" - and overriding the body and brain's need for rest and reflection. It has been scientifically proven that women's brain function differently than men's brains.
Since women became an active part of professional working life, we have learned to rely predominantly on our masculine energy (or yang energy) and left brain function - action, focus, competition, drive - used in hierarchical working environments. Why? Because we're living in a masculine paradigm - the structures of work and governance were designed by men to match the natural energy and skills that are predominant in men - so any working person, man or woman is assessed on the basis of skills that come more naturally to men.
Women can operate in this way - and have learned to do so incredibly well - it's just not an easeful or comfortable skill set to be using day in day out. It comes at a price. Women who are at the top of their game in most industries from law, to medicine, to engineering, have worked incredibly hard to be better at their work than most men.
So what about women's brains, feminine energy and the skills that are born out of that? They are creativity, collaboration, multi-tasking, collective decision making, cooperative working practices, inclusion over competition, and expressing emotion.
One skill set is not better than the other. They are just different. Yet the system favours the former. So we women have learned to master the former.
And it's tiring to be constantly overriding a way of being and operating in the world that has evolved over millions of years.
In addition, when we spend all day competing and achieving at work, the result is often coming home and being disappointed with our partner - for not being strong enough, assertive enough, directive enough or supportive enough. There's no space for him to be strongly in his masculine energy - because we're strongly masculine in ours - and it creates a dynamic where we're either in competition with our partner or we're mates - it doesn't make for a passionate match or lots of desire. It's unsexy for both.
This isn't about dumbing down, or not being smart, or hiding our gifts in order for our man to feel better. It's about recognising that equality doesn't mean "the same as". We're equal -and we're different.
(Side note - I'm a heterosexual woman and i'm talking about heterosexual relationship dynamics. There is of course a spectrum of masculine and feminine energy - and not all men (or even most) are at the far end of the masculine spectrum and not all women are at the far end of the feminine spectrum. As well as differences in sexual orientation, we are also in reality more complex than the binary male/ female gender norms that society reinforces so strongly - but that is not the subject of this blog post (you can read more on that here.).