For years, I thought I need to be in the mood first before I could have sex. Aroused and lusty. Wanting DH to put his hands all over me in the worst way. Well, at this point in my life, I could wait all day and Miss Panting Desire may be out having coffee with Miss Absent Libido, laughing about dumb stuff like which hormone is dating whom.

Maybe I don’t need to wait for my body and brain to become a raging inferno of lust before I can have sex. I always thought I needed a certain “go” level. What the hell was I waiting for?! May I state the obvious and say that women don’t need to be aroused to have sex. Total lightbulb moment.

Let’s define desire and arousal. Traditionally, it was thought that arousal, or to be physically be ready for sex, followed desire, or thinking about or wanting to have sex. But more recently, researchers and therapists have proposed that women can become physically aroused first, with mental desire following, as a result of the physical act.

What a revelation! Frankly, if I had sex only when I really, really felt like it, I would missed a lot of sex in my 40s and so far in my 50s. So many times, I have thought, “DH wants to, so why not?” After kissing, touching, and sensing DH’s arousal, my body responds. As we continued to build the sexual tension, my desire grew until I was turned on to a level where the rest of the world melted away and I only wanted to fuck my husband. By experimenting with this new theory, I realized that I did not have to wait for my elusive libido to kick into gear. It only needed a jump start.

Touching releases oxytocin, a feel-good hormone. Physical arousal releases of chemicals, a train that doesn’t want to stop.  Obviously, if a man wants intercourse, he needs an erection first. But a woman is physically able to have sex any time she chooses. I only need some lube and I’m good to go. So if DH can get hard, my parts are available. And even if his equipment is not working, which has happened more often as we age, we can still have sex without intercourse.

My new approach to sex benefits both of us. I get turned on and end up having a great time, including an orgasm. DH appreciates that I rarely say “Not tonight, I’m not there.” Having sex brings us closer and improves our relationship. My afterglow lasts at least 24 hours, during which there is caressing, hugging and “I love you”s.

We still have moments where we decide against having sex because one or both of us just isn’t feeling it. But if I sense that familiar sexual tension between us and then I get an invite from DH, what the hell. Let’s do it.