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What's Stopping You From Sex?

Dr. Nagoski explains the science behind our sexual temperament


For our book club meetings for Back to the Body, we are taking our time and going through Dr. Emily Nagoski’s New York Times Bestseller, Come As You Are. It’s a book primarily for cisgender women, but it speaks to all people; and in the second chapter, I’m already finding it very valuable.


As a self-proclaimed Bibliophile (I actually need another bookshelf and probably need to start investing in my own library soon), I was in love with this book right away. Starting off with the introduction and anatomy, I knew that this was going to be reminiscent of Carnal Knowledge, but with a bit more detail and of course, my favorite, science.


In the second chapter she takes a look at our sexual temperaments; the things that are moving us forward or slowing us down in our desire. When I’m talking with my clients, a lot of these things come up as sexual brakes that stop people from having sex.


I have always said lean into your “yes to sex” because you’ll find that you have many more benefits than consequences (if there are any at all!) when you embrace your sexuality and give yourself permission to experience that pleasure.


But what if you can’t even transition your mind to get there? Or better yet, do you know what’s stopping you from saying “yes?”


Most people don’t know and that’s why when they come to me, I can easily tell them that it might be something that is causing them stress. Sometimes, it’s simple things like de-cluttering or cleaning, and sometimes it’s more difficult things like recognizing the lack of consistency or trust in your relationship. All of these things are factors as to why people pause before they can even get their mind right about having sex.


Today, I’m going to focus on your sexual brakes, aka the Sexual Inhibitor System (SIS). In order to get aroused, you need to limit the things that are stopping you from having sex. Here’s a quick checklist of things to think about for yourself:

  • Do things have to be “just right” in order for you to get aroused?

  • Can the slightest thing turn you off, even when you are sexually aroused?

  • Alt: Do you get distracted easily in your arousal or have a hard time being present?

  • Do you have to trust your partner/lover in order to be fully aroused by them?

  • Do you worry that you are taking too long to become aroused or to orgasm?

  • Do you feel shy or self-conscious during sex?

Really thinking about these questions can help you to gather some insight on where your sexual brakes might come into play. And depending on your answers to each question, you might have many instances where the brakes are full on or the brakes might barely be there; however, most people, of course, are going to fall somewhere in the middle.


Understanding what stops you from being turned on or aroused is a must because once you recognize it, you’ll be able to mitigate it and change it, if that’s your goal.


Getting to those luscious orgasms need permission to go, so ensuring that you can you let your foot off the brake allows for your accelerators to take over and say “yes” to sex.


So, again, I ask you, what’s stopping you from having sex?


Cheers to your sexual success!

© 2020 Velvet Lips LLC