Lack or loss of desire
Although women do not have less sexual desire than men do, it is relatively common for women in established relationships to find that they have difficulty feeling spontaneously sexy and therefore in “getting started”. Many such women are mostly able to respond if their partner initiates sex, and to enjoy it. Where this is the case, the apparent lack of desire is usually not a serious problem, although some partners do feel resentful if they are always the one who has to ‘make the first move’ and face possible rejection. In this instance, it is often possible through sex therapy for the affected woman to find ways of feeling more sexual, and for the couple to negotiate more equality in initiating sex.
Difficulties in becoming aroused
Some women want to engage in sexual activity but find that, when they do, they experience little or no sensation. The physical signs of sexual arousal in women are flushing of the skin; increased genital and breast sensitivity; hardening of the nipples; the clitoris swelling and becoming erect; wetness or lubrication (often hidden inside the vagina); a sense of swelling, warmth or tingling in the vulva and vagina; and an elongating of the vagina. Arousal also happens in the mind, as pleasure, feeling sexy and perhaps thinking sexual thoughts. In some women, these changes are partial or absent; this is the equivalent of erectile dysfunction in men.