I know you mentioned the Emily Nagowski book on Alison's thread, and I highly, highly recommend it. The other two I read were Esther Perel's Mating in Captivity and Laurie Watson's Wanting Sex Again. I would rank them in that order (Nagowski, Perel, and Watson).
Anyway, I hope you don't feel guilt around being low desire. One of the biggest things I have taken away from these books and more research about it is that I am totally normal and so are you. There is nothing wrong with you. And (the Nagowski book is particularly good at this) once you understand how desire works for YOU, you can nurture it.
Thanks May. I've got a slight aversion to Esther Perel because she's a bit of a cheater apologist, and my stance on cheating is pretty black and white (I know most people here feel otherwise). But I did enjoy a talk of hers about desire, a video I actually sent to XH way back when he first moved out, before I knew about his affair.
I love your points about nurturing desire on your own terms, not in relation to a man. This is a journey I'm looking forward to taking. Over time I allowed XH to convince me that I was broken, sexually, but I know now this is not true.
I had zero experience before I met XH at age 20, so I had no framework for what a healthy sexual relationship should look like. In hindsight, ours wasn't. We were together nearly ten years and for the first 3/4 of our relationship we had sex 3-5 times a week. Good on the surface, right?
HOWEVER, there were many, many occasions where sex felt so transactional that I would cry silently in bed afterwards while he obliviously slept. He did not know how to bring me to completion, though he did try, and I tried to help. It was never a 'him' problem or even an 'us' problem, it was a 'me' problem.
Some years ago, I invented 'the question game' to encourage emotional connection and intimacy in bed - just taking turns asking and answering questions as foreplay. He played along because he knew it would result in sex, but grumbled about it and obviously got no enjoyment from it.
Intimacy without intercourse was not enough for XH. I couldn't have intercourse without intimacy. Therein lay the rub (so to speak).
W32 X30 S2
June 2019 | Runaway husband May 2020 | Legal separation Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing