Sexual Attraction vs Sexual Desire: A Deep Dive For Women

Key Takeaways:

  • Sexual attraction and desire are distinct concepts
  • Society shapes our understanding and expression of sexuality
  • Hormones and biology play a role in sexual attraction and desire
  • Trauma and past experiences can impact sexual attraction and desire
  • Open and honest communication is vital in understanding and expressing sexual attraction and desire

Are you constantly confused about the difference between sexual attraction and sexual desire? Do you find yourself questioning your own feelings and experiences in the realm of sexuality? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, a significant portion of women struggle to understand and navigate the complexities of sexual attraction and desire. But fear not, because we’re here to demystify the topic and empower you to better understand and embrace your own desires. Get ready to dive deep into the realm of sexual attraction vs sexual desire and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationships.

Unveiling the Mystery: Sexual Attraction vs Sexual Desire

When it comes to sexuality, many of us use the terms “sexual attraction” and “sexual desire” interchangeably. But did you know that they’re actually two distinct concepts? Sexual attraction refers to the feeling of being drawn to someone physically, emotionally, or mentally. It’s that initial spark that makes someone catch your eye. On the other hand, sexual desire is the feeling of wanting to engage in sexual activity with someone. It’s the drive to act on those attractions.

To put it simply, sexual attraction is the “who” and sexual desire is the “what”.


  • You may find yourself sexually attracted to a celebrity, but not have any desire to actually be intimate with them.
  • You may have a strong sexual desire for your partner, but not necessarily be physically attracted to them.

Breaking the Mold: How Society Shapes Our Sexual Attraction and Desire

Society has a way of shaping our understanding and expression of sexuality. From the media we consume to the messages we receive from loved ones, we’re constantly bombarded with ideas about what is and isn’t “normal” when it comes to sexual attraction and desire.

But the truth is, everyone’s experiences are unique and valid. There’s no “right” way to feel sexually attracted or to experience desire. It’s important to question societal expectations and to allow yourself the freedom to explore and embrace your own desires.


  • Society often tells us that men should be the ones initiating sexual encounters, but what if you’re a woman who wants to take the lead?
  • Society may tell us that same-sex attraction is abnormal, but what if that’s who you’re truly attracted to?

Science of Attraction: The Hormonal and Biological Factors

Our bodies are incredibly complex and ever-changing, and that includes the ways in which we experience sexual attraction and desire.

Hormones play a big role in our experiences. For example, the hormone testosterone is often associated with sexual desire in both men and women. Similarly, estrogen is linked to sexual attraction. However, it’s important to note that these are just generalizations and that everyone’s hormonal makeup is unique. Additionally, our brains play a significant role in our experiences of sexual attraction and desire. The release of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and oxytocin, can affect our feelings of attraction and desire.


  • You may notice that your sexual desire fluctuates during different times in your menstrual cycle due to changes in hormone levels.
  • Certain medications or medical conditions can affect your hormonal balance and in turn, your sexual attraction and desire.

Uncovering the Past: How Trauma Impacts Sexual Attraction and Desire

Our past experiences, both positive and negative, can have a profound impact on our sexual attraction and desire. Trauma, in particular, can shape the way we perceive and engage in sexual experiences.

It’s important to remember that healing from trauma is a journey and everyone’s experience is unique. If you’re struggling with your sexual attraction and desire, it may be helpful to seek out therapy or counseling to work through any past traumas.


  • A past experience of sexual assault may lead to difficulties with trust and intimacy in future sexual relationships.
  • Growing up in a religious or conservative household may have led to feelings of guilt or shame surrounding your sexual desires.

Mind and Body: The Link between Mental Health and Sexual Attraction and Desire

Our mental health and our sexual attraction and desire are deeply interconnected. Our thoughts and feelings can greatly impact our experiences in the bedroom, and vice versa.


  • Depression and anxiety can lead to a decreased interest in sexual activity.
  • Certain medications used to treat mental health conditions can affect sexual attraction and desire.

Exploring Asexuality: The Relationship between Attraction and Desire

Asexuality is a sexual orientation that describes people who do not experience sexual attraction. It’s important to note that asexuality is not the same as celibacy, which is a choice to abstain from sexual activity. Asexual people may or may not experience sexual desire.


  • A person who identifies as asexual may not experience sexual attraction to others, but may still engage in sexual activity for other reasons.
  • A person who identifies as asexual may experience romantic attraction to others, but not sexual attraction.

Communication is Key: Understanding and Expressing Sexual Attraction and Desire in Relationships

Open and honest communication is vital when it comes to understanding and expressing our sexual attraction and desire, especially in relationships. It can be difficult to talk about our desires, but having these conversations can lead to deeper intimacy and a more satisfying sex life.

Actionable Tips/Suggestions:

  • Practice expressing your desires in a non-judgmental way, such as “I would love to try [insert specific activity].”
  • Be open to hearing your partner’s desires and try to understand where they’re coming from.
  • It’s important to set boundaries and respect your partner’s boundaries when it comes to sexual attraction and desire.
  • Experimentation and trying new things can be a great way to explore and deepen your sexual attraction and desire in a relationship.

In conclusion, sexual attraction and desire are complex and multi-faceted experiences that can be influenced by a wide range of factors. From societal expectations to past traumas, our experiences are unique and valid. Remember to embrace and love yourself, and your attraction and desire.