Desire…What Happens When It Goes Away?

by Reid on September 11, 2017

couple kissing on beachWhat can cause desire to go away, and what makes someone hot for another person?

Find out with Reid Mihalko and and Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: Desire. When it goes away… 

Reid: This is video 5. There are 4 other videos that you might have missed. I’m Reid Mihalko from 

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from We’re talking about if your partner doesn’t want to sleep with you. And one of the topics that we haven’t really gone into is desire. It’s like if your partner doesn’t want to sleep with you, it’s just like, I don’t desire you anymore. How, can we talk about desire and what it is, and why it might go away? 

Reid: There’s some good Ted talks on this, so just go in and type in desire and see what comes up. There’s a great book called Mating in Captivity, by Esther Perel, that talks about how the things that make us feel secure don’t usually turn us on erotically, so I would recommend reading that book, as well. The thing to understand about desire, and to go back to the first video where we talked about with lust, and libido, and what happens when you’re in love, and the brain cocaine of being high on love. Desire for me, if we’re not in the love phase, if we’ve waned off of that. 

Cathy: Or, some people, it’s not about love, it’s just lust, or wanting to be sexual with someone. 

Reid: Yeah, but what are you asking about desire, though? 

Cathy: If it goes away, like, what happened? 

Reid: Well, usually, it’s, it’s… 

Cathy: It doesn’t have to be just love… 

Reid: Well, the brain chemistry. Most people equate lust with the initial desires of being in love, or just being horny, and we collapse all that stuff together, and then we also make it someone else’s responsibility for us to be turned on. Throw on some couple of bad relationships, some emotional scar tissue, and then a lot of unsaid feelings, and maybe upsets, and broken promises, and then your ability to not be in your body and know what you like, and also being stressed because you have a stressful job, or you have three kids that you need to get to soccer practice like, ta da! This is why you’re not feeling like you desire anyone right now.

Cathy: But there can also be, I mean, you can have that overall, like, “Oh my god I’m exhausted, all I want is a bath and a nap.” There’s…I ran into an ex the other day. Someone I really love and respect. We’re good friends. I remember at one point, I just always wanted to sleep with this person. And now there’s not a draw to sleep with this person. Like, it would actually be like, I’m like, I don’t know that I would. 

Reid: So, you want to know what happened? 

Cathy: Yeah. Like.. what’s going on? 

Reid: All of the stuff we just talked about. Like, that’s what’s happening! 

Cathy: But it’s an individual thing. Versus you were talking more about a global thing.

Reid: No, the reason you don’t want to bang your ex is you probably, the reason you wanted to bang them before was probably because you were high on all this brain chemistry, or you felt safe with them, and so your excitement was there, right, whereas if you’re not, you know, most people, well, everyone’s different. You can feel not safe and it’s a turn on not safe, that person’s dangerous. Versus, “Wow, I feel safe with this person, and I will let myself feel horny and I want to have sex with this person because I feel safe.” There’s a lot of different reasons… 

Cathy: Right. I guess, the way you were describing it, it sounded more like a global ‘I don’t feel sexual’ in general, versus, I work with a lot of clients where it’s like ‘my partner may be attracted to a lot of other people, but may not be attracted to me.’ 

Reid: Well, that’s what I like to call a strange ass phenomenon, which is, some people get really excited by new people. The hormones that get released, um, and the curiosity of somebody that you don’t know, like, those kinds of things have been studied, so it’s just… 

Cathy: I agree that it’s a factor, I don’t know that it’s the entire factor. I think that individual resentments can build up between people, too, but it’s interesting to me that someone who was very attractive and hasn’t really changed, the things that were attractive at that point are still there, but there’s not the draw. 

Reid: Okay. I think I’ve already proven my point. So, you’re trying to figure out why you’re not attracted to, or turned on by, your ex. 

Cathy: Mmm-hmm. 

Reid: I would say look at the things, why you were turned on in the first place. 

Cathy: Again, it seems like the things that turned me on in the first place are still there. 

Reid: Which were what? 

Cathy: A certain energy and attitude, and kindness and a warmth that were there. 

Reid: And you haven’t changed at all since the last time you were together? 

Cathy: I have changed a great deal. I have changed a great deal. 

Reid: So, maybe the things you’re looking for in life are different. Maybe the mystery and the newness of who they were is now passed. 

Cathy: We were together for 4 years, so… 

Reid: And now you’re over? Why did you break up? 

Cathy: We were incompatible in a lot of ways. 

Reid: So now that you know you’ve arrived at that conclusion, and there’s nothing to try to make or save because you realize how incompatible you are. 

Cathy: So for me, there’s a separation between there can be someone I want to be in a relationship with, because I can see a lot of compatibility and attractiveness, and there’s also people I just want to sleep with. That they’d be really bad to be in a relationship with, but really fun to be in bed with. 

Reid: Yeah. And that, I mean, again, the brain cocaine of pheromones, or you happen to meet your ex on a time when your cycle was in a particular place where you weren’t in your ready phase, and you’d have met them two weeks later and you wanted to hump everything that walked, you’d be like, “Oh my goodness, I’m so happy I’m seeing you again.” Like, there’s all these factors. 

Cathy: Okay. But, it seems like if we’re tying this back into the fact of my partner doesn’t want to sleep with me, and offering some resolution and direction, basically what you’re saying is… 

Reid: Why they don’t desire me anymore, and why they might desire somebody else? 

Cathy: Right. And like, if it’s gone, it’s gone, and then you just curl up in the corner and suck your thumb? 

Reid: No, there’s ways that you can create connection and explore sex and pleasure. This is the problem. People collapse desire with pleasure. Don’t do that. Stop. You’re like ‘why don’t I desire my ex?’ 

Cathy: Can we do another video about pleasure and desire? 

Reid: We’re doing video number 6 in the series, folks! The series that’s never ending! 

Cathy: Just for you! 

Reid: Next video! Leave a comment! Why does Cathy not get turned on by her ex anymore?!

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