This desire to feel desired explains one of the most common female sexual fantasies—being dominated by an attractive man.
"When women talk about domination, what they're trying to communicate is 'I was so wanted by someone I wanted,'" Dr. Meana says. This fantasy is not about coercion or violence.
On the other hand, some women don't want sex at all, and Dr. Meana says that doesn't necessarily mean a relationship is in jeopardy. "Bad sex happens to good couples all the time," she says. "No sex happens to good couples."
Many women in long-term relationships get worried when they feel the passion start to fizzle, but Dr. Meana says that can be fixed. "Passion is dependent on novelty, discovery, desire," she says. "What happens in relationships is we fall into these old patterns, and we start thinking we've figured everything out about each other, and we really haven't."
Happily married women often face a paradox when it comes to sex because the very thing that makes them happy—closeness with their partner—is what gets in the way of desire.
"[In a study I conducted], the couples were in each other's lives so much that they're almost the same person at some point," Dr. Meana says. "There's no sense of otherness, no mystery, no excitement."
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