How to Want Sex Again
EFT for Hypoactive Sexual Desire
A 2003 Newsweek report revealed that 113 million married Americans were either “too exhausted or too grumpy” to have sex. Since then, during Alina Frank’s 10-year practice as an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner, she found the problem prevalent enough to write a book about it. Entitled How to Want Sex Again (2016, Difference Press), the book details reasons for what psychiatrists term “hypoactive sexual desire”. Frank also describes how the self-help technique EFT (commonly known as tapping)—which has been likened to “acupuncture without needles”—can help couples, especially women, enjoy intimacy again.
In addition to covering the reasons for avoiding sex the reader may be aware of—such as poor body image or a partner’s infidelity, Frank also addresses blocks that can remain lodged in the subconscious. She offers step-by-step instructions for using EFT that can uncover and alleviate them, but she says, “dentists don’t give themselves root canals,” and advises that some readers will be better served working with a certified practitioner than by going it alone.
You’ve had clients come to you to lose weight or break bad habits, only to find the root of their problem turns out to be sex.
As a client is tapping, certain things she never thought about come to mind. We’re working with the subconscious, so the presenting issue is often the tip of the iceberg. The client starts making associations she never even thought about. I see it all the time with weight issues. Some women don’t feel safe being attractive. I had a client the other day who said to me, “I need to pad. I need that pad of protection.”
You’ve mentioned the work of Vincent J. Felitti, M.D., the co-principal investigator on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES), who ran a weight loss program and made a startling discovery.
One of his questions [to clients] was, “How old were you when you became sexually active?” But he made a mistake one day and asked one woman, “How much did you weigh when you became sexually active?” And she said, “Forty-five pounds.” It turned out her father had sexually abused her. So Felitti asked the revised question from then on. Lo and behold, he was absolutely shocked at the number of women who had been sexually abused who also had weight issues. In EFT, we see it all the time that traumas cause physical problems. Our biography becomes our biology, as Caroline Myss says, but it’s thrilling that we’re able to uncover these things and resolve them.
But you didn’t realize how prevalent sexual abuse was until you got into this work.
I had no idea. My first clients were my friends and family. They wanted to resolve some pain issue or gluten sensitivity, and I was in shock how many people, even in my extended family, had been sexually abused to some extent. I would say, out of every five women I work with, three will have something in their history that qualifies as sexual abuse. My hope is that everyone in the healing arts understands that sexual abuse is a fundamental and universal problem. I’ve worked with women who were traumatized by people in the healing arts who didn’t realize they were bringing up trauma, told clients the problem was part of their spiritual growth, and to get over it. We have to get educated and have compassion. Sexual abuse is going to come up with a significant number of people we work with.
The lack of understanding and compassion is disheartening, especially because abuse victims tend to have a hard time setting boundaries.
If you’ve been violated, drawing that line is really hard. I know women with a history of sexual abuse who were talked [by romantic partners] into being in polyamorous relationships they didn’t want. There are some people on a spiritual path – it’s a small sect, but I’ve heard it enough – who are into free love, you’ve got to give your body to everyone, but I don’t believe that. You have to know what works for you and be able to express it. That happens as a result of healing.
You’ve worked with clients with regard to their partner’s porn habit. How does tapping on somebody else’s problem help your client?
Porn habits are so pervasive. It’s amazing to me how often a woman will find some evidence of pornography, and then has that image that her husband was sexually stimulated by in her head. She feels lied to, betrayed, really hurt by it. All these factors can be resolved by EFT to get to a place to talk about it with a partner, or insist that he get help. She wonders how she can trust him again. It’s important that she tap to work through her own feelings.
Does the double standard affect a woman’s desire? To an extent, girls are still taught to suppress their sexual impulses. Meanwhile, boys are encouraged to sleep with as many women as possible. Do you see women who resent having been constrained until marriage, when they’re suddenly expected to provide pleasure to a man whenever he wants it?
If there’s inequality about sex in your relationship, that’s something to work on. Your ability to talk about that inequality is something to work on. Hopefully, before you even get in a relationship, you’re very clear that sex is a wonderful, loving expression of your intimate relationship, and you feel really good about having it because it has all these benefits for you.
In the book, you show readers how they can discern what those benefits are.
If you have shame around sex—I’ve had clients who say things like “down there”—EFT is very helpful for working through that and coming into your power. There’s amazing power in sexuality, and you can even see it in one’s ability to be successful in the world and in intimate relationships. If you think about it metaphysically, those lower chakras are tied to your sexual expression. They’re also tied to your ability to manifest in this world. If all that’s lost, you’re going to be held back.
Alina Frank practices EFT at her Seattle office or via Skype. For more information, visit AlinaFrank.com. Her book, How to Want Sex Again, is available through booksellers nationwide. Terry Hernon is a writer and EFT practitioner based in Shelton, Connecticut. Visit her at Marie-ThereseHernon.com.Edit ModuleShow Tags