Discovering My Four Sexual Seasons
It helped me love myself and improved my marriage
Photo by: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
It’s a little new agey, but the core idea resonated with me so much. Instead of thinking that my libido should be constant (with an occasional blip to account for ovulation), I started really seeing it as cyclical.
All of a sudden, most of what my libido was doing made perfect sense to me.
My Four Sexual Seasons
My winter more or less coincides with my period.
It’s a very physically affectionate time for me. I start wanting more connection. I want to spend my time cuddling, snuggling, and enjoying some non-sexual intimacy.
During the second half, my sexual desires start to emerge again. I start to feel more attraction and arousal.
The winter metaphor is really appropriate because by the end, I really feel like my sexuality is a bit dormant. I sometimes want sex, but because I don’t care for period sex, I hold off and just let myself have those desires without acting on them.
After that dormant winter, my libido starts to steadily climb.
I feel the desire for flirting, sex, and masturbation, and I start acting on them again.
I feel pulled to others. I want to get closer.
My summer coincides with ovulation and it’s really something else. It lasts about a week, and peaks near the end of it.
It’s a bit like my spring but in hyperdrive. Physical contact is no longer just a desire — it’s a craving. I want to have lots of sex and I want it bad.
My sex drive being at its peak doesn’t just mean I want more sex. It also means my thoughts are dirtier, the sex I have is dirtier.
This is also when I spend the most time thinking about what life would be like with another partner. I find myself wishing I had someone else in my life to give me even more of the physical affection I crave.
After my summer, my libido starts to decline. This is when it’s at its lowest.
I still have sex sometimes, but I don’t have a strong desire for it unless I make a conscious effort to get myself there. I need more help to build and sustain my arousal and to mentally prepare myself for sex.
Sometimes, it doesn’t work. I’ll try and try but still end up feeling like I just want to hang out with Mr. Austin. But if I don’t try, I’m guaranteed not to get there.
My desire for physical intimacy shifts during this time. Sometimes, I want the comfort that comes with cuddling. Other times, I can take it or leave it.
Thinking of Seasons Makes More Sense for Me
The sexual seasons correspond roughly to my cycle, and since I track my cycle I usually know what’s going on with it. But I still prefer to talk about it in terms of seasons.
For one thing, it’s simpler. Instead of parsing it down to individual days, I can just think of it as four separate seasons.
Another problem for me is that my cycle can be wonky. I don’t always have a typical 28-day cycle, with ovulation falling right in the middle. My cycle tends to go longer than that, and just how long it goes can change.
That means that day 18 of one cycle might not mean the same thing as day 18 of the next. And Mr. Austin can’t mark the 14th day of my cycle on the calendar to make sure he stays hydrated and stretches before coming to bed. It’s just not that predictable.
But what is predictable is the seasons. No matter what my cycle is doing, my spring gives way to my summer, and that is followed by my fall and winter.
Even when I’ve got a handle on my cycle, though, it’s not a perfect measure. The end of my luteal phase and the start of my period are often pretty similar in terms of my mood and libido. Same with the end of menstruation and the start of the luteal phase. My seasons correspond with them, but only roughly.
I’m Happier Now That I Understand My Sexual Seasons
I used to get really frustrated with my body, especially during my fall. After having lots and lots of fun when I was ovulating, I would start (very temporarily) losing interest in sex.
I wanted to hold on to the way I felt when I was in my spring and summer, but I just couldn’t.
And I knew my period was coming and I’d have to go a week-ish without sex, so I wanted to get some in while I could. But try as hard as I could, I often just couldn’t get myself there.
Thinking of what I go through in terms of seasons helped me understand what I was going through and why I was feeling that frustrating decline.
But it did more than that. I wasn’t just accepting that my cycle was killing my sexual desires, I embraced it.
I still try to get myself horny during my fall, but I also lean into it. I take the space I need and I use it as an opportunity to enjoy other kinds of intimacy.
Not fighting against it means that most of the frustration is gone. I go easy on myself and I’m happier for it.
My Sexual Seasons Improved My Relationship
It’s also been a great communication tool with Mr. Austin. Just like the horny scale, it’s been a really effective shorthand for what’s going on with my mood, my mind, and my body.
Mr. Austin’s libido isn’t cyclical — he’s in a perpetual summer. He doesn’t have personal experience with a fluctuating sex drive, so it was a bit difficult for him to figure me out when it seemed like I was all over the place.
How could he tell a DTF night from a “Let’s see if you can get me there” night or a “No thank you” night?
The concept of the sexual seasons helps me show Mr. Austin where I am and give him a sense of what’s going on in my mind (and elsewhere). And he responds to it. It gives him an idea of how responsive I’ll be to flirting, touching, and all that good stuff. He even uses it to gauge whether it’s a good time to send me a porn video he thinks I’d like or if he should wait a while.
That’s been a huge benefit. I don’t have to be in a position of constantly turning him down for days in a row, and Mr. Austin doesn’t have to wonder what the hell he’s doing wrong when he can’t rev my engine or even put the key in.
Saying that I was entering my spring, or that my fall was finally over felt a bit cheesy at first. But now it feels more natural. And it helped me understand myself, it helped my husband understand me, and it made me stop putting pressure on myself to get sexy when I wasn’t really feeling it.
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Mom. Wife. Writer. | I write about sex, love and everything else that matters to me. https://www.loveemmaaustin.com/