Yes, I am 300% with you. In fact, I am so, so glad to have heard your critical reactions to this, eespecially this:
Intellectually, I feel like I'm doing really great inner work and making really great progress with my partner, with both of us expanding our understanding of sex and sexuality and all of the good things that can be involved besides the "particular type of physical pleasure, culminated in orgasm" framework. But the "just practice more and everyone can enjoy this particular feeling" pressure really sets me back. It accumulates in the idea that, on top of all the other kinds of pressure, I "should" be having sex so I can "figure it out", and the more time I put in the more I'll get out, which absolutely hasn't happened over months and years.
I could not agree with you more. I'm sorry your GYN misdirected you. Again, very few doctors, including OBGYNs (a reminder: that's a surgical speciality, and it's not about sex, it's mostly about reproduction more than anything) have any actual training or education in sex and sexuality. Most medical schools don't even include it, and those that do usually have a week or two of that education, tops. Unless you have an OBGYN who actually has some additional training/background/education in sex and sexuality, they're not who I'd ask for help with those things, just for future reference. That's not a failing of theirs (unless they are suggesting they are experts when they are not!), it's just not what they are actually educated in and what kind of care they provide. I'm sorry that this doctor derailed you, but I AM glad that you feel solid enough in knowing yourself and what sounds like you figuring out your own actual, authentic sexuality enough to know that this wasn't right for you. THAT is actually really fucking great, you know? So, in that way, it's kind of awesome you had the opportunity, even though it sure would have been nice to have it not be "tested" like that.
I, personally, really think that desire is something we have to just be open to letting it show itself, to letting it appear and to feeling it if and when it does. And then recognizing it, because it doesn't always look or feel like we expect, obviously (or like other people do). You know, like, for you, I think one way it sounds like you often experience desire is in feeling the desire to move your body. There might be some days that you have to try and tease that out a little, like if you're feeling sick, so it's not happening itself so immediately, but you know it'd make you feel better if you could move, but it's still you drawing out something that's *in* you, not making something up. Does it help to think about it more that way? As either having it show or teasing it out? rather than trying to manufacture it?
Something I'd also factor in is that SO much of this kind of media does not take a particularly relaxed attitude about just letting it be when desire isn't there and not freaking out about it or trying to make it happen all the time when it isn't there. (Oddly enough, this is becoming a theme in a lot of what I'm asked about sex and desire now that I'm starting to do more work in the menopause space.) But I think that is a grave error. I think letting desire ebb and flow and accepting that there are times in life we will feel it and won't, and that both are equally okay is what makes room for us to feel it without pressure -- like, that's part of what makes space for it, there being space NOT to have it. Your own mind seems to know that bu its reaction to pressure to the contrary!