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8 Ways Women Hit The Sexual Brakes

You must understand the equally important and opposing side of female sexual desire —her sexual brakes.

In my last series of articles from Dr. Emily Nagoski’s book, “Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life,” I explained the four cues a woman’s mind and body use to feel sexual desire.

Those are part of her “accelerator” system.

And you must understand the equally important and opposing side of female sexual desire —her “braking” system.

Here are the eight ways that women’s sexual braking systems are engaged. Knowing these will help you check in with yourself to identify what might be holding you back or if it’s your partner whose brakes are squealing, you can explore how to support her in working through whichever of these issues that are affecting your sex life: (scroll down for the list)


  1. Body Self-Image
  2. Concerns About Her Reputation
  3. Founded or Unfounded Mental Worries
  4. Unwanted Pregnancy and Contraception Concerns
  5. Feeling Desired versus Feeling Used by Partner
  6. Feeling “Accepted” by Partner
  7. Partner’s Style of Sexual Approach and Timing at Sexual Initiation
  8. Negative Mood

When you take responsibility for solving, compromising (in a good way!), or working around issues, it brings you closer together. Identifying and then giving voice to your “braking system” can take your foot off the brake and move you toward more pleasure.

Sometimes communication is hard when you can’t identify what’s holding your desire back. Knowing this list will help you put your finger on “it” so you can resolve the issue.

And because we women are hormonally-driven creatures, the list may differ each day, depending on what Dr. Nagoski calls “context.”

sexual brakes


As your context or situation and surroundings (including what’s going on inside you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically) change, your reasons for feeling your braking system working change.

Getting to know and honor yourself (or your lady) and finding what roadblocks to pleasure can be navigated around or through will bring you closer together.

Take time to explore, and you’ll be richer for it.

Remember to bring a lot of affection to yourself and your partner when gently opening to these conversations.

Next up in this series is what to do about the #1 libido killer of all.

Can you guess what it is?

Keep your eye on your article for… Come As You Are #3!

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“Come As You Are” Article Series You Might Have Missed:

4 Cues For Female Sexual Desire (Come As You Are 1 of 5)

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