Desire & arousal

When someone really wants to have sex, it’s called “desire.”

When someone gets ‘turned on’ (some might say ‘horny,’) it’s called ‘arousal.’

Some signs of arousal include:

  • Sensitive breasts/nipples
  • Short breaths
  • Tingling sensations in your body—your neck and chest
  • Your genital area becoming swollen and sensitive—penises and clitorises have more blood flowing to them (something you may have heard as “erections” or “getting hard”).
  • The balls/scrotum and the areas around the genitals can feel more swollen
  • The vagina can also become more slippery and the labia can grow too and even change color

Usually, people feel desire and arousal at the same time.

When desire and arousal work together, it can feel great. Other times, things can interrupt the flow.

Sometimes, people’s bodies are aroused but they don’t want to have sex.

There are many reasons why people don’t feel desire or don’t become aroused. If you are stressed, if you don’t feel ready for sex, and if you are tired or upset or had a bad day.

Remember, sex is all about your mind. If non-sexy thoughts keep popping in, keep the focus on your body and breath, don’t panic, and focus on what you feel and how your body feels. Try to figure out what relaxes you and makes you feel sexy. And if it’s not happening (if don’t want it or don’t feel aroused), try it some other time.

It can seem awkward to talk about this, and there are many great websites where you can learn more. Check out for more great information.