I want to talk with you about a very cool idea in sex therapy called the dual control model of sexual functioning. (1) What I mean by "model" is a framework for understanding something -- in this case, your sexual functioning -- that describes in a simplified way what is happening inside your body and mind. The dual control model suggests that we each have an "inhibitory system" that is responsible for turning us off when needed, and an excitatory system that turns us on when conditions are right. You might think of them like the gas and the brakes on an amazing car -- your very own Maserati. Just like on a car, the gas and brakes work together but are also separate -- you can hit the gas and the brakes at the same time. You can think of sexual problems as being a problem with the gas, the brakes, or both. Check out this video for a little more detail and examples of how this works.
(1) Bancroft, J., Graham, C., Janssen, E., & Sanders, S. (2009). The dual-control model: Current status and future directions. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 121-142, DOI: 10.1080/00224490902747222