|April 4, 2011
I promised with my last Blog that my next discussion would be on libido. After that promise, I attended a 4 day course on “Women’s Sexual Health”. The amount of material presented was overwhelming. I could not decide what was most important to present. I decided if I was overwhelmed, you would be also. Instead, I am going to present some basics and will proceed with additional information depending on what feedback I get from you. What additional information would you like? Please email me so I know what you are thinking.
What is libido? Steadman’s Medical Dictionary defines it as “the conscious or unconscious sexual desire; creative desire; passionate interest; or form of life force.” We are all “animals”. As adolescents, the libido soars, especially around ovulation. This is designed for mating. Teens don’t need to know what libido is, they just feel it!
Female sexual response is complicated. There are four major components: biology, psychology, socio-cultural influences, and interpersonal relationships. Because of this complexity, there is not one pill that can work for women like “Viagra” for men. The strong correlation seen in men between subjective arousal and genital swelling or blood flow leading to erection, is not seen in women. Sexual arousal in women is strongly controlled by thoughts and emotions triggered by the state of sexual excitement.
Men and women are very different in our urges for sex. Men tend to have stronger sex drives than women. Their brains actually have a larger area devoted to sex drive compared to women. Women tend to be controlled more by their brain but in a more practical way. Our issue is keeping our brains focused on sex and not on laundry, grocery shopping or other thoughts that wander through our brains. Women tend to have sex less for physical gratification than to achieve intimacy or further closeness in their relationship.
Dr. Diana Hoppe, for her book “Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You”, interviewed many women. She found the top 7 reasons for low libido in women:
- 24/7 life: Sex becomes a low priority on an endless list of life’s obligations
- Hormonal fluctuations: monthly cycle, postpartum, perimenopause and menopause, decrease in estrogen
- Relationship difficulties: anger, resentment at partner-withholding sex to control/power struggles
- Fatigue and stress
- Medications/medical conditions/poor health of partner
- Poor body image or low self-esteem
- Previous sexual abuse and/or molestation
With all these different issues relating to libido, it is a very individual issue. I am happy to discuss your particular issues if you want to schedule an appointment.
If your libido needs a boost, schedule a time when you are able to focus. Women’s hormone levels tend to be highest in the afternoon. Sometimes just scheduling sex into your day is what is needed. Put on something that makes you feel sexy. Make a change in your usual routine. Seduce him this time and enjoy his response!
My next discussion will be on the top eight health benefits of sexual intimacy, as discussed in Dr. Hoppe’s book. I have her book listed in my links as well as a new link to MiddlesexMD. Both may be of interest. I appreciate any feedback.