Category Archives: Female Sexual Problems

Articles about female sexual problems.

Fueling Your Sex Drive

In my practice I see lots of women and couples wanting to address the issue of low desire. Before I work with individuals to help them fuel their sexual desire, I explore if the sex they are having is worth wanting and the level of overall satisfaction in the relationship. To have a motivation to have sex – the sex needs to be worth wanting and we need to feel desired and satisfied and happy for the most part in our relationship.  If that’s your problem – read this.

More often I find with women who are experiencing low desire is that it’s been a long time since they made their sexuality a priority. Sex tends to happen at the end of the day after all their energy has been put into work, children, the house, etc and then they don’t have much energy left to put the effort into making it a mutually satisfying experience.  In these cases I often suggest that couples schedule it.  I you think that scheduled sex isn’t sexy, read my blog Spontaneous Sex is a Myth!

SEXUAL DESIRE ISN’T THIS MAGICAL FEELING THAT IS OUT OF OUR CONTROL – Hormones are only a piece of what drives sexual desire. We all experience and do things every day that impact our sexual desire.  Some of the things we do fuel our desire and some of the things we do extinguish it.

WAITING FOR DESIRE TO HAPPEN – One of the myths that exacerbates low sexual desire is this mysterious approach to desire – particularly for women – the idea of waiting to feel horny. We look back at the beginning stages of current or previous relationships or ourselves as teenagers and we think – we were horny then – why aren’t we horny now?  Well, when we were teenagers everything was much more taboo and unknown – exciting – and that fuels curiosity which fuels desire. Similarly in new relationships we are curious about the person, on our best behavior, they are on their best behavior, and the chemicals that enhance our desire – endorphins are in full effect. There’s plenty of research that indicates our judgment is impaired when the endorphins are in full effect and we tend to be much more focused on the positive – what we like about the person that is triggering those endorphins. Once those endorphins go away and we get to know all the quirks and annoyances of our partners, they feel less sexy to us – they are no longer as mysterious to us as they were before and we begin to lose interest and decrease the amount of effort made towards being sensual, desirous, or initiating sex.

I find that people in long-term relationships create expectations for themselves that may not be realistic, especially since they aren’t typically putting in the same level of effort into their sex lives in long-term relationships compared to what they have typically put into a new relationship.

THINK SEX-POSITIVE THOUGHTS…You’ve heard that saying “your biggest sexual organ is your brain right?” Ask yourself, are the messages you give yourself about sex, your body, and sexuality positive or do they tend to be more negative. For instance – do you get up in the morning and have the ability to be grateful for the parts of your body that you like and that get you where you need to go and that get the things done that you need to do? Do you admire your favorite body parts? Do you allow space to be sensual with yourself? When you look at yourself in the mirror are you able to say positive things to yourself like “damn girl you look good for your age?” Or “I love my skin or my boobs or my ass?” Or our your thoughts more negative like – “I have got to get to the gym – things are not looking good” Or ” I hate my saggy boobs, ass, thighs, etc. “

Desire starts from within. While there are things in our surroundings that can spark it – a beautiful body or person, a sexy movie, a sexy song, positive admirations from a lover – It has to begin with us. I am suggesting you begin from a place of gratitude. Those kind of messages create space for sexual desire – negative, critical ones do not.

Lastly – Are you making your sexual desire a priority or does everything else come first? If all your energy is going into a clean house, your children, your work – why would you expect to have anything left for sex? Nothing good ever comes easy and while good sex may have seemed effortless when your relationships were new – it likely wasn’t. You were likely thinking about it – anticipating it – prepping for it – etc, etc, – you certainly weren’t wearing the granny panties.

Cindy Crawford – Leaked Photo & Body Image

Fake or not, months later I am still thinking about the supposed unairbrushed photo of Cindy Crawford that was leaked. Of course this is not the first “real” photo of a Hollywood beauty that has received attention but the contrast between the fake verses real was startling to say the least. It really made me think about how many of the photos we look at in media is just plain bogus and how it affects our body image.View image on 15 Minute News website

Sorry folks, this blog isn’t going to be lighthearted or funny because I am pissed.

So here it goes. As you can imagine, I regularly see clients in my Sex Therapy practice who struggle with body image.  Body image no doubt affects the sex drive and sexual satisfaction of many women and sometimes men as well. As a feminist, promoter of positive sex and sexuality, and one who appreciates a beautiful woman, I truly struggle with this. I enjoy wearing sexy heels, getting dolled up, and looking at fit bodies like Cindy Crawford’s but I don’t want that to box in my sexual desires and what I find visually pleasing.  Ageism and unrealistic expectations of the female body in our society has become so pervasive and shaming that sometimes we don’t know where our own sexual turn-ons and desires begin and where those that have been put upon us by media begin.

I don’t think I am alone when I say that I experience mixed emotions about this topic. Of course I was happy to have the opportunity to be reminded of what a real woman looks like. Of course we need to see images like this from women we idolize. So, yes I was happy to see a woman in her true form, but I was also surprised, sad, confused, angry, and frustrated; frustrated that I was surprised. Surprised that a 48 year old woman would have wrinkles and an imperfect stomach? What the F—?! Of course, this is what average – REAL 48 year old women look like!

Then when I looked at it in comparison to the magazine publication that’s when sadness, confusion, and anger kicked in. It put a spot light on how starkly different the images we see in media and advertising are from reality. It is sad that “real” pictures that haven’t been perfected by photoshop or airbrushing are so significantly different from modified pictures. It made me realize how along with so many women I struggle on a daily basis with unrealistic and impossible expectations of the female body.  Do we even know what a healthy normal naked woman at our age looks like?  At what point did we begin to expect that women should have no wrinkles or cellulite at age 48? At what point did we start comparing ourselves to women who have surgery, liposuction, personal chefs, personal trainers, professional photographers, and graphic artists to modify their images? It’s time for us to open our eyes, quit bullshitting ourselves and accept the female body for what it is – HUMAN.

Wow. I wish I had some solutions for you today. I would love to hear some of yours – please comment.

Now go have sex!

Why 50 Shades Bombed – But Women Still Want to be Taken

sex and passionCheck out my latest article about the 50 Shades movie and find out  why women want to be taken. The movie may have been a dud but we can’t ignore the attention the book trilogy received and the overwhelming fact that being dominated is a very common fantasy for women, read more…

And, of course… Don’t forget…

Now go have sex!

When sex is painful

help overcoming sexual problems

 

 

Sex can be painful for many reasons. Occasionally men suffer from painful sex but painful sex is more common with women. For women, sometimes it can be something basic like needing a quality lubricant, feeling safe/comfortable and relaxed, or getting the foreplay needed to be physically ready for sex. If it’s related to the foreplay you need, it’s time to have a conversation with your partner. In heterosexual relationships the old saying goes –

“men are like microwaves and women are like crock pots.”

Meaning that it takes women a lot longer to get hot than it does men. If your body isn’t fully aroused it isn’t ready for penetration. Never try to force penetration – sex is for PLEASURE!

Occasionally it could be hormonal, if our bodies are not hormonally balanced this can actually result in sex being painful. Being hormonally imbalanced is more common after a pregnancy, during the different stages of menopause, and for women being treated or in recovery from cancer. There are a variety of diagnoses that are biologically driven and a variety that are psychologically driven.

Studies estimate that between 12-20% of women experience ongoing genital pain.

Unfortunately, many of the clients that I see struggle with genital pain and painful sex for months and sometimes years before they are properly diagnosed and then eventually get the appropriate treatment.

In most of the “painful sex” cases I see my clients have at some point experienced both physical  and psychological symptoms. I treat only the psychological symptoms. We work to resolve issues such as guilt, inner conflicts regarding sex, negative or shaming thoughts about sex and sexuality, or feelings regarding past abuse or sexual trauma. For the physical symptoms I may refer to an OB-GYN that is knowledgeable about these types of disorders – not all are. In some cases I also refer to a Pelvic Floor Specialist – they are like physical therapists for the genitals and pelvic floor region and often create amazing results.

Some of the clients that I treat struggle with Dyspareunia- painful sex; Vaginismus- an inability to have penetrative sex or even have a gynecological exam; others with Vulvodynia/Vestibulitis – experience chronic vulvar pain without an identifiable cause; or even PGAD – Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder -unwanted, intrusive, non-sexual arousal of the genitals causing discomfort, anxiety, and distress.

When sex is painful your body is telling you something… stop having sex!

If you are having painful sex, it’s time to ask yourself why. Sex is for PLEASURE. Women sometimes get it in their heads that it is their obligation to have sex with their partner, husband, boyfriend…potential boyfriend. If you are having sex for reasons other than pleasure, if you are having sex because you feel it’s your obligation to your partner or the relationship, then your body may likely be trying to protect you because you are not saying no or giving your body what it needs.

If you are experiencing painful sex, get a medical exam and get some emotional support. You are not the only one suffering and there are on-line support groups and sex therapists that can help.

Now Go Have Sex! … (as long as it’s not painful!)

 

Orgasm … just the period at the end of a sentence?

Someone shared this quote with me a while back when I was up to my usual antics – talking about sex. “An orgasm is just the period at the end of a sentence.” Sorry – I don’t know who the quote is from but if I remember correctly it was a porn star. Interesting. My friend mentioned the quote because I was concerned about the many women who have told me that they haven’t reached or rarely reach orgasm and how left out, frustrated, and ultimately ashamed they feel. I hear this from women at least once a month. Now granted – anyone who knows me professionally or personally, knows that I live to talk about sex so it isn’t surprising that I hear a lot of stories and venting about sex. This isn’t just a hobby for me it’s a calling.

Okay so back to the topic – Anorgasmia – also known as “a sexual difficulty involving the absence of orgasm in women.” http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/article/female-orgasmic-difficulties is not uncommon – hence the official name. “5-10 percent of adult women in the U.S. have never experienced orgasm by any means of self or partner stimulation” (Spector & Carey, 1990). And an even more important statistic that every person and couple should know is that 70% of women never actually reach orgasm through penile-vaginal intercourse alone.

So do I agree that an orgasm is just the period at the end of a sentence? Well, as any good therapist would say, it depends. I think that when sex and intimacy are good, then the orgasm IS just the period at the end of a sentence. But then again, how many people are having the sex and intimacy they desire? I am not talking about the sex we see in movies. I am talking about the sex that real people experience in both new and old relationships.

So after talking to many women about this topic it’s clear that women who are having satisfying sex and regular orgasms often agree that orgasms are just a part of the satisfaction they experience. Pleasure and connection is the primary goal of their intimacy not necessarily having an orgasm. However, for the women who are not having satisfying sex, intimacy, or regular orgasms it can be incredibly important and at times all consuming in their intimate relationships. So, like I said, the importance of orgasm depends. It depends upon the person, the relationship, surrounding life issues, satisfaction or lack of satisfaction in the bedroom, and the list goes on.

Now don’t get me wrong – I AM FOR ORGASM and if you are not having orgasms I suggest you see a Sex Therapist. Having an orgasm is an incredible stress reliever and often comes in handy during writers block. What I am NOT for, is women feeling less than because they cannot reach the big “O”.

One last thought, this blog is not meant to minimize the struggles that women with Anorgasmia experience but to enlighten and normalize their feelings, enlighten those who are in relationships with women who are Anorgasmic, and encourage those struggling to seek help because this isn’t the end of the road for you.