Addressing Mismatched Libidos

A common issue that arises among couples is that of mismatched libidos. CNN’s Ian Kerner writes that the person with the higher sex drive can easily feel rejected and undesirable, while the person who has less interest in sex may feel anxious, pressured and guilty. According to the author, while research has shown physical and mental health contribute to libido, men and women have different motivations for avoiding sex. These include sexual dysfunction, getting in a rut with the sexual routine and the demands of parenting, among others.

In the article, sex therapists share various ways to address this problem of mismatched sex drives. These include, but are not limited to, approaching the topic in a nonjudgmental and critical way. Another approach is to schedule quality couple time a couple times a week. Additionally, engaging in “outercourse” is a highly desirable option for opening other paths to arousal. Finally, sex therapists encourage couples to consider scheduling a sex date once a week.

Guttman & Pearl will be offering a Women’s Sexuality Group late January 2018 to address sexual concerns and issues.

Increasing Women’s Desire

With the introduction of Addyi, the “female Viagara”, OBGYNs have found that there has not been interest among the vast majority of women who are seeking ways to increase sexual desire. When women have learned how they need to take it and what they have to give up, including alcohol (can cause fainting), they tend to decline taking it. In clinical trials, Addyi was found to be minimally more effective than taking a placebo.

Nicole Prauss, a researcher who began working at the Kinsey Institute when Viagra was introduced 20 years ago, found that while women’s bodies physically became aroused to Viagra, these same women did not use this information to judge their sexual arousal or desire and denied the occurrence of either. Researchers continue to be mystified with this disconnect.

Nicole Prause has since opened her own company, Liberos, to try to “stoke” women’s desire. She used an EEG and customized an anal probe to determine arousal in women. Interestingly, she learned that women report an orgasm when physiologically an orgasm did not actually take place. With these confusing results, she has concluded that there seems to be a profound disconnect between women’s bodies and brains, particularly when reporting sexual desire.

She then began using transcranial brain stimulation to see if she could treat low desire. She has determined that it will not work for the vast majority of women with reportedly low sex drives–primarily because of relationship issues. She believes that there is no pill or TMS treatment that can engender desire when one dislikes their partner.

Her main piece of advice is to slow down, particularly if a woman is in a heterosexual relationship, because men tend to be much more responsive much faster with their erection and orgasm. Consequently, women sacrifice their pleasure, interests and desires and tend to succumb to the pressure and cater to their partner’s pace. She feels women need to stop denying their interest in sexuality and demand that their partner slow down.