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Exciting the Female Libido

Exciting the Female Libido

The race towards a pill to cure female sexual dysfunction continues as the major pharmaceutical players vie to create a pill that can cure the symptoms that keep women from the desire and arousal that characterize a vital intimate life. The market for such a remedy is estimated to be worth close to $2 billion, but of those who have already tried and failed, the prevailing recognition was that female sexuality and its corollary dysfunction is the result of a subtle and complex combination of behaviors, attitudes and emotions. Not easily treatable with a single pill.

In fact, FSD, or female sexual dysfunction is a reality that visits the majority of  women on the planet at some point in their lives. On any given day, most clinical studies site the statistic of 43 percent of women being affected by the range of symptoms that include vaginal dryness, pain with intimacy and loss of libido. It is difficult to tease out which symptom begets the other and even harder to unravel the emotional, mental and spiritual impacts that this extremely common yet rarely discussed condition that impacts millions of women and couples.

The most recent application to the FDA came from Boehringer Ingelheim, who actually discovered their recent entry into  the field of sexual healing by way of a failed anti-depressant, flibanserin. The manufacturers themselves are not entirely sure why changing the levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine work to effect a woman’s libido. Many of those on the review committee felt that the company had not made its case and that the benefits of the daily pill did not outweigh its side effects, which included dizziness, nausea and fatigue.

The publicity that the company has invested in the US market during the last month is almost as controversial as the drug itself. The former Playboy model, Lisa Rinna describes herself in the Discovery Channel program and publicity tour as someone who suffers from female sexual dysfunction, which has its own diagnostic code (hypoactive sexual desire disorder) in the DSM manual for doctors and insurers. Sexual issues in women are much harder to diagnose and many physicians and researchers doubt whether female sexual dysfunction is treatable with drugs. Typical treatments can include psychotherapy, counseling and prescription hormonal drugs.

Some women believe that all of the media hype surrounding this new medication both exaggerates the prevalence of the condition and creates additional anxiety among women, making them believe that they need treatment for their sexuality or lack of it. “The messages are aimed at medicalizing normal conditions, and also preying on the insecurity of both the clinician and the patient,” said Dr Fugh Berman of Gerogetown University.

The question of tapping into desire and arousal is a profoundly personal issue for most women. The quality of communication and the safety the arises out of sustained healthy connection are as essential for many women as the right balance of hormones. Even if this pill was truly effective at raising levels of desire for women, the question of the vitality of the relationship would continue to impact the access and enjoyment of the physical intimacy. The old saying that men need sex to feel connected and women need connection to feel sexual should provide a solid hint for the actual research that might turn up a positive result in the quest to increase female libido. The arousal mechanism for humans sits in the brain, flush up to the emotional experience, the process of triggering and  creating loving memories and igniting our sense of smell. Too bad we can’t unlock this complex gate with a little pink pill. The good news is if you go looking for it,  it is there waiting to be tapped.

Read more: Health, Love, Making Love Sustainable, News & Issues, Relationships, Sex, , ,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

60 comments

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5:20AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Time spent properly together - with fun, conversation, closeness, caring (and maybe a Lush massage bar!) are going to be better in the long run than a load more chemicals, surely?

1:39AM PST on Nov 16, 2010

I just think that people shouldn't take life sooooo seriously and stress themselves out...they should make the effort to be bothered about being intimate with their partner by questioning oneself as to why one got married to their partner and actually make the effort to have affection and try not to let it die down just because one is bagging so many responsibilities like kids, bills, loans etc.

9:13AM PDT on Oct 31, 2010

Gladys, you're absolutly correct. Unfortunatly, when you tell a man that if they stop being selfish they'll actually get more of what they want, well, they don't understand! It cracks me up!

2:45PM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

Intriguing.

1:35PM PDT on Jul 5, 2010

Very well written analysis.

12:34PM PDT on Jun 29, 2010

Lots of very good comments here..... male & female differences require good communication & caring between consenting & committed partners. No pill is going to fix that! Health issues in all areas physical, mental & emotional also add to the complex situation.

Outside factors contribute a lot to the female (and male) libido scenario as well. The recession & other current events affect people in very personal ways. Unemployment, foreclosure & bankruptcy are hardly sexy aphrodisiacs!

Again, communication can help smooth over such things. But sometimes there's nothing much left to say. Except to ride the lack of libido until things get better. With lots of kindness, hugs & kisses along the way! :-)

6:29PM PDT on Jun 27, 2010

I'm sorry to say, not really-If a women have confidence-trust or care from her lover and the guy has to be educated to the a women excitability points(s) are and understand that she is the one then we can relax and enjoy even if the guy is a fake...Yes Gladys very few men know how to make love or have good sex with a woman. Most are 2-3 minutes men and did it fell good honey???? OK--I personnally met a few 1 or 2 man that had it,
realy to please a woman. To say the one I married used to. Igot tired ot his one-two now he sleep in the other bedroom. For men who read this make love to a woman not a 1-2 and Ah! e don't quite work like that. We don't like just raping...or reaping.

6:29PM PDT on Jun 27, 2010

I'm sorry to say, not really-If a women have confidence-trust or care from her lover and the guy has to be educated to the a women excitability points(s) are and understand that she is the one then we can relax and enjoy even if the guy is a fake...Yes Gladys very few men know how to make love or have good sex with a woman. Most are 2-3 minutes men and did it fell good honey???? OK--I personnally met a few 1 or 2 man that had it,
realy to please a woman. To say the one I married used to. Igot tired ot his one-two now he sleep in the other bedroom. For men who read this make love to a woman not a 1-2 and Ah! e don't quite work like that. We don't like just raping...or reaping.

1:58AM PDT on Jun 27, 2010

Maybe the sex industry also needs to cater to women, not just unrealistic male fantasy. Also, the porn industry needs to quit abusing their actresses (some actors too), it's sad.

Having a loving relationship does wonders.

We also need to quit telling women that having lower interest is wrong. Just like men enjoy different levels, women have different levels too. If she likes it frequently, don't tell her she's a whore. If her interest is low, don't tell her she's a cold fish.

It's all about finding a partner that can work with you... both ways. Male and female cooperating together for the most satisfying sexperience.

1:55PM PDT on Jun 25, 2010

This is probably out of character for a guy but I completely agree that treating a girlfriend or partner properly is a start to learning. Making love is an extension of equality and is part of a beautiful way of sharing, consideration and caring. This is meant for both as equal partners.

We do live in a patriarchal society but women should be able to experience their sexuality in their own way without any kind of pressure or requirement to fullfill an ideology from us men. I genuinly think that in a relationship we should look at and treat each other as equal with consideration, love and caring as the important elements.

In todays society a woman has much more responcibility than she ever had and its time us guys took some of that and lessened the strain and stress. I also think that we should take more time to listen to our partners or girlfriends and I mean listen and not to prejudge or just see life from the male perspective.

To me that is the start to a couple becoming close and more relaxed with eachother and from there both partners libido will emerge as a natural consequence. Feeling good about ourselves is as important as breathing and it too affects our libido as does many other strains and stresses of daily living. . A pill to fullfill the males sexual stereotype of women is very wrong as women are not sexual objects for male fantasies.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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