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“Women Losing Their Sex Drive”  Highlights of Larry King Live

Review and Excepts By Dave In Phoenix

On 5/26/00 Larry King Live had a great discussion with female sex therapists Deborah Norville was host while Larry King was with his wife and newly born son.  

Common Problem - Women Should Demand Treatment
It is normal to have a healthy sex drive.  Yet at is reported that 40% of American women suffer from some form or sexual dysfunction and 23% report sexual abuse.

Women’s sexuality is much more complex than male sexuality.  For men usually the only issue is maintaining an erection that is sufficient for intercourse.  For women, emotional issues are often just as important, as well as all kinds of hormonal issues.  Often the lack of sexual desire is not all in the head, but frequently there is a curable hormonal physical problem.  This is especially true if a woman had a healthy sexual libido at one time, but after children and/or menopause, she has lost interest.  Sometimes interest is lost because it’s painful without enough lubrication.  But often it is simply low sex drive.  So many women have no idea why, and it isn’t something that the medical professional is that interested in researching.

All has changed in the last few years.  And more and more women are going public about their lack of sexual desire and how it has been cured, resulted renewed happy sex lives.

Too often women with low sex drive are given anti-depressants by many doctors, which can actually decrease libido even more.  It is not always a depression issue like many doctors in the past have assumed.  Anti-depressants won’t help prior sexual abuse issues, body images or guilt about sex from the religious agenda.

The issue is timely with new studies coming out and Newsweek Magazine cover story on “The Science of Women’s Sexuality”.’

The good news is women do not have to lose their sexual interestgreat news for millions of women and their partners. 

Dr. Jennifer Berman, urologist with Women’s Sexual Health Clinic points out there are many forms of female sexual dysfunction but one of the most common is low sexual desire.  It can be emotional or due to hormones.  If there isn’t abuse (Dave adds, or religious teachings that sex is not for pleasure which often is an issue), it is often hormonal.

Viagra For Women?
Dr. Berman’s Women’s Sexual Health Clinic did the pilot study on Viagra for women, which in their select group “definitely enhanced arousal, lubrication, sexual satisfaction as well as orgasm.” But the just published European study showed Viagra did not have a statistically significant benefit for the women in another study.  She believes based on her study that Viagra works for women who at one point were functional but who have lost their sexual desire for various reasons. The European study included women with other issues.

Sex Therapist, Laura Berman, co-founder of Women’s Sexual Health Clinic, pointed out that Viagra will not work for women who lack desire based on low self esteem, acceptance of body, relationship or emotional issues that are impeding her sexual function.  Viagra only increases blood flow to the genital area and only enhances physical sexual stimulation in women, similar to what it does in men. 

Masturbation Important!
Therapist Berman strongly urged women to get to know their sexual response by masturbation. “It is a very important part of a women knowing her body, knowing what to do to stimulate herself – so she can tell her partner.” “She can’t expect her partner to know what do to because he can be with a gazillion women and still not know how to satisfy a women, or satisfy her – she has to advocate for herself.”   “A lot of women will come to us and say I have sexual dysfunction, I have tried every position but can’t have an orgasm, and we give her a vibrator and 10 minutes later she has a big smile from here to here!”

 They discussed how most women couldn’t have an orgasm just from intercourse but need more clitoral stimulation.   And how “use it or lose it” is very true in sex.  In both men and women, the more sexually active you are the less chance of sexual dysfunction – either with yourself or someone else.

 Dr. Judith Reichman, Author “Relax, This Won’t Hurt” says lack of desire isn’t just in menopausal women but can occur at any age.  Especially if related to sexual abuse.  “23% of women in this country have has some form of sexual abuse,” she says.  (Dave adds, and many more have religious sexual abuse by the teachings that sex is so dirty it’s only for making children, not enjoyment or only in marriage.)   Birth control pills often taken by younger women can lower libido. 

Few Doctors Ask About Women’s Sexual Desire Problems
Dr. Reichman points out that few medical doctors are trained on sexuality issues and don’t ask about a patients sexual desire.   It is the responsibility of the women to bring up the issue of her lack of sexual desire and seek the appropriate testing for a medical reason.  It is especially likely to have low sex drive after giving birth, and especially if she breast-feeds for a long time since this depletes estrogen levels which is needed for good lubrication.  Often testosterone can be low and gels can be used on the labia or lozenges put under her tongue to avoid going through the liver, which can diminish its effectiveness.  There is also Estrotest that combine both estrogen and testosterone that often solves many problems a woman may experience.   But it can also get more complex so each individual has to be accessed individually.

Dr. Reichman wisely points out: “we are told as women, that we should know nothing about sex and be virginal when we enter into a relationship. Then all of a sudden we are supposed to know everything.  And we are supposed to cure ourselves if there is a problem.  And there is no other medical condition in which we feel this way.”

Women Just Finding Out It Isn’t Just In Their Heads
These issues were rarely talked about until a few years ago.  Christina Ferrare, on her TV show shocked her audience when she blurted out her lack of libido in a discussion with guest Dr. Wilde on changes menopausal women go through which often includes loss of sexual interest.  She had no idea what was wrong and had suffered in silence with the problem for many years, which started to tear away the very core of her relationship with her husband.   She has recently published her book “Okay, so I Don’t Have a Headache” to help women in similar situations.    She was “cured” mostly by taking a testosterone cream after being tested and finding low levels.

Actress Mariette Hartley, a single women in her 50’s who previously had low sexual desire, said how grateful she is for Viagra is to help older men she may date keep it up.   Her experience was she mostly sublimated her sexual energy into taking care of the babies and children when she was married.  Now single she is finding new sexual energy.

Concluding statements:

We hopefully open women’s eyes that their lives can be very different they just need to speak up and communicate

Dr. Reichman
“I just want women to know they have to get help and they don’t have to be silent. If they can start with their doctor that is a great place open up discuss it with your spouse, because when all is said and done, we all deserve to be in the mood.”

Laura Berman
“Sex is an integral part of every woman’s general health and wellness and every woman if she wants it is entitled to sexual response and to sexual satisfaction and it is important for her to take hold of that and to know that nice girls not only do it, but enjoy it.”

Dr. Jennifer Berman
“Women need to feel entitled to their sexual response.  They need to go to their doctors and demand to be heard and demand treatment because it is available…”

Host Deborah Norville
We have been talking about woman’ sexual disjunction. A survey says as many as 41 million American women baby boomers are approaching menopause, it will be a problem for them, but many people who are long before menopause are dealing with this issue.”

This excerpt, with full credit, is being shared under the Fair Use provision of the U.S. Copyright laws and International treaties for educational purposes and for no financial gain. 

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