The Enormity of the Problem
Almost half the women in the United States have reported problems related to sexual desire. When you consider that there are many uncounted women who have never reported their problems or participated in a study, that figure naturally increases. So, yes, at some time or another during her lifespan, one can safely say most women are likely to experience some form of sexual dysfunction, including loss of desire, inability to climax, and sexual arousal problems. This article proposes to address some solutions for the lack of sexual desire in women.
The causes of these problems fall into two categories: physical health issues and psychological dysfunction. So what are some physical problems that generate sexual dysfunction?
According to the Mayo Clinic, heart problems, kidney failure, neurological problems, and cancer are among the disease processes that affect sexual desire. Hormones, such as lower levels of estrogen following menopause, may be responsible, and medications that include antihistamines, chemotherapy drugs, and antidepressants are often the culprits. If you are dealing with any of these issues, please contact your doctor. You will be surprised and grateful with most of the results.
There are also any number of psychological causes including post partum depression, normal depression, anxiety, severe traumatic events, etc. The important thing to remember is that there is usually a definable cause, which sometimes requires investigative work. There are many questions to ask yourself when plagued with sexual dysfunction. Just asking them will often trigger a memory of something disturbing you.
- Are you inhibited by low self-esteem, guilt, or fear?
- Do you have a chronic disease that causes aesthetic problems with sexual activities?
- Do you feel embarrassed about your sexual behaviors?
- Are you troubled by any childhood experiences?
- Were you physically, sexually, or emotionally abused as a child or adult?
You must consider the health of your relationship and understand how that affects your loss of sexual desire.
- What are your unfulfilled needs?
- Are they realistic?
- What are you doing about them?
- Did you get married for the wrong reasons?
- What anger issues do you need to resolve?
- Is substance abuse part of the problem?
- What are the reasons for the substance abuse?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your mate?
- Think about why he might be thinking the same about you.
- Consider why you were attracted to your partner and why you are living together.
Other causes have been addressed by different authors.
Many women are embarrassed or disturbed by their memories and don’t wish to revive them for the purpose of talking about them; however, that might be necessary in your case. Check off all of the above that apply to you and write them down in a journal as goals to work toward solving. Sometimes, just reading a book can be extremely helpful. The book, For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality by Barbach.
Meditation for Real
For thousands of years, meditation has been used to deal with all kinds of problems, including anxiety, depression, other mental health issues and medical problems. Scientific evidence exists for a number of improvements with meditative techniques, including stress, ability to engage with others and use of empathy With the reduction of stress alone, you can see the implications for all related issues, such as lowering of blood pressure that can lead to improvement of existing heart conditions or prevention of the same. Stress has been found to be a factor in so many illnesses, both mental and physical, that it is always practical to employ the use of whatever is necessary to reduce your stress, whether it be exercise, diet, education, or meditation.
In a way, meditation is much like sex, which improves with practice. Additionally, both mindfulness and sex are stimulating and relaxing at the same time. Not only do they improve your self-esteem, they also improve your relationships with other people and your overall ability to be successful.
There are endless areas where meditation can be effective. I would like to share some techniques you can use on your own that may be helpful in the resolution of some of your issues.
Breathing exercises are known to be helpful for a number of issues. In a quiet area, indoors or out, sit down and cross your legs. Try this for about three minutes—best to set an alarm rather than look your watch. Concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in slowly and thoroughly through your nose, hold your breath for a short time, and breathe out of your mouth.
At work, if you are unable to use your office, the restroom will work fine. You may skip crossing your legs since you will not be on the floor. Do this often throughout the day. Soon you will find yourself doing it automatically—but avoid if you are driving!
Throughout the day and when we awake at night, we have thoughts about things that disturb us and we want to do something about them. Some things we can resolve but doing something about others would most likely create additional problems. Even bringing it up would create a problem. For you, this is an unsolvable issue, but rather than dealing with it in some appropriate fashion, we continue to think of it, allowing it to drive us crazy, and get angry with the principals involved. In this same category we can include thinking about what we did that might have been wrong or if we hurt someone’s feelings or did we do the right thing. We are not only afraid of being judged, we are also afraid of judging.
There are solutions for dealing with this type of thinking and the disturbing feelings it causes. One of the mindfulness exercises that might help:
1. Stop what you are doing and take several deep breaths. Focus on emptying your lungs and breathing in with your diaphragm. Notice those thoughts and the feelings that creep up—those that keep bothering you..
2. Observe these thoughts and feelings. Do not attempt to analyze, judge, change, or avoid them. Recognize them, speak to them, and accept them.
3. Do you notice that you feel any differently by just simply accepting the existence of these thoughts and feelings?
You will find other mindfulness exercises on YouTube. Of particular note are those by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a leader in the teaching of these exercises. Try this link to YouTube, where you will find many more videos: https://youtu.be/8HYLyuJZKno If the link fails, just copy and paste it.
Are Women Being Fair to Themselves and Their Partners?
It has been reported that even though numerous women experience or have experienced loss of sexual desire, less than a fourth of them have stated that as being a problem. Loss of sexual desire does not bother them. Some partners use this as an excuse to avoid sexual relations because they are overweight or are not up to par in other areas and don’t see themselves as being attractive. Others may be engaged in affairs and cannot maintain more than one relationship. I could go on, but the fact is that whatever the reason, their refusal to talk to their doctors or participate in counseling to resolve the issue is questionable. Sadly, loss of desire is too easily used as an excuse not to engage in sexual relations with one’s partner, and the partner is all too often treated as if he or she is abnormal because they fail to understand this or simply don’t appreciate being treated this way.
Why should they? First, this might sound harsh but this behavior is a good example of antisocial, behavioral problems, where the partner lacks concern about the psychological consequences on her partner. She would do well to ask herself how she would feel if rebuffed for the same reasons. It is evident that she is maintaining a façade about the relationship and has no reason for wanting to repair it.
Second, feeling unwanted, the abused partner is likely to enjoy the attention of someone else who shows them that they are still attractive. No, this is not justifiable behavior but it is predictable. This causes unwanted marital problems, or does it? When questioning the behavior of a woman who does not seek help with sexual dysfunction, one wonders if she is just waiting for an excuse to blame the partner to avoid receiving the blame.
Third, it is unfair and detrimental for the marriage and the family for someone exhibiting problems with sexual dysfunction to refuse to seek professional help, not only for herself but for her partner. A problem of this magnitude can affect any involved children who have the ability to pick up on any family discord.
Last, it would be inappropriate not to address the cost of professional help as a factor for many. So, let me say that there are pastors available to help and there are mental health organizations in most communities that have a sliding scale pay plan based on income. Please look into these.
What Else Can I Do About This Problem?
Write in your journal the positive aspects of yourself, your accomplishments, your skills, and your hobbies. Note how they have contributed to your self-image. Just looking at these will provoke memories of “I can” and “I did” and serve as reminders that you can achieve what you want.
I am not saying here that all sexual problems can be resolved, but I want to reiterate that it is extremely to discuss these problems with your partner, aned ask for help. A visit to your local library, your doctor, or sometimes with a friend would be helpful. Therapy is also good and sometimes essential.
There is every reason to work on increasing your sexual desire, including feeling better about yourself, learning why you are having the problem, and learning how to express yourself and your needs to your partner.
The best way to start is to be honest with yourself and partner. If you go the therapy route, be completely honest with your counselor. Most insurance policies allow visits to a counselor.
If you have other suggestions for dealing with these problems, please use the comments section below. Also use it for letting me know if this article has been helpful in some way to you.