Women and Sexual Libido Issues

Libido simply means sex drive. A woman’s desire for sex can vary individually. When a woman is in a new relationship she will experience what is commonly called “the honeymoon phase” where sex is abundant whilst over a period a woman’s sex drive will decrease. The frequency of sexual activity ranges from daily to not happening at all. If you are concerned about the decrease in your sexual libido, you might need to seek professional help.

What causes female sexual dysfunction?

Female sexual dysfunction is caused by changes in the sexual desire of women. Menopause is common to induce a decline in a woman’s desire for sex. This is primarily due to a hormonal imbalance. Dyspareunia can cause pain during sexual activity with women. Women who have given birth can experience a decline in their sexual libidos due to hormonal changes especially with the increase of prolactin which is responsible for decreasing female’s libido.

Infections

Infections can also be contributing factors to female sexual dysfunction. Women do experience issues with achieving orgasm and the underlying factors which cause this can stem from both medical and psychological reasons. Infections such as thrush or yeast infections can take any woman’s desire for sex away in an instant.

Diagnosis methods

There are different diagnosis methods which can be utilized in diagnosing women with low libidos. Doctors can perform physical examinations which consist of family histories as well as checking the overall health of the female who is experiencing a low libido. Blood and urine tests are utilized with diagnosing methods as well as hormone tests.

Treatments

Reduced libidos are treated with various styles. Treatments can include seeking any underlying medical problems which the patient might have. Hormone replacement therapy which typically adjusts the balance of hormones in a female’s body. Anti-depressants and stress management have proved to work with females suffering from low sexual libidos. Counseling aids as well with the emotional factors involved with females suffering from sexual issues.

Counseling

Many counseling options are available for women if first they become accepting of the problem. Counseling can aid women with learning new communication skills which will in return aid them in their relationships with their sexual partners. Underlying issues can be addressed through therapy as well as education on different sexual techniques and fantasies and desires.

Some women are reluctant to seek counseling to aid them with their low sexual libido issue however, it is of the utmost importance that if emotional or psychological factors are the problem for their low libido’s they must seek counseling to realize what these issues are.

Where should women seek help for low sexual libidos?

Where can women seek help for their low sexual libidos? Their first place to check should always be with their family doctor. A woman’s family doctor can provide referrals to sex therapists or psychologist. Urologists can aid women as well if there are some underlying medical problems which are affecting a woman’s desire to have sex.

Things every woman should remember

Some things which women need to know about low sexual libidos is that the desire for sexual activity varies individually. Some of the many factors which can affect low sexual libidos in women can be stress, feeling rushed, not being compatible with your sexual partner and any types of drugs which you might currently be taking. Illegal drug usage as well as alcohol abuse can cause a low sexual libido in women. If you are currently taking prescribed medications, you should check to see what the side effects are. If one of the side effects is a decrease in your sex drive, discuss with your medical doctor an alternative to the medication which you are currently taking.

Premarital Counseling: Ten Ways to Increase Sexual Intimacy Through Couples Counseling

So many couples don’t discuss important aspects of marriage until AFTER they’re married. Will you have children? Will both of you work, or just one of you? Where will you live? Who will be in charge of which chores? How much personal time will you give each other? How do you both see finances in marriage?

Talk about the ten B’s, and build a healthy marriage that lasts many, many years. Avoid the misunderstanding and misconception caused by putting off the B’s! I will provide you both a safe place, a plan, and guidance to talk about the following aspects of marriage intimacy.

Business. What are your career prospects and attitudes about work? How do you envision your life together? What are your most important goals? How do you see your work life together?

Baby. How do you feel about having a child, or not? Would either of you like more than one? How do you want to raise the child? Have you talked about discipline?

Bottle. Concerning alcohol and drugs, I am surprised how many couples aren’t aware of their partner’s habits and tendencies. In premarital couples counseling we can safely discuss your values and behaviors with alcohol and drugs.

Bedroom. What are your expectations and preferences sexually? What attitudes and values do you hold? What about infidelity?

Bank. Money and financial issues are one of the biggest causes of divorce. I will provide you with constructive ways to talk about responsibilities, budgeting, and financial history aspects of relationship. Do you want the freedom to buy items without your partner’s approval? How do you want to handle debt, and the money that is earned?

Beliefs. Compatibility and personality differences can be turned in to strengths. How do your values, religion, and politics impact your relationship?

Broom. Explore home issues before unspoken habits trip you up. What kind and how big of home do you want to live in? Who’s in charge of what chores? How clean and tidy do you keep house?

Blemishes. What are the imperfections or baggage that you’d rather talk about now? No one is perfect, and we all have baggage. Do each of your parents want to see you a little, or quite a bit? This is good to discuss to prevent blemishes related to extended family.

Body. Are there any body issues that you want to discuss? What happens if and when one of you gets ill?

Belly. What are your food preferences? I’m surprised how many clients have food arguments about the different ways they like to eat and exercise. Do you get in to your N.O.C.T.: NO ONE CAN TELL me what to do – over food?

In premarital counseling, talk about the ten B’s to help you explore the need to be yourself, and the need for connection, so that you can develop a more mature sense of your self, and a more mature connection in your marriage. You can prevent the power struggles so common for all of us while growing your sense of self and building a foundation for adult sexual intimacy. I will provide you with communication skills to enhance your marriage, plus offer you conflict resolution skills for those difficult moments. Imagine the depth of your vows to one another as you learn through couples counseling how to grow who you are individually, and how to grow the emotional intimacy between you. Then can avoid the intimacy problems in your healthy marriage together, and include more sexual intimacy between you!

I originally learned about the ten B’s in my five year, Integrative Body Psychotherapy training, 1990-1995, and I’ve adapted them a bit for this article. Why not see for your selves how talking with a trained third party can enhance your premarital, and marital, lives!

Dealing With Sex and Power in Feminist Counselling

Like all counsellors, feminist counsellors address the problems and confusions that are at the heart of the client’s current difficulties. However, feminist counsellors seek to help clients grow in awareness as to how their lives have been affected and curtailed by living in a male-dominated society. Hence, many issues that are raised by a client are explored, not only in terms of the woman’s personal experiences and relationships, but also in terms of gender stereotypes and power-relations.

From how women feel about their bodies, to how women’s sexuality is exploited, abused and trivialised, feminist counsellors explore these issues with clients to give them a greater picture of how their own problems, fears, and sense of inferiority are closely entwined with patriarchal values and social constructions.

Sex and Power

Unlike mainstream counsellors, feminist counsellors explore the ways in which sex and relationships are connected to politics. In terms of sex-roles and stereotypes, both socialised sex and politics are both inextricably bound up with power. For millennia, women have been exploited in patriarchal cultures (Vesel-Mander and Kent-Rush: 1974, 22). Worell and Remer (1992, 92) view feminist therapy as focusing on helping clients identify the influence of social rules, sex-role socialisation, institutionalised sexism and other kinds of oppression on personal experience. Feminists of all backgrounds converge on the fact that every area of a woman’s life is affected by gender inequalities. Women’s bodies and their sexuality is the arena where patriarchal control and violence is most commonly displayed.

Women are faced with many opposing images and views of female sexuality. For centuries women were categorised as virgin, mother or whore. Within all major religions female sexuality is viewed as a temptation, leading innocent males towards sin. Patriarchal laws devised ways of controlling female sexuality, making it permissible only within the sanctity of marriage. In Victorian England a woman who enjoyed or pursued sexual pleasure was labelled mentally sick, was often committed to an asylum or was deemed to be in need of a gruesome operation to make her sexually passive, so that she could no longer enjoy sex. Since the 1960s a woman is often deemed to be liberated only if she is having sex with many partners (Worell and Remer (1992).

Feminist counsellors explore these deeply powerful and contradictory stereotypes with clients, teasing out how they have affected women’s choices, and the expression of their needs and feelings. According to Vesel-Mander and Kent-Rush (1974, 51), feminism seeks to bring out the validity of the woman’s own experience, and to challenge society’s artificial norms about what women should and should not want sexually.

Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence

Many feminist counsellors specialise in working with women who have suffered sexual abuse or violence. Sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and pornography are crimes that are viewed by feminists as ways in which the patriarchy keeps women frightened and controlled. Feminist counsellors will not only explore the woman’s personal experience of abuse but will also look at society’s values and stereotypes that create male abusers and female victims.
Women who have been raped may agonise over what it was in their dress or behaviour that precipitated the attack, a question that would be considered ludicrous in any other violent crime. Feminist counsellors work with their clients to help them realise that the crime was in no way instigated by them. Men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of violence and sexual abuse against women. This violence is not about isolated incidents, but occurs in many contexts, from private and familial, to public (Walsh and Liddy: 1989).

MacLeod (1990, 1) is highly critical of the counselling which women who have suffered domestic violence receive from mainstream counsellors. She states that “mainstream treatment approaches used in social service or health agencies and by private medical, psychological and social work practitioners have been attacked for blaming the woman.” She goes on to add that mainstream counsellors often look for weaknesses or pathologies within the woman to explain the violence, minimising or ignoring the responsibility of the violent partner for his actions, and overlooking the social values and institutions that condone violence against women and children. Criticism of mainstream counselling is also made by MacLeod (1990) for its failure to understand the seriousness of the violence and the continued danger many abused women experience, even after separating or divorcing from a violent partner. Also, mainstream counselling often emphasises treatment based on keeping the family together, while failing to recognise the power imbalance that exists between men and women which reinforces abuse (MacLeod, 1990, 2).

Body Image

The way in which women are portrayed in advertising and pornography is also addressed by feminist counsellors. Women are groomed by culture to view themselves as objects, which must match a particular shape and style to fit in with perceived notions of beauty and desire. Despite all the political advances which feminists have achieved over many decades, women still learn to judge their worth by their physical appearance, bodies, faces, hair and clothes (Wolfe: 1991).

Feminist counsellors view such issues as low self-esteem due to poor body image, the use of cosmetic surgery for non-medical treatment, and such problems as bulimia and anorexia nervosa as being largely the result of patriarchal conditioning and exploitation. Psychotherapist, Susie Orbach (1993) explores the reasons why many women become anorexic. In the United States alone, one hundred and fifty thousand women die from the effects of anorexia. For Orbach (1993) the psychological roots of this form of self-inflicted violence are embedded when the woman initially tries to transform her body into that which will be acceptable to society. She surpasses society’s demands that a woman be thin and desirable and instead goes on a form of hunger strike, trying to control even her most basic need for food as she has been brought-up to deny her emotional needs.

Feminist counsellors seek to help a woman begin to nurture herself, to learn to love and respect her own body. This helps the woman to grow in self-esteem, and to regain her sense of internal power. Vesel-Mander and Kent-Rush (1974, 56) recommend that feminist counsellors use body therapies because a great deal of women’s oppression is biological. As a result of centuries of negative programming, women need to do a great deal of healing on their bodies and body images.