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.

Sexual Addiction – Help For the Sex Addict’s Spouse – Part 5

Can the spouse of a sex addict find help individually for the effects of the sexual addiction on their lives? Sure. Much of the time, however, it is the crisis of discovery of the acting out, or some other related crisis that brings the sex addict and spouse into treatment. They usually seek services at the same time, if the spouse gets help. Unfortunately, many times only the addict is treated.   

Although there are inpatient and outpatient treatment services, many sex addicts and their partners have a difficult time finding an appropriate treatment provider. Couples may seek marriage counseling and no address the sexual addiction.    

Possible reasons for this are varied, but couples often come to counseling with a variety of relationship complaints that may not be immediately identifiable as sexual addiction. Addiction-related behavior or problems may be hidden intentionally or unintentionally from the therapist and the couple may not understand the connections between the sexual behavior and their other presenting problems. Additionally, many treatment providers have a general lack of knowledge about sexual addiction.  Sexual addiction demands treatment.   

Once sexual addiction has been correctly diagnosed, the addict’s number one goal would be abstinence from the compulsive sexual behavior(s).  A first step in achieving that goal is to define “abstinence”. Although abstinence in drug addiction treatment is easily defined, that is not necessarily the case with sexual addiction.  A lifetime of abstinence is not usually recommended, but treatment for sexual addiction will often involve complete sexual abstinence for a period of time (often 60-90 days),  Spouses should be part of the discussions about definitions of abstinence and any expectations of abstinence within the marriage for any period of time. This is important because couples often assume that they agree on something when it has not even been discussed.  

Treatment for the addict and co-addict would involve education about sexual addiction.   The importance of using all recovery resources available, (i.e., sex addicts anonymous (SAA), sexaholics anonymous (SA), Co-SA (co-dependents of sex addicts), group counseling, individual and couples counseling would be discussed. Therapists would also usually make reading recommendations.  

What kinds of issues would the spouse of an addict work on in counseling? Many spouses initially have the attitude that it is the addict only that has “the problem”. But when you look at the devastation in your own life that is associated with the sex addiction, you begin to see not just the benefit of counseling but the importance of it. 

A line of communication begins, with assistance in learning effective, non-acting out dialogue. Couples learn fair fighting and active listening skills. This assists in a more comprehensive disclosure about the sexual compulsivity.  The addict usually feels some relief about getting the secrets out into the open. But both the addict and spouse usually feel overwhelming shame. Both may feel grief. The spouse or co-addict may grieve the loss of the fantasy marriage. The addict may feel grief over the loss of the addiction. The spouse inevitably feels betrayed and very angry. Painful issues are uncovered. Couples need good communication skills in order to talk about these painful experiences and feelings. Although the couple may be talking about these issues with each other, they may still be withdrawing and isolating from other family members and friends due to shame. Self esteem takes a hit in early recovery but usually recovers during the process of recovery over time.   

Couples usually need help with rebuilding, not just the trust and intimacy in their lives, but with damage to infrastructure, like finances. Some of the negative consequences of sexual addiction are loss of job, financial devastation, and an arrest or other legal consequences (i.e., sexual harassment). These are issues that require the processing of feelings, and problem solving skills. Partners need help working through the emotional damage of the acting out, with working through hurt feelings and betrayal, rebuilding trust, and recovering a willingness to risk letting down their guard with each other.  

The spouse needs therapeutic attention of his/her own. Treatment goals for the co-addict would probably involve a frank discussion of feelings about the acting out, with an assessment of the damage to the spouse from that acting out. Spouses often blame themselves for the acting out, believing that if they were pretty/handsome enough, smart enough, sexual enough, etc. that their spouse would not be acting out. They may feel guilty about not seeing it earlier and/or not recognizing the problem so that it could be solved. 

The spouse usually needs help with learning to let go of responsibility for the addict’s recovery, to stop inappropriate caretaking or enabling, or to stop trying to control the addict. The co-addict is assisted in empowering themselves to make decisions based on strengths rather than fear. Self-esteem is a focus of therapeutic attention. 

Co-addicts often discover in the process of recovery that they had their own issues before the sexual addiction issues surfaced. Similarly, the addict usually has the beginning of their sexual addiction before the marriage. A lot of co-addicts (and addicts) uncover addictions of other family members, and unresolved family of origin trauma, like childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect. These are issues that need to be addressed and treated in order to be able to truly be intimate in relationships.   

Just as the addict needs to change their core beliefs in recovery, the co-addict must change some core beliefs about themselves and their own competence in recovery. As recovery continues, and time passes, the co-addict can eventually regain the trust for their addicted spouse. This is not a short process, and the addict often gets frustrated, angry, and resentful when the spouse continues to bring up the past, and discuss and process negative feelings. Counseling helps facilitate this process with assistance in talking about it and reminding the addict that it takes the spouse this long to work through those feelings. 

The spouse’s ability to regain trust for the sex addict is in part dependent upon their perception of addict’s performance in honesty, consistency, dependability, and sensitivity to the co-addict’s feelings.  Identifying and working through one’s own issues, along with increase self-esteem and self-confidence, helps facilitate the recovery of trust. 

Other important therapeutic work of the spouse is development of a plan for how they would deal with relapse. Through their own hard work they learn to determine for themselves what they are willing to live with and what they are not. They learn to define and declare their bottom lines and to set boundaries about relapse accordingly. They learn to reject unacceptable behavior and take care of themselves. Co-addicts can learn to trust their own opinions and reality and make decisions appropriate to being responsible for their own health, welfare, and happiness.   

Treatment is not just for the addict. Even if the addict does not recover, the spouse can, if they are willing to do the work. Just divorcing the addict, usually does not solve the problem for the co-addict. Without work, the emotional baggage that you carry around from one relationship to another just keeps getting heavier. 

Test Love Compatibility – Physical and Emotional Sexuality Method

One of the most powerful and useful tools to test love compatibility was developed as part of Physical and Emotional Suggestibility and Sexuality Theory, first introduced by John G. Kappas, Ph.D. in 1975. It was based on 30 years of clinical investigation and extensive research. Dr. Kappas became famous for his results predicting behavior and resolving relationship problems using this theory.

In the conventional view of behavior, popularized by John Gray in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, men behave one way, women another. This view underlies the approach most therapists use to counsel couples.

In his practice as a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Kappas discovered that two other patterns of behavior existed that offered a better context for couples therapy. He identified the patterns as Physical Sexuality and Emotional Sexuality. Both men and women exhibit both patterns. It seems that some men and women are from Mars, some from Venus.

The behavior traits exhibited in Physical Sexuality and Emotional Sexuality are quite different. For example, take a look at the patterns with respect to just a few traits.

A Physical Sexual person tends to be openly and abundantly affectionate. He is outgoing, comfortable in groups, and enjoys calling attention to his physical body. When rejected, he tries harder. He views sex as an integral expression of loving and being loved. He tends to be available for sex anytime and enjoys prolonging sexual expression to maximize the feelings of love and acceptance.

In sharp contrast, an Emotional Sexual person tends to be uncomfortable with open affection, prefers intimate interactions with one or two people, and is uncomfortable calling attention to his body. When rejected, he withdraws. He views sex as a means of release quite separate from love. He tends to desire sex on a cycle, such as every three days. On a cycle day, he experiences complete release in one sexual event. On off days, he may not find sexual expression or physical touch pleasant.

The behavior traits of Physical and Emotional Sexuality are so distinctly different, it is not hard to understand why people of opposite Sexuality have difficulty interacting, much as a dog and a cat have trouble interacting.

People tend to exhibit behavior traits from both Physical and Emotional Sexuality patterns, though one pattern or the other dominates. To measure both Sexuality and the percent dominance, Dr. Kappas created the Physical and Emotional Sexuality Questionnaires and developed a statistical scoring system. On these tests, a person may score from 55-95% Physical Sexuality, or 55-95% Emotional Sexuality.

A person of 95% dominance in either Sexuality will exhibit that behavior exclusively. A person of 55% dominance in either Sexuality will exhibit almost as many traits of the opposite Sexuality as his own. Knowing a person’s Sexuality score, consequently, is quite useful in predicting his behavior.

In predicting relationship behavior, the Physical and Emotional Sexuality score is even more enlightening. In an ironic twist of nature, for long term intimate relationships, a person chooses a person of opposite Sexuality with the same degree of dominance.

A 95% Physical Sexual will partner with a 95% Emotional Sexual. This couple, like the dog and cat, will experience difficulty interacting as their behavior traits are so different. You might suspect that they are incompatible as a couple. Ironically, their sexual chemistry is explosive. Their strong physical attraction may keep them together but their conflicts and misunderstandings will be many.

Low scorers on the Physical and Emotional Sexuality scale also have difficulty. They will experience few problems interacting outside the bedroom as their behavior traits are similar. Sexual chemistry, however, is weak to nonexistent. Their ability to get along may keep them together but sexual disappointment may also lead to conflict and misunderstandings. Moderate scorers relate best on every level.

As a rule of thumb in Physical and Emotional Sexuality, when people of opposite Sexuality relate, the more extreme the opposite, the more intense the sexual attraction and the greater the problems in all other aspects of the relationship. It seems Mother Nature had her own ideas about relationship compatibility.

Sexuality patterns cannot be changed. Knowledge of Physical and Emotional Sexuality is the best means to improve understanding of yourself, your partner, and the problems you have. It is the most powerful and most useful tool to help couples quickly identify relationship issues and resolve them. It can be used effectively in counseling or as a self help measure.

Despite the broad benefits of Physical and Emotional Sexuality, it is not widely practiced. Since its introduction, numerous new theories and techniques, such a Neurolinguistic Programming and Rational Emotive Therapy, have emerged. These, together with the flood of self help methodologies, compete for a place in professional training and practice. No one methodology is standard in relationship counseling today. For relationship questions, however, no other method gets better results when it is time to test love compatibility.