Restoring Female Sexual Desire
It takes more than a willing body for optimum sexual desire. The mind is the most important sex organ in the body! Little information is provided in literature regarding enhancing a person’s sexual pleasure through power of the mind. For that matter, little is available in literature regarding medications or supplements that assist in increasing female sexual desire, or at least anything that really works.
At the beginning of a relationship, most couples are passionate and sexual. This is stimulated by lust, and new experiences, producing high levels of natural sexual arousal. Couples often experience what is described as a good sex life when they first begin dating. This passion rarely lasts more than a few years when the novelty wears off. Demands of a typical American lifestyle begin to take priority.
As women reach perimenopause or menopause, sex begins to seem like too much of an inconvenience, new techniques may be uncomfortable, and child rearing and adolescents takes its toll on ones sex life. Married sex too often means routine and boring sex.
Your female patients will be thrilled to learn that they can return to a thrilling exciting sex life again! You can teach patients to increase sexual pleasure and extended sexual orgasm techniques. This means that you will need to learn to talk openly to your patients about sex! Yes sex! Honest communication between all parties involved is essential to learning the skills needed for a restored sex life. According to the Sinclair Intimacy Institute “Great Lovers Are Made Not Born.”
The first and foremost secret to Great Sex is to make the decision to go for it! It requires a decision and a commitment to make love to the same person for the rest of your life! “Lifelong committed sex has the potential to be more thrilling, more varied, more satisfying in every way than any other sexual arrangement” (Dagmar O’Connor).
“Essence of Health and Vitalities Favorite Five”
Hints for a glowing libido
- Take an outing to an upscale sex shop with a group of friends, or go by yourself. If Carrie from Sex in the City can do it, so can you! At the very least, the products will amuse you, but you may be pleasantly surprised by, and interested in, the offerings there. Dr. Muth’s favorite store is a Women’s Touch.
- Check out the latest books about sex. If you’re too embarrassed to browse the shelves at your local bookstore, check out some at an online bookstore.
- Entertain some new techniques with your partner, or on your own. Try something outside your comfort zone, but safe.
- Watch an erotic movie with your partner or by yourself, notice what turns you on. If this is too uncomfortable you can watch a romantic movie with one of your favorite actors, especially the ones you find sexy!
- Check out the website, books, and courses offered by Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts it is a fantastic way to get started finding you again.
Dr. Muth has worked with many women and has witnessed firsthand how a women’s sexuality evolves throughout their lives. The notion of holding onto youth is an increasingly outdated and limits a woman’s sexual potential, especially as she gets older. Instead, we see sexual identity evolving along a continuum. Like a flowing ribbon with all its beauty. Once women realize how much easier it is to be who they really are, at every age, they are presented with all sorts of opportunities for fulfillment, fun, and pleasure.
We encourage every woman to welcome the changes that enrich their sexuality as the transition begins both physically and emotionally during perimenopause and menopause. Understanding the physical changes that are occurring helps you make practical choices, so you can create a sex life that suits you now, one that can be, believe it or not, better than ever.
A woman’s level of sexual desire is affected by a range of interdependent physical and emotional factors. We delve into the complex emotional aspects of rekindling desire and rebuilding libido in a separate article.
“At this age, it’s unusual for somebody to do a love scene, to be making love… (But) we still are alive… it’s authentic. The whole idea that you have to look a certain way and be a certain way to earn love is ridiculous.”
— Actress Meryl Streep, about her on-screen sex scene at age 60, as quoted in The Times (London) (12/21/2009).
We cannot forget the physically changes that occur with almost every postmenopausal women which is straightforward and easy to address and improve.
The physical causes of low libido, it’s apparent that this can occur from hormonal imbalance or relationship issues. Low libido is commonly accompanied by other symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as; insomnia, fatigue, night sweats, vaginal dryness, fuzzy thinking. These symptoms can make daily life miserable and can also affect how one perceives them self. Some women say their symptoms make them feel “old and used up,” as if they’re losing their womanhood. Others just say they do not feel sexy.
When women can balance their hormones, they obtain relief from unpleasant physical symptoms, and that can significantly increase their sexual desire. This certainly doesn’t mean that their mind will follow. It is important to evaluate their relationship, demand that they find a way to rekindle and prevent boredom from their relationships. Begin open conversations with their partners about what they need and want both sexually and romantically. It is easy for us to become lazy in a relationship.
Men also experience physical and emotional changes with their sexual desire. It is easier to assist men with prescriptions like testosterone and Viagra but they also become bored and like variety in their relationships. It is important to encourage open communication and experimentation for them as well. They can utilize many of the same tips presented in this article.
You CAN improve your sex drive by…
- Restoring balance between the three major sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are key. Many other hormones can be adjusted but these are the primary hormones.
- Practicing sound nutrition to support physical and emotional health, and taking steps to get regular, restorative sleep. Supplementing nutrition where one is deficient can be beneficial.
- Exercising, to build energy and stamina, both elements of libido. Exercise can decrease a woman’s concern for how she appears naked. Exercise can also directly reduce menopausal symptoms.
- Healing old emotional wounds, and being aware that stress takes both an emotional and physical toll on your libido. If there is difficulty for your patients to deal with alone, recommend a good therapist that specializes in couples and menopausal issues.
- Understanding that a woman’s self-image and sexual identity evolve throughout life is important to understand and respect. It’s a gift to allow a woman the right to be (and look like) the woman they really want to become.
“Fewer mirrors — more laughter!”
It is entirely possible for sex at midlife to be better than ever! Here’s how:
- Women have more experience and are more confident about their sexual abilities.
- Enjoy taking the lead, showing and telling ones partner what is desired.
- Develop a good sense of humor, about sex and life.
- Sex is invigorating allow it to make you feel more attractive.
Unfortunately, for women, there is not a simple pharmaceutical fix for sex drive. For years, drug companies have been trying to concoct a Viagra-like medication for “female sexual dysfunction.” But a woman’s libido is more complex physically and emotionally than a man’s. I wish I could say we have uncovered a “magic pill” that provides consistent results for all women, but that is not the case.
It is thought that a low testosterone level is a core issue but this is just the case. For many women, emotional or relationship issues are connected to low libido, so no prescription hormone is going to resolve the dilemma. Along with establishing (or reestablishing) fundamental emotional connections with your partner, we advise taking the most natural, least-invasive approach to restoring hormonal balance. I find that using a natural approach with hormonal balancing is the best results for improved libido!
Endocrine support helps provide the building blocks that the body converts into hormones as needed, whether it’s progesterone, cortisol, estrogens, or testosterone. Some women notice immediate improvement, while others need a little more time, but relief will be long-lasting.
We have all heard stories from women who are patted on the head and told there are no options for them, that the sexual part of life is over! But I wouldn’t particularly want, or trust, a 30-something practitioner advising me about my sexual needs at age 60, either. As with other health issues, it is essential to find a healthcare provider who listens to you, treats you like an adult, and knows her stuff, or is at least willing to explore alternatives with you.
Stress and Sex
There is a large about of evidence to support that chronic stress is not healthy, but do you know that it takes a toll on ones libido. The body interprets ongoing stress as life threatening, so naturally, survival is prioritized ahead of pleasure. Stress over-burdens the adrenal glands, “stealing” the substances normally used to make estrogen and testosterone, both vital to desire and sexual response.
Stress occurs in many facets of our lives: the workplace, home life, relationships, unresolved emotional problems, medical problems, and more. Many women simply get accustomed to it. Taking the time to identify individual sources of stress can be the first step in resolving them.
Simple changes can help relieve stress; bigger adjustments may be needed for permanent relief of the stressors. Some considerations:
- Do you take on other people’s stress in addition to your own? “Minding your own business” can be good for your health.
- Look for new ways to nurture your emotional and spiritual self. It may be time to fill your reservoir.
- Change up your routine for a fresh take on life.
- Investigate a new form of creative self-expression. (Sex itself is an expression of creativity.)
- Get help from your partner. A new perspective from someone who loves you can be invaluable.
The connection between nutrition and libido is a major part of creating change. Nutrient deficiencies stress the body’s internal systems and set the stage for hormonal imbalance. Many women are on continuous diets to improve their appearance, unaware that ongoing nutrient deprivation can have a drastic impact on physical health, energy levels, and self-image. All of these effects make one feel awful and drain the sex drive. Note that low-fat diets are especially problematic, because the body needs lipids and cholesterol to make hormones, including the testosterone needed for sexual response.
Many people believe the brain is the most important sexual organ, and it follows that our beliefs about sex and what sort of behavior is “age-appropriate,” can alter a person’s sex drive. Desire and satisfaction depend on both emotional and psychological factors not just purely physical.
A woman’s sexuality evolves in perimenopause and menopause. For many of us, early sexual identity was rooted in our sense of attractiveness to others, which was typically based on having a youthful body. As the body changes, women might compare their appearance to how they looked in the past, or to other women, and forget to update their self-image to include the richness of our life experience. If a woman feels undesirable or even ugly, it’s less likely they will be interested in sex. But remember the old saying “Love is blind,” if you do not believe this look around at the couples holding hands, they come in all sizes and shapes.
Some women believe that sexual desire is shameful or even inappropriate, especially as they get older. Women who’ve been unassertive about their sexuality in the past may be prepared to sacrifice their sex lives rather than speak up now about their sexual needs. Single women may be daunted by the prospect of “dating” again and just close themselves off from the whole idea of sex. You do not need a partner to enjoy the health benefits of self-cultivation. I think this is an ideal time of life for women to rediscover and “fall in love” with themselves. They can have fun, trying things they’ve always wanted to experience and, who knows what, or whom, they will find in their futures?
Finding the best of the best in your partner
If you are in a relationship, in order to improve sex drive and desire there needs to be communication. That communication needs to take place between you and your partner. Usually it requires taking time to evaluate the relationship you are in and all things about it that bring you pleasure and pain. For many women, this opens a vortex of issues. First off, men and women are as different as night and day when it comes to libido. For men, arousal is mostly a physical experience, but for many women, the relationship itself is equally, or even more, important. No matter who your partner is, it’s absolutely essential to foster good communication between the two of you. If a person needs help in this area have them read “Men are from Mars Men Women are from Venus” by Jonathan Gray.
Here are questions to ask:
- Are your needs being met in the relationship?
- Do the two of you deal with problems openly and constructively?
- Do you treat each other with respect and fairness?
- Is your partner self-absorbed, or even self-destructive?
How a person answers these questions will help measure the amount of intimacy and trust — elements that keep sexual desire alive. Women are confused about why they react so strongly now to behaviors their partners have exhibited for years. In perimenopause and menopause, women often shift their attention to finding and using their own voices to express what may be long-denied wants and needs.
If people do not learn how to make their feelings known, their health will be affected. So even if an issue has been brewing for years, the midlife transition may prioritize finding a solution. Patience, humor, and compassion will help your partner welcome this “new you.”
Sexuality is naturally meant to evolve in perimenopause and menopause, and a person’s life experience will help a woman chart a new course. Even though sexual desire may diminish or even disappear, temporarily, it can and will come back. It happens all the time! That’s why reducing physical symptoms by restoring hormonal balance and supporting emotional health are so important.
Some advice for your patients is as follows; invite them to rediscover their body. Make a date with their partner, and begin to imagine fresh ways to explore sexuality. No one has to know what they are doing, or thinking to feel sexy. Showing or telling that certain someone what is needed can jumpstart the process.
A little mystery, openness to new ideas, and a whole lot of laughter will guide one through this new stage, learning as you go. The best advice is to trust your intuition to reveal what’s best for you. Sexuality is an expression of a creative life force, with great influence on health and well-being. A person gets to choose what they want at this turning point in your life!
If you are interested in teaching your patients how to enjoy have the best sex life possible, you should attend one of our seminars on Sexual Dysfunction.
Midwest June 27, 2010