October 2011 | Newsletter archives
Put the fun in functional
You’re busy, you’re stressed, and you have much too much going on to have any fun, let alone have any sex. Could it be your lifestyle that’s been keeping you from enjoying your life, including sex? Or are there physiological reasons for your lack of sexual desire? The libido has taken a huge hit in the last fifty years as work hours and stress levels have risen steadily and the amount of leisure time enjoyed by women has declined. Working long hours, running households, caring for children and leading time-crunched lives have resulted in wilted sex drives for far too many women.
In my practice, I see many women who would be very happy never to have sex again. That’s not to say they don’t want relationships or to have romance in their lives. There’s a difference between romance (which has more to do with emotional attachment) and sex. Do women want romance in their lives? Yes. Do they want sex? Not always.
It’s entirely normal for sexual response to change dramatically over the course of a lifetime depending on hormone levels, lifestyle, health conditions and environmental stress.
Luckily, things are beginning to change, largely because of Viagra, believe it or not. When erectile dysfunction came out of the closet, so to speak, women began to talk about their problems as well. In fact, I have many women patients who come to me because they’re looking for ways to keep up with their Viagra-popping significant others who suddenly want much more sex than they have in years. Right now, there is no equivalent drug for women. But there are definitely ways that women of all ages can address hormonal issues that may be slowing down or stopping their own sexual responses.
I have spent my career studying the effects of metabolism and hormones on the emotional and spiritual dimensions of female sexuality. If you are less than satisfied with your sexual response, there are various strategies you can try. Even if you’re not concerned about your lack of libido, or you’re simply willing to accept it as part of being a busy working mother, or just as a consequence of growing older, I would caution against falling into that trap. Don’t give up on yourself, your own enjoyment and your own health—because what you may not know is that, for a variety of reasons, sexual activity is actually good for you. Sex burns calories, increases oxygenation, promotes cardiovascular health, boosts immunity, relieves stress and depression, can help with cramps, and may prevent endometriosis. It’s also fun. So enjoy. It may be the best way to put fun back into your functional life.
I cover sex problems in my upcoming book The Fatigue Solution: Increase your energy in eight easy steps. Please make sure and read more as soon as it comes out in March, 2012.