Female Sexuality Facts

Female Sexuality: Low Sex Drive

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An email received:

I am very unhappy because I've lost all interest in sex, and it is making my husband very unhappy, too. I am twenty-four and my husband is twenty-six. We have been married two years and haven't any children, yet, though we are planning to have some. I used to enjoy making love quite as much as Roger did to begin with.

In fact, sometimes he used to say I was going sex mad because some periods of the month I would want to make love two or three times a day.

Now I never want to make love. Of course I let Roger make love to me, and he nearly always makes me orgasm. But when I come, it isn't half so good as it used to be, and if he didn't make love to me when he felt like it, I'd never make love at all. Even when he does make love to me, I feel at the beginning that I wish he would be quick and get it over with.

When we first got married, we generally used to make love for an hour or more, and I enjoyed and got a terrific thrill out of every moment of it. And I used to enjoy making love to him.

He taught me how to caress his penis with my mouth, and from the very first time I tried it, I found it very exciting and always wanted to do it to him.

But now I can't even be bothered to arouse myself to bend over him to do it. Is there any hope of my getting my old enjoyment of lovemaking back? I do hope so, because Roger has noticed how changed I am and thinks it is something to do with him.

I don't know how long he will put up with me if I can't pull myself together. Can you help me?

This young woman, too, has a problem, but she is not frigid, either! True frigidity is when a woman has never in her life felt any sexual drive, and has never in her life been stimulated to orgasm. Such cases, like male organically caused impotence, are very very rare indeed.

This is what I call pseudo frigidity. This woman cannot possibly be frigid, because although she does not reach orgasm as a result of any stimulation her husband applies to her, she can bring herself to orgasm if she masturbates.

The truly frigid woman could not masturbate to orgasm, but as this woman can reach orgasm, obviously there cannot be any organic reason for her not being able to reach climax during lovemaking.

She represents the classic case of pseudo frigidity, though what the specific cause is in this particular case it is not possible to say, and would only become apparent during face to face counseling.

Even then the counselor might not be able to discover it because it was too deeply hidden in the subconscious, in which event psychotherapy would hold the only possibility of cure.

The first reaction of most women who come to me for help because they are unable to reach orgasm during lovemaking is to deny, when I suggest it, that they have any reason at all, and certainly not a psychological reason, for withholding their orgasm, because that is what is basically happening.

Some become quite worked up about it and protest that they are surprised that I can suggest any such thing. The layman, and, indeed, a good many doctors who do not specialize in sexual problems, has no idea the power that the mind exerts over our physical sexual functioning. Men are as much at the mercy of their minds as women are.

For example, fewer than 5 per cent of all cases of total impotence, i.e. when the man cannot get an erection at all, have organic causes...the remainder of the cases have psychological causes.

All cases of partial impotence - when the man gets an erection, but the erection subsides during foreplay, or just as he is about to put the penis in the vagina, or within seconds of getting it in the vagina, or, in a few cases, where the penis will only become semi-stiff, not stiff enough to get into the vagina - all these cases have psychological causes.

So have 98 per cent of all cases of premature ejaculation - when the man comes before he can get the penis into the vagina or within two minutes of penetration, and where he has no idea how to delay ejaculation - and 99 per cent of all cases of delayed ejaculation (when the man can obtain an erection and hold it for an hour or more, but no matter how long he stimulates his penis, he cannot achieve orgasm).

Maud and her boyfriend were making love in lush grass in a secluded corner of a field one pleasant summer evening. He had entered her, speeding pleasurably towards the point-of-no-return when they heard a man's voice bellowing above, 'You filthy sods! Don't you know it is against God's laws to have sex in public!'

The young man had begun to ejaculate just as the angry old man spoke and nothing could stop him. Maud was not so lucky and every time thereafter, whenever they made love, even in the security of a hotel bedroom, she failed to reach orgasm.

She had her first orgasm during intercourse on her wedding night. The old man's moral strictures had bitten much more deeply into her subconscious than she would have admitted. As soon as the ring was on her finger, and she could no longer be guilty of fornication, all was well.

There was Tom, too. Tom, aged ten, and his friends went swimming one day in a lake. They had no bathing suits, but that did not deter them, nor the coldness of the water. After a time, when they had swum enough, they began to fool about and soon the older boys initiated a mutual-masturbation session. Tom had heard about this pastime, but had no idea of the mechanics of it.

One of the other boys soon put him wise, giving him a practical demonstration, with the result that Tom had his very first orgasm standing at the edge of the lake with his feet in cold water. He came to see me sixteen years later. He had been two years married but he still could not come unless he had his feet in cold water. He had never been able to. 'How on earth do you manage, then?'

I asked him. 'Well,' he said, 'I sit on the edge of the bath with my feet in cold water, and she sits astride me. It's the only way we can make love satisfactorily and she's getting fed up. In fact, unless something happens pretty soon, I think she will leave me.' It was a case, of course, for real expert psychotherapy.

Let me give you an example of the ease with which the mind affects the physical functioning of a man. Helen and George were not lucky enough to get a house before they married, and as Helen's parents had a spare room, it was decided that the couple should live there for a few months while they continued their search.

One Sunday, after they had been married for two or three weeks, while having a lie-in they began to make love. Eventually they were joined in lovemaking, and George had not been fucking her more than two or three minutes, when both of them were startled to hear a boyish voice near them, demanding, 'Hi George, what are you doing to Helen?'

George naturally pulled himself off Helen like a horse stung by a hornet, and they looked around to see Helen's eight-year-old brother, Freddie, standing by the bed.

They had been so engrossed in their lovemaking that they had not heard the boy come into the room. They shooed him away and tried to restart their lovemaking, having first made sure that the door of their room was locked.

Fortunately they were young and they soon began to respond to one another's caresses. Unfortunately, within seconds of coupling, however, George lost what had been a very presentable erection before he could orgasm himself or bring Helen to orgasm. No matter how hard they tried George could not sustain his erection once he had entered her.

And so it happened every time they made love, though they took good care always to lock their bedroom door, and knew they could not possibly be interrupted. (Happily they were able to relieve each other's tensions by fellatio and cunnilingus. These are wonderful sexual techniques) Not until they moved into their own flat five months later was George able to function normally again.

I have quoted these cases to demonstrate how powerful the mind is over physical sexual functioning in both men and women, and also to show that strange and often momentary occurrences can have a really devastating effect on us.

Many of the psychological causes of pseudofrigidity are just as odd, and some so at odds with the conscious attitudes of the women towards her partner that maybe there will be some of you reading this who will not be able to believe some of the causes I shall be setting out.

Before I go on to these psychological causes, however, there are two particular types of pseudofrigidity which have neither an organic cause in the sense that there is something wrong with the formation of the woman's sexual apparatus or a fault in her sexual nervous system, nor a psychological cause.

Until comparatively recently I have been puzzled by a number of cases of young wives who have come to me complaining that when they first got married they and their husbands had had very satisfying and very happy sex lives.

Then gradually - it was usually at the end of twelve to fifteen months of being married - they had begun to lose all interest in sex, and now found themselves without sexual desire, not caring whether their husbands made love to them or not, yet nearly always coming at the culmination of lovemaking. Premature ejaculation, or lasting longer in bed during sex, was never a problem, so this cannot be the explanation of the problem.

It did not occur to me at first that there might be any connection between the Pill and this loss of interest in sex, but the incidence of Pill-taking plus the loss of sexual desire and interest in lovemaking was too high to be coincidence.

Young wives between the ages of twenty and twenty-four, married two or three years, who went on the Pill at marriage and who after a year to fifteen months of sexual bliss often do not care if their husbands make love to them or not at that time!

Not all women on the Pill are afflicted in this way; on the other hand it is not one brand of Pill that is responsible, but several brands.

I now do not hesitate, when confronted with such a case, in urging the woman to go to her doctor, explain what has happened to her, insist that she comes off the Pill and ask to be fitted with an IUD instead, or some other contraceptive device. It takes a good six months for these side-effects of the Pill to wear off, but sexual desire, interest and normal functioning is eventually restored.

All that is needed is patience from both partners and sympathy and understanding from the husband who has already had the shock of wondering whether he had become sexually inadequate for his partner.

The following is a typical email I receive: 'I have been married eight years and have never had an orgasm during lovemaking, though I can come fairly easily if I masturbate.

We went to our doctor a year or two ago, but all he told us was that some women never do reach orgasm during intercourse and we would just have to make the best of it.'

It took me quite a long time to realize that some cases of pseudofrigidity unconnected with the Pill do not have psychological causes.

Now I have worked out a routine to which I work if the emails I receive do not at once reveal a possible psychological cause and I feel certain that even the experts would be surprised by the number of women who are deprived of orgasm during lovemaking by the sheer ignorance of themselves or their partner, and by the faulty loveplay techniques of the partner.