Dear Doc | I have no desire for sex
Q Doc, I am in my early 30s and my problem is that I never seem to have any sexual desire. Well, not much.
When I was in my teens, I just couldn't get excited about boys the way that other girls did. Later, I had one or two boyfriends, but was never very turned on by them.
I remained a virgin until my mid-20s. I had a few flings, but they didn't make me enthusiastic about sex. However, I did climax a few times.
I got married when I was 30 years old, but the marriage broke up soon after because I had absolutely no interest in my husband's lovemaking.
So here I am on my own again, with no real sexual desire. I would like to fix this. Is there anything I can do about it? Would female hormones help me?
I do masturbate, maybe two to three times for the month, and that is reasonably successful - I often reach orgasms.
A Well, that does suggest that physically your sex organs are in working order. So the odds are that the problem here is psychological.
I think you should realise that until a few generations ago, many doctors would have regarded you as completely normal. Some medical textbooks of the time confidently stated that 25 per cent of women are constitutionally frigid, that is, without sexual desire.
But these days, most experts take the view that it is healthy and normal for women to have a reasonable amount of sex drive. And if a woman doesn't have any libido (desire), then something is wrong.
So what could be wrong with you?
Well, in my experience, most women who lack libido have some emotional cause. Most commonly, the reason is that they were raised by parents who somehow taught them that enjoying sex was wrong or dirty. Sometimes their mothers told them that sex was an unpleasant, painful thing.
In other cases, some women have no real sexual desire because they have had some unpleasant sexual experience, like rape or abuse.
Do any of these things apply to you? If so, there is a good chance that a course of conversations with a good counsellor or a psychotherapist could help you to be happier with your sexuality, and perhaps, have a normal libido.
If you cannot find a therapist or counsellor, or cannot afford one, then I would suggest that you take a good look at the various websites of an American sex educator called Betty Dodson. She has been helping women to have better sex lives for about 40 years.
My feeling is that as you can have orgasms, you could very possibly reach a point where you could enjoy sex quite a lot. You might be able to form a happy relationship with someone, and maybe even marry again.
One other thing. You may have considered this, but is there any possibility that you might be a lesbian? For instance, what goes through your mind when you masturbate and achieve an orgasm? Do you ever think about attractive or sexy women? If so, then maybe you really are so inclined.
Finally, you ask about hormones. I am very doubtful about that. In general, female hormone treatments seem to have very little impact on desire. Oddly enough, a few doctors do give women male hormone (testosterone) because it is alleged to 'pep up' libido in both sexes. It might just be worth a try.
But if at all possible, I think you should talk to a good therapist. I wish you well.
I had sex with three different women while my wife was away
Q Doc, I must have been crazy last month. My wife went to see her mother in the country and was away for a week. During that time, I got so horny that I had sex with three different women. Do you think I may have caught a VD?
A If you have no symptoms, you are probably OK, but it depends on:
- Whether you used condoms.
- Whether it was prostitutes that you went with - as, unfortunately, these women are particularly likely to have sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
All in all, I think it would be best if you saw a doctor and had some tests for STIs. If it is not already too late, please do this before you resume having sex with your wife.
Do female condoms work?
Q Doc, I would like to try that female condom thing. But does it work? And how do I use it?
A Yes, it works pretty well. It is like a little bag, about eight inches long, and before having sex you just 'feed' it into your vagina so that the closed end of the bag is as far inside you as possible. Then you have to make sure that your partner puts his penis into the opening of the little bag.
Unfortunately, some men do miss and discharge outside the female condom. Obviously, that is no good at all!
Could the Pill affect men?
Q I am a 34-year-old man and I would like to know that if my girlfriend decided to take the Pill, could it adversely affect me?
I would not like to absorb any female hormones from her vagina!
A Relax. The Pill has no adverse effects on men. And you will not absorb any hormones from her.
Could I get the jab at 30?
Q At age 30, am I too old to take the 'shot', Doc? My niece has been doing very well on it, and I thought that I should try it.
A The contraceptive jab is perfectly suitable for a 30-year-old woman. One thing you should watch out for is the long-term use that has been linked to brittle bones and fractures. So don't take it for too long.
What is BV?
Q I had a brief affair with a man in Savanna-la-Mar, and now I have got something which my doc calls 'BV'.
But what is that?
A The initials 'BV' stands for bacterial vaginosis. This is a condition which has become common in the last 10 years or so, but doctors don't really know much about the causes.
I can't say for certain that you got it from this guy, as so far no one has proven that it is sexually transmitted. It is a condition in which the balance of the natural bacteria in the vagina becomes disturbed.
Usually, the result is a grey or whitish discharge, often accompanied by an odour. The aroma may be fishy, which is distressing for the woman.
Fortunately, BV can be successfully treated with oral tablets or a vaginal application. Please follow your doctor's instructions. Tip: do not have sex till you are completely cured.
Q Is it possible for a man to develop soreness because he is allergic to condoms?
A Yes, it is. This allergy causes soreness, itching and swelling of the penis. If you have these symptoms, please switch to 'low-allergy' or 'non-latex' condoms. If in doubt, check with a doctor who can examine your organ.