I have posted often here on female sexual dysfunction within a couple.
Sexual dysfunction, for our purpose, is defined as low sexual desire that results in relationship distress.
If mine is low, and yours is low, we have equal desire and neither is suffering.
But if your desire is greater than mine, we most likely feel stress or unhappiness around our unequal libido.
While it is not always the female that has desire lower than her male partner (in fact, same-sex couples also experience unequal desire), I am speaking here about common reasons for low libido in women.
Some common reasons
- Childbirth within the last year - often related to very low hormone levels, Post-Partum baby blues, feeling touched out, exhaustion
- Low Hormone Levels - Post menopausal symptoms that lead to vaginal dryness, absence of lubrication, thinning of pelvic floor lining
- Painful sex - Vaginismus
- Body Image - shame/fear/worry (even when supportive partner says, "I love your body!")
Some solutions include
- Sensate Focus Therapy - couples can attempt this at home with great success
- Vaginal dilator
- Steroid cream
- Fantasy Play
- Mindfulness - the ability to focus on here and now and allow the daily to-do's to quiet. Mindfulness allows for catharting, breathing and throat vocalizing.
Remember that the partner with low desire deeply wishes she could crave sex and intimacy with her spouse. She very often feels "terrible, guilty, responsible" that she cannot rise to the occasion and make something happen in the bedroom.
The male partner needs to be heard and respected for his emotional and physical needs that are not being met. A loving husband/partner usually comes to this conversation feeling badly about his needs as well, "I know she's tired. I want her to want me."
The kind and engaged husband senses that he should be more patient or not so physically needy, but this leaves him feeling emotionally abandoned, rejected and unwanted by his beautiful bride that he so needs and wants. These can be uncomfortable and shameful feelings for both parties.
Healthy conversation with a trained clinician can open the dialogue for a solution-oriented treatment plan. Don't give up!