September 2, 2018

For the average man, his biggest sexual challenge is finding an early ejaculation solution. For a woman, the problem is getting interested in sex in the first place. This is confirmed by sexuality researcher Rosemary Basson, Ph.D.She heads the Sexual Medicine Programme at the University of British Columbia.

Fortunately, self-help books make a difference, and women are generally more receptive to them than men. It has to be the right book though, and Laurie B. Mintz’s A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex (2009) seems to work. This Ph.D. holder and professor of psychology is based at the University of Florida, and she offers a six-step programme that changed readers lives in as little as six weeks.

Statistics on sexual disinterest

First, a little background. The University of Chicago ran studies in 1999 and again in 2008, running surveys to see women’s attitudes towards sex. The following results gauged women’s levels of disinterest in sex based on their age:

  • 32% from age 18 to 29
  • 32% from age 30 to 39
  • 30% from age 40 to 49
  • 27% from age 50 to 59
  • 38% from age 60 to 74
  • 49% over 75 years

Clinical treatment isn’t as successful in treating this issue as it has been with say – discordant sex drives, inability to orgasm in women, and premature ejaculation treatments. Medically, the female equivalent of Viagra has proved elusive. Culturally, men are socialised to proliferate while their partners are pushed to be more reserved in their enthusiasm and to focus on the pleasure of their partners. Men are taught to desire while women are trained to make themselves desirable. Their own pleasure doesn’t come into it.

Gender-based programming

It can also be problematic that one-third of women experience lowered sexual interest, and one third have higher libidos than their partners. Meanwhile, two-thirds of men outpace their partners in terms of sexual desire. Gender roles also – frequently – leave women too tired for sex, both physically and psychologically. Basson ran a study in 2008. She worked with 26 women, teaching them about desire, meditation, and emotional time outs.

Mintz’s techniques were similar, and her study covered 45 women who had been in heterosexual marriages for 4-and-a-half to 29 years, and all exhibited low libidos. Their education levels and incomes were mixed. To start off, the women answered survey questions regarding their erotic satisfaction, sexual desire, orgasms, arousal, sexual pain, and lubrication. Then 19 of them were asked to read the book, and they all showed more improvement than the other 26. Another helpful title is Wanting Sex Again (2012) by namesake and sex therapist Laurie J. Watson.

The six areas covered in Mintz’s book are thoughts, talk, time, trust, touch, and spice. It advocates psychotherapy, sensual non-genital touching, time management, erotic play, and scheduled sex as corrective steps for low libido. For women, sex and desire are a mix of mind and body, so their disinterest can’t be fixed with pills. However, it turns out that self-help books that address their sexual attitudes and intimacy issues can make all the difference.

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