Even when female sexual dysfunction has a physical basis, the psychological aspects of female sexuality shouldn’t be ignored. The female libido is not only based on a woman’s physical needs—her mind is a vital part of her sexuality.Our well-being and health is affected by our sexuality. When we are tense, worried, or stressed it’s difficult to enjoy sexual relations. Many sex therapists recommend using Kegel exercises to not only strengthen the pelvic muscles but also to encourage relaxation of those same muscles, making sex more enjoyable. Other body-mind relaxation techniques include meditation, warm baths and massage.
Psychological factors affecting the female libido include:
Sexual aversion due to past abuse
Drug or alcohol abuse
Distractions (like a crying baby or a ringing telephone).
Depression and FSD. Depression affects the neurotransmitters that stimulate blood flow to the sex organs thus compounding a problem a low libido problem. In addition, depression lowers the level of the chemicals in our brains that simulate pleasure. And to top it off, most anti-depressants adversely affect female libido!
Sex Therapy. Because self-help is difficult when it comes to sexual dysfunction, sex therapists help men and women, as individuals and as couples, with sexual expression. Even couples who are not dealing with sexual dysfunction per se, often seek the services of a sex therapist to help enhance their sexual relationship.
Seeking help through sex therapy is not something you should be ashamed of; be proud that you had the strength to seek help and the desire to strengthen your sexual relationship with your partner! Unfortunately, many women and men do not have this resolve.
How do I choose a sex therapist?
Because this is a relatively new field of study, many medical doctors do not have the clinical background or training to advise a patient with sexual dysfunction. Many states do not require certification for a physician, mental health professional or social worker to practice sex therapy. Seeking out a certified sex therapist is the safest option. Other things to consider when making your selection include:
Board certification in sexology
Licensure or degree in a related field, like clinical psychology
Affiliation with a university or hospital
Length of time practicing sex therapy.
What can I expect?
While sex therapists may differ in approach and treatment of sex problems, some generalizations can be made about what you can expect from your sex therapist:
Explicit and frank talk about sex—by your therapist and you
Assignments or tasks to do between sessions
A non-judgmental attitude
Respect for your values.
Because female libido has so much to do with how a woman feels and what she thinks, vivid sexual fantasies can increase the pleasure of sex—with a partner and alone. Sexual fantasies can be for your own enjoyment only, or can be shared with your partner. Sex therapists recommend fantasizing as a way to increase desire and arousal.