Sexual difficulties are very common among both men and women and yet, even in today’s enlightened times, most of us don’t like to discuss sex problems with even our closest friends. Our culture is such that we are led by the media to believe that everyone else is ‘at it’ and that if we’re not having brilliant sex and achieving orgasm five times a night, then we’re somehow abnormal.
Yet we’re all different and all have varying levels of desire and arousal. It’s only if there’s a change in our normal level that we should become concerned.
Whatever our problem the holistic approach is best: first consider lifestyle, diet, exercise, and age. Any of these may affect our desire or performance.
We can’t do much about increasing age but we can make the best of life. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and taking regular exercise not only keep us physically fit but mentally we are more confident in ourselves. Talking to our partners and making time to relax and enjoy the sexual act will enhance the pleasure we can both give and receive.
But if you are concerned first seek medical advice to rule out any underlying condition that may be having an effect. If the problem turns out to be one of depression, fear of failure, stress or other emotional trauma, you may find psychotherapy helpful..
Prescribed drugs, such as Viagra, sometimes have unwanted side effects. If you would prefer an alternative there are a number of recommended herbal remedies. Most will need to be taken for some time before any improvement is seen and you should consult your doctor before starting on a course of treatment especially if you’re using any other prescribed drugs. The herbal treatments mentioned are all available in health shops either on their own or in herbal supplements.
Erectile dysfunction (When the erect penis isn’t hard or long-lasting enough to achieve orgasm.)
Increasing the blood supply to the penis can help counteract the problem.
- Gingko biloba is one of the best known herbs for improving blood circulation. It promotes a strong flow of blood into the penis helping maintain an erection.
- Ginseng has been used in Asia to treat impotence for centuries. By relaxing the arteries carrying the blood, it improves blood pressure and circulation.
- The use of the wonderfully-named Horny goat weed was first noted in very ancient Chinese texts and has been used to improve sexual performance for 2,000 years.
- Fenugreek, pumpkin seeds, cardamom, aniseed, and stinging nettle root have all been used in traditional medicine to treat impotence.
There’s an old joke along these lines: to please a woman, buy her flowers, take her for a romantic meal, woo her tenderly, tell her she’s your everything; to please a man, turn up naked with a crate of beer.
It may be predictable and stereotypical but there’s a lot of truth in that joke. While a man’s sexual difficulties may be physical, a woman’s lack of interest is more likely to be because her head is filled with the worries of the day. She really does need to get in the mood.
Lack of libido
Lack of libido, or sex drive, is a common problem for women. Most will experience it at some time in their lives. It can have physical or psychological causes including: anaemia, illness, drug or alcohol abuse, and prescribed drugs; depression, past abuse, stress and relationship difficulties.
For most women lack of libido is temporary but if it’s causing you anxiety or problems, then the first step is to consult your G.P. who can test for an underlying medical cause.
The various drugs and gadgets on the market that promise to increase a woman’s libido are usually proven to have a low success rate but there are herbs that are reputed to have a beneficial effect.
- Research has shown that gingko biloba improves blood circulation to all parts of the body including the genitalia making the clitoris more sensitive and responsive.
- Dong quai is said to affect female hormones and enhance sexual arousal and pleasure.
- Comfrey has been recommended by herbalists for centuries for its effect on female hormones.
- The traditional use of oats – though not strictly a herb – as a libido booster has been supported by some medical research.
The very best results, though, are achieved with the help and support of a loving partner, who’s prepared to take time and effort into finding out what works for you – and what doesn’t.