Lybrido — Are we making up the problem?

The New York Times recently ran an article about female libido and the race to develop a drug (Lybrido) that would help women want sex. There are so many arguments these days about women’s libidos. There are angry therapists, frustrated drug companies, sad women and lots and lots of confusion. Some therapists argue that drug companies and specialists are creating a problem where one never existed. Some believe that not wanting sex is perfectly normal and acceptable.

But that is not what I’m hearing from my patients. Every day I sit with women who talk about how sad they are that they no longer want sex with their partners. And I have a great deal of respect for my patients. It’s not so easy to come in and sit with a stranger and pour your heart out. It’s even more difficult to admit to a lack of desire when you love and care so much for your partner. These women are often very protective of their partners. But what I hear all the time is that there is a sense of relief in finally being able to talk about these things. And most importantly, they want to want their partners again. They want to feel that sense of desire they had and know they can have.

And finally, I know that in most cases therapists should be completely unbiased, but I admit to having a bias on this issue. The marriages and relationships that I see that include good sex, just do better than the ones without. Period. There is something special about feeling intimate and close with your partner that sex allows for in a way that discussing a good book just can’t. Yes, I know there are some relationships that sustain themselves without sex and there are definitely some people for whom that works just fine. I just don’t think that’s true for most of us. When the sex is good, relationships usually feel more alive and happier.

And that is just not a made-up problem.

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