Testosterone, the hormone of desire, has mistakenly been called “the male hormone”. Women’s ovaries and adrenal glands make lots of testosterone, we just have a lot less of it than men. Testosterone is the fuel that gets “the brain’s sexual engine” revving. When there’s a sufficient amount of testosterone, it accelerates the hypothalamus, activating our erotic map, bodily sensations, and fantasies. It literally gives us a brain turn on. Given that our brain is our largest sex organ, that’s a big deal!
The Female Brain
At Maze, I’m often told of a discrepancy in libido between patient and her male partner. The book The Female Brain written by neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D. explains this. Because men have a lot more of fuel than women, they typically have 3X the sex drive. Also, women’s sex hormones are not static because of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone rises during the second half of the cycle and will also influence and curb sexual desire. Some women will experience a spike in desire right before ovulation because that’s when there’s a natural rise in testosterone. Did you know that sex-related centers in the male brain are almost twice as large as parallel structures in the female brain? This leads to men having sex on their minds more than women do. We women from a biological perspective plainly assign less mental space to sexual exploits, whereas we’ve got it all going on when it comes to emotions.
Testosterone naturally declines as we get older and can also be influenced by the birth control pill. If you have low testosterone it’s not a pathology, you come by it honestly and there’s no shame and blame in it. It’s just The Female Brain! So, what can we do about low testosterone, which in English means, what can we do about low desire? One direct treatment is TRT – Testosterone Replacement Therapy and it’s quite effective. Some behavioral work is required as well especially if your libido has been “quarantined” for some time. Isn’t it great to know that there’s real treatment with real science behind it?