Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a common occurrence for all female humans at varying times in their lives. Many researchers have noted that studying lesbian sexuality can give and has allowed valuable insights into all aspects of FSD. In many worldwide studies, lesbians have shown to have better and more satisfying sex than that reported from heterosexual females. That said, sexual dysfunction is something all humans face at some point in their lives, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Within a Springer 2008 survey, researchers found these facts:
- Roughly fifty percent of heterosexual women reported difficulty getting sexually excited compared to only fifteen percent of homosexual women.
- Nearly forty-six percent of straight women report difficulty reaching orgasm, whereas twenty-eight percent of lesbian women reported the same issue.
Some researchers concluded that one of the reasons that lesbian sexual activity looks better in the statistics is because women can “keep going” when with another woman, whereas a woman with a man having sexual activity often ends when the man orgasms and finishes.
While the statistical number show that homosexual women have an overall better outlook and experience with sex, many still face varying levels of sexual dysfunction. Some of the reason for this sexual dysfunction is linked to the stress that comes with being gay. The phrase, “being in the closet” can truly have an impact on daily life for any LGBTQIA individual but is also one of the direct links to sexual dysfunction for lesbian women (Springer).
The most common type of sexual dysfunction amongst lesbian women is hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD. This condition occurs when one is not interested in sex or intimacy but are very bothered by the issue. The patient often has no fantasies, no vivid dreams about sex or intimacy, and do not respond to their partner’s sexual signals or suggestions for sex. These individuals also lose the desire for sex after the act has begun or avoid sex altogether.
Some of the most common factors that contribute to HSDD are hectic work schedules, depression, young children in the home, economic stressors, and life’s chaos. Other factors that can cause HSDD are:
- Recent pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Medications like antidepressants, blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, and feminizing hormone therapy
- Medical issues like cancer, diabetes, heart problems, autoimmune conditions, bladder problems or incontinence, and multiple sclerosis
- Low hormone levels
- Trauma or sexual abuse from the past, or present
- Body dysmorphia or body image problems
- Relationship dis-connect
Treatment for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
If you believe you may have HSDD, whether constant or bouts here and there, make an appointment with your medical care team to help you reach a proper diagnosis. The treatment for HSDD depends on the patient and their situation, but could be any of these, or a combination of multiple options. Not all of these options require medication or prescription, and most are simple, at-home style therapies.
- Kegel exercise. This helps to restore blood flow to the genitals and strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, giving the person (male or female) better muscle control for urination and orgasm.
- Talk with your partner(s) openly about your sexual desires and needs.
- Explore porn, adult movies, or adult magazines.
- Self-discovery with masturbation. Getting to know your body again, and through various stressful situations can help to ease your mind and grow your desire for intimacy.
- Improving quality of sleep by meditating and using breathing exercises.
- Limiting alcohol, smoking, and drug use.
- Exercise regularly.
- Meet with a counselor.
If medications are needed to help combat hypoactive sexual desire disorder, these may be the first route your medical care professional takes:
- Estrogen: a ring, cream, or tablet that is placed inside of the vagina when in menopause. This can help to make the muscles of the vagina stronger and more pliable, which helps to increase blood flow and natural moisture.
- Flibanserin: This is also called “Addvi,” and is a pill taken once a day to increase sexual desire for those who are premenopausal.
- Bremelanotide: This medication treats low sexual desire in women.
- Testosterone therapy: This therapy has been used in the past to heighten the sex drive of males and has also been used for women. This is not the first therapy most specialists route to, however.
Having HSDD or a loss of desire and libido is not the end all when it comes to intimacy and sexuality for homosexual women. There are many factors that play into intimacy in our lives, and the key is finding the right matches and what works best for you. Never give up on working towards reclaiming your intimacy.