Brian is an author of international
renown and public speaker. He is currently writing his book
Chinese Medicine: A Practical Guide to Optimal Healing.
Brian practices acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine
in sunny San Diego, California.
Dear Dr. Carter:
My girlfriend and I have been dating for just about 2 years now.
The first 6 months or so, we enjoyed a terrific, mutually pleasurable
sex life. After that things started to taper off. She now is very
finicky and can drop in and out of 'the mood' at a moments notice.
We only have intercourse about once every 1-2 weeks. Needless to
say it is affecting other facets of our relationship.
She is interested in herbal medicine and holistic healing.
I have tried to get her to go talk to someone and she claims I
don't know what it is like to be a girl...I don't expect 'masculine'
sex drives but her interest level is very low...she also worries,
during intercourse, about lacking proper lubrication, PLUS I have
never brought her to orgasm, and she views MY orgasm as the 'end'
of the sex act. Any suggestions?!?!
I'm not sure if the alternative medicine information is needed.
Please indulge me in my horribly outdated and backward opinions...
Let me repeat: I said, my opinions! ;-)
What Women (and Men) Want
Men want sex and respect. They have higher sex drives, and feel
best when they live in integrity and get respect for it. Women
want love, support, and safety. They are blessed with a greater
gift for compassion.
Our society has twisted it around - women demand respect and
men just want to be loved. If women will have sex with us before
marriage, then great, because it's their body, and we're adults,
right? I believed this for a long time. Women are more 'liberated'
that way. On the other hand, women have sex so that the man will
be happy and stick around. Hopefully he'll get around to giving
her what she needs.
Also, most men have stopped being good providers and protectors,
so women have had to "wear the pants." Men can have
feminine traits, and women can contribute to the workplace - but
living out of phase with natural needs causes problems. TV mostly
portrays sensitive, childish men - little more than large-sized
boys. Liberal women want sensitive men. But, most women admit
they really want a man who is responsible, strong, and who sticks
to his values (integrity).
You're right that women don't usually have masculine sex drives.
For many women, sex is not even on the Top 5 list of the most
important things in life. When women are frigid or over-sexed,
it's often due to childhood sexual abuse. Premarital sex is not
a win-win proposition. When women "give it up" too easily,
it's the men who win. They get the sex without the commitment,
and women have to deal with pregnancy and single motherhood. Both
partners can get sexually transmitted diseases - the rates are
- Human Papilloma Virus: About 20 million people (10%
of U.S. adults) have HPV, which may cause genital warts or remain
invisible, and which leads to cervical cancer in women. 5.5
Million people contract HPV each year. 50-75% of sexually active
people will acquire HPV during their lifetime.
- Women are more likely to contract Genital Herpes. About
25% of U.S. citizens over the age of 12 have it. (Source: CDC
- Centers for Disease Control)
Loss of Interest in Sex
Women in premarital sex relationships can lose interest for a
couple of reasons:
- Lack of commitment. They aren't feeling safe or supported.
- The honeymoon is over! Perhaps you're no longer living in
the blush of the honeymoon period ("We're soulmates, we
love each other, we'll live happily ever after!"). After
2 years, everything has become quite real, and each of your
shortcomings are crystal clear. Without self-honesty and growth
from both of you, the relationship won't make it.
- True physical problems like hormonal issues, chronic fatigue,
The Wisdom of Dating
The wisdom of dating for years without sex or "heavy petting"
and getting married before you have sex is not only that you find
out who this person is before getting entangled, but it also builds
in two solutions that both genders need:
- "Am I just a sex object?" No matter what
you say, she'll still wonder if you want her for more than sex.
Going without sex proves you can control your own drives. It's
reassuring if you aren't controlled by your body and mind's
every whim. If you're both on the same page about it, you've
made a pact that sows the seed of true love, and you'll feel
- "I really do love you, baby!" It helps the
man realize the difference between love and sex. No, you really
don't know the difference until you've dated without sex for
many months. You may be surprised at how much closer you feel
without the sex!
Love means commitment, sacrifice, and giving her what she wants
even when you don't get what you want. Love is consistent positive
action, not words, not feelings, not lust. We're cheated by the
fact that Hollywood always ends the story soon after lovers come
together. How often do you see movies about how couples get through
the tough times of marriage intact?
Love is not easy, but it gets easier. You have to make a habit
of doing what you are sure she will be happy with. The alternative
is to try to get what you want from someone until it doesn't work
anymore, then move on to the next victim, and so on- a lonely
and selfish life, ultimately unfulfilling. Of course, there are
times when tough love is called for, but that's rare.
The Role of Romance
Women usually don't get horny at the drop of a hat like men do
- that's why God created jazz, alcohol, expensive restaurants,
and flowers! ;-) For a woman, the build up to sex can be the whole
day- everything nice you say, everything mean that you don't say,
If your girlfriend had a normal sex drive for 6 months, and if
she hasn't had a major change in life, work, etc. then it's not
likely to be physical. Nonetheless, have hormone lab tests done.
Talk About It
One idea might be to sit down with her and ask her to tell you
if something has changed in her view of you or the relationship-
how did she see things in those first 6 months? How does she see
them now? What's the problem now? Is there something you're doing
or not doing that's making things difficult for her?
The important thing about asking these questions of your girlfriend
is that you listen to the answer - your job is to admit where
you might be wrong. If you can't listen or admit when you're wrong,
you'll never make it in relationships. It's tough, but sometimes
what you do in reaction can make things even worse, and to break
a cycle, you may have to make a sacrifice of some kind.
Once you've had that heart to heart, and you've tried the romance,
if there's still a problem, shoot me another email and we'll talk
about true physical libido issues.