Sexual Dysfunction Quiz

Here is a little quiz I found on Web MD regarding sexual dysfunction. It may provide further insight for you. Click here.


Happy Halloween, Lovers

Happy Halloween, little ghosts! Go roll around in the sheets.


Ask the Audience #3: Male Sexual Dysfunction

From a reader:

I have a problem that I think would be opposite of most women.

My husband is not into sex -- at all. I thought I would be the one having to tell him no but I've been rejected so many times I've lost count. I've pretty much given up. We have sex maybe once a month -- maybe less. And basically we have it when he is in the mood -- which is usually in the middle of the night. Maybe he has dreams occasionally that turn him on?

Our sex life was pretty good until about a year and a half after we were married. Then he came down with a chronic illness. Plus he works 2 full time jobs and is involved in church and other community activities. He's so tired, in pain, and stressed most of the time. He just doesn't have the time or the interest. I'm guessing the medication he is on has lowered is sex drive.

Is there any hope? I want it so bad! He doesn't really like talking about it. And I'm the most unsexy woman in the world. What can I do to help spark his interest??

Culturally, we're programmed to think that men are always ready to go sexually, and that it's always the women who want to forgo sex. However, this article estimates that 20-25% of men suffer from low sexual desire and hypothesizes about some possible causes. Erectile dysfunction (ED) can also inhibit a couple's sex life. Low desire can be the cause of ED, or ED can result in low desire -- it's the whole chicken and the egg conundrum. You can read about erectile dysfunction here and here.

Our sexual relationship, just like any other aspect of a relationship, evolves and changes over time. There can be bumps in the road as we work to improve this part of our relationship. Sexual hurdles are bound to come and go.

What are your loving ideas to help this couple through this difficult time?


Love Story -- The Swede Records

Fall in love with The Swede Records!

How we met:

I came home for Christmas from college when I was 18 years old and my Mom had mentioned there was a Swedish boy named Jonas coming over for Christmas dinner. "Where's Sweden?" I thought to myself ;-) When I first met Jonas he had long hair and I thought he was so tall. I had an instant crush and felt like he was unlike any other guy I met.

2 months later, I went to a Valentine's Day party and Jonas was there with his Swedish friends (all tall and gorgeous) :-) He had cut his hair and was dressed up really nice, I was so attracted to him. I told my friends "Tonight, I will get his number and/or kiss him." They all thought I was crazy and that it was just another "crush" but there was just something different about him. As the night progressed, I was flirting and we were dancing all night with each other like there was no one else in the room. I may have brought him to the back stairwell a couple times for a kiss or two ;-). After that night, I was smitten and as corny as it sounds, I am just as crazy about him now, 7 1/2 years later, than I was when we first met.

The proposal:

We were vacationing in beautiful Sweden in July and were spending time in the Swedish archipelago. Jonas was very close to his grandfather who had passed away a few weeks before and told me he wanted to make a video for his Grandfather's memorial.

Ironically enough it rained almost the entire time we were there except for the day Jonas took me out on a boat to an island in the Archipelago. We hiked up a hill to this stunning mountain top overlooking the water and surrounding islands and sat down on the rocks. Jonas told me he wanted to make the tape for his Grandpa and asked if I could film it. I willingly took the camera and began filming as he was spoke in Swedish. I zoned out a bit as he talked away and was taken back when Jonas suddenly after 2 minutes of speaking in Swedish said, "Actually Jenny, this video is not for my Grandfather." I continued to film him as he proposed and told me he had planned the proposal for months on the exact mountain they were on.

Needless to say, I put the camera down after a few minutes but it continued to record the unforgettable moment. After Jonas gave me the gorgeous ring, he showed me a video he had made a week earlier in Orange County. Jonas flew down to see my father to ask for my hand in marriage and filmed the entire family saying hi and congratulating me.

After the excitement and realization, I sat down and filmed Jonas make a video for his Grandpa.

Slice of Advice:

Kevin Bacon said it best, short & to the point... "Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty." :-)

Do you have a Love Story you think is worthy of a feature? Send submissions to gwenisinlove {at} gmail dot com


Ask the Audience #2: Self Lovin'

Sorry for the re-post, and to those whose comments were deleted. My first post this morning covered topics that I think would be better discussed in a post of their own. I thought it would be better to choose a more specific topic. Now to the reader's question!

Here's a question from a reader that has had a difficult time having an orgasm in her marriage, but wants to learn:

HOW does a girl go about self lovin'? It doesn't come naturally to everyone. I've tried and it didn't do much for me :(

In the book, For Yourself : The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality, a renowned psychiatrist and writer on female sexuality discusses how a woman's orgasm can lead to even more orgasms:

According to Mary Jane Sherfey “orgasm tends to increase pelvic vasocongestion; thus, the more orgasms achieved, the more can be achieved.” The more orgasms you have by any method—self-stimulation included—the more sexually responsive you are likely to become. The more you exercise and keep the muscles toned, the healthier and better functioning your body systems—including sexual—will become.

Masturbation is commonly recommended by therapists to help improve a low libido or a sexual dysfunction. But if you've never masturbated, it may seem awkward or uncomfortable. In fact, the poll on the sidebar shows that 29% of those who answered said either "I Wouldn't Know How" or "Eww gross! You said the 'M' word!" I receive many, many emails on this topic, so I know there are lots of girls out there that could use your advice. Fire away, audience.

If you have any questions you'd like to see discussed, email me at gwenisinlove {at} gmail {dot} com or leave a comment!


Female Sexual Dysfunction

The following table was taken from the American Family Physician article regarding Female Sexual Dysfunction. You can read more about the topic here.

Basic Treatment Strategies for Female Sexual Dysfunction

Provide education
Provide information and education (e.g., about normal anatomy, sexual function, normal changes of aging, pregnancy, menopause). Provide booklets, encourage reading; discuss sexual issues when a medical condition is diagnosed, a new medication is started, and during pre- and postoperative periods; give permission for sexual experimentation.
Enhance stimulation and eliminate routine
Encourage use of erotic materials (videos, books); suggest masturbation to maximize familiarity with pleasurable sensations; encourage communication during sexual activity; recommend use of vibrators*; discuss varying positions, times of day or places; suggest making a "date" for sexual activity.
Provide distraction techniques**
Encourage erotic or nonerotic fantasy; recommend pelvic muscle contraction and relaxation (similar to Kegel exercise) exercises with intercourse; recommend use of background music, videos or television.
Encourage noncoital behaviors***
Recommend sensual massage, sensate-focus exercises (sensual massage with no involvement of sexual areas, where one partner provides the massage and the receiving partner provides feedback as to what feels good; aimed to promote comfort and communication between partners); oral or noncoital stimulation, with or without orgasm.
Minimize dyspareunia
Superficial: female astride for control of penetration, topical lidocaine, warm baths before intercourse, biofeedback.
Vaginal: same as for superficial dyspareunia but with the addition of lubricants.
Deep: position changes so that force is away from pain and deep thrusts are minimized, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before intercourse.

NOTE: For a review, see Striar S, Bartlik B. Stimulation of the libido: the use of erotica in sex therapy. Psych Annals 1999;29:60-2.
*--Provide information for obtaining one discreetly.
**--Helpful in eliminating anxiety, increasing relaxation and diminishing spectatoring.
***--Also helpful if partner has erectile dysfunction.


Feelin' Sexy Friday -- 20 Questions

This was sent to me by a reader. I think it is a great way to open up communication about sex. Try going through the questionnaire outside of the bedroom to get your motor runnning for later :) Here is the source. Enjoy!


20 Questions -- Conversation Starter about Sex
You can make this a date night activity or something to discuss as you go for a walk. You could also choose a night for some pillow talk (with no expectation that it will lead to anything...!) and then ask each other the following questions. You may want to take turns who answers each question first. Here we go!

1. What are three of your favorite things about lovemaking?
2. What three things did you previously think I liked most about lovemaking?
3. How often do you think most couples have sex?
4. What do you remember about our first kiss?
5. On a scale of 1-10 (1 = a little, 10 = a lot) how much do you enjoy kissing in general? What could make it better?
6. What is one of your favorite memories of us being intimate?
7. What are three things that happen outside "the bedroom" that make you most interested in being intimate?
8. What are three things that happen outside "the bedroom" that make you least interested in being intimate?
9, When we engage in non-sexual touch or affection (i.e. hold hands, hug, sit close, etc.) what does that usually communicate to you?
10. On a scale of 1-10 (1 = a little, 10 = a lot) how important is non-sexual touch and affection to you in our relationship?
11. Where do you most like being touched during lovemaking?
12. What does sex mean to you?
13. What is something you've thought might be fun to try sometime?
14. What misconceptions did you have about sex before we got married?
15. What is one thing you wish we would have done differently on our honeymoon?
16. How much do you think our honeymoon experiences affect the sexual relationship we have today?
17. Tell me what your ideal intimate encounter with me would be like?
18. What do you most think about or worry about when we are being intimate?
19. What do you most like me to say to you during lovemaking?
20. On a scale of 1-10 (1 = a little, 10 = a lot) how comfortable was it for us to have this conversation?

Did you try the questionnaire? What did you think? Would you like to see more conversation starters?




Let's have a little fun today. Complete the sentence:

Love is...

Let's hear it girls. Silly or sappy, I want 'em all.


Dressing Up the Married Way

I recently did a post about dressing sexy for a private, bedroom Halloween party. I thought I would share with you a little Q&A that transpired in the comments of that post:

Anonymous said...
Is it possible to get more comfortable with costumes? I would love to liven things up but every time i think about a costume I laugh. Even sometimes I put on my lingeire and feel awkward. I am self confident and would love to move past this and suprise the crap out of my husband. any tips?
October 11, 2010 1:42 AM

Anonymous said...
(To)@anon 1:42

I did the dress up thing...and basically giggled the whole time. It was insanely embarrassing but still fun. I've found the more you do it the easier it is to hold the giggles in, practice makes perfect right? But even if you cant hold back the nervous laughter, so what!? Its all about having fun sometimes silly love-making is the best :)
October 13, 2010 3:34 PM

What a perfect answer! I completely agree. Laugh. Have fun! Lighten up! Sex doesn't always have to be a serious candlelit experience. That is the WHOLE IDEA of a sexy, private-party, Halloween costume. And if it doesn't work out, you'll have fabulous memories of bunny ears and bunny tails to laugh about.


Ask the Audience #1: Follow Up

Thank you so much for all of your fabulous and insightful comments and ideas. What a great community effort. You girls are all so supportive and I appreciate so much the uplifting place we are building together. I wanted to weigh in with a few thoughts of my own.


  1. Many of you mentioned self exploration and self pleasuring. This can be an extremely useful tool. Often times, women who are struggling with sex have experienced negative thoughts for so long that they can't associate sex with pleasure. Experiencing pleasure alone can help relieve negative pressure. (This negative pressure is likely not your husband's fault. It can be rooted in many things: pain, guilt, shame, etc.)
  2. The use of a vibrator or other sex toy was recommended to help get the fire roaring. For the higher-end, longer-lasting vibrators, I recommend the Lelo brand. The Siri and the Mona are two highly recommended toys. I blogged about why I like Lelo brand toys here. If you are unsure about committing to a toy or are looking for a smaller price tag, check out the selection here.
  3. This was one of my favorite comments:
    oh I agree with all the above. Use toys, relax, etc. Here's an idea for a compromise: ask him to be completely intercourse abstinent with you for 30 days, but promise that every day you will have naked make-out time together. That way, you can be together intimately, but you won't have a problem relaxing because the fear of sex will be eliminated. Who knows what kind of desire that restraint could ignite for you?! And,I REALLY agree you should see a therapist & doctor together. Don't worry, this is nothing they haven't seen or heard, and they can really give you such better insight being able to have give and take with you in conversation. Best wishes, and it will get better :) October 12, 2010 8:23 PM
  4. GIL readers recommended reading And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment and For Yourself : The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality.


Ask the Audience #1: Four Years of Marriage and I've Never Had an Enjoyable Sexual Experience

I frequently receive emails and comments seeking advice about various sexual issues. It's apparent from the comments that many of you, dear readers, have experience and insight that could help those trying to improve their sexual selves. So I've created a new series called "Ask the Audience" and I'm turning to you to offer the best solutions you have to the problems we'll discuss. Here's contestant number one:

When my husband and I were engaged, I could hardly wait to be married to him and have our wedding night. As the big day approached, however, I became more and more nervous. I convinced him that night after our wedding to please wait until we were away and on our honeymoon. I'd gone from excited about giving myself completely to my husband, to nearly scared to death of it. I tried to push that fear out of my mind once we were on the honeymoon, but I couldn't make myself relax. I don't think we actually made love until the second or third night after our wedding, and I don't think I've ever hurt someone so much as I hurt my husband during that time.

Ever since the honeymoon I have been very nervous about making love with my husband. Once we start, I'm okay; there's no real pain or anything. I guess it's just the anticipation that makes me anxious. Sex has never done anything for me, and I'm pretty much only doing it for him now. The problem is, since it doesn't do anything for me, I don't think about it and forget how important it is to him. He's a much better man than I deserve - he's very patient and knows that I struggle with this, and he doesn't want to pressure me, so we don't do it nearly as often as we should. We've only been married 4 years and I have never had an enjoyable sexual experience. In fact, sometimes at night when we're not really doing anything, he will just touch me (kind of caressing my back, arms, shoulders or legs). But if his hand goes below my belly button, I start to panic (inwardly). I hate this because I know it's hurting him, but I don't know how to get over it. It's a really difficult thing to know that you're missing out on such a wonderful experience and you feel like everyone in the world can enjoy it but you.

I'm not sure how to know when or if I have achieved orgasm, because I'm not certain of how that actually feels. People have said that you WILL KNOW when it happens, but I'm just not sure. I've had *something* but not sure if it was orgasm, and unfortunately it hasn't happened *with* my husband yet.

This story is similar to many questions I've received. Please share your ideas, experiences, and detailed suggestions in the comments. All ideas and points of view are welcome. As always, you can comment anonymously if you prefer.

If you have any questions you'd like to see discussed, email me at gwenisinlove {at} gmail {dot} com or leave a comment!

*Please note, I always encourage those dealing with serious or persistent problems to seek medical or professional help. The discussions on this blog aren't meant to be a substitute where professional help is needed.


Sexy Halloween

In college, Halloween seemed to be a free pass for girls to be skanky for a day. Girls seem to have this inner desire to express their sexuality. The girls who were brave (or perhaps scandalous) enough enjoyed themselves and the boys ate it up. I may be wrong, but I think most of the girls who didn't flaunt it on Halloween secretly wanted to. Well, now that we are old, boring, married people, I would encourage you to channel your inner sorority girl. You've got a willing and eager guy, and no one to brand you a skank.

Of course I don't recommend hitting the club in a bra and panties declaring you are a lady bug. No girls. Those days are behind you :) Try hosting a private Halloween party for two! You can be the sexy nurse (kit for only $9.95) and he can be your patient. Or you could be a cop and he could be a robber. If you've been nervous or reluctant to branch out from your generic pink frillies, then Halloween may be the perfect opportunity for you to go out on a limb.

{I highly recommend Yandy.com for your sexy costuming needs. This is the most affordable site I've found making it easy to give things a try for ten or twenty bucks. They are great with returns and discreet with deliveries.}

Holidays offer a perfect opportunity to spice things up in the bedroom. It's easy to get stuck in a routine, skip the lingerie, or worst of all, skip the sex all together. Try thinking of holidays as more than celebrations for children. Think of them as excuses to try something new in the bedroom!



A while ago I wrote a blog post called, Marriage Isn't. The post says, "Marriage isn't finding the right person, it's being the right person."

I received this comment the other day and felt compelled to post about it.

Anonymous said...
So what if you discover after marriage that you are independent and he is needy and suffocating?
September 20, 2010 3:48 PM

Through this simple question, I saw a marriage in pain. I may be wrong, but I see a husband who is begging his wife to love him. I see a woman who has lost her sweetness. I predict that sexual encounters are few and far between.

For the solution I would recommend Anonymous turn back to the post; be the right person. You can only control your own response and actions. Love him. Love him in word. Compliment him. Make him feel like a man. Tell him how much you appreciate him. Love him in action. Don't turn cold when circumstances may lead to sex. Choose to humble yourself. Let your 'independent' guard down. If he is acting needy then he must need something and that something is probably love. What better way is there to show love than by marital intimacy?

Independence is a highly admirable trait. I believe every woman should be strong and self sufficient. But marriage is about interdependence, two or more people or things dependent on each other (not to be mistaken for being needy.)

Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won't be good leaders or team players. They're not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.

We must learn to look to ourselves for change. I encourage you to discuss this concept with your husband. Tell him that you have decided to look at your own actions for fault and change in times of contention or frustration. Then, do it. Remember that you are a team. You are on the same side.


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