Japanese Women Trip To Female Sexual Dysfunction
The 28-year-old woman's life started to change about three years ago when she was picked to become an important part of her company's systems management project. The work was demanding and kept her busy until the last train every night. When she got home, her boyfriend often wanted a bit of slap and tickle, but she wasn't interested. All she wanted, AERA says, was every possible moment of sleep she could get.
Months passed and she completely lost interest in sex, which had been a once-a-week affair before she got busy. Soon she even stopped getting wet. When she did try to go along with her lover, it was so painful, she bled. Then she didn't bleed any more as her periods stopped. She was suffering from what's called Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD), an ailment affecting a growing number of women, especially those under enormous stress.
FSD is being used to describe the situation where women are unable to obtain satisfaction from sex. Women are often in a passive situation when it comes to sex, and many of those with FSD often have to engage in the act even when they don't want to. FSD is often compared to impotence in men, but while the flaccid fellas can be treated with a variety of drugs, physicians are having a hard time dealing with FSD or even getting people to understand it.
Genichi Nozue, a doctor with the Japan Society of Sexual Science, says that FSD follows three distinct stages: 1) decline of libido; 2) irregularities in blood flowing to different tissues in the body; and 3) lack of orgasm. Vaginal spasms are also common. Many FSD patients are rape victims or have suffered from some other kind of sexual trauma.
Of these symptoms, the one causing most of the problems with understanding has been the irregularities in blood flow. Normally, sexual stimulation gets blood flowing to all sorts of places, which sparks hormonal discharges that prepare the vagina for sex and allows for smooth intercourse. But when this doesn't happen, sex can literally become a real pain in the you-know-where.
"Mental effects such as stress can be brought about really easily in women by the effects of a partnership," Nozue tells AERA. "Each stage of a woman's sexual reaction is far more complex than those stages are with men."
Seiko Kamano, a counselor for troubled couples, says sex can be tough for women.
"Men can have sex any time they have desire," she says. "But women need to understand and trust their partner before they can obtain any sort of sexual satisfaction."
Nozue, meanwhile, argues that there may be some hope in store for FSD sufferers.
"In our recent society meetings there have been reports of how Viagra has been effective in improving the flow of blood in tissues within women's bodies," the doctor tells AERA. "Many women may be thinking about whether FSD is really something they should consult a physician about, but women need counseling first. They shouldn't shut things up inside themselves, but instead talk to someone else about their concerns."