“Veronica” – 57 y/o Caucasian, a lesbian female who has been married for 25 years. Seeking therapy due to increased anxiety around sexual intercourse with her wife. A notable decrease in sexual activity with the onset of menopause and this “lack of interest” is causing difficulties in their marriage as her wife (55 y/o) is not experiencing any decreased libido with menopause. Wife suggested Veronica start smoking marijuana to assist with libido, but Veronica is uncertain of her feelings about using a chemical to enhance mood.
There are two tier solutions for this problem:
One is the administration of testosterone treatment, which is a short-term solution. The other is a change in sexual partner every once in a while if both women agree. This solution is the somewhat long term.
Studies show that sexual interest and activity can be boosted by the use of testosterone treatment in women with postmenopause. However, the results of this procedure are not so promising as the same results have been shown through the use of cream (placebo). Short-term testosterone treatment is safe which usually lasts for about six months, but its long term treatment’s safety isn’t known particularly concerning breast cancer and heart diseases. Studies are still being carried out.
For a longer-term, they can agree upon changing the sexual partner if both are comfortable e-g a male partner for a shorter period as this change in a partner would give her a different sexual experience.
They should also look for the reasons outside the sexual intimacy. Depression and anxiety can be a major one. “Anhedonia,” a lack of interest in things once found pleasurable (like sex), is a symptom of depression and the studies show depression rate in women is higher than men. So they should also work on factors that are causing any depression or anxiety.
“Thomas” – 14 y/o Caucasian boy in a Catholic family sent to therapy by parents after they discovered him masturbating to sexually explicit images of women and participating in a sexual online chat forum. Parents expressed concern for deviance based on his sexual behaviors. Thomas rejects the concept of celibacy and doesn’t understand why his actions are “wrong,” according to his parents. He has questions about sexual behaviors and does not know where to ask because his family is against any sexual exploration or discussion.
There are two ways to solve this problem:
The first way is for Thomas to know what he is going through. At the age of 14, a child is going through bodily changes which are called puberty. During puberty, a child’s hormonal, neuropsychological and interpersonal feature are capacitated by adult sexual arousal. One of the effects of puberty is growth in penis size and balls. This causes an itchy feeling, and in quest of getting rid of this itchy feeling when you rub it, it gives pleasure. It’s a different kind of pleasure that you had never experienced before. And it’s alright if you are experiencing this. Despite the Myths, masturbation doesn’t have any side effects. But it is not considered right religiously and spiritually. Since James was born to a Catholic family, and Catholic families have strict rules regarding sexual pleasure. For that reason, James’ family abstains him from doing that. But reprimanding him wouldn’t solve the issue. It will only increase the problem. For James, it is necessary to know why there is this concept of celibacy in his family. James should ask his teacher if there is a sexual education course offered in his school. Even if it’s not being offered, James should try to ask them. If he doesn’t get a reply, he should ask his therapist. The role of the therapist is really important as his parents have trusted this therapist with this problem. If that doesn’t work either, he should search on the internet, as there is a lot of information available on the internet. To solve this issue, James would have to put efforts if his parents are not helpful.
The second way is to ask the parents to be lenient in their conduct as they also went through the same process when they were young. Since they are a Catholic family, it’s hard for them to accept such thing as masturbation at their house. But this problem can be easily solved by taking to the kid. Telling him that these changes are perfectly normal. This would help the kid to ease up, and the frustration would be lessened. Otherwise, this will result in a rebellious behavior.
Frequently Asked Questions, Sexual Side Effects of Menopause | The North American Menopause Society, NAMS. (2018). Menopause.org. Retrieved 14 February 2018, from https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/frequently-asked-questions