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Most therapists, counsellors and other professionals believe there is no such condition as frigidity, but it is a term used quite commonly in a derogatory or abusive way to describe a woman who is not sexually responsive, particularly when her partner wants her to be!

At times women even apply it to themselves, equally inaccurately. It must be understood that sexuality is not something which exists in isolation - it is part of a spectrum of behaviour ranging from emotional/romantic responses at one end of the pattern through sensuality and sexuality to sex (or sexual intercourse). Both men and women need the right conditions to respond, and often do not get them.

Hundreds of years ago infant mortality was high, with 8 out of 10 babies born dieing before they reached the age of one, and life expectancy was low, with the average person only being able to look forward to 22 or 23 years of life. Because so few babies reached adult life it was imperative that a woman was pregnant as often as possible, and it was important for men and women to couple as frequently as possible.

Sex was for procreation ... men had to get erections and penetrate as quickly as possible if the race was to survive.

Now we live well over 70, men can expect to enjoy 73 years, and women 78. Infant mortality has dropped dramatically with the improvements in housing, clean water supplies, and good sewerage systems, plenty of food, improvements in public health, even improved medical services .... but men still become aroused very quickly. Women do not turn on as quickly as men now, and they never did ..... most of the time! A man who is disappointed at the “slowness” of his partner’s arousal may call her frigid, but this is really a confession of his own ignorance of sexual physiology. Sex is a paradoxical behaviour, and the harder one tries, the more difficult it is to respond or perform.

Having your mother-in-law or a teenage child in the next room, especially with the thin walls so often found in modern houses, can inhibit a woman’s response. Aggressive or noisy behaviour or a drunken partner will turn off many women, and the rejected male may accuse the woman of frigidity.

Sensuality is one of the keys to sexual responsiveness, but many children are brought up not to touch, hug or caress. As a consequence some women feel themselves threatened by physical contact, although their body language, and sometimes even the words they use, seem to invite it. Fear of pregnancy, religious taboos, the idea that sex outside marriage is sinful, especially if not intended for the conception of children ...... all of these ideas or beliefs may cause a woman to be responsive.

If frigidity really existed it would mean the woman would be unable to get pleasure from most of her sensual activities ..... eating and drinking stimulate our taste buds, food or perfumes excite our olfactory system, music or birdsong are beautiful to the ear, whilst waves rolling up the beach or a wonderful sunrise or sunset are a delight to our eyes, stroking the cat or cuddling children reflect the pleasures of touch. All our senses contribute to our ability to turn on and to become sexually aroused.

Most women who get labelled as frigid are actually warm, caring, concerned people but they find displaying overt sexual pleasure difficult, because their instinctive responses have been repressed or hidden in response to parental or societal pressure. They only show their feelings when they really know and trust their partner, and such trust often only develops very slowly.

People can be helped to come to terms with their own sexuality, and that of others, by a process of education, counselling, and desensitization .... and they need to be given permission to show their sexual feelings.

With the right partner, and under good conditions, such women often prove to be wonderful lovers, with the capacity for great intimacy; the old saying “still waters run deep” is very applicable to them. If you have been accused of being frigid, f

- Ageing - AIDS
- Anorgasmia - Barrier Methods of Contraception
- Frigidity - Genital Herpes
- Impotence - Loss of Libido
- Masturbation - Miscarriage
- Post Natal Depression - Pregnancy
- Premature Ejaculation - Retarded Ejaculation
- Sex and Disability - Sexual Activity during and after Pregnancy
- Smoking and Pregnancy - Stretch Marks in Pregnancy
- Syphilis and Gonorrhoea - Termination (Abortion)
- The I.U.D. (or Intra Uterine Device) - The Pill (Oral Contraceptive Pill or OCP)
- The Rhythm Method of Birth Control
or Natural Family Planning
- Tubal Ligation
- Vasectomy - What is Normal??

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