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Fox on Sex: It Takes More -- Much More -- Than a Pill to Get Sexy

It was bound to happen. Female Viagra. I appreciate the thought. I do. The thing is, a pill, although the answer to some things, isn’t the answer to everything. I fear that this is just a proposed quick fix to a problem that demands far more.

It’s a big issue with a solution as simple as it is complicated. So, I would like to present my thoughts in two parts. Part one, today, as a letter to my female readers. And, part two, Thursday, as a letter to my male readers. Here goes.

To My Readers of the Female Persuasion:

Lack of desire is as common as it is distressing, especially if you were once full of desire. But the key to fixing it is, likely, not a pill. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with modern, Western medicine. It’s just that this issue is more about what’s between a women’s ears, not between her legs.

Viagra gives men erections. But lack of desire isn’t about an inability to have sex. It’s about a complete loss of interest in the activity, ability aside. If “mechanics” are the issue, get to the doctor’s office. But, more than likely, the problem at hand is of the heart and soul, rather than flesh and blood.

Women who suffer from a lack of genital blood flow and lubrication, i.e. those with Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD), may benefit from the drug. That's "mechanics." But if what we're talking about is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), which is the wide sweeping issue, Viagra is virtually useless.

I get it. Age, certain medical conditions, clinical depression and anti-depressants can all cause or at least contribute to the lack of desire. That’s cause for a long talk with your doctor as well. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the desire that seems to have flown off into the night with no medical explanation to be found.

If you don’t want to have sex at all, you have to consider why, as painful as that might be. If you’ve fallen out of love with your partner, that’s a whole other ballgame. But if the issue really is about desire, plain and simple, you have to ask yourself – “Where did my desire go?”

Without that exploration, desire is likely to never show its pretty face again. You may be surprised by what you discover. Like I said, it might be as easy as it is difficult. It’s not that silly to suggest that the pile of dishes in the sink has stolen your desire away. Let alone the crying baby, mound of laundry, or inattentive spouse.

You have two choices – deal with the issues that plague you or let ‘em go. Option one, hire a housekeeper, enlist your family, or roll up your sleeves. Or, option two, say to heck with it and forget trying to be superwoman. There is nothing less sexy than feeling like you’re a failure because your life doesn’t look like that Kelly Ripa appliance commercial.

If you want to get your desire back, get yourself back. Leave the dishes and take the time to exercise or meditate. Tell your spouse the truth — if he wants you to get your sexy back, he’s got to throw his back into doing his share around the house or get used to living in Shrek’s swamp.

If you want to get your desire back, you’ve got to fake it till you make it. You may not feel like having sex or even pleasuring yourself. But once you do, it’ll increase your desire. Do it again and your desire will increase even more. Before too long you won’t have to fake it anymore.

If you want to get your desire back, but don’t feel desirable or don’t find your spouse desirable, change your mind or change what you don’t like. It’s not crazy to think you might not see yourself or your spouse as sexy anymore. But it is crazy to think you can’t do anything about it. It may seem superficial, but appearance affects how we feel about ourselves and our partners. Just making the effort may increase your desire and seeing your partner make an effort will likely have a similar effect as well.

If you want to get your desire back, do the things that make you feel good. Dance around the living room. Take that pottery class you’ve been dying to take. Start the day with a few affirmations. I am beautiful. I am bountiful. I am blessed. Whatever works for you. The point is feeling good about yourself is a big part of feeling desirous and desirable once again. And forget the “I don’t have the time for that” stuff. If you had cancer, you’d find the time to fight it.

Forget any little magic pill. It offers false hope that will only bring greater disappointment to the bedroom. Tell your partner the truth. You want to desire sex and you want his or her help getting back to who you once were. But you need time and commitment and patience and space. And you need to feel like you’re more than the maid, the nanny, the, well, you get the idea.

Desire is all about what’s in your head. And when too many other things are filling it up, there’s simply no room for it to reside. You have the power to find that place again inside you.

The first step, is wanting it…

Sincerely,

Jenny

Jenny Block is a freelance writer based in Dallas. She is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Her work appears in "One Big Happy Family," edited by Rebecca Walker and "It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters," edited by Andrea Buchanan. Visit her website at www.jennyonthepage.com or check out her blog at wwww.jennyonthepage.blogspot.com.