Friday, May 15, 2009

Women and Sex - Two Articles

Two interesting and almost contradictory articles on women and sex. One article suggests that women who are more emotionally intelligent have better sex, and the other suggests that depressed women have more sex.

Hmmm . . . emotionally intelligent sounds better than depressed.

Woman and her partner
Being in touch with your emotions helps in the bedroom

Women who are more "emotionally intelligent" get greater pleasure from sex, research on twins suggests.

A study of more than 2,000 female twins showed that those with greater emotional intelligence had larger numbers of orgasms.

These women were better able to monitor their own and others' feelings and emotions, which is key, say the King's College London investigators.

Their findings appear in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.


Most women, and men for that matter, will have this problem at some stage in their life

Paula Hall, a sexual psychotherapist for Relate

All of the 2,035 participants completed questionnaires giving details of their sexual behaviour and performance and also answered questions designed to test their emotional intelligence.

The research found a significant association between emotional intelligence and the frequency of orgasm during masturbation and intercourse.

Professor Tim Spector, director of the Twin Research Department at King's College London and co-author of the study, said: "These findings show that emotional intelligence is an advantage in many aspects of your life including the bedroom.

"This study will help enormously in the development of behavioural and cognitive therapies to improve women's sexual lives."

In tune

Up to a third of women find it difficult or impossible to reach a climax during sex.

Lead author Andrea Burri said: "Emotional intelligence seems to have a direct impact on women's sexual functioning by influencing her ability to communicate her sexual expectations and desires to her partner."

She added that there was a possible connection with a woman's ability to fantasise during sex or her feeling of control over the act.

Paula Hall, a sexual psychotherapist for Relate, said: "Emotional intelligence is most important in terms of overcoming problems.

"Most women, and men for that matter, will have this problem at some stage in their life. It's often situational - you are tired or stressed or having relationship problems, for example.

"It's not just about technique and the environment being right.

"If you are aware of your own emotions and can identify the issues and communicate them, you are more likely to be able to resolve the difficulty."
This all sounds like good stuff. Being more emotionally intelligent tends to make us more aware of our own feelings, as well as those of the person we are with. This can only make sex better.

The next article, however, is a little less positive.

RESOLVED: Depressed Women Have More Sex

By The Stimulist | May 13th, 2009

resolved a copy RESOLVED: Depressed Women Have More Sex

Debbie Downer’s been putting in work. According to a study of single Australian women, depressed women have a third more sex than happy ones. A THIRD. Happy women reported having sex once a week on average—while women suffering from mild to moderate depression had “more of everything.” Quote: “It was more sex and more of everything from kissing to petting, foreplay and intercourse. We knew this anecdotally from clinical samples but this is the first time it’s been shown in research.” Remarkable.

Dr. Sabura Allen says depressed women tend to have more casual sex, and use sex to make themselves feel more secure. OK. Fair enough. But we wondered: could it be that depressed women are drawn to sex because their bodies “know” that sex alleviates depression (sort of the way the body craves salt when it’s dehydrated, because it “knows” that salt prompts liquid retention)? Is sex the new Prozac? (No, wait. Sarafem is the new Prozac. But you know what we mean.)

It was a good thought. Sex, it seems, does not cure depression—at least, not in the long term. At least, not if you use condoms. See, this is where it gets complicated with sex and depression. No one seems to know for sure what’s up. Some researchers claim that unprotected sex can help reduce depression for women. Our first question, reading this, was: were those researchers men? But apparently they’re on to something. There’s a hormone called prostoglandin, found only in semen, that when absorbed in a woman’s body can modulate her hormones. We love it. Risk of STDs and unwanted pregnancy aside, unprotected sex (with men) might calm a woman down. Of course, others suggest that in both men and women, sex can actually cause depression. Our first question, reading this, was: WTF? We’ve always found the lack of sex depressing, not sex itself. But those in the know call this post-coital blues, the come-down after the hormonal high induced by coming. Meanwhile, everyone seems to agree that anti-depressants can depress the libido for both the sexes—except for the people who say “except for Wellbutrin.” And the people who treat depressed sex drive in women with anti-depressants.

So what’s the story? If you’re already feeling down, should you not have sex for fear of post-coital blues? If you want to have sex, should you not take anti-depressants for fear of diminished sex drive? If you’re experiencing diminished sex drive, should you take anti-depressants, even if you’re not already feeling down? The Stimulist has no hard answers for you. Unless, of course, you’re down under.

Interesting, and confusing. What do you think on this topic - have an informed opinion?


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