How can women improve their sex drive? According to recent results published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine by Associatian for Psychological Science (APS) member Cindy Meston – take a placebo.
Meston, at the University of Texas at Austin, and co-author Andrea Bradford, at Baylor College of Medicine, examined data from a previous clinical trial that followed 200 women with sexual dysfunction over a 12-week period. Of the 200 women, 50 were randomly chosen to receive a placebo instead of a drug treatment for low sexual arousal.
Over 12 weeks the women rated their symptoms of sexual dysfunction (including low sexual desire, low sexual arousal, and problems with orgasm), talked to a health provider about their difficulties, and monitored their sexual behaviors and feelings regularly. The results showed that on average, one in three of the women who took a placebo showed an overall improvement, with most of the improvement happening in the first four weeks.
This study shows that simply opening a new line of communication about sex can have a positive effect in many women with low libidos. "The findings from our study show how a woman’s expectations to improve sexually can have a substantial positive effect on her sexual wellbeing without any actual drug treatment," says Cindy Meston. "Expecting to get better and trying to find a solution to a sexual problem by participating in a study seems to make couples feel closer, communicate more, and even act differently towards each other during sexual encounters."
Cindy Meston was at the APS 22nd Annual Convention in Boston this year speaking in the "Theme Program: What’s Love Got to Do With It?" She presented an overview of findings from a 6 year, intensive investigation of human sexual motivation that involved over 3,000 individuals. This work revealed that women have sex for 237 distinct reasons ranging from the mundane to the spiritual and from the altruistic to the vengeful. And only one of the reasons is love.
(Source: Association for Psychological Science: Journal of Sexual Medicine)