The slogan for the hippy generation of the 1960s was sex, drugs and rock and roll. The drugs involved were marijuana and hallucinogens like LSD.
Forty years later, the slogan for aging baby boomers could still be sex and drugs. The only difference is that the drugs in question are not psychedelics. Instead they are medications such as Viagra and Levitra, pharmaceutical aids designed to help aging baby boomers actually have sex.
For people who pretty much took their love life for granted, aging hippies are discovering that sexual dysfunction is uncomfortably common. And even though the pharmaceutical industry has discovered a growing market for erectile dysfunction, there is very little available for lost libido.
Restoring sexual desire is not as easy as fixing a plumbing problem. We heard this from a reader: “I am postmenopausal and I have very little sex drive. My husband is the same age, but his sex drive is about that of an 18 year old. I have tried several different remedies but nothing seems to work.
“I thought the problem might be due to a hysterectomy 20 years ago, but many of my friends have the same problem and most have not had a hysterectomy. In fact, one of the females is in her 40’s and her husband is 55 and they have the same problem.
“I know men and women are not created equal in sex drive, but surely there is something to help females with this problem.”
One possible approach involves testosterone. Although it has not been approved for the purpose of increasing libido, some research demonstrates improvement in this arena. Too much, however, can result in undesirable or even dangerous side effects.
Men are not immune to low libido. Another reader confides: “I have had a problem getting sexually aroused and getting an erection. This is upsetting my wife. We have not had sex for years because she is afraid that after she gets aroused, I may not be able to perform to her satisfaction and then she will be frustrated.
“For the last several years I have had little or no libido. My physician says that there is nothing that he can do to improve my sex drive, but he prescribed Viagra anyway. It is my understanding that the only way Viagra works is if you are interested and sexually stimulated. Things are getting critical with my wife and I am at a loss. Do you have any advice?”
Men can also suffer from low testosterone levels. A test will reveal if hormonal imbalance is contributing in this case.
Counseling with a certified sex therapist might also be helpful for this couple. Open communication about sexual issues and an attempt to recharge the romance might work wonders for their relationship.
We discussed a number of treatments for such problems with three of the country’s leading experts in sexual difficulties. If you would like a CD of this hour-long radio show, together with our Guides to Sexual Dysfunction and Female Sexuality, please send $17 to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, Dept. PZ/CD-318, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.