Understanding Your Sexual Dysfunction10:40 AM
Sex education leaves something to be desired. Knowledge, that is. Women need to know how to have great sex, how to have an orgasm, and how to love sex.
Sex Education Leaves Something To Be ... DesiredSex is great. Or at least it should be. But sadly this isn’t always the case. Some studies estimate that 40% of women suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction, whether it’s a decreased libido or an inability to get aroused. We invited mother and writer Rochelle Fritsch to take HelloFlo and VProud's Master Class Understanding Your Sexual Dysfunction and reflect on her own experiences with learning about her sexuality below. Understanding Your Sexual Dysfunction is taught by Dr. Jessica Shepherd, OB/GYN. In the class, Dr. Shepherd shares common causes of sexual dysfunction as well as treatments and cures. In addition to the science, she shares practical tips to help you enjoy sex again. After taking the class, Rochelle reflected on her own sex education class from when she was in school, how limited the information was, and how important topics such as intimacy, pleasure, and how to learn to have great sex were never revisited. We found Rochelle's honesty refreshing and call to action, so to speak, for women to educate themselves on this important topic to be spot on. Take a look at what Rochelle has to say and see if her thoughts match, or inspire, yours.
—The VProud Team
All The Things They Didn’t Tell Us
By Rochelle Fritsch for VProud
In the 1980s, private parts were so private they were nearly unspeakable. At my school, all fifth grade girls learned about women’s anatomy through antiquated cartooned films that covered acne, deodorant, menstrual cycles, and what it takes to have a baby.
Afterwards, there was a simple Any Questions asked and we were done. Vagina might have been mentioned once and very quickly in the follow-up, but there was nothing--absolutely nothing--said about that part of our anatomy’s intricacies and how those intricacies were there to make sex pleasurable.
I’m guessing that shame, embarrassment, culture, and maybe even trauma of the person who drew the short straw to teach us were to blame.
We moved on, grew up, got married, had sex (not always in that order), stumbled upon pleasure and maybe even learned enough about ourselves to know what made us sexually happy. And some of us faced the brick wall of sexual dysfunction too.
Since many women of my generation don’t know ourselves physically because we weren’t taught, I think we end up viewing dysfunction like a wonky computer. If it doesn’t work correctly, we press all the buttons, and when that doesn’t work, we just do a reboot with fingers crossed that everything will work once we log back in.
But women’s sexual dysfunction isn’t a computer.
To address the problem, you have to understand it psychologically and physically. While the psychological side may seem obvious (e.g. money problems, busy schedules, deadlines, culture, trauma) the physical side of it is trickier if you don’t have basic knowledge of what’s down there besides the famed clitoris and (not so) mythological g-spot.
We need to really understand the entire vagina’s different parts, functions and how they all work in concert to create a good experience. Understanding our bodies is key. Naming the most private parts of our private parts is critical. Both empower us with knowledge and language to fill in blanks left long ago by those cartoonishly vague You’re Becoming A Woman classes.
When the power of understanding and language is harnessed, we can address sexual dysfunction by communicating to our OB-GYNs, nurse practitioners or family doctors if and when it happens. They can point us to solutions ranging from the simple (e.g. cutting down on alcohol use, hormone replacement therapy) to the more complex (therapists who specialize in helping women reconnect with their bodies, therapists and counselors).
The answers to sexual dysfunction are there. They always have been for as long as ladies have had lady parts. But for a generation of women, some of those answers may lie in all the things they didn’t tell us.
About the author: Rochelle Fritsch is a Christian, a wife, a mom, and painfully human. She co-steers a biracial family while ambition rudely interrupts her slacker tendencies. Rochelle is the co-producer of Milwaukee’s Listen To Your Mother Show and is a 2015 BlogHer Voice of the Year honoree. She writes on her blog, The Late Arrival and is a metro parent magazine contributor. Follow her on Twitter @GeesMom. Join Rochelle on the Understanding Your Sexual Dysfunction discussion on VProud.
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This post is part of a brand new partnership between VProud and HelloFlo to solve the Dr. Google problem. Stop wasting time with Dr. Google and get your important health and parenting information from best-in-class experts. Details about our Master Classes can be found on HelloFlo.