Do lesbians do (or have) it better?

An insightful Portuguese study set out to address a question that may not get much attention in the field of women’s sexual health – do lesbians experience fewer sexual problems or difficulties in the realm of intimacy compared to their heterosexual counterparts?

Wanting to want it: low desire as a common sexual complaint among middle-aged Canadian adults

Being middle-aged (40-59 years old) often means you are juggling many things at once. Dr. Quinn-Nilas and their team of Canadian researchers wanted to study this population of adults that can be overlooked in sexual health surveys. Sexual health problems are common in this age range and the researchers wanted to look at the most frequent sexual problems and their possible effect on people’s happiness with their sex life.

Sexual satisfaction is not one-size-fits-all

Sexual satisfaction is a complex topic which covers more than just having good sex or frequent orgasms. It includes aspects outside of just intercourse and sexual function, such as desire or sexual problems, though it does not have a common definition or explanation. What researchers do know is that sexual satisfaction can be an important part of maintaining stable relationships. It also plays a role in overall well-being, both emotional and physical.

An injectable treatment for low desire available for American and Canadian women

In 2019, the US FDA approved a new treatment for women suffering from low sexual desire with distress. Known as bremelanotide, it mimics a substance naturally found in the brain, known as a melanocortin. This study investigated how well this new drug worked to improve low desire and its related distress in women, next to several other sexual health indicators.

The brain and sexual (dys)function

New studies suggest that healthy female sexual function relies on the interaction of both the body and the brain. Various brain pathways and associated neurochemicals are involved in the rewards associated with sexual activity, as well as the excitement and inhibition of sexual responses.