ONE of man’s greatest fears is impotence. He wishes to retain his potency into his grave not actually to satisfy his spouse but to increase his catalogue of sexual exploits. In the female, frigidity occupies the same position albeit with a little difference. A woman is not afraid of frigidity because she wants to change beds. She only wants to be a real woman, she sees abnormalcy in frigidity. The word frigidity has been ascribed different meanings. A lot of women unjustly see themselves as being frigid especially if they failed to respond to stimulation by a man. Frigidity is not just failure to respond to sexual stimulation, we must qualify it, stimulation by whom, where, for how long in what areas of the woman’s body.

What then is frigidity?

Frigidity means absence of sex desire typified by partial or complete failure to attain or maintain adequate vaginal lubrication (evidence of sexual excitement) until completion of sexual act. One can only say a woman is frigid only after it has been confirmed that she engages in sexual activity which is adequate in focus, (i.e. adequate stimulation of the erotic areas), intensity and duration with the desired partner. Thus a woman cannot be said to be frigid if she fails to respond to a man she dislikes. A woman cannot be said to be frigid if she fails to respond to a rapist. She cannot be said to be frigid if by her constitution, she needs clitoral stimulation but was not offered one. Many areas of a woman’s body are erogenous, that is, capable of giving rise to a pleasurable sensation when stimulated by touch. These include the tongue, back of the neck, lips, shoulders, breast (especially the nipples), ears, thighs, buttocks and the clitoris. Touching these areas stimulates the secretion of certain glands called Bartholins glands located in the vagina to ensure adequate lubrication of the vagina and also bring about relaxation of the vagina muscles. Thus if a woman in the right frame of mind has the desired man who is experienced in the act of foreplay fails to be sexually excited after adequate duration of foreplay, she could be said to be frigid.

The causes of frigidity are varied but of easy understanding; we shall look at them from three angles- physical, physiological and psychological.

Very few cases of frigidity are due to physical conditions such as certain abnormalities and illness in the pelvis. These include a thick and tough hymen – which resists stretching or tearing. Some vaginal openings are very narrow and inelastic making penetration extremely difficult. The excruciating pain thus encountered in the first act puts the woman off sex. Certain operations in the region of the vagina such as circumcision can cause scarring in the vagina making it inelastic. Sometimes the muscles of the vagina go into continuous spasm making penetration completely impossible. This is common in the highly strung and over-anxious women who think much of themselves. It could also be due to an unfortunate experience such as rape, fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Sometimes the Bartholins glands in the vagina fail to lubricate the vulva and vagina, causing great pain during penetration.  Nearly all cases due to physical causes, the common factor is pain experienced in a previous act, which acts as a switch-off mechanism. Circumcision removes the clitoris which is the main erotic organ, causing decreased sex desire.

The physiological causes of frigidity include age, pregnancy, puerperium and sex hormone levels. Frigidity is normal in adolescents and the aged. Sex desire in a woman reaches its peak at about the age of 40 years. In fact a woman has very great sex desire from 35 years to 45 years of age. It starts to wane after 45years. However, a few lucky ones, about 20% retain their sex desire well into old age. Many women see child procreation as the main reason for sex, once this is met as in pregnancy, they clam up. Should we say they are puritan? For sometime after childbirth, a lot of women lose the desire for sex. Their “raw” pelvis and vagina together with the care of the new born are enough to kill sex desire. Any man who cares for his wife should please understand any repulsion during this period. Partly due to the level of sex hormones in the body, individuals have different appetites for sex. Those with high sex hormone levels have strong appetites and thus stronger sex desire.

Frigidity in most cases is due to psychological causes. Consequently they will be dealth with individually.

Early impressions play a great role in frigidity. Women brought up to see sex as sinful, dirty or who associate sex with guilt and shame are likely to become frigid. Women who have been brought up to hate men, who see men as people of doubtful character, are likely to become frigid.

Lack of affection for a partner leads to frigidity. This is commoner in a marital setting. Some women marry the wrong men for selfish reasons, the loss of sex desire may be due to love for another man, or the unfaithfulness of the husband.

Fear of pregnancy and childbirth causes frigidity. Others include fear of veneral diseases and premarital sexual experience. There is also the fear of “first time” which causes sweet pain.

Inconsiderate, inexperienced and weakly sexed male partners can also cause frigidity in women. If a girl is unlucky to have such men as early partners, the unsatisfying experience could kill her desire for the rest of her life.

Prolonged separation from a spouse causes frigidity as the woman stifles her sex desire, directing her attention to other areas.

Busy schedules could cause frigidity, pre-occupation of the mind and body quietens sex desire.

Fatigue, stress, anxiety and overtiredness, depression, and fear of the male organ reduce sexual desire.

Failure in life causes frigidity. Successful women tend to be self confident and have a high sex drive.

Lets us see how you can learn to cure frigidity.

1.         Any physical problem should be eliminated and that entails seeing a gynaecologist.

2.         You have to see sex as one of the best things God created. It is one of the basic human instincts. It is not sinful, not dirty and not associated with shame or guilt. Rather it is a demonstration of a lasting affection.

3.         A girl must like and appreciate herself. This helps to develop self confidence.

4.         A girl must like men and move freely with them. Men feel more at ease with women who appreciate them and say so.

5.         Success is associated with high sex drive. A woman should strive to achieve success in her chosen career.

6.         Sexual relationships should only be maintained with desired partners.

7.         The couple could see a sex counsellor preferably the family physician for advice. He will be able to discuss with each one separately and may find solution to the problem.

8.         However, the most successful approach appears to be a change in sexual technique. The sensitive areas in a particular female must be sought after by the lover.

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