A recent study from Public Health England reveals that women aged 25 – 34 are more likely than women in other age groups to experience a lack of “sexual enjoyment.” Nearly 50 per cent of the women in this age group have not enjoyed sex in the past year.

Even now, female sexuality is defined by what men want. Is it any wonder their partners are so often unsatisfied?

Most of what is called “female sexual dysfunction” isn’t about women who want to but can’t. As Daniel Bergner wrote in his 2013 New York Times piece on this issue, “Lack of lust, when it creates emotional distress, meets the psychiatric profession’s clinical criteria for H.S.D.D., or hypoactive sexual-desire disorder.” Women who suffer from this “lack of lust” range from 10-30% of the population of women of reproductive age.

The funny thing about the HSDD diagnosis is that the cause in most cases appears to be environmental, not physical: HSDD affects monogamous women in long-term relationships. Couples get together, and at first, they’re hot for each other. But after years of being together, women are far more likely than men to see a dramatic drop-off in their interest in sex. “The impact of relationship duration is something that comes up constantly,” Lori Brotto, an expert on HSDD told Bergner. “Sometimes I wonder whether if isn’t so much about libido as it is about boredom.”

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