Can herbal supplements improve her sex drive?

Advice Columns and ColumnistsRuth WestheimerAmazon.com Inc.

Q: My fiance has never really had a sex drive. She would like to know what kind of herbal supplement she can take to help increase her sex drive. When we do things, everything is great, but she just doesn't really ever have the desire to do things.

A: To start off, if she gets fully aroused and has orgasms when you have sex, regardless of whether she had any desire before you started, that's not such a bad situation. As long as you both know that she needs to actually be engaging in sexual activity to become aroused, it's not a big problem. I doubt that the cause of her not becoming aroused on her own is physical, so supplements, if there were any, wouldn't help. She probably is distracted by various pressures in her life, and that is pushing her libido off to the side.

It might help her to set aside periods of a few minutes per day to think about sensual things. If she can keep her libido from getting completely buried, she might have an easier time allowing feelings of arousal to bubble to the surface at other times.

Q: Does a woman's vagina stretch from frequent intercourse? I enjoy sex, my partner has a very large penis and I am a small woman. The fit is very tight, which makes the sex very amazing, but I worry that in time I will stretch out. If it does stretch, is there any exercise to prevent it from happening? Giving up sex or having it less frequently is not an option.

A: The way you phrase your question bothers me, because it appears as if you know that you will not be spending the rest of your life with this partner and so you are worried that he is going to stretch you out for the next one.

If he isn't potentially a "keeper," my advice to you is to move on; otherwise, the perfect man might get away while you are wasting your time with this one. As to your actual question, babies come out of vaginas, so they are made to stretch. But if you become psychologically tied to the feelings of this very large penis, then you might have problems adjusting to a smaller penis. This risk might be one worth taking if you thought you might be spending the rest of your life with this man, but since that does not seem to be the case, I would tell you to move on.

Q: I am a 60-year-old woman, married 39 years. When I went to the gynecologist, he suggested using a vibrator, as it hurts when I have intercourse and no orgasm. Looking online, there are hundreds of vibrators at all prices. Please suggest a beginner vibrator that is not too noisy or expensive.

A: I'm glad you can have such honest conversations with your gynecologist. Every woman should be able to do so. As to giving you exact advice, I can't really do that, but I will say that the battery-operated vibrators are less powerful and so make less noise, and they are less expensive than those that are plugged into the wall. But since they don't produce sensations that are as strong, they might not be adequate — but try a battery-operated one first and see what happens.

If you go on Amazon.com, you can see reviews people post about various vibrators, to help guide you to making a purchase, which you can then do on the site.

Q: My girlfriend and I have been sexually active for six months. She was a virgin going into our relationship, and I am her first serious boyfriend. Even before we started having intercourse I could not get her to climax. The problem is, I can get her to the moment just before climax, but the closer she gets, she becomes overwhelmed and has to stop everything. She can't start up again once she has reached that point.

She has never masturbated before, and we tried one night, but she is completely disinterested in it. Have you heard of any other situations like this?

A: What she is encountering is not uncommon. The fact that you are there can end up being a distraction, making you part of the problem. I know she may have no desire to masturbate, but if she does want to become orgasmic with you, she needs to learn how to have orgasms on her own. It may take her a while, but she needs to experiment on her own in order to discover exactly what sensations can bring her to orgasm. Then hopefully she can teach you. But if she is feeling pressure when having sex with you, it's unlikely that she will succeed, or at least not in the short run. So persuade her to try to have orgasms during masturbation and see if that solves this issue you two are having.

"Sex for Dummies" (IDG Books) is among Dr. Ruth Westheimer's most popular books. Send your questions to Dr. Ruth at her website, drruth.com.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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