About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Want better sex? Ask Dr. Shorter
You should probably know up front that this post is about sex. Specifically it’s about the problems that women have with sex: pelvic pain, vaginal dryness, decreased libido and failure to orgasm.
I know it’s an unlikely topic for this blog, but what the heck. It’s a health-related issue, and Dr. Lia Shorter talked about it last week at Mary Washington Hospital.
Shorter is an obstetrician/gynecologist and a specialist in female sexual dysfuction. She and her partners own the Women’s Health and Surgery Center in North Stafford.
She was one of the featured speakers at the Cancer Survivor Symposium, the program that the hospital sponsors for cancer survivors and their families. The topic last Thursday was how cancer patients can improve their sexual function and intimacy.
Dr. Daniel Hoffman, a urologist, and Melissa Eagleton, a physical therapist, also spoke, but even they might agree that Shorter stole the show. How can you compete with someone who calls the clitoris the “little man in the boat?”
Shorter was frank and funny. She recommended regular exercise, (“When you’re happy, you’re most likely to be horny.”) the Kama Sutra (“It is not pornographic.”) and the silver bullet or butterfly vibrators (“These things can be considered medical aids.”) She also told the audience to be patient with their partners and to be realistic. “There is no normal sex drive,” she said.
Other examples of her thinking:
* “I am always surprised at how many women that come to my office, and I may do a gynecological exam, and they don’t know where their clitoris is. To me that’s big. Get a mirror and get to know your body.”
* “The women who have to fake it all the time, I don’t believe in that. I think you should just stop it and be honest with your partner.”
* “You’ve got to love your body. You’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got to find the internal sex kitten.”
* “Please do not compare yourself to your friends or read the magazines. I’m telling you the truth. Most of your friends are probably lying if they’re saying they’re having toe-curling orgasms and they’re reaching up into the ceiling.”
* “Use it or lose it. If you stop having sex, you’re going to stop being interested in it, and the body is not going to function the same way.”
* “I always say to my patients who come in with decreased libido or arousal issues, it’s not about increasing the sexuality in your relationship. It’s about increasing the sensuality.”
* “Women who are sexually active, whether they are 18 or 88, will have some form of sexual dysfunction at some part in their life. A lot of it is based on life issues and what’s going on in your life and your stressful events at that time.”