Sexual Behaviour in Canada: Patterns and Problems

By Benjamin Schlesinger | Go to book overview

Some new approaches in treating the anorgasmic woman *

STEPHEN NEIGER

The 'frigid' or anorgasmic woman may or may not visit with this overt complaint in the family physician's office. I suspect that 'unspecified pelvic discomfort,' and possibly 'nervous tension' would be more frequent disguises in which this condition (in its early form) is brought to the attention of the busy family practitioner who, rightly or wrongly, is not always thought of by his female patient as a 'good listener.' Perhaps this is why, by the time a woman perceives herself as 'frigid,' she will seek out a psychologist or psychiatrist - often quite unnecessarily - and not her family physician, or even her gynecologist.

I use the term 'anorgasmic' deliberately in this paper instead of the much better known term 'frigid.' Although most of us think we know what we mean when saying 'this woman is frigid,' it takes little re-thinking to realize that the term has many possible meanings. It ranges over a wide quantitative continuum from the woman who is completely anorgasmic to the one who is able to achieve satisfaction only occasionally.

Moreover, frigidity may refer to such qualitatively completely different conditions as the woman who gets excited during intercourse but is unable to reach orgasm (this is the condition which leads to unspecified chronic pelvic complaints most frequently); or the woman who is completely cold and indifferent to intercourse (a stronger form of negative early conditioning than is the former type); or even the woman who is violently disgusted by the thought not only of intercourse but by the touch of her husband or any other male as long as his touch carries the implication of sexual advances (a condition that is usually superim-

____________________
*
Reprinted from Canadian Family Physician, 17 ( May 1971), 52-56.

-95-

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