• Marriage, Sex & Frustration

    Posted August 17, 2017: by Bill Sardi

    The Less-Tosterone Problem

    All the agony for only imagined ecstasy. Men being shut out of bedroom activity like they have fleas – it’s a growing epidemic in America. All of the heart ache, frustration and futility a man faces when he is perplexed over how to successfully arouse his wife only to feel rejected time and again, and finally feeling forced to think of the unthinkable, a break from marriage vows to seek physical affection elsewhere, or resorting to view pornography as a substitute, or worse, a dissolution of marriage altogether. Why is this happening in epidemic proportions in America?

    I don’t know how many times men have said to me: “What marriage? It’s more like I’ve got a roommate, not a wife.”

    Being rebuffed at every approach — doing the dishes, leaving flowers on the bedside table, placing a post-it note on the refrigerator saying “you’re my everything,” fall flat on unresponsive females in sexually unsatisfying relationships. What’s a man to do? The rejection is devastating. Anger often mounts.

    The dissatisfying pursuit of happiness

    A plague of unhappiness in marriage is spreading across America. Divorce in late adulthood is rampant now. A common reason is that men are demanding sex and women don’t have the same sex drive. But unhappiness in females often extends beyond the bedroom. American women are growingly unhappy, enough to place a call with a divorce attorney.

    While it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said “happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product,” such a sensible statement does not resonate in an unhappy woman. Emotion overrides reason.

    Frankly, unhappy women (and unhappy men too) largely choose to be unhappy. But it is a state of being in your partner that you have no control over. So how can a man be held accountable for it?

    Confront a woman and say: “I’m sorry you chose to be unhappy,” and the common retort is: “I didn’t choose to be unhappy, you made me unhappy!!”

    The tale of the man who offered to make his wife happy

    There is a little story that runs around – a man trapped in a dysfunctional marriage with an unhappy wife wakes up in the morning and while still in bed asks his wife: “what would you like me to do for you today to make you happy dear?” She replies: “vacuum all the rugs.” The vacuum cleaner could be heard all morning.

    The next morning the man awakens and asks his wife the same thing: “How can I make you happy this morning dear?” She replies: “Clean the refrigerator.” He dutifully complies.

    This kept occurring, day after day until one day the man asked his wife again: “What can I do to make you happy today?” She paused, then replied: “Nothing. It’s me, not you.”

    I think scenarios like this could be repeated daily in an untold number of marriages. But just what is it that is producing so many unhappy American women?

    The happiness gene

    Surprisingly, there may be a biological origin to unhappiness in women. Despite mood swings and anxiety attacks that are commonly reported among females, researchers report women are actually happier than men. And it may be because they have a happiness gene, men don’t.

    Yes, it’s true. The gene that makes an enzyme called monoamine oxidase that catabolizes (degrades) brain chemicals and stress hormones (serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine) can eliminate unhappy feelings. Women with low expression of monoamine oxidase-MAO (meaning the above listed hormones and neurochemicals were more abundant) were recently found to be happier. There was no effect among males.

    According to a report in Progress in Neuropsycho-pharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 2012, low (not high) MAO serves as a female happiness hormone. It is not surprising to find MAO inhibiting drugs serve as anti-depressants. Of practical note, while there are MAO inhibiting drugs, modest doses of the red wine molecule resveratrol serve as a natural MAO inhibitor.

    Where did the passion go?

    The big battle is in the bedroom where the war between the sexes is being waged these days. Where did the passion go? What happened to desire?

    When a couple has fought over sex for years it can be extremely difficult to get their sex life back on track. Bedroom activity can arouse negative feelings. Then the anticipation of negative feelings results in avoidance.

    Withdrawal of physical affection is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lack of touch in a relationship crashes the oxytocin hormone that makes women want to cuddle and nurture. It’s been said that physical affection is like a shot of vitamin B12 to a marriage.

    The Global Study of Sexual Attitude & Behaviors found that 26-43 percent of women experience low sexual desire worldwide.

    Various studies report that somewhere around 50% of women between the ages of 18 and 59 years of age suffer from “sexual dysfunction” and are in a sexless marriage (sex less than 10 times a year). According to the 2007 Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey, Americans report having sex 85 times a year. Other countries are having up to 70 times more sex than those in the US.

    Lack of T

    Lack of testosterone is a major reason. Testosterone is the major driver of libido in women (and men), facilitating arousal, sensation, lubrication and most of all, desire.

    Women only produce a little bit of testosterone compared to estrogen, but it is THE powerful driver of desire and passion.

    Could there be a chemical/biological basis for this shutdown of affection?

    Men like women also have their own less-tosterone problem. Often erectile dysfunction correlates with a broadening midsection in men that produces mild but significant amounts of estrogen in fat cells that counters testosterone.

    Smoking, obesity, poor health status, certain medications (beta blockers, alcohol, marijuana, diuretics, antidepressants, many others), are reported to cause a drop in testosterone levels.

    For men, a decline in testosterone levels does not need to be a part of normal aging. Testosterone replacement should be obvious for the average pot-bellied middle-aged male entering the doctor’s office. The problem is testosterone replacement is not convenient, nor affordable.

    The average healthy man makes 15 to 25 times more testosterone than a woman meaning men are more interested and eager for bedroom activity. While women produce less testosterone they are more sensitive to it.

    Women who produce insufficient amounts of testosterone no longer fantasize, desire sex or are receptive to overtures for sex from their partners.

    It is estimated that 10-15 million American women struggle with low testosterone. (Ask men and they would tell you that is a very low estimate.) Surprisingly many are younger women who can’t imagine what their problem is.

    Boomerang birth control pills

    A major reason why younger women struggle in the bedroom playing field is that birth control pills paradoxically provide women with freedom but kills their libido.

    Birth control pills raise levels of sex hormone binding protein that binds to testosterone, rendering it non-bioavailable. Many drugs can also induce low testosterone levels (antidepressants, antihistamines, antibiotics, sleeping pills, even alcohol, to name a few).

    Medicalizing testosterone deficiency

    While testosterone replacement is big business for men it is often unappreciated and unaddressed by physicians among women. Testosterone is not routinely tested for in the doctor’s office.

    As a rule of thumb, a total blood plasma level of under 25 nanograms per deciliter of blood in women under age 50 years old is considered abnormally low.

    A problem for women is that modern medicine medicalizes the sex hormone business. Testosterone decline in women is so pervasive, often beginning in midlife, yet it is treated like a disease.

    Women ARE interested in sex

    Don’t think women aren’t as interested in sex as men. They are just a bit more subtle and quiet about it. No woman wants to be thought of as a nymphomaniac.

    I recall watching an Oprah show on TV years ago when a doctor was interviewed about testosterone patches and restoration of bedroom activity to a largely female audience. When the cameras swung to show the audience at the end of the show about half of the audience was missing. Women had reportedly left to run to their doctors’ offices for testosterone patch prescriptions

    Maybe doctoring isn’t going to fix the problem

    Many women find it difficult to raise sexual issues with their doctor. Most physicians (88% in one study) recognize there is a correlation between libido and testosterone in women. Yet only 42% and 53% of doctors report they would prescribe testosterone to women with low libido.

    The science is replete with reports showing supplemental testosterone is beneficial in this regard. Testosterone injections, patches and creams are available, but they require a visit to the doctor’s office and may not be affordable or easily available when needed.

    And too much testosterone poses side effects such as unwanted body hair, acne, deepening of the voice, loss of hair, shrinking breast size and unprovoked anger.

    There are easier and more economical ways to boost testosterone in females. Exercise, more so weight training, is reported to raise T levels in males and females, but the effect is only temporary.

    Sex itself is even reported to elevate T levels. Sounds like, if you can just get to first base in the bedroom, the rest is downhill.

    Over-the-counter remedy needed

    Over-the-counter remedies are available for common functional problems like sleeplessness, diarrhea, heartburn and dry eyes. There ought to be non-Rx low side effect remedy to the testosterone problem for males and females. It would revolutionize bedroom activity globally. It would have to be safe, effective, portable and affordable. Short of putting T in chewing gum, is there some convenient way to deliver T without the concern of overdose?

    Making Scents Of Sexual Satisfaction

    Maybe women and men don’t need to be held captive by their hormones, or lack thereof. Lo and behold, in my investigation as a health journalist, I found a novel science-based answer to the problem of low-T for both males and females. I had occasion to interview Dr. Moshe Shifrine, retired immunologist at University of California, Davis.

    As an avocation professor Shifrine has devoted his time to hydroponically grow truffles.

    For those who are unfamiliar, truffles are described (Wikipedia) as a “strong-smelling underground fungus that resembles an irregular, rough-skinned potato, growing chiefly in broadleaved woodland on calcareous soils. It is considered a culinary delicacy and found, especially in France, with the aid of trained dogs or pigs.”

    What Professor Shifrine discovered was by a process of transduction the testosterone aroma that emanates from French truffles stimulates the brain (olfactory lobe) directly. (Transduction is defined as the action or process of converting something or a message into another form.)

    As background information, testosterone is regulated in the brain through the release of hormones, while testosterone itself is primarily produced in the testes of males or in the ovaries in females.

    The process of testosterone production is indirect via the hypothalamus in the brain. Science-minded consumers can read about it in Professor Shifrine’s patent application.

    This “aroma therapy” is self-regulating as the pituitary gland can slow down testosterone synthesis. The truffle composition cannot be overdosed.

    Professor Shifrine teaches that healthy young men produce ~6 milligrams of T and women 0.4 milligrams of T per day (1/20th of what men produce).

    The product

    Professor Shifrine has bottled his powdered French truffle extract from which he makes a liquid atomizer spray bottle (brand name Vitali-T-Boost™). It produces the aroma that then stimulates nasal cilia (hairs) and receptors that make direct connection with the brain. No actual testosterone is delivered. Natural stimulation of testosterone is activated. It ought to be sold at Victoria Secrets stores.

    More specifically a receptor in the nasal passage gives rise to an electrical signal to the olfactory lobe in the brain to elicit the physiological response. This explains the reported aphrodisiac effect of French truffles.

    This scent-therapy to normalize T levels via androgenic receptors in the brain was novel enough to be awarded a US patent. An initial study involving twelve women confirmed the truffle extract promoted normalcy – health and wellbeing.

    Maybe professor Moshe Shifrine’s non-prescription olfactory therapy will help many millions of couples that have been fighting for years to get their sex life back on track. Instead of a minefield of negative feelings, maybe sex can be satisfying, loving and desirable once again.

    Added note

    Dryness, pain and discomfort during sex is another common problem for women. Take a tip from noted pharmacist Terry Graedon and try oral hyaluronic acid capsules. Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like water-holding molecule naturally produced in the body, less so as estrogen levels decline. Oral hyaluronic acid activates fibroblast cells throughout the body to produce hyaluronic acid. Sensitive female tissues are then cushioned and spongy again.

    When all else fails

    No chemical remedy will repair marriages for couples that want to hold onto their anger and frustration. Try holding hands before you jump in bed and put testosterone to the test. Men, read the Songs of Solomon to your wife.

    If you’re still sleeping in separate bedrooms and not cuddling together in bed and testosterone is not your problem, and you really want to restore intimacy, try reading God On Sex: The Creator’s Ideas About Love, Intimacy & Marriage by Daniel L. Akin.

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