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Boat Party

June 17, 2010

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I'm a woman in my 20s, and I've been dating the love of my life for two years now. We are incredibly happy except for—guess!—we have different sex drives. When we first started dating, I initiated sex all the time and enjoyed it, but as soon as I started on birth control, my libido evaporated. After a nightmarish year of trying different methods, arguing with doctors, and hurt feelings, I decided that it wasn't worth it, and we've stopped using any hormonal birth control (we're using condoms).

But months later, I still have almost no interest in sex or masturbation. We have sex once or twice a week, but it's physically boring. I put on my game face and endure it. I enjoy pleasing him, but it does nothing for me. It hurts him that I am not interested in sex and that he can't arouse or please me. I want us to have a healthy sex life, because I love him and he's worth it. Could this still be the birth control? Did I somehow flip the OFF switch?

Please help, Dan. My doctors are all sex-negative and don't see the problem, and I want to enjoy sex again.

Not Horny, Not Happy

Your problem doesn't sound like a case of differing sex drives, NHNH, but like a healthy sex drive that's been derailed.

"Birth control pills can decrease sexual desire if they substantially lower testosterone levels," says Cindy M. Meston, PhD, professor of clinical psychology at University of Texas at Austin and author of Why Women Have Sex. "The pill supplies a steady dose of hormones, so that the body stops producing its own unsteady, cyclical dose." The pill keeps your estrogen level high in order to prevent ovulation, while also "increasing the sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which binds to testosterone, thus blocking it from being 'read' by the body."

Testosterone plays a huge role in female libido, and blocking testosterone doesn't do your libido any favors. And while most women who experience a severe drop in libido on the pill bounce back a few months after they stop taking it, some women aren't so lucky.

"One well-regarded researcher, Irwin Goldstein, found that after stopping the pill, SHBG remained high in some women and testosterone levels didn't go back up," says Meston. "It's not common, but it could explain this woman's situation. The best thing for her would be to go to a gynecologist, urologist, or endocrinologist who specializes in sexual medicine (make sure they actually know what the hell they're measuring) and have all her reproductive hormones measured. If she's low in testosterone, she can take testosterone supplements."

That means you'll have to fire your current sex-negative doctors, NHNH, and find yourself some new, sex-positive ones—and you'll have to stick with them.

"She needs a good doctor to monitor her closely, as too much testosterone causes bad side effects in women—side effects like facial hair growth."

I also shared your e-mail with Debby Herbenick, PhD, sexual-health educator at the Kinsey Institute and author of Because It Feels Good, and she feels there's a chance your problem isn't hormonal.

"In working with people, what I more often have found—and wrote about in my book—is something I call a 'cycle of dread.' I know that sounds 'magazine-y,' but it's the best way I can think of to describe it, and this woman seems to epitomize it."

A cycle of dread—let's call it COD—can kick in when someone keeps having sex she doesn't want to have, or isn't enjoying, because she feels she must.

"Sometimes, it works out all right—once they start going, it feels better. But quite often, they don't want it, they do it anyway, it sucks ('physically boring,' 'I put on my game face'), and they do it anyway and keep doing it."

Herbenick believes a temporary "ban on intercourse"—or taking "vaginal off the menu," as I've recommended in similar circumstances—"can help couples learn to touch each other again with pleasure."

I think you should take the advice of both of our guest experts: Initiate a ban on intercourse for now, NHNH, because you're not doing you, your libido, or your boyfriend any favors when you put on that game face and go through the motions, and go get your hormone levels checked.


What does a person do when an LTR starts to feel stagnant or boring or dull?

Partnered But Jonesing

A person experiments (with partner), cheats (on partner), or breaks up (with partner).


I have a dilemma. Even though I was born in 1972, people always assume that I'm in my mid-20s. I tend to attract girls in their early 20s, and when they ask how old I am, I counter with "How old do you think I am?" They invariably guess an age that I haven't seen in more than a decade. When I tell these 21- to 23-year-olds the truth, it's a complete turnoff. Just last night I had to endure—that's endure, not Ensure—my third brush-off at the hands of a hot 21-year-old girl in a row!

So what's an apparent senior citizen like myself to do? Do I just wait hopelessly for the dreaded question to come up? Do I blurt out "I'm old" as soon as a woman walks up to me? Do I take measures to try to look my age?

You're probably wondering why I don't just go for women closer to my own age. Here's why: Women my own age tell me that they're looking for serious relationships and I look way too young for that and they worry that my looks mean I'm a total player!

You're Only Using Numbers, Girls

First, YOUNG, maybe your problem is the lousy puns. Endure/Ensure? That would earn you a brush-off from me.

But if older women aren't interested because you look too young, and younger women aren't interested because you are too old—if you're actually being discriminated against based on your age/looks—then you have a license to lie to women, young and old.

Let younger women think you're in your 20s until they get to know you better. Then disclose and apologize for the deceit without being too abject about it. You had cause. As for women closer to your own age, well, instead of telling them you're very nearly 40, YOUNG, let 'em think you're a twentysomething with a thing for older women. Then if a puma—or panther or cougar or otter or whatever—decides to dump you because she's getting too attached and the (presumed) age difference is simply too great, bust out your birth certificate, apologize, and propose.


HEY! The Stranger and Trouble Dicso are having a Pre-Pride Boat Party with DJ Kim Ann Foxman of the band Hercules and Love Affair. The party is Thursday, June 24, on The Islander, a large and lovely party boat, and sets sail at 10:00 p.m. for a three-hour booze-y, dance-y, Pride-y cruise. The Trouble Dicso guys will also be DJing and local dance troupe Dream Weavers will perform. See you on the boat. Tickets are $15 at thestranger.com/boatparty.


mail@savagelove.net

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Comments (170) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Starting a relationship off on a lie is a TERRIBLE idea, even if the lie is just about age. Bad advice on that one Dan!
Posted by misc on June 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM · Report this
2
Whoa! Could I possibly be first?

Young is on an ego trip to even write a note like this...waaah.,..go get a real problem. How about this: date women somewhat closer to your own age!

Fascinating stuff on the hormones!
Posted by knkycva on June 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM · Report this
3
first post?! Im possible! and all the way from Scotland, too! Thanks for the insight, as always Dan.
Posted by secretlymonday on June 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM · Report this
4
i'm wondering how YOUNG dresses when he meets these women. if his clothing screams "20-something," that's not going to do him any favors.
Posted by YOUNGER on June 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM · Report this
5
Taking the pill for three years in high school completely ruined my sex drive. Two years after stopping the pill, I finally found someone I was interested in physically and felt comfortable enough with emotionally to lose my virginity. Despite the wisdom that came from my five years of confusion, I still feel like I was cheated out of some of my best years.
I didn't know my hormone levels could still be affected by this, which I think they might be since my drive is very similar to this woman's. Thanks for the column, as usual!
Posted by latebloomer on June 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM · Report this
DowntownTaylor 6
@1, I disagree. Starting a relationship off on a lie is not good, but when you first meet someone, that's not really "starting a relationship". At that point, you're just barely getting to know the person, and an innocent little lie about age is fine... to a point.
Posted by DowntownTaylor http://www.digitaltaylor.com on June 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM · Report this
7
@4: I was thinking about posting that too. How does YOUNG dress? Still, some guys just look the way they do, and dressing only goes so far, and maybe that's his case.

I know this isn't every guy's preference, but what about a beard? Maintained stubble? Make sure your haircut is fairly appropriate too; if you want to look older (but not "old"), staying away from too much product helps.
Posted by Gloria on June 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM · Report this
8
YOUNG

Do what I do, when young girls ask my my age I reply:"Old enough to know better, but happily I dont" Gets them laughing. Second here's a idea STFU about your age. Its none of their business, keep it to yourself until they get to know you better.
Posted by Old on June 16, 2010 at 10:48 AM · Report this
9
plump lips and hairless forearms probably don't scream "too young for women your own age" as loudly as an Ed Hardy tee shirt does.

What do you mean "take measures to try to look my age?" Because not dressing like a frat boy might be a good start to not looking like one.
Posted by pain on June 16, 2010 at 10:52 AM · Report this
10
YOUNG: Tough. Stop bragging/whining. My hair started going grey in my mid 20s due to a congenital condition. Trade ya.
Posted by Old before my time on June 16, 2010 at 10:55 AM · Report this
11
For YOUNG, what is wrong with saying "young enough to have fun and old enough to know what I am doing" and then laughing? Sometimes, a cheesy deflection can work :-)

If YOUNG is in fact looking for a woman his own age, there are things you can do with your appearance to "look your age" without doing much - popping your collar at 38 is just wrong, for example.

Also, Dan forgot one for PBJ - suck it up. Doesn't work much, but it seems to be what he is doing....
Posted by ariane on June 16, 2010 at 10:57 AM · Report this
12
On YOUNG: My ex, now my buddy, is 40, but looks 25. Trust me, women of all ages LOVE this. Said ex has never had a problem getting women. If YOUNG is having problems, he should probably look to his personality or attitude in the moments of those first encounters - his youthful looks might just be an excuse that they're using.

Posted by JrzWrld on June 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM · Report this
13
@9 - a good way to do this would be to stop popping your collar and wearing plaid shorts. If you look like you could model for AE or Hollister, you are dressing younger than about 25.
Posted by ariane on June 16, 2010 at 11:00 AM · Report this
14
Hmmm....my husband is 35 and frequently gets taken for a young 20-something. He just looks young, despite not acting or dressing particularly young. He gets it from his father, who is in his 60's and very easily passes for someone in his 40's.

It is what it is and I can tell you he certainly never let it affect his dating life. I liked my men older and he he liked his women older. So even with our 10yr age difference we still clicked.

Stop focusing on your age so much. Focus on what you want in a partner. Once you have that figured out it won't matter if they are 20 or 30 something. Good luck.
Posted by Nainax on June 16, 2010 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Rach3l 15
I can attest to the negative side effects when a woman's hormones are out of whack. I have excess testosterone from PCOS, along with a fantastic sex drive, chin hair, and minor hair loss on the crown of my head... still trying to save up enough to visit the endocrinologist.

It sucks, but my boyfriend still loves me.
Posted by Rach3l on June 16, 2010 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Principessa Diannessa 16
How about the answer to the younger women of "Not quite old enough to be your Daddy." Make it sound sexy and a smidgen dangerous, like a dare. To the older women say, "How old are YOU? About 28 or 29?"; or "Why, do you think you might be too young for me?" something like that. You could also say some crap about the Six Million Dollar Man, Lindsay Wagner, and Charlie's Angels. That ought to prove it to them.
Posted by Principessa Diannessa on June 16, 2010 at 11:25 AM · Report this
17
As a woman who has been through plenty of life's hormonal fluctuations – pregnancy and oral birth control included – I would advise Not Horny, Not Happy to think about consulting a good woman-supportive alternative practitioner before trying hormonal intervention.

Acupuncture and herbs can both have positive affects on hormones and libido. Raising a woman's sexual energy should be like raising the level of water in a pool – not like the cannon-ball splash of Viagra. Good treatment will make her feel more vital all the time, not just make her clit tingle now and then.

In our 20s is when the excesses of youth can finally catch up with us and affect our energy levels. Over-indulging in alcohol and grass can dull libido. It's important to have a good diet. Exercise helps. A good diet helps. Lighting up your sexual brain by reading erotica and masturbating helps. It's also incredibly important to make sure you're getting plenty of sleep. I have a pretty darn healthy libido, but it switches right off if I'm over-tired...
Posted by Geek Porn Girl http://www.geekporngirl.com on June 16, 2010 at 11:30 AM · Report this
18
Great guests this week!

As for YOUNG, I find it hard to believe that the immaturity is only in his looks. Is it possible that you dress like a college kid? I'm 32. When I'm lounging in shorts and a ponytail, I've been mistaken me for a teenager. Nobody makes that mistake when I'm in business clothes. This is not to mention that what you talk about and how you act goes a long way to indicate age. I have a feeling that YOUNG seems young in more ways that one.
Posted by Jamie in Pittsburgh http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/strawberry.limonade?ref=name on June 16, 2010 at 11:38 AM · Report this
19
I wouldn't have an issue with an age difference (the gap between my husband and I is about what YOUNG is describing), but I'd drop him like a hot rock for lying to me.
Posted by amazonvera on June 16, 2010 at 11:47 AM · Report this
20
As a woman in her mid-20s having problems with my sex drive, I really appreciate your answer to the first LR and the responses in many of the comments. I believe a combo of birth control pills and stress (just graduated from law school and the economy has killed any hope of gainful employment) decimated my sex drive. My doctor didn't really care when I brought it up, and I'll be losing my health insurance before I have the opportunity to find another doctor. I think the herbal/vitamin/exercise/acupressure route may be my most reasonable avenue now. Thanks for the suggestions, commentors!!
Posted by Want2WantIt on June 16, 2010 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Frau Blucher 21
I have to agree with #1 - It's a bad idea to mislead or lie from the start of a relationship.

If I were the deceived party, I don't think I could ever really overcome the trust issue from a relationship partner that lied from the very beginning.

Sorry Dan. Not good advice on that one, in my opinion.
Posted by Frau Blucher on June 16, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 22
YOUNG is moasting: moaning + boasting. Write back when you have some real problems, you baby-faced weenie.
Posted by kitschnsync on June 16, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
23
I'm hesitating to post after last week's roasting, but there's a middle ground on the hormonal thing. If she's got high SHBG, there are nutritional ways to lower it. Going on testosterone might not even work if her SHBG is high, the SHBG might keep increasing, keeping pace with the higher T.

If she has her hormones checked and high SHBG is the problem, she can try taking the RDA of calcium/magnesium/zinc. Zinc helps lower SHBG, she may want to consider taking double the RDA of zinc (check with your doctor). Also changing one's diet to avoid sugary and starchy foods will help lower SHBG over the long term.
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Sea Otter 24
Hmm...YOUNG sounds like a lot of guys I met when I was single and in my early 20's. He pursues women much younger than him, has a bullshit story about why women his own age don't like him, and worst of all plays the "guess my age" game (this comes across as condescending and also hints that you are self-conscious about your age, which is a big turnoff). He also seems to think it's somehow unfair that women in their early 20's tend not to be interested in him. In short: he sounds like an immature jerk.
Posted by Sea Otter on June 16, 2010 at 12:15 PM · Report this
25
I agree with everyone who thinks Dan gave shitty advice to YOUNG. When someone asks your age, just state it and don't try to get cute with "how old do you THINK I am?" crap. If women his own age think he's too immature to date, it's for damn sure got more to do with his behavior than his looks. Also, Dan claims he's earned the right to lie based on the behavior of a few women.... but what the women who are mature enough to judge him fairly based on the truth? Don't tell such stupid lies; they'll only bite you in the ass later.
Posted by chicago girl on June 16, 2010 at 12:16 PM · Report this
26
Marrena, don't hesistate to post, because you're quite right. She should get her hormones checked, but testosterone supplements aren't the only way to fix this.
Posted by chicago girl on June 16, 2010 at 12:23 PM · Report this
27
@17: Why don't you recommend she pray about it while you're offering useless placebos. Idiot.
Posted by Dave M on June 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM · Report this
28
Yeah, best advice for YOUNG is very simply: act your age.
Posted by Shannon Murphy on June 16, 2010 at 12:31 PM · Report this
29
Yeah, best advice for YOUNG is very simply: act your age.
Posted by Shannon Murphy on June 16, 2010 at 12:31 PM · Report this
starsandgarters 30
I'm with 12. I don't think YOUNG's looks are the problem. "How old do you think I am?" reads as irritating no matter how many different inflections I imagine.
Posted by starsandgarters on June 16, 2010 at 12:35 PM · Report this
31
@27 re @17: Acupuncture is not a useless placebo--if you were at all up to date on the issue you would see that there have been a host of clinical trials that show that it is effective for some (not all, but some) conditions. I personally have had success with acupuncture to treat a host of lady-problems Don't call people idiots if you can't even do the research.

And re: herbs, how could herbs be a useless placebo? Ever smoked marijuana? Just because something is a plant doesn't mean it doesn't do anything to your body.
Posted by Shannon Murphy on June 16, 2010 at 12:36 PM · Report this
32
I'm with Geek Porn Girl. Not Horny is already getting the brush off from her doctors. Hormonal birth control works for some people, but I've never been one of them. I can only speak to what works for me, but there are natural herbal formulas designed to flush excess hormones from your system, allowing you to basically let your body start over and find its normal balance. I was a sexless and neurotic basketcase for a few weeks, but then everything settled down and I pretty much spent weeks masturbating eight times a day.

There are some great doctors out there that can help you monitor your hormone levels and find something that works for you. It sounds like you're having trouble with that though, so have no shame about finding a naturopath or even trying to wade through the nonsense on the interent. Good luck!
Posted by KMcQuage on June 16, 2010 at 12:55 PM · Report this
33
I quit all hormonal birth control after trying eight different brands, all of which caused severe side effects. It took nearly two years, but my body did return to normal eventually -- including my high sex drive.

NHNH should give it a few more months and try using different lubes, arousal creams, or a sex-toy like Luna Beads to help get/stay in the mood for sex. She might also experiment with non-hormonal BC like the sponge, Femcap, or fertility awareness, to see if no-condom helps.
Posted by Yourn on June 16, 2010 at 1:01 PM · Report this
34
Wow, I'm surprised you didn't call bullshit on YOUNG's last paragraph. Sounds like he's got age discrimination issues of his own and is making excuses to keep going after young girls.

Plenty of women in their 30s would love to have serious relationships with hot, young looking guys. I'm 32, my fiance looks 10 years younger than his age, is out of my league, and I love it.
Posted by Young's just as guilty on June 16, 2010 at 1:01 PM · Report this
35
The herb I was actually thinking about was the ayurvedic herb called ashwagandha. It's what is called a "normalizing" herb, in that it balances body systems and functions. It's considered safe at recommended dosages, and helps to balance mood and libido in women (I don't know that it won't benefit men, but my experience has been with women taking it). I've taken it for years with occasional breaks. It controls my PMS and if my libido was any higher, I wouldn't get anything done :)

As for the person who thinks acupuncture is a placebo ... pop another prescription, have a beer, and spend some more time wondering how generations of people can be so much dumber than you are.
Posted by Geek Porn Girl http://www.geekporngirl.com on June 16, 2010 at 1:02 PM · Report this
36
@32
The problem with herbal remedies is that their effects are poorly documented and there haven't been any clinical trials, so you don't know WHAT you're getting. "Natural herbal formulas designed to flush excess hormones from your system, allowing you to basically let your body start over and find its normal balance." This sounds like a good idea??? Go to a good endocrinologist and get advice, not a naturopath. Sorry, when it comes to your hormones being flushed out, you want a real doctor! The herbs might not help, and they might do harm.
Posted by chicago girl on June 16, 2010 at 1:04 PM · Report this
37
I share YOUNG's problem. I'm 47 but look about 35. I had a girlfriend who was seven years younger get congratulated on hooking up with a younger man. (God did that ever piss her off!)

I'm now engaged to a woman five years younger than I am who gets similar comments now and then. Fortunately she has a good sense of humor about it.

Pulling a Dorian Gray can really be a pain in the ass.
Posted by Tucatz on June 16, 2010 at 1:37 PM · Report this
38
My husband is almost thirty and he looks like he's twelve. Okay that's an exaggeration, but he is regularly asked what high school he goes to. I live in fear of getting arrested when I kiss him in public.

"Really officer, he's 29! Get your driver's license!"

It's not as bad as looking older than your age in our youth obsessed culture, but it has an effect on his life. People are always talking down to him at work, and people tend to discount his opinions when they don't know him.

He's taken to (at work at least) dressing like he's forty, and that helps. He's learned all sorts of tricks for getting people to take him seriously. Posture, voice, word-choice. All of it matters.

My husband is actually grateful that he's beginning to go bald.
Posted by DianeLGD on June 16, 2010 at 1:39 PM · Report this
39
I am now 27, but when I was younger, say the last five years of my life, I ALWAYS lied about my age to be OLDER. I had several reasons: 1) I joked I could add 10 years of "life credit" bc even at 21, I had way more life experience than a lot of people even twice my age and 2) as I was interested in dating older people (as I felt older than my true early 20ish age) I didn't want them to think I was a young twit and incapable of dating an older person. Since I was so honest about everything else, eventually I casually revealed my true age along with the aforementioned reasons above, no one ever said it was a deal breaker and split with me.

And as I recently told one friend who lied about her age to be a little younger to be more appealing to the younger men she was interested in: You are not lying about your age, you are reaching your target market.

That being said, I don't think lying about his age one way or another is going to help YOUNG, bc it sounds like he has quite the learning curve to overcome when talking to females or writing to sex columnists.

@ Geek Porn Girl Could I webcrush on you anymore? You are too cool. :)
Posted by modernelizabeth on June 16, 2010 at 1:42 PM · Report this
40
I had a friend in college who described that situation (guy looks hot until he turns around and you see his face) as "whoooooohoo!!!---wyeahhhggh!!" It was kind of like the noise one would make at a stripper on stage, abruptly turning into an elaborate gagging noise.

Here's what I think is happening with YOUNG. He hits on some 20-year-old girl in a bar. She notices he's older and asks his age, as a brush off. He considers this foreplay and asks her to guess. She guesses an age that she considers 'old' - like 27. He tells her he's actually 37, and she reaches for her mace.

Women closer to his own age are put off by his style of dress that screams 'older guy looking for a much younger girl'. They figure he's immature and probably underemployed, and probably rightly so.
Posted by AllisonM on June 16, 2010 at 1:54 PM · Report this
41
I have to say, @33 has a point. The switch to condoms might have been a mood-killer in, and of, itself. There's nothing like less-reliable birth control to kill a woman's desire. (I know condoms are reliable in theory, but as we all know, shit happens.) Maybe she should consider other forms of birth control.

Topical arousal creams and lubes, etc. are also a good suggestion. Watch out for the ones that are irritants that might cause itching and burning. I like the KY warming lubes. I know they're not an exotic sex-shop brand, but they're reliable, at the corner drug store, and do the trick with a little extra on the side (the warming part).

Finally, if she sticks with condoms as birth control, she should be taking multi-vitamins that cover all of her pre-natal needs. This is true of any sexually active young woman if there's any chance she could become pregnant and follow through with the pregnancy. To reduce the possibility of some birth defects, there are some nutrients you need to have in place even before you know you're pregnant.

(Confidential to @39 – Awww.)
Posted by Geek Porn Girl http://www.geekporngirl.com on June 16, 2010 at 1:56 PM · Report this
In Ottawa 42
I'm a 21 year-old female seeing a 36 year-old male. My roommate is also dating a guy 15 years her senior. General consensus among my friends is that men in their thirties are more likely to have their shit together and are therefore more attractive than men in their twenties. So YOUNG should stop pretending women in their twenties aren't into older men. We are.

Perhaps the reason women of all ages aren't into YOUNG has nothing to do with his appearance and everything to do with his personality?
Posted by In Ottawa on June 16, 2010 at 1:57 PM · Report this
43
I think that Zestra might be a better choice than KY Warming, my two cents.
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 1:59 PM · Report this
44
As a 20-something, if I was interested in a guy and he lied about his age I would go running in the other direction. I really wouldn't care if they were upfront about it, unless they made a big deal of it, like asking them to guess your age. Seriously? It isn't about the age, it's about being willing to strike out until you find someone who doesn't care.
Posted by Michaela on June 16, 2010 at 2:01 PM · Report this
More, I Say! 45
As a young-20's lady who seems to attract older dudes, i must agree with the other sensible-sounding ladies. Dudes who counter with "guess my age" are an INSTANT turn-off. Acting like your obsessed with how much older you are than the person you are trying to date is a good way to make them incredibly uncomfortable. But just in case this isn't YOUNG's only problem (hey, you sound exactly like the guy who's trying unsuccessfully to get into my pants right now!), might I suggest you also not assume your age grants you wisdom over the honeys you're trying to bone.
Posted by More, I Say! on June 16, 2010 at 2:19 PM · Report this
46
When did women in their early 20s stop being interested in older men? I seem not to have gotten the memo (I'm 22).
Posted by anonymoose on June 16, 2010 at 2:20 PM · Report this
47
Actually, I would dispute Dan's advice. I personally find that dating someone outside of a plus-or-minus five year window is not a good idea, as they're often in a much different phase of life. A guy in his late 30s isn't looking to start a new family like a girl in her 20s is likely to want, for example.

There are ways around the problem of looking too young. Cut your hair short, wear more conservative clothes, grow a mustache or a beard, look clean and neat. Speak in more formal English without slang. Wear glasses.
Posted by Tucatz on June 16, 2010 at 2:20 PM · Report this
48
@42: Yeah, but let's admit it -- part of it is the looks. I like men who are not only older, but look older (not that I'd ever reject a man out of hand for looking any particular age, but I have my preferences).

"General consensus among my friends is that men in their thirties are more likely to have their shit together and are therefore more attractive than men in their twenties."

See, this just kind of re-inforces part of YOUNG's dilemma -- that many women like older men. His problem is that those women don't think he's one of those older men.

Women who do approach him do so because of his apparent youth so they aren't interested in his shit being together.

Women who DO like men of his age, and prefer those men in their 30s, stay away because he looks too young, like one of those guys in their 20s that have their shit all over the place.

You do still have a point, and it may still apply to YOUNG. I have a feeling it's either really just not his looks and it's a personality thing too, but it could also be that he's just not meeting enough women.
Posted by Gloria on June 16, 2010 at 2:20 PM · Report this
49
I'm with the people calling bullshit on YOUNG's problem. I know plenty of mid-20s to mid-30s girls and guys who would be thrilled to date an older guy who looks much younger. Especially the type of person who is interested in a serious relationship (so an older guy is a stronger possibility) but is physically attracted to young guys. So either YOUNG is chasing women who are way too young for him (as shown by the fact that he specifically talks about 21 to 23 year olds the whole letter), he looks desperate because he's also dressing and acting way younger than he is, or both. Take a good, hard look at yourself, YOUNG. Dress and act your age, and stop trying to catch 21 year olds. And if you genuinely aren't attracted to women older than 21, look for the female version of yourself!
Posted by TenrSinger on June 16, 2010 at 2:33 PM · Report this
schmacky 50
IMHO, anybody who complains about "looking too young" is asking for severe karmic retribution. Nature has given you a gift. It might have an occasional drawback, but to sit around and bitch is unseemly.
Posted by schmacky on June 16, 2010 at 2:36 PM · Report this
51
@43 I wouldn't forgo Zestra as a option, but it's a short term fix. Products like Zestra work based on the premise that mild irritation produces swelling that women "confuse" with sexual arousal. This is the way most lip-plumping lipglosses work, too, with an irritant like cinnamon oil, etc. I still think working on raising her overall vitality is a good idea. That way (hopefully) her arousal will occur spontaneously and not 10 minutes after application with a 35-minute window of opportunity. Hell, I'd just be getting warmed up for a nice long power fuck by the time Zestra was wearing off.

Also – and this is important – Zestra is NOT safe for use with latex condoms, so she would definitely have to change birth control methods, or use polyurethane condoms.
Posted by Geek Porn Girl http://www.geekporngirl.com on June 16, 2010 at 2:37 PM · Report this
52
Damn, forgot about Zestra and condoms! Scratch that.

As for overall vitality *cough*

Oh, what the hell, I've already survived being tarred and feathered here:

http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/orgasmic-di…

my-own-horn-tooting--let the pitchforking begin!
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 2:42 PM · Report this
53
There are women in their early twenties who dig "older" (in their 30s and 40s)men, romantically and sexually. I'm one of those 23-year-olds.

Man, if I were single and a hot almost-40-year-old hit on me, WOO! There is something so hot about a man in that age range...more experience perhaps? Older but not too old?

Sooner or later YOUNG will meet an early twenty-something who is turned on by his age...if that's what he's looking for.
Posted by hai on June 16, 2010 at 2:48 PM · Report this
54
hey NHNH it has only been a month; i have been through the whole range of hormonal birth control methods and their affects on my libido and personality and after each change, it has taken me about three months off hormones to feel like myself again. i agree with everything Dan said - especially about giving yourself time to get horny again.
Posted by mary05681 on June 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM · Report this
55
I think this was the most vanilla Savage column I've ever read. Just an observation. Where are the freaks?!
Posted by jenn-o on June 16, 2010 at 3:12 PM · Report this
56
@35
What does 'normalizing body functions' mean? How does one 'balance' a libido (or a mood, for that matter)? What is the active compound in ashwagandha? What is your source? Not anecdotal, please.

@31
Acupuncture shows no difference from needle-insertion at non-qi-whatever points or from blunt needles that do not penetrate the skin. It has never been shown in a well-controlled trial to have a clinical benefit for anything, and since you just saw fit to provide anecdotal evidence for it helping treat your 'lady problems", perhaps you have a reference. Has it ever even been tested as a treatment for decreased libido?
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 16, 2010 at 3:31 PM · Report this
57
@56--I think you need to come up with some reputable links if you are going up against the World Health Organization

http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js…
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 3:54 PM · Report this
58
Also

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles…

has some of the active compounds in ashwagandha. I doubt a libido-specific study exists because it is quite hard to get funding to do those studies, but I daresay I can find general hormonal research on the herb.
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 3:57 PM · Report this
59
http://www.nutrition-herbs.com/articles/…

That explains that steroidal lactones in the plant act as hormone precursors.
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 4:02 PM · Report this
60
@everyone talking about acupuncture & herbs
1. respect each other
2. acupuncture has some evidence for use, mostly in tension headaches if i remember correctly
3. sorry herbs, but no good evidence based medicine supporting their use in this issue, or any other that I can think of, maybe post-menopausal symptoms, but unsure of that, maybe there has been shown to be some placebo effect with them, which is fine, as long as it doesn't do you any harm or interact with any other medications you are on and tell your medical doctor you are taking it

One of the (many) differences between medical doctors and naturopaths/chiropractors/homeopath etc. is the use of evidence-based medicine in the treatment approach.
Posted by jamalo on June 16, 2010 at 4:05 PM · Report this
61
Boooring!
Posted by Queen of the Desert on June 16, 2010 at 4:08 PM · Report this
62
I'm with Dan's advice for NHNH but would like to make an addendum. I think some commenters above mentioned diet; there are certain foods that do increase testosterone and thus libido... in fact, http://www.libido-increasing-food.com. Basically, eat good fats (olive oil, avacado, etc), get zinc in your diet, get vitamin B in your diet, make sure you get enough Omega 3s (salmon, eggs, I think spinach has some...). Don't eat too many carbs, sugars, etc. Good luck.
Posted by 44Wadeable on June 16, 2010 at 4:12 PM · Report this
63
@40 said: "Here's what I think is happening with YOUNG. He hits on some 20-year-old girl in a bar. She notices he's older and asks his age, as a brush off. He considers this foreplay and asks her to guess. She guesses an age that she considers 'old' - like 27. He tells her he's actually 37, and she reaches for her mace."

Allison M, that really made me laugh. I suspect you hit the nail on the head!!!

I have a co-worker who is 39 but everyone assumes is mid-twenties. He has a boyish face, is in good shape, and his clothes don't really broadcast an age (button-down shirts, unremarkable slacks or cordoroys).

But he's such a shy, low-key, sweet guy that women of ALL ages like him. Seriously, half of our female customers have crushes on him, from college girls to grandmas. His main worry with the ladies is turning them down without hurting their feelings. Also, he blushes bright red when women get all giggly around him.

I suspect that YOUNG has a very different personality than my coworker!

Posted by sweettreehugger on June 16, 2010 at 4:17 PM · Report this
64
I'm a guy in his late 30s who has no problem attracting women in their 20s, 30s, or 40s (or in some cases their late teens - and no we did not date). I'm currently dating a woman in her late 20s and things are going very very well. Some women have been turned off by the age difference, some have not. I say: don't lie, it's not going to get you anywhere. Also, be yourself and dress how you like. What has worked for me is that I am passionate about who I am, young at heart, and also (most importantly?) genuinely interested in getting to know these women. Even some of the women who have been turned off by the age difference have confessed they have regretted that decision after they have really gotten to know me (yes, that does mean we are still friends - when I say genuinely interested in getting to know them I mean it).

If women of every age are turning you down, I would look more closely at your personality. Because the age line all the time thing sounds like a sign of something else.
Posted by just a dude on June 16, 2010 at 4:24 PM · Report this
65
Hey herbs people, it's all good, when you post some data. Herbs and accupuncture are of course subject to big self-selection and placebo effects, and it's really nonsense to tell someone to blow off a well quantified scientific approach for some voodoo. Not voodoo? Then post the data. And know what you're talking about: "not like the cannon-ball splash of Viagra. Good treatment will make her feel more vital all the time, not just make her clit tingle now and then." Really? Viagra and similar agents don't cause desire and don't make you tingle. They permit erectile tissues to work better when aroused naturally. No cannons, no tingle. And NOT what was being suggested anyway.
Posted by yonush18 on June 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Milbury 66
As a man who's passed the age of 30 (yet was carded on New Year's Eve while standing in a very unflattering light at a local bar) I call bullshit on YOUNG. His inability to maintain a relationship isn't due to his "youthful" looks, it's all in his persona. I'm a lecherous, chain smoking, tequila sipping, gambling prick of a man, yet I receive a few "introductions" to women every year because I portray myself as an adult (and not as some unaging frat boy). The women who I meet (whether our compatibility ratio is low or high) never seem to have problems with suggesting that I talk to one of their friends, etc. If he really thinks that it's his looks that are preventing women from taking him seriously, he needs to take a good look in the mirror (literally and figuratively) and get over himself.
Posted by Milbury http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rLkEsoO6t0 on June 16, 2010 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Lilliable 67
My only thought is, "Who cares?" Could these really be the three best letters that came in all week?
Posted by Lilliable on June 16, 2010 at 4:57 PM · Report this
68
The obvious response to the question "how old do you think I am" is "Never mind. Good bye."
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on June 16, 2010 at 5:02 PM · Report this
69
#60 wrote: "sorry herbs, but no good evidence based medicine supporting their use in this issue, or any other that I can think of"

Are you insane? Do you know how many prescription medicines are based on ancient herbal remedies? You've probably got some in your medicine cabinet right now. Got aspirin?

Plants are the source of over 40% of the pharmaceutical medicines in use today in the United States. Much of that is based on anecdotal evidence passed down through the generations, by people who knew which herbs did what.

Some plants can kill you if you ingest them. Is that evidence enough that they contain chemicals which affect the human body? Jees.

The ignorance and arrogance of some of you anti-alternative medicine folks is shocking to me.
Posted by saywhat?? on June 16, 2010 at 5:13 PM · Report this
70
YOUNG sounds like a vain, self-absorbed douche, like the guys who write in to "complain" about how their friend's girlfirends always wanna hook up with them, or the guys writing in to bemoan the problems that come with their Really Huge Cock.
I suspect that, rather than his age/appearance discrepancy, that is what's turning the girls away once they start chatting with him.

I must also point out that even the young woman who find young attractive will start wondering why he is cruising girls instead of women. Not a good sign. The girls do have dads, and YOUNG is about as "young" as they are. Some are probably a bit creeped by that.
Posted by DF on June 16, 2010 at 5:49 PM · Report this
71
@57
Sham acupuncture more beneficial than re…
SEED Magazine article explaining why as …

@58
That's a study on the effect of the herb on preventing skin cancer in rats. That has absolutely nothing to do with increasing the libido in human women, and to suggest that it does is analogous to recommending NHNH use sunscreen.

@59
That website makes a lot of claims and has zero references. How does it boost immune cells? How does it increase sperm count? What does 'nourishing females' mean? How does it alleviate anemia? Where is a link to the supposed Alzheimer's study? 'Alkaloid' is massive category of chemical compounds, and to suggest that because nicotine, caffeine and morphine have them (but they're different ones!) and so does this herb it cures all is wishful thinking. Withanolide is only found in plants, and they make the claim that it can be used as a human hormone precursor, but give no references. In fact, the only hits in remotely academic locales are in regards to anticancer research, and nothing at all to do with libidos.
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 16, 2010 at 5:54 PM · Report this
72
@60 no time to argue with you logically as i'm studying for medical board exams and you have no logic, sorry mate, after 4 years of med school my knowledge of the topic trumps yours
Posted by jamalo on June 16, 2010 at 6:37 PM · Report this
73
To NHNH: I've been thinking about your problem all day, actually. Read through the solutions offered here... I just find it hard to believe that less than two years on the pill could alter your sex drive permanently. Here's what I think you should do (because obviously I'm SUCH an expert)...

1) Tell yourself it is going to come back and don't despair. Get yourself to a more supportive doctor AND get yourself to a shrink if you can afford it. You sound like you've been through a harrowing time, and that could be affecting your sex drive PLUS you could be psyching yourself out. Orgasms are heavily mental for me at least, and if I'd been feeling out of sorts sexually for more than a year, I would be having a hard time getting my head back in the game.

2) Do Kegel exercises. Eat healthy. Exercise the rest of you too. It can't hurt. I know I'm more energized and happier when I'm doing these things, and this could all contribute further to your desire levels.

3) Don't just take vaginal off the table for a while. Take orgasms off the table too - at least for yourself. Remove the pressure - there's so much else that's fun about sex besides that. I remember when I first started fooling around and I made my boyfriend scream and bang his head against the headboard at the same time in a good way - that was kind of cool. Get some books on neat things to try in bed and read them; see if that gets you worked up or curious. Then read them with your boyfriend.

4)Kind of following from 3, turn your boyfriend into a science experiment. You love him, so you must enjoy giving him pleasure. Read up on all the cool stuff you can do to him and then set about blowing his mind and trying new things. If he feels guilty being on the receiving end so much, tell him you'll be collecting the debt when your sex drive comes back.

I guess my nutshell is to move forward on all fronts in addressing the problem, but not to confront it head on in the bedroom just yet. Improve your overall life, take an optimistic outlook and focus on anything but your sex drive in the bedroom for the time being. Instead focus on making the sex more interesting and fun.

I apologize if this seems obtuse or a "no duh" solution you have already tried. I don't want to be like those people who insist to the overweight that losing weight is easy or something.
More...
Posted by JrzWrld on June 16, 2010 at 6:39 PM · Report this
74
#67 rocks!!! Women with low sex drive are so fucking boring. Just like the two fat dykes and their doritos and sourcream that Sandra sing loh sic,wrote about a couple years ago and Dan referenced. I'd rather date a twink femme than a lame ass who doesn't put out, and I'm a macho het. bear!!
A friend of mine is 51 and dumb little girls can't tell how old he is! He's grey and blonde but still their too dumb to figure it out.
Posted by scorpio of Id. on June 16, 2010 at 6:50 PM · Report this
75
You sound like somebody who SHOULD seriously consider dating 'twink femmes"; your homo radical is showing, mr. "macho het unBEARable!"
Posted by Diononfortuna on June 16, 2010 at 7:02 PM · Report this
76
@71

http://www.dynamicchiropractic.ca/mpacms…

I posted the first ashwagandha link to show that there are compounds in the herb that do have proven medical applications, as you requested.

As for libido research, it's almost impossible to get goddamned funding for it unless you are studying a pharmaceutical, so I'm not surprised it doesn't exist. But I can hunt down the general hormonal references if you like.
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 7:21 PM · Report this
77
Young needs to be pimped slapped. It's not his age, it's his self absorbed attitude that probably turns women off.
Posted by rocketman2u on June 16, 2010 at 7:23 PM · Report this
78
Sorry, that's "pimp" slapped.

It's a different time zone here.
Posted by rocketman2u on June 16, 2010 at 7:25 PM · Report this
79
Interesting--I think if there were hormonal research on testosterone or estrogen it would show up here:

http://www.raysahelian.com/ashwagandha.h…

Thyroid yes--and of course thyroid issues can impact a woman's libido, but I think the real issue is the herb's effect on nitric oxide. I'll have to do more poking around.
Posted by Marrena on June 16, 2010 at 7:30 PM · Report this
80
How do we know YOUNG is a dude? I thought it was a chick when reading it. Hm.
Posted by kk on June 16, 2010 at 7:34 PM · Report this
81
Hey guys, when you're taking herbs, keep in mind they're unregulated. That means that supplement you pay for may or may not be effective, or may not even contain any active ingredient. It may have expired. It may be extremely low quality. It may be pressed into pill form with all kinds of harmful ingredients, or mixed in oil form with all kinds of harmful ingredients. It may come in inappropriate doses. It may cause all kinds of unexpected side effects, like St. John's Wort counteracting birth control pills a few years back.

Here's a great example for anyone who likes colloidal silver. Anyone take supplement with colloidal silver?

If you do, you're being ripped off. Your supplement maker is lying to you and stealing your money, and selling you crap with NO active ingredient. And you should be grateful for that. Because the reason the medical establishment stopped using that stuff isn't that it wasn't patentable, or that big pharma couldn't profit off it, it's because it was turning people BLUE. Permanently. And not in a sexy, avatar kind of way, more like a three-day-old corpse. Still does, occasionally, when someone makes their own.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/22536241/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con…

I'm not saying your supplement can't possibly work, I'm just saying you're taking a few chances putting unstudied chemicals in your body, and you're quite likely being ripped off.
Posted by AllisonM on June 16, 2010 at 8:06 PM · Report this
82
@69

Of course a huge percentage of pharmaceuticals are based on herb lore, and of course many of them are made from plants. BUT, these drugs have undergone years of clinical trials, as the herbal remedies in your local Whole Foods have not. That is the difference. It's not about being anti-alternative medicine, it's about being more about being pro-evidence based medicine, because it's much safer. It's not that herbs have no effect, it's that their effect is untested. Oh, and when I talk about evidence, I mean peer-reviewed, clinical trials.
Posted by chicago girl on June 16, 2010 at 8:12 PM · Report this
83
NHNH, I mourn the death of your sex drive. It upsets me that common cures can have such strong consequences. Full evaluations of the hormonal consequences of birth control are long overdue. I live in the Great Lakes region and we swim in a freshwater hormone soup. Will this make us all sexless automatons? Who can say? I wish you a thousand arousals NHNH. May you hump a thousand trees.
Posted by Dionysiac on June 16, 2010 at 8:24 PM · Report this
84
I took birth control pills for close to a decade and it's taken over a year past quitting for my body to start changing. Libido is up, blood pressure is down, energy level is up, and my hair is falling out.
Posted by hormones suck on June 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM · Report this
85
Could Geek Porn Girl (@17, 35, 41, et al) be any more crunch granola?

Pre-natals when you're not even trying to get pregnant, really? I had an unplanned pregnancy, didn't start taking pre-natals til 8-12 weeks in and wasn't really good about taking them until about 20 weeks (lots of upheaval and distress in my life made me forget a lot), and my son is healthy as can be. And herbs and homeopathic remedies are all fine and good, but she should still see a Dr. before starting any of that since internet research about those things is sketchy at best.
Posted by CTlady on June 16, 2010 at 8:37 PM · Report this
86
NHNH might want to check into sympto-thermal fertility awareness- it involves taking a daily basal temperature and noting it on a graph along with changes in cervical fluid and cervical position. These indicators follow a relative pattern throughout the cycle and if all is well, your hormones are good. If something is off, like ovulation doesn't occur, or there aren't at least 10 days between ovulation and menstruation, or your cervix dosen't produce fluid, or other problems you can observe, it will implicate a certain hormone. That way, NHNH can have a clue when talking to doctors and possibly save money on unnecessary tests. It's somewhat of a pain, and I wouldn't recommend it as birth control, but it's something for her to start on while she goes looking for a doctor who is better than useless on the matter. I suspect that might take awhile. (I also suspect that a complete hormone work-up by an endocrinologist would be really expensive and not covered by insurance without a medical reason, assuming she has insurance). If that's a problem for her- and it would be for me, she might try sympto-thermal first.

http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Charge-Your…
Posted by AllisonM on June 16, 2010 at 9:20 PM · Report this
Rach3l 87
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned how unutterably rude it is to ask somebody's age within minutes of meeting. I'm 25 but look 17 and get carded for everything (and female if that matters). And if some asshole asked me how old I was in a bar or club, he'd get the big old cold shoulder from me.
Posted by Rach3l on June 16, 2010 at 9:38 PM · Report this
88
Hey GeekPornGirl,
Regarding comment at #41:

There is issue to be taken with the idea that every
-potentially fertile woman who is
-sexually active
-and using birth control of 98% effecacy
needs to treat herself as potentially pregnant.

Really? By this reasoning we should ban all pre-menopausal women from chocolate, alcohol, coffee, tuna fish, psychiatic medications and many antibiotics. We should also prevent them from professions involving use of chemicals (like cleaning, lab work, manufacturing, trucking, medicine), lifting (consider baking, filing, military service) and (otherwise safe) radiation (such as dentistry, quarry work) and pick your end point. This is foolish.
Posted by BoyWonder on June 16, 2010 at 10:21 PM · Report this
89
Took me 6 months to normalize after going off hormonal birth control. Don't stress, it will come back.
Posted by gnot on June 16, 2010 at 10:45 PM · Report this
90
@85: it's not a bad idea to take a general multivitamin that has folic acid (most of them do), especially if you're pale for your latitude, whenever you're doing things that might get you pregnant.

Absence of folic acid can, afaik, lead to some pretty nasty birth defects, even that early on, and it's destroyed by sun exposure, so unless you eat a lot of, er, whatever folic acid comes from, it's smart to take a multi that has some, as nutritional insurance.

In fact [pedantic mode] folic acid is probably half of the equation that makes it so that, fairly consistently throughout history and in different regions, people at a particular latitude tend to be within a particular range of skin tones. The reason people can't be too dark for their latitude has been known for a while (rickets from lack of vitamin D), but the link the other way wasn't known until fairly recently. If you are getting too much sun, along with fun stuff like skin cancer (which tends to occur too late to mess with reproduction rates much), you'll have a higher rate of birth defects because the folic acid in your skin is getting destroyed. [/pedantic mode]

(ask me some time about the probable science behind racial myths about penis size...)
Posted by Melissa Trible on June 16, 2010 at 10:47 PM · Report this
91
I agree that Young's problem must be his personality, his clothes or both. If it's your clothes, lay off the t-shirts. At your age you should be wearing dress shirts or polos with the shoulder seams falling ON the shoulder. Pants should fit properly - not baggy. Nice slacks or dark-wash jeans with NO fading or distressing! Acid-wash is for kids!
Posted by Diagoras on June 16, 2010 at 11:12 PM · Report this
92
NHNH - I have PCOS, and can testify to the negative effects of male hormones in women (acne, lots of facial hair, and hair in other places that you don't want it). I visit my endocrinologist for annual testing, and have been on medication for years to control my symptons. Enough about me. Go to an endocrinologist! Finding the delicate balance for your hormones is key.

Btw, I had a non-hormonal IUD for years. I loved not having to take pills, shots, whatever. It is the Paragard IUD, and once implanted, it provides pregnancy protection for up to 10 years if I remember correctly.

Good luck, you have my sympathy! :)
Posted by farhad on June 17, 2010 at 12:59 AM · Report this
93
I think if I were YOUNG, any time a woman (regardless of her age) asked me my age, I would simply say it; if she has a prob w/it, I would move on. However, I also don't think lying about it is a great sin, as some folks here seem to think ("violating trust issues!" for heaven's sake...) - in other words, I'm down with #39, who says it's never really a deal-breaker for him.

But I suppose we'll always have closed-minded idiots like #47, who actually says "I personally find that dating someone outside of a plus-or-minus five year window is not a good idea, as they're often in a much different phase of life. A guy in his late 30s isn't looking to start a new family like a girl in her 20s, for example."

Tell that to Bogie & Bacall, among others.
Posted by wayne on June 17, 2010 at 6:04 AM · Report this
94
To NHNH; Paragard IUD! Best decision I ever made regarding my sexual health.

To YOUNG; not all ladies are scared off by older men, but you need to tell them at the right time. I knew that the man who later became my fiancee was significantly older than me and he knew that I was quite young, but we didn't reveal our exact ages until our second date. Three years later we're planning our wedding and our families and friends care more about what they're going to wear to it than our 15 year age difference.
Perhaps the trick to finding the right lady is finding one that doesn't ask your age within 10 minutes of meeting you.
Posted by Shelley on June 17, 2010 at 6:11 AM · Report this
95
HNHN, I have the same problem and also decided to ditch the birth control that I was on for two years. I wouldn't say that my libido is back to normal, or even really back, but there are glimmers of hope that it may come back. My advice to you is to pay attention to your body more often. If you are walking down the street and you actually notice that someone is attractive (which never happens when your libido is shot), then hold on to that moment. Try to turn yourself on throughout the day. Think about sexy things or read a trashy romance novels during lunch break. If you start re-training your body to think/act/be turned on when there is absolutely no possibility of sex happening, then it seems to make it easier to get turned on when there is the potential for sex. Or at least that is what I have been doing and I am seeing some improvement on the libido front. I wish you the best of luck and want to let you know that you have company in this situation.
Posted by tabby on June 17, 2010 at 7:34 AM · Report this
96
@76/79

I wouldn't exactly trust the website of the dude selling the stuff with reports of its efficacy. And the fact that the "exact dosages and extract potencies of" the Passion Rx marketed as a sexual enhancer to men and women are a "close kept secret" is a HUGE red flag.

The studies on that site are interesting, but do not speak to this herb's effect on libido in the least. It's not surprising that a plant has antimicrobial properties. There's a bit of evidence that something in the mix has antitumor or protective effects against some types of cancers. And a bit of evidence that something in the mix may increase NO production at the transcriptional level, but it's a huge stretch to say that's going to have an effect on sex drive.

And the only mentions of thyroid involvement are the anecdotal emails at the bottom.
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 17, 2010 at 7:44 AM · Report this
97
I am a 24yr old male that is 5'9'' 180lbs. I am a good looking guy with a a good career, however, I run in to the same thing that YOUNG is running in too. I am baby faced as hell and get carded for everything, while I was in ATL I was carded to make sure I was old enough to drive. I could easily pass for 17 or 18. The main difference i find between myself and guys that are 18 is the way you talk to women and the way you carry yourself. It is easy for people that are 18 to identify me as older. However, girls my age typically think I am much younger. YOUNG i know what you are dealing with and happy hunting.
Posted by Jhorton on June 17, 2010 at 8:43 AM · Report this
98
@ YOUNG, i dont get why you cant just say "i'm not comfortable disclosing you my age yet"... that way.. you dont even need to lie...
Posted by chublove4life on June 17, 2010 at 8:46 AM · Report this
99
Ray Sahelian does pimp out his products pretty heavily but his references are always sound. I'm not saying anyone should buy the PassionRx thing--proprietary kitchen sink herbals are ALWAYS a bad thing to take.

I'm not terribly motivated to look into the herb's effect on NO. I've never tried the herb myself and don't know much about it.

Posted by Marrena on June 17, 2010 at 8:57 AM · Report this
samanthaf63 100
Think schmacky (#50) has nailed it. And I think countless others are correct in saying perhaps it's not his looks that are the problem... perhaps it's the attitude.
Posted by samanthaf63 on June 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM · Report this
101
Here's my question for the alt-medicine folks: If these approaches are so successful, then why aren't doctors using them? Let me guess: it's a conspiracy! Doctors just don't want to help their patients!

Please. And the argument that you can't get funding to study sex drugs! One of the most absurd ever made on SL and that's saying something.

Posted by ML77 on June 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM · Report this
102
All right, now I'm angry. Please list the recent studies of non-patentable supplements for libido that got any sort of grant money or other external funding. I bet you can't even name five.
Posted by Marrena on June 17, 2010 at 10:42 AM · Report this
103
Few more suggestions for the young looking fella:

Dress the part. I have a close friend who is a 31 year old woman. She's petite, and in a hoodie and jeans she can look like a teenager. But with a grown woman's haircut and in business attire, she looks her age. Admittedly in our culture a grown woman who looks like a teen is a lot of men's dream, but I digress.

Facial hair and glasses can make a man look older, as can the right haircut. Button up shirts and slacks rather than jeans and t-shirts also can make a man look older. If part of the youthful mistake is a small stature, perhaps he should get to a gym and buff up a bit.

Finally, at 38, perhaps he should aim for that sweet spot somewhere between women his own age and those just able to legally drink. I think it's pretty well established that women in their early 20s are often still looking for their perfect prince, while women in their late 20s are much more flexible about superficial factors than their younger peers.
Posted by HappyTim on June 17, 2010 at 10:52 AM · Report this
104
Uhh, that first quote should read, "The pill keeps your **progestin** level high in order to prevent ovulation ..."

Kinda undercuts the credibility of the rest of the "expert" opinion. The estrogen is optional.
Posted by Krunch on June 17, 2010 at 10:58 AM · Report this
105
I'm a regular reader of Savage Love and a physician. I want to point out that the advice that was given the NHNH is misleading. It is irresponsible to recommend that this woman have her hormone levels checked, because this is unlikely to explain her lack of sexual desire. Physicians are often accused of being "sex-negative,” but fact of the matter is that lack of sexual arousal of is a very common problem encountered by physicians in clinical practice. In fact, 40% of women report problems with sexual desire, arousal or orgasm, and 12% of women find these symptoms distressing. Lack of sexual desire can be explained by a whole host of conditions, some of them medical (e.g. depression, substance abuse, pelvic and uterine dysfunction) and the majority of them social (life events, relationship to one's sexual partner). The notion that this woman's lack of sexual arousal is related to oral contraceptive pills and testosterone levels takes a very common problem and pins it on a very uncommon diagnosis. While oral contraceptive pills have been shown to decrease testosterone levels, the relationship of low testosterone to lack of sexual arousal is very murky. Hormone levels can vary considerably in normal individuals. In fact, the American Society of Endocrinology recommends against making a diagnosis of testosterone deficiency in women because it is not a well defined clinical disorder. (See "Wierman ME. Androgen therapy in women, a Clinical Practice Guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2006.)

I think that better advice for this woman is that she should be screened for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, physical or sexual abuse, as well as common medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, pelvic disease. If these are normal, sex or couples therapy is a good next step. Treatment with testosterone or other androgens has been done but the results are variable and the medications have side effects.

For other people facing problems with sexual desire, speaking to their physician can be a good first step. There are also online resources, via the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Mayo Clinic.

A Concerned Physician
More...
Posted by A reader on June 17, 2010 at 12:52 PM · Report this
106
#101--Western medicine is limited in it's belief in treating symptoms. Alternative medicine takes your whole (lifestyle, eating habits, emotional stressors etc) into account and tries to find the root that is causing the symptoms. Western medicine says "low testosterone. lets give them supplemental testosterone" while alternative medicine says "lets look at all of the possible reasons that this person is having a hard time getting excited about sex". Yes, acupuncture and herbal remedies are often a part of treatment (backed up, I might add, by thousands of years of eastern medical history) but to reduce it to some sort of witch doctor voodoo thing is close minded and short sighted.
Posted by hhs on June 17, 2010 at 2:11 PM · Report this
107
#105--I should have written that Western medicine "can be" limited; you, and my family doctor as well, seem to have a very comprehensive approach, and that should be recognized and appreciated!
Posted by hhs on June 17, 2010 at 2:16 PM · Report this
108
@106/107

So you call those of us that question the magic healing powers of untested alternative approaches closed-minded, and then claim that all of Western medicine only believes in treating symptoms? It's just. not. true. 'Thousands of years of history' isn't science. It sounds like ashwagandha might have some compounds that have clinical benefit. Awesome. We should (and it appears that scientists are trying) identify the active compounds, isolate them, purify them, continue to test their efficacy, test their safety, identify potential drug reactions, identify ideal dosages and then use them for treatment.

And after all, what is acupuncture and chiropractic but treating the symptom? There's certainly no scientific basis whatsoever for the hypotheses governing their supposed efficacy, regardless of whether or not they sometimes work.
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM · Report this
109
hhs, I'm sorry, but Western medicine is not about just treating symptoms. Any doctor that wouldn't try to find out WHY a patient has low testosterone ought to have their license revoked. Western medicine has done an excellent job of discovering the diseases and disorders that cause various symptoms, and of course this process is never-ending. FDA approved and regulated pharmaceuticals undergo years of clinical trials and their contents are monitored for quality and consistency. As AllisonM pointed out, herbal supplements are not regulated at all and many of them contain harmful products. You won't know this, though, because the label doesn't have to tell you. And years of history is not the same as years of science. #108 is right on. Acupuncture has shown some verifiable results for certain ailments, and I'm sure they'll keep testing it, just as herbs with potent compounds will be the basis for new drugs.
Posted by ugh, "eastern" is not always better on June 17, 2010 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Buck Mulligan 110
@87: Agreed. Who the hell asks how old a person is, right off the bat? On the other hand, I agree with a couple of other people here about his incredibly lame response. "How old do you think I am?" Just screams douchebag, and it's entirely possible that this guy just doesn't have much in the way of personality. It wouldn't be much of a surprise--guys like that never know they're guys like that.
Posted by Buck Mulligan on June 17, 2010 at 4:30 PM · Report this
111
@ young. just be yourself you needn't lie about your age when someone ask how old you are tell them. if they act surprised just shrug it off and thank them for the complement . believe it or not sometimes younger people find people who are older than them interesting and attractive ( and vise versa) for your own sanity try to date people within 10yrs of you age. dont stress out about people thinking you're younger unless its because you're acting immature.
Posted by johnjohn on June 17, 2010 at 5:13 PM · Report this
112
Yeah, I have to call bullshit on YOUNG. There's no shortage of women who don't mind dating older guys. And please, please, please let's not start the Jason Robinson conversation again. If younger women think he's a creep, it's probably because he's acting like a creep. If older women think he's a player, it's probably because he's acting like a player.

I think Dan's first instinct was right. Not the one telling him to tell YOUNG to lie about his age, but that his lack of success with women has nothing to do with his youthful looks. If anything, he's getting blown off DESPITE them.
Posted by Schreiber on June 17, 2010 at 5:35 PM · Report this
113
To YOUNG:

There's plenty of younger ladies who like older men. I am one of them. I'm 18, and I normally date 30-somethings. I don't know many women my age who would totally brush a guy off because of his age if he made a positive impression. Generally speaking, women my age tend to be vain. We like hot guys, we like hot reliable guys, we like hot reliable guys who have gotten over the "bro" phase. If women are blowing you off, you either 1) aren't that hot, 2) didn't make an impression, 3) do not act age appropriately. The fact that you're scoping for ladies in areas that cater to the young folk does indicate that you aren't reliable or mature. Perhaps stop frequenting college bars and try branching out a bit.
Posted by youngerandvain on June 17, 2010 at 5:42 PM · Report this
114
@108: thousands of years of history isn't science? If it isn't, I'm not sure what is. Humans were surviving, healing, and innovating long before pharmaceutical trials. If we had run everything we consumed over all of human existence through tests for efficacy, safety, ideal dosages, I don't think we would have gotten very far. Writing it off entirely is like disputing that water quenches thirst, just because it may not have been tested in a laboratory.
Posted by fredricka22 on June 17, 2010 at 5:59 PM · Report this
BmuthafuckinRad 115
Hahaha! The answer to Partnered But Jonesing (about the LTR) is an instant classic.
Posted by BmuthafuckinRad on June 17, 2010 at 6:21 PM · Report this
116
Where is YOUNG going that he runs into 21 year old ageists all the time? What is his dating pool?
Posted by heatherly on June 17, 2010 at 6:23 PM · Report this
117
to YOUNG:
when I was 21, I walked into a music store, thought the guy behind the counter was cute and asked him out. We went on our 1st date the next day and over lunch I asked him how old is was. "How old do you think I am?" was his response, I said 27 and was off by 8 years. 1 year to the day later, were (and still are) married...a long-winded, sappy story to get to the point: younger women who like older men are out there. You don't have to lie or change the way you dress.
Posted by ilg on June 17, 2010 at 7:12 PM · Report this
118
@heatherly & ilq

So this is interesting...it turns out Dan actually edited YOUNG's letter for the column. Here's the abridged section:

"I mean there was this one 20-year-old girl who was okay with it and we dated for awhile. She was an actress, but I kind of realized she sucked when I took my friends to see her, so I ended things. Haven't heard from her since.

Anyway, I gotta run. My friend Basil is coming over later. He's kind of a sad sack, but he's got this kick ass buddy Henry who's hella chill to hang with.

Peace out,
YOUNG"
Posted by Schreiber on June 17, 2010 at 7:23 PM · Report this
yucca flower 119
@ #87,

Ditto. The only person who should be asking my age at the bar is the person who's selling the booze. If I'm old enough to have a beer in my hand, I'm old enough to fuck. My birth date, along with my SS#, are private bidness. Keep your nose out of it.
Posted by yucca flower on June 17, 2010 at 7:56 PM · Report this
120
double helix - while I would agree with you that blind belief in herbal medicines is idiotic, the fact remains that one of the oldest forms of medicine -Ayurveda - is based on the science of plant medicine AND is a rigorously tested and documented branch. The herb ashwagandha mentioned by one poster is used for precisely the ailment she mentioned.

And yes, ayurveda does balance out hormones, remove toxicity - and it addresses the person, his lifestyle, his physiology etc - as does Homeopathy, another ancient AND well-documented science.

Any good Ayurvedic practioner would take an hour and have you answer MANY questions about your lifestyle, diet, sleep, sexual habits etc, before they would even begin to treat you. And none of the treatments are going to 'cure' you overnight. It is a lifestyle change that they demand of you, and however suspicious of these sciences you are, please do some research before knocking it altogether.

Ayurveda has been known and practiced in India for centuries. In fact, the first known written text, Sushruta Samhita, was dated to 3rd century AD. A treatise in which were included notes on surgery, and plastic surgery. And in case you think I am being anecdotal, this has been verified by British physicians in the 18th century. Which leads me to wonder if our contributions to medicine and mathematics, and anything else for that matter will only count if it is validated by the west.
Posted by geminigirl on June 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM · Report this
121
@114

NO, thousands of years of history is NOT science. Science is a method for gaining knowledge, based on constantly testing hypotheses to see if they match the facts. Alt medicine too often refuses to put its solutions to the test, with bs claims like those of marrena that they just can't get funding for their amazing treatments.

Just because people have been doing something for a long time does NOT mean it works. It could be a cultural practice, or it could be that theyve been taken in by snake oil salesmen. It may mean that the practice is not harmful, but it doesn't mean it's a proven cure.
Posted by ML77 on June 17, 2010 at 9:31 PM · Report this
122
hhs,

Western docs do not say "it's low testosterone" unless they've already given you a test that PROVED that testosterone levels were low. In fact, it's alt medicine that says "no matter what the problem, X is the solution"

The point is that any medicine that wants to be taken seriously needs to be open with its data and willing to consider facts that do not favor its products and services.
Posted by ML77 on June 17, 2010 at 9:35 PM · Report this
123
If you don't like puns you are Double Hitler.
Posted by Yawgmoth on June 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM · Report this
124
@114

Science is defined by experiments whose results can be repeated, and to do this you must keep records of your data. Traditional medicine doesn't do that. And jesus christ, just because we didn't do clinical trials 500 years ago is no reason for not having them as the standard now. There's plenty to be found in traditional medicine, which is why chemists isolate the active compounds and purify them. There is also the issue of the placebo effect in untested drugs. The placebo effect can actually do you a lot of good, but the herbs can have side effects that must be taken into consideration. I'm not trying to insult the history of medicine, but I think it's sensible to move into the modern age and enjoy the benefits of our vastly improved methods and technology.
Posted by ugh, "eastern" is not always better on June 18, 2010 at 12:13 AM · Report this
125
It's not always abotu looks or your age it all comes down to what eachother want. You're saying that age is a pure factor here yet you seem to dismiss the fact that if they're over 20 why does it really matter? Have some fun ;) Failing that just buy some Sex Toys and do what you want haha.
Posted by Ben Anon on June 18, 2010 at 2:33 AM · Report this
126
It's not always abotu looks or your age it all comes down to what eachother want. You're saying that age is a pure factor here yet you seem to dismiss the fact that if they're over 20 why does it really matter? Have some fun ;) Failing that just buy some Sex Toys and do what you want haha.
Posted by Ben Bondara on June 18, 2010 at 2:34 AM · Report this
127
Young has no problem; he's bragging and enjoying his situation, which I'd bet anything he exacerbates to the nth power to achieve the ultimate goal of so many idiot straight guys: staying unattached. And like the rest of them, he prefers vanity-stroking even to sex. Have fun while ya can, Spanky, 'cause the next decade holds your Dorian Gray moment. There's nothing spookier or more hideous and off-putting than a Baby Face gone old. A walking Chucky, that's what you'll be.
Posted by Belleweather on June 18, 2010 at 5:52 AM · Report this
128
@120 geminigirl

Your mention of homeopathy as a "well-documented science" tells me all I need to know about your point of view. Since the whole premise goes against hundreds (thousands!) of years of actual science, namely physics and chemistry and biology (hell, possibly some other branches too!). Just repeat to yourself: it's just water, it's just water, it's just water.

@114 (fredricka22)

ML77 already responded admirably, so let me just say: water has been extensively studied, actually.
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 18, 2010 at 6:39 AM · Report this
129
The YOUNG guy should just dress cool. Nevermind trying to dress like a b-boi to entice the twenty-something apple martini sipping lot. There's nothing worse than someone who is 57 trying to act like they're 23. It's just ridiculous. This cat, the 40 year old YOUNG guy: he just wants the 20-year-old puss. Fibbing about your age is for ladies. It's just a bunch of bulls***: "How old do you think I am?" Old enough for me to not really give a right s***. Next? ;) LOL
Posted by old as the mofukkin' hills, old as in OLD on June 18, 2010 at 8:08 AM · Report this
130
doublehelix - just because you do not acknowledge anything other than western medicine does not mean that other forms of medicine which have been proven to work, and has been acknowledged to work by registered and well-known practioners of Allopathy do not work, or are somehow inferior.

I like your contention that homeopathy goes against thousands of years of science - let me give you just one example. For centuries, Magnesium has been prescribed by homeopaths for migraines. Guess what? Your allopathic community has just woken up to the fact that magnesium actually does work - only they make it into white capsules of magnesium,a nd add calcium to make it seem like they found it out all by themselves. So instead of the little white magnesium pills that homeopaths prescribe, you can down a bitter chalky LARGE magnesium tablet that your large pharma provides and mock at the origin of that cure.

I have nothing against allopathy, and find it efficacious in treating some diseases / illnessess; unlike you, just because allopathy did not work for me for a particular problem, I do not tar the whole science as a collusion between corporate interests and large pharma, or diss an entire science.

Please, please educate yourself on Ayurveda atleast - it is heavily documented and goes through rigrorous testing. Unfortunately, the testing is also done by Indians so maybe that will not count.
Posted by geminigirl on June 18, 2010 at 8:40 AM · Report this
131
@130

It's an utterly false dichotomy. There's medicine that works and there are treatments that don't. It doesn't matter if we realize something works after studying in a lab, work brought on because an herb has been used traditionally as a treatment or if we realize something works after a large-scale small molecule screen. I don't want a naturapath giving me a magnesium supplement. I want magnesium that is purified, concentrated and regulated. And hey, perhaps it's more effective mixed with calcium! I don't know, but I can guarantee you there are peer-reviewed articles about it.

And for the record: 'Homeopathy' is not synonymous to 'alternative'. Magnesium is not a homeopathic remedy. The homeopathic remedy is a 'magnesium' solution that is so dilute that there is chemically, mathematically, no magnesium molecules left in the solution. That is probably less magnesium than I can get from a glass of water from my tap.

Ahh, it's the always-popular 'requiring science-based-medicine makes you a racist!' gambit. Not helping your point here, gemini. Shockingly, I hear Indians do real science too.
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 18, 2010 at 9:14 AM · Report this
132
@130

It's an utterly false dichotomy. There's medicine that works and there are treatments that don't. It doesn't matter if we realize something works after studying in a lab, work brought on because an herb has been used traditionally as a treatment or if we realize something works after a large-scale small molecule screen. I don't want a naturapath giving me a magnesium supplement. I want magnesium that is purified, concentrated and regulated. And hey, perhaps it's more effective mixed with calcium! I don't know, but I can guarantee you there are peer-reviewed articles about it.

And for the record: 'Homeopathy' is not synonymous to 'alternative'. Magnesium is not a homeopathic remedy. The homeopathic remedy is a 'magnesium' solution that is so dilute that there are chemically, mathematically, no magnesium molecules left in the solution. That is probably less magnesium than I can get from a glass of water from my tap.

Ahh, it's the always-popular 'requiring science-based-medicine makes you a racist!' gambit. Not helping your point here, gemini. Shockingly, I hear Indians do real science too.
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 18, 2010 at 9:42 AM · Report this
BeckyPlant 133
Dan, I want to than you for your response to "Not Happy, Not Horny's" letter is this weeks issue. I can relate. I think I too am one of the unlucky ones that was permanently affected by my use of the Pill. My sex drive is not what it used to be before I started using it, and I've stressed and racked my brains trying to figure out what might be the culprit. Even though I stopped using the pill years ago, sadly, the sex drive I once had has never returned.

This is a legitimate side effect that women should be told about before making the decision to take the pill. I was not told this was a possibility, and after voicing my concerns, my gyno told me that my sex drive would return to normal after I'd been off the Pill for a few months. Well, she was wrong.

Thanks again for your great advice.
Posted by BeckyPlant http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=541430727 on June 18, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
134
@ 133: I recently had routine bloodwork done for a physical and I was found to be deficient in Niacin, which has something to do with low good cholesterol.. Since I've been taking the Niacin supplement, my circulation and energy is better. My point here is if "Not Happy, Not Horny" still feels a bit off after having been away from the pill(s) long enough, perhaps there would be a reason that could be found with closer examination.
Posted by Clemency Before Fat ;) lol on June 18, 2010 at 12:27 PM · Report this
135
Oh, come on! How many older women have really turned YOUNG down on the basis of his baby face? I'm surprised you fell for this one, Dan.

Either YOUNG isn't entirely forthcoming about what's really been going on, or, if he's telling the truth, the older women, having enough experience to recognize an unstable personality when they see one, are letting him down easy.

Every woman learns this trick by age thirty or so because it's better than arguing with a nutcase for two hours about whether she has the right not to go out with him.
Posted by EyeLean on June 18, 2010 at 12:56 PM · Report this
136
I do NOT think that lying to women is a good idea. My advice to YOUNG: internet dating. Your internet profile should include your age, so the women won't be able to make false assumptions.
Posted by rolewe on June 18, 2010 at 1:59 PM · Report this
137
And for the record: 'Homeopathy' is not synonymous to 'alternative'. Magnesium is not a homeopathic remedy. The homeopathic remedy is a 'magnesium' solution that is so dilute that there is chemically, mathematically, no magnesium molecules left in the solution. That is probably less magnesium than I can get from a glass of water from my tap.

Ahh, it's the always-popular 'requiring science-based-medicine makes you a racist!' gambit. Not helping your point here, gemini. Shockingly, I hear Indians do real science too.
---

I had written a long post which seemed to have disappeared into ether, but anyway, two things - one, thank YOU for exposing your ignorance of homeopathy. Magnesium in homeopathy is not so dilute that there is no trace of it in the solution. If you knew anything at all about it, or were even interested in finding out, then you *would* know that homeopathic medicines come in different concentrations from 100x to 1c.

Two, I did point out ONE science based branch of medicine - Ayurveda, which you have conveniently ignored in *all* your subsequent ripostes - only it is not the 'science' you know. And whether you agree or not, Ayurveda IS *real* science.

It is a well-known, well-documented, rigorously tested discipline, and many allopathic practitioners from the west are now acknowledging what Ayurvedic practioners have always been saying regards diet, lifestyle, etc. The more open-minded among them are also digging into old treatises to find mention of illnesses and diseases that have baffled them for ages, and using those texts to see how they can help people today.

My original post *said* that blind belief in herbal remedies is idiotic. However, closing your mind to *any* other option other than allopathic medicine is ridiculous. There should be a happy medium between these two extremes. I offered one. You do not believe in homeopathy. That is fine. You do not know anything about Ayurveda? That is fine, too. But do not knock something because you do not know anything about it. I come from a long line of Aryurvedic practioners. Every generation, for the past 14, has also had one or two allopathic doctors. I see the good in both.

If you choose to disagree, that is fine. But you can do so without the aid of snarky remarks. And oh, you pulled the racist comment out - I do not bandy terms like that even as a joke.
More...
Posted by gemini on June 18, 2010 at 2:55 PM · Report this
138
In my experience, Western and alternative medicine can mix quite well. I see a pelvic floor physical therapist for pelvic pain, and she uses many modern, science-based methods. But she has also suggested that I do yoga to help with relaxation and flexibility, as well as probiotic supplements to decrease the frequency of yeast infections. Both of these have helped me.
Posted by Just an example on June 18, 2010 at 4:21 PM · Report this
139
FYI, strength training in the gym stimulates (in a safe and natural way) testosterone production. NHNH might benefit from some regular gym time to help increase her libido.
Posted by uberdude on June 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM · Report this
140
Here's a very sexy woman's advice to NHNH. It is important to make sure you stay conscious of, and cultivate, your sexuality. Flirt. Read sexy books and watch romantic movies. Watch porn. (Strangely, male on male does it for me, so keep looking.) Buy really nice underwear that feels good. Shop for sex toys if something you read or see catches your attention. Think about sex. Both of you quit using scented products so your natural pheromones are more evident.
I went through a very long dry spell after a divorce and full responsibility for young children. My sex drive came back better than ever doing what I suggest. I am multi-orgasmic in my 70's, and probably haven't any hormones left at all. It's largely in the mind.
Posted by Grrrreat Granny on June 18, 2010 at 6:38 PM · Report this
141
@138 (anon)

Well, that's kinda my point. There doesn't have to be a line there. Yoga absolutely has health benefits, both in terms of physiology (increased strength and flexibility, weight loss, etc) and mentally, if you're someone who likes the meditation-deep-breathing stuff. And probiotics...well, not all the products on the market have been tested, but we certainly know (and with the advent of next generation sequencing are learning more all the time) about the importance of our natural microbial flora and its role in health. And of course a drug like aspirin you might use for pain relief has its origins in traditional herbal remedies. The lines blur.

@137

Yeah, it did that to me too, but somehow I ended up with a double post.

I'm only going by the very definition of the field. Hahnemann seemed to think that all the diluting made the 'remedy' more powerful, and even a 1C is, what, 1:100? And homeopaths consider that a higher potency than 1X, which is 1:10? At any rate, even the lower-X-value dilutions haven't been show clinical efficacy better than placebo.

Ayurveda is based on the fire, earth, water, air and ether as the elements that make up the universe! No part of that is scientific. It's unscientific from the premise. Just because it advocates living well and taking care of yourself doesn't make it scientific; so does everyone else. Good on them for developing an early system to prevent and treat disease; that doesn't mean everything they did was right, and it doesn't mean we should cow to their tenants when they've been shown ineffective under controlled study.

Dude, come on, you implied that I was disregarding Ayuvedra because it is primarily practiced by an entire ethnicity of people that you assume I am not part of (snarkily, no less). That's pretty clear-cut. But always a risky gambit on the internet, since you don't know where I'm from or what color I am.
More...
Posted by doublehelix20 on June 18, 2010 at 8:17 PM · Report this
142
Young, your problem is not your age or looks, your problem is that your MO is obviously hitting on random women, and I'm going to guess it's at bars, right? By your age, you should have some kind of life that brings you into contact with other people socially and from there you make friends, and from there you date. Then they already know how old you are, right? Figure out what you like in life, do it (running group, theater, music meet-up, painting class, whatever), make some friends then ask the cute ones out.
Posted by GG1000 on June 19, 2010 at 6:53 AM · Report this
143 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
144
Yeah, I get it about anyone complaining they "look too young" (well, anyone past their late 20's, anyway), but I think YOUNG's getting a lot of abuse for something that can be a legit issue. Maybe he IS a douche, but maybe not. I'm a 44 yr old woman who is regularly taken for much younger. As personally pleased as I am at my good fortune in this respect, I have found it can be an issue. In work/professional situations(where it can sometimes take a while to demonstrate that I am NOT some much younger up-start but skilled and very experienced at what I do) and in social situations (where I get hit on by guys not much older than my son and with whom I come to find quickly I have very little in common AND often get the cold shoulder from men closer to my age who assume I'm "too young" to be interested or "too young" for THEM to be interested). My personality is fairly mature and I dress like an adult; not like a grandmother but certainly not like a teenager! I'm NOT whining, but it CAN be an issue when trying to meet someone you get on with on a mental level. I think YOUNG has a legit problem and he is seeking advice on how to handle it better than he apparently is.
Posted by raven333 on June 19, 2010 at 11:56 AM · Report this
145
#142, I agree...now there is some helpful advice for YOUNG. :)
Posted by raven333 on June 19, 2010 at 12:04 PM · Report this
146
Thank you to all the posters with suggestions for NHNH! 2 years on 3 different Pill formulations, 1 year of the ring, and 2 years on a diaphragm, and I still have no libido. Before I got on the Pill, I had a healthy sex drive, despite being in a long-distance relationship. Within 6 months of starting hormonal birth control I could feel the difference in myself, but nothing has helped. I eat right, get a moderate amount of exercise, handle my stress pretty well, and am very sex-positive. I got my testosterone checked in the middle of this, and they told me it was on the low end of normal; obviously, it’s too low for me. I just went again a few months ago to ask if there was anything that could be done, but the doctor said that as long as I’m getting regular periods, my hormones are fine. I should have asked about SHBG.

I’m pretty “granola,” but I am also a medical student and a historian of medicine. My view on most “alternative” medicine is that if people have been using it for so long, it must work. Even if it only works by placebo effect, that’s still more than I’m getting from my allopaths right now. Of course there has been harmful medicine (blood-letting, anyone?). But by asking around my community I figure I can find somethings to try that will do more harm than good. And yes, I’m well aware of the fact that herbals are not regulated, so I’ll definitely research this stuff.

What it comes down to, for me, is wanting to get that spark back—even if it means getting back to the acne and PMS I had before starting the Pill. I can give my husband mind-blowing orgasms, but sex for me is “nice”—like if you were petting a cat. As intellectual as I am, I still feel “broken” because I can’t enjoy the prime of my sex life.
Posted by Tschussle on June 19, 2010 at 2:19 PM · Report this
147
@ 87 Rach31
Um. . . What if they are asking because they think you are attractive, intelligent, and interesting, but don't want to get arrested. That's not rude. That's well within the realm of "information they need." I suppose they could ask "Are you over eighteen?" and that would be okay, but they aren't being rude to ask.
Posted by DianeLGD on June 19, 2010 at 4:59 PM · Report this
148
The comments this week are rather more interesting than Dan's column.

Let me say I support drug trial tested meds over herbal "remedies" that may not even contain the herbs they claim. I do this because (aside from usual human error and venality) the medical establishment's record of effectiveness overall has been demonstratively superior and generally indicates a better control factor. The large amount of simple-minded ego, and cultishness in most of the herbal movement is a turn off too.

That said, isn't it interesting that the birth control hormone problem HNHN is writing about is from a professionally derived medication that DID go thru extensive medical trials and has been around for decades?

And here we have many people touting more drugs that have been through peer reviews and clinical trials, etc. to fix her problem.

So maybe some innocuous herbs may give her a placebo effect? Well, many recent studies show that effect is MORE beneficial than actual drugs for some problems. So I guess I'm a bit on the fence here.

I definitely agree with Dan about her finding a sex positive doctor.

Hopefully she will have better luck than I ever did. If I had a dollar for every OBGyn who asked if I "had pain with intercourse?" and then had no further suggestions when I said, "Yes", I'd be a rich woman. (Turned out to be stage 4 endometriosis, BTW)

I also agree with the Kinsey doc and the "cycle of dread". I don't know about other women, but when I've refrained from sex, especially vaginal, for a while, my arousal will be quicker and the intensity of my orgasms MUCH greater.
Posted by xweatie on June 19, 2010 at 6:20 PM · Report this
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I feel for YOUNG...people don't get it. I'm almost 50 and look much younger, mostly I get 32ish...which is fine on the one hand but when you're patted on the head at 40...well it's a problem, a nice problem I suppose but a problem.
I've had acquaintances I knew 30 years ago strike up conversations telling me that I remind them of someone they once knew...me...very odd...
Posted by 50... on June 20, 2010 at 8:01 AM · Report this
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Are there certain pills that have a harder effect on a woman's sex drive or is it hormonal birth control in general? My girlfriends drive is far lower than mine and I'm struggling to suggest some changes that could bring hers up a little. We had more sex in our first tear together than we did our second, when she got on the pill.
Posted by Getting desperate on June 20, 2010 at 11:35 AM · Report this
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On herbal remedies: There was a really interesting Consumer Reports test quite some years ago on Sam-E, when it was the rage for treating depression. Turned out that out of a dozen or more brands tested, either none or one brand (memory fails) had the listed amount of the active ingredient, and several had none at all. Herbs can be very powerful, but you'll have to find a source you can trust, and I don't know of one. I wish we had a central testing lab -- unlike the FDA, it wouldn't promise safety, only that the ingredients listed are present and fully accounted for.

Western medicine isn't all that great, either. Consider the word "iatrogenic." Treatment that does more harm than good is a far-too-common cause of death in the U.S.
Posted by ponykink on June 20, 2010 at 2:11 PM · Report this
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@27 re @17: Bwahhh! Very humerous putdown.

But just in case you weren't just trying to be funny, I'll add some anecdotal evidence in support of acupuncture and herbs.

I went to acupuncturist for cramps. Within 2 months, my period was completely changed to 3-4 days instead of 5-7 days, with less pain and annoyance.

I heard once that you could use ... sage or thyme? Drink it in a hot tea, and it would warm you up. Drink it in a cold tea, and it would cool you down. So, without any info on dosage, I stupidly boiled an entire package of fresh sage/thyme and drank the resulting tea. Yeah, I got warm. I sweat. I also had heart palpitations for 4 hours. Herbs are powerful.

@Dan: The advice you gave Not Horny Not Happy was the most valuable advice I've ever read on this issue! Thank you!
Posted by MoiFou on June 20, 2010 at 2:58 PM · Report this
June 153
Dan! Terrible advice to YOUNG. Seriously. You're better than that.
My fiance is 19 years older than I am, and he lied to me about his age when we first met. He shouldn't have; I still would have dated him and would have trusted him more if he had been honest.
If a girl (or guy) judges you based on age, then they are not someone you should aim to be with anyway.
And you need to respect what other people want for themselves. If a 20 year old doens't want to date a thirty year old, people should respect that even if they disagree with the logic.
Posted by June http://travelingbellydancer.blogspot.com on June 20, 2010 at 3:06 PM · Report this
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Another small comment for YOUNG, you might not be encountering quite the discrimination you imagine. Women over 25 are often simply not interested in men their own age, well until we're talking seniors and men start dying off. Older men offer more money, more stability, a better blend of macho with caring, etc. Conversely, younger women prefer older men too, but not necessarily that much older, not yet anyways. So you should try for girls that are mid-twenties.
Posted by Jef on June 20, 2010 at 5:39 PM · Report this
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NHNH
If you're still reading this far down - I've been there. Mine was post-partum. Cardio is the answer. I still need about an hour a week of cardio to maintain a libido. I do it for his state of mind as well as for mine. If your boyfriend is worth anything at all, it really matters to him whether you want him or not.
Posted by ScienceChickie on June 20, 2010 at 8:52 PM · Report this
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YOUNG, based on your letter, I suspect the problem is that you act 21, not that you look 21.
Posted by Bobito on June 20, 2010 at 11:46 PM · Report this
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To NOt Happy,
I was the pill for 10 years. When I went off, it took about a year and then Whammo-I discovered what my libido would have been like if I hadn't been on the pill! Wowza! Worth waiting for, definitely. It takes a while for some bodies to cleanse. I say, do NOT take hormone replacements--they are experimental and apparently dangerous. Try a good cleanse, or wait it out with happy, healthy living and don't stress about it. Tell the boyfriend not to take it personally. Try Karezza (kareza?), or white Tantra, or anything like that to bring the vibe back better than ever. And enjoy equilibrium while it lasts honey!
Posted by lotusblossom on June 21, 2010 at 1:45 AM · Report this
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Probably already covered, but Dan: PBJ has a fourth option. (S)he can have a fuck buddy or two with her partner's blessing. This isn't cheating, since cheating involves deceit and breaking the rules that you have both agreed on.
Posted by Yeek on June 21, 2010 at 7:13 AM · Report this
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what the hell is with all the dress your age comments ? what the hell does that mean? you can walk around capital hill in a speedo and a swimming cap for all i care. we all have to accept some responsibilities but sometimes you really should say fuck what other people think. I'm not a god damn robot . i have much respect for individuals who are not afraid to express themselves . wearing a traffic cone as a hat,,, hell yes! seriously have you seen some of the people in the city who are convinced bike shorts are the way to go? ... thats my rant i know that the "dress your age" comments are ment to address a specific problem
Posted by johnjohn on June 21, 2010 at 6:37 PM · Report this
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@105

Nope, sorry. Low libido is a common side effect for birth control (as are the depression and anxiety you suggest looking into), however slow studies are to catch on. I worked at a college clinic for five years and the number of girls who came in who couldn't connect their mental and health problems to their birth control was mind-boggling. Most thought it was due to a new relationship (the one they started taking birth control in) or starting college (and birth control at the same time). And when they went off their pill for 2-3 weeks? Literally the closest thing to a miracle cure for depression. Takes longer if you have been on it for a while. (Yes, some women's libidos aren't affected and their skin is clear – but again, in five years when they're losing their hair or can't lose weight and they cease or switch birth control methods and their problems clear up – there is a connection, even if no doctor gives a shit).

As the child of a doctor and a physicist, I am not a huge follower or fan of 'alternative' medicine. If it works, do it, but I don't like the idea of people profiting of ignorance. BUT the only reason people – especially women – seek it out is because so many doctors either couldn't care less or don't know what they're talking about. How many women are even warned about side effects like depression or two months of bleeding, hair loss, anxiety attacks, etc. when they get birth control? Or told that they're overreacting when they complain? How many other drugs are tested exclusively on men before having their dosage simply reduced for women,a s if they are nothing but smaller men?

Hell, birth control, that scientific miracle, was affecting women's health without their consent when it first came out– the only info they got was that it was for regulating their period. Why do we think it's reached a perfect plateau now? Yes, I believe in science. So let's get some more research into hat different pills are doing to women's bodies and mental health.
More...
Posted by Shazaam on June 21, 2010 at 8:41 PM · Report this
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@102

You are funny. Nobody needs to bother to do what it takes to get FDA-approval for "libido-improving" herbal drugs, because they can just claim that it works, and people will buy it!

You can send penis enlargement pill spam and somebody will buy it!

People in China believe that eating the balls of some endangered species works for male sexual potency. But who knows if it really does, and you know, Viagra is actually *proven* to work.

As for me, if I were having this kind of problem, I'd get a bloodwork-up done to see if anything explained it. Eating healthy is never a bad idea. I never did hormonal birth control though, the side effects didn't seem worth it.
Posted by prettypoofy on June 22, 2010 at 11:55 AM · Report this
TreGibbs 162
Find some women who aren't so friggin' shallow...
Posted by TreGibbs on June 22, 2010 at 6:55 PM · Report this
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Women don't care how old a man is. Only one thing matters: money. Flash the cash and you can get the finest tail there is. If you're a poor man... well that's what fat chicks are for.
Posted by montex on June 23, 2010 at 4:06 AM · Report this
Clarence42 164
OMG(oodness)!! I was born 1972! The world is ending!! (Fucking Oilspill!!)
Posted by Clarence42 on June 23, 2010 at 10:40 PM · Report this
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Re: Not horny not happy

Dirty little secret with the Pill, that whole loss of libido thing. I gotta agree with the IUD ladies. I got mine a little over a year ago, and I have fully recovered from the low libido I developed from years of being on the Pill. I am 100% certain that my declining sex drive was from the Pill.

I was a little disappointed that Dan recommended trying to counteract the effects of the Pill with another pill. I would have first recommended replacing the Pill with one of the many fine non-hormonal, low-failure rate birth control products available to women, and seeing where it went from there
Posted by cjno6 on June 24, 2010 at 10:45 PM · Report this
Danrilor 166
This was a strange column even for the Stranger. Two people bored with people/sex and a protracted groan from an aging narcissus. I don't know what to say. I am so glad I don't have Dan's job.
Posted by Danrilor on June 25, 2010 at 4:32 AM · Report this
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Hey YOUNG, don't lose hope! As a young thing I'd always fall for the older women. The first time I saw the woman who is now my wife I thought, "I'm too young, she'll never like me." She thought, "I'm too old, she'll never like me." She also looks a decade younger than she is.

Here's my advice: don't bring up your age. If they ask, be honest. I once dated a woman 18 years my age difference, and it wasn't weird until she was weird about it. If a girl's turned off, she's turned off. But I know a lotta girls out there love an older man - my sister always goes for the older men.
Posted by AidenPants on August 27, 2010 at 7:39 AM · Report this
168 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
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To all the folks who've berrated YOUNG for not dressing his age, sometimes that doesn't change it. I'm a guy in my late 20s, but I routinely get assumptions that I'm still about 15, and that's when I'm in business executive attire hosting business meetings. Sometimes people look young and the clothing doesn't do enough to change it. My advice to YOUNG, as it's worked for me, is grow a little Tom Ford style designer stubble. You still look "young" but it can change it from "juvenile" to "hip and stylish but still mature". It gives you a good base to work from, and in my case people don't think I'm the temp taking coffee orders when I walk into a board room anymore. Oh, and eliminate the word "yah" from your vocabulary entirely. Learn to say "yes". Most people can get away with "yah", but if you look young, it makes you sound young. "Yes" is the grown-up affirmative. It makes a difference.
Posted by Infernari on March 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM · Report this
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Tsk! Dan. The correct answer was: A person experiments (with partner), opens up the relationship (with partner's permission), or breaks up (with partner).
Posted by Biev on March 28, 2013 at 7:22 AM · Report this

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