How's this weather? Unseasonably warm for this time of year, wouldn't you agree? OK, you got me - I'm just pulling your proverbial. Let's talk about what we should really be gabbing about, shall we: the elephant in the room. His name is Rufus and he enjoys David Attenborough documentaries. No, wait … not that guy. The other elephant! The one you're ignoring in the hope it will go away. Only it won't go away. Not unless you talk about it. Everyone experiences a bedroom foible at one time or another - it's nothing to be ashamed of. And the only way to get past it is to discuss it (preferably with your partner - the girl who sits in the next cubicle at work may seem really interested but she's just being nice). According to the peeps at The Journal of the American Medical Association, there are three main problems women experience when it comes to pursuits of the boudoir. One: Lack of sexual desire. Also called languishing labia syndrome (not really, I just made that up). A dialled-down libido can be temporary or ongoing and is actually pretty common in both men and women. It could be a side effect of medication, caused by anaemia, diabetes, depression, past experiences or even overwork - and can most definitely cause friction in a relationship. Just not the good kind. That's the problem. Two: Dyspareunia. Also known as pain during sex. This pain can come about during, or for up to days afterwards. It comes from the Greek for "bad mating" (um yeah, no kidding, Socrates). The highest prevalence of this super-fun condition is found in women 18-24 years of age and can be caused by equally super-fun things like infection, allergic reaction, poor lubrication, vaginismus and psychological issues. Three: Anorgasmia. Otherwise known as an absent orgasm. Not like Ferris Bueller absent, more like Loch Ness monster absent. As in just plain non-existent. It's characterised by difficulty in becoming aroused or achieving orgasm. Many factors can contribute to this kind of orgasmic dysfunction, not least of which include boredom, monotony and shyness. Yep, this one's a pickle alright.
For each of these three elephants, identifying the cause is indispensable in its expulsion from your life. Ignoring it, however, will just lead it to said pachyderm drinking out of the toilet and then squatting on the good carpet in the dining room while no one's looking. It's that destructive. The good news? It's highly unlikely any of these ailments are brought on by your partner. It's more likely to be a latex allergy than a boyfriend allergy. Depending on your exact situation, treatment may be something as simple as switching birth control methods or sexual positions; as easy as utilising more lubrication or more masturbation. Of course, your underlying snag could also be psychological. In this case, a sex or relationships therapist can work with you to focus on directed genital stimulation or reinvigorating your sex life. As far as treatments go it sure beats, say, chemotherapy or amputation. All I'm saying is Rufus isn't such a bad guy when you get to know him. So go forth and address your elephant. Because he can't trample your lady garden if you don't let him (and no one wants a stampede in their hothouse).
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