New research suggests that women working in the adult entertainment industry tend to have lower rates of female sexual dysfunction compared to other women. But even among this population, sexual dysfunction is somewhat common. The new study appears in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) describes a variety of sexual problems, such as diminished arousal, orgasmic difficulties, and painful sexual intercourse.
“For a long time, men’s sexual health has been at the forefront of sexual medicine research, with women’s sexual health taking a back seat,” explained study author Justin Dubin, a urology resident at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“More recently, physicians have realized that women’s sexual issues have been neglected and finally have taken a more aggressive approach towards investigating it. People usually see urologists as specialists in only men’s health, but the truth is we are involved in all sexual health, which includes women’s sexual wellbeing as well.”
“FSD is a complex disorder that almost half of women around the world suffer from, but it still seems like it’s not being discussed with women nearly enough as it should be. By studying FSD in female adult entertainers, our goal was to help bring FSD to a more mainstream audience, to make it seem less taboo. We wanted to show that all women are at risk for FSD, even those who are engage in intercourse professionally,” Dubin explained.
In the study, 96 women working in the adult entertainment industry completed an anonymous questionnaire, which has been shown to effectively identify women with clinically significant levels of sexual dysfunction. The survey assesses six different domains: desire, excitement, lubrication, orgasms, satisfaction and pain.
The researchers found that 24% of the participants had scores indicative of FSD. In comparison, data from the U.S. National Health and Social Life Survey indicates that the prevalence of FSD is approximately 43% in the general female population.
Most of the participants also found their personal sex lives more satisfying than their adult entertainment sex lives.
“We want women to be aware of their sexual health and understand that having sexual issues is common and, more importantly, should be addressed with their doctor. We have been helping men with their sexual issues for so long, we want to make sure women know that they can and should get help too,” Dubin told PsyPost.
The study — like all research — includes some caveats.
“We did have a low response rate, which can always bring about some bias. There are so many biopsychosocial factors that play a role in female sexual dysfunction and I think that we have only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding who is at risk for FSD and how to best approach treating it,” Dubin said.
“I think that in dealing with both male or female sexual dysfunction the most important thing you can be is open. If you are having issues, communication is key. You need to be open with your partner, you need to be open with your physician, and at the end of the day you need to be open with yourself. Sex and sexual health is an important part of people’s lives and no one should feel uncomfortable discussing it,” Dubin added.
“On a final note, like any study or project, there was a big group of people who worked together to get this study done. I want to thank the Free Speech Coalition for their collaboration on this study as well as the other researchers and physicians who worked with me on this project. I also want to thank my mentor and principal investigator of the project, Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, for his support in getting this project done.”
The study, “Evaluation of Indicators of Female Sexual Dysfunction in Adult Entertainers“, was authored by Justin M. Dubin, Aubrey B. Greer, Cadence Valentine, Ian T. O’Brien, Eric P. Leue, Lisa Paz, Charles M. Lynne, Ashley G. Winter, and Ranjith Ramasamy.