12 December, 2007

Always Aroused

Suze has begun conversations with doctors this way: "I want to talk to you about something, but you have to give me your word you will not laugh or give a flippant response because it is a serious situation."

In short, Suze has too much of a good thing. For days, sometimes weeks at a time, she feels constantly aroused, but can't get any satisfaction.

Despite the preamble, though, "one doctor looked at me and said, 'What a lucky man your husband is! I wish my wife had this,'" says Suze, 63, a retired nurse in Florida. Others have asked, "So, is this like being a nymphomaniac?"

Hardly. Suze, who asked that her last name not be published, has what is now called persistent genital arousal disorder, or PGAD. It was first named by sex therapist Sandra Leiblum in 2001 as persistent sexual arousal syndrome, but as Leiblum and others have begun studying patients, she decided that it was more a disorder than a syndrome, a syndrome being a constellation of symptoms that suggest the presence of true disease.

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