Women today have it all-careers, families, political power, satisfying sex lives. Er, wait. Scratch that last one. We may well be on our way to electing the first female U.S. president in 2008, but there's still one fundamental, vital, and deeply enjoyable thing that today's women don't regularly have: orgasms.
In a post-Sex and the City world, where women are able to have more stigma-free sex and to talk about it more openly than ever before, research continues to show that the sex most of us are having isn't always worth talking about. An estimated 40 percent of women suffer from sexual dysfunction ranging from a lack of sexual desire to an inability to achieve orgasm. And traditional medicine has few effective treatments.
Enter Belinda and Larry Wurn. The Florida-based husband and wife-she is a physical therapist and he is a massage therapist-were developing a new form of massage in an attempt to relieve Belinda's chronic pain, the result of cervical cancer and subsequent radiation treatment.
'We were treating women for pelvic pain and infertility when a client called up and reported an interesting side effect,' says Larry. 'She said, 'I'm having the best orgasms that I've ever had in my life.' So we made a note of it in the chart and went on. But these calls kept happening, and happening-and happening.'
A doctor who heard about the anecdotal evidence encouraged them to run a validated test, and the scientific findings overwhelmingly supported the clients' stories.
'A peer-reviewed study found that 78 percent of women experienced increased sexual desire, 56 percent had more intense orgasms, and 96 percent reported decreased pain with intercourse,' Larry says of women who had undergone a weeklong series of Wurn treatments.
The technique, by the way, also worked for its intended purpose, ridding Belinda, and eventually thousands of other women, of chronic pelvic pain and helping infertile women conceive, according to a 2004 study published in the journal Medscape General Medicine.
Why the improved sex, though? Conventional medical wisdom holds that the causes of female sexual dysfunction vary and can include underlying physical issues (such as urinary tract infections or arthritis), hormonal changes (after childbirth or during menopause), and psychological concerns (such as untreated depression or anxiety, a history of sexual abuse, or chronic stress and fatigue). The success of the Wurn technique suggests another cause: adhesions. Adhesions are part of the body's inflammatory response to a trauma in the musculoskeletal system (for instance, they often occur after surgeries or other invasive procedures). An adhesion is internal scar tissue that forms at the point of trauma and helps heal the injury. But when the healing is done, the scar tissue remains and can cause problems such as abnormal bonds between other soft tissues and organs. It can also, the Wurns theorize, desensitize parts of the body that are prized for their sensitivity.
And it doesn't take much of a trauma, says Larry, for adhesions to develop. They can be caused by pelvic surgery, but also by vaginal infections, rough sex, or even simple falls.
The Wurn technique, which is an internal and external form of manual manipulation of the body's soft tissue and fascia (connective tissue), aims to break up these adhesions. This process, the Wurns believe, is what helps bring the pleasure back to sex. 'When we palpate inside at first, the G-spot often feels grainy or covered,' says Larry. After treatment, with the adhesions gone from this area, he continues, 'sensitivity returns and desire comes back.'
Clients, of course, don't often complain about this particular side effect. Sometimes, though, their newly left-in-the-dust partners do. Larry recalls the client who told them, 'My husband can't keep up with me! He likes it-only he's a little dismayed.'
For more information about the Wurn technique, visit www.clearpassage.com.