For women, placebos are the best aphrodisiac

When it comes to sexual satisfaction, believing that you're fulfilled can be the fastest route to real fulfillment. That's the lesson scientists learned when they gave women a "sexual enhancement" placebo - and found that it actually increased sexual satisfaction.

Women unhappy with their levels of sexual arousal and satisfaction are often said to suffer sexual dysfunction. Two medical researchers conducted a study of 50 such women, who enrolled in a clinical trial for a drug that treats sexual dysfunction, but were given placebos instead.

According to a release about the study, published this week in the Journal of Sexual Medicine:

Results showed that, after 12 weeks of treatment, symptoms in about one in three of these women improved to a degree that most clinicians would consider a meaningful change. Most of that improvement seemed to happen during the first four weeks.

The most important predictor of symptom change was an increase in the frequency of satisfying sexual encounters during the treatment. Many women even reported that they received more stimulation during sexual activity while they participated in the trial, even though their partners were not given any special instructions.

The upshot? Don't waste your money on arousal drugs without trying the power of suggestion first.

via The Journal of Sexual Medicine