Streets Of London: Prescribing Pleasure

Published: Tue 8 Oct 2002 12:28 AM
From The Streets Of London, Malcolm Aitken
Prescribing Pleasure
National Health Service doctors have started recommending vibrators to sexually dissatisfied British women.
Women with problems including major genital damage caused by surgery and birth defects or reduced desire for their partners are being referred to shops sensitive to their needs, the Guardian reported last week. British medical professionals have long debated the merits of vibrators for enhancing sexual satisfaction.
'[For women who] suffer from sexual dysfunction, sex shops and their accoutrements could be a vital part of their therapy,' says Dr David Goldmeier, lead clinician in sexual function at London's St Mary's hospital.
Goldmeier-an eminent consultant-last year initiated a meeting with Sh!, a women's erotic emporium in the east end, after visiting its website. 'We have a symbiotic relationship’, he says. 'Sh![pronounced Shush] is a nice boutique that carries our leaflets and, in turn, we recommend women to them when it's appropriate.’
Sh!’s been approached by NHS trusts across Britain since Dr Goldmeier contacted it.
Recent studies suggest 40 percent of women experience some sexual dysfunction and only a quarter achieve orgasm through penile penetration and thrusting: 75 percent require further stimulation, according to the European Sexual Dysfunction Alliance. Although many women enjoy sex and feel emotionally close to their partner without orgasm, an estimated 12 percent never reach climax.
A third of British women own a vibrator according to European lingerie and sex toys retailer, Ann Summers.
- Malcolm Aitken is a freelance journalist based in London. He can be contacted at

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