Weird Sex Problem: Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder



We may joke about cripplingly high levels of horniness during our desert-dry spells, but it's rarely a "need." Like oxygen or a post-beer-binge poo. Instead, it's a "want."

But imagine those achy I-need-a-Channing-in-my-Tatum moments magnified about a thousand times. Now imagine, the sensation is so intense, it becomes maddening, and screams to be satisfied. OK? Got that feeling? Now, consider how you'd feel if these uncontrollable itches came on by surprise. At work? Sex. NOW. Family reunion?! Masturbate in a closet. 

What the hell is this, Giana?
This is a very real, very inconvenient affliction called Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD). It affects women (men have something similar) and the extreme arousal can last from hours to months. Contrary to popular belief, it is not sparked by carnal cravings. Sufferers can't predict when the feeling will strike, though some attribute it to vibrations from a phone or bus. Wow.

So, what's it like?
Ladies with PGAD say that it feels like an itch that can't be scratched. Physically, their lady-bits get engorged with blood (sign of arousal) and feel swollen. Throbbing and pressure is often felt as well. Sometimes, it even results in a random orgasm. But even if these woman do orgasm, the release is no guarantee that the intense arousal will diminish.

Mentally, they're in hell. They can't focus, and sometimes feel panicky that they can't relieve the feeling. Oh, and then there's the whole "it can happen without warning, any time anywhere" problem too. 

Who gets it?
There's still a lot of confusion in the research. Doctors have found that hormonal changes may cause it, along with stress, but neurological issues may also be at fault. So, um, in short: Anyone can get it. The good news is that it's rare (exact statistics are shaky). 

How is it cured? 
At the moment, not much can be done. Ladies in the throes of its horny grip can numb their naughty parts with ice. (If you currently own a clit, you know that this, too, is pretty terrible.) There are physical therapy approaches as well. Patients can work on their pelvic floor to assist things down there. Then, of course, there are psychological approaches. These measures are intended to help a woman recognize triggers and how to control the strange sexual itch. There are also support groups for sufferers. 

Sorry, no happy endings here—literally or metaphysically.

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