Know these common sexual complaints so you can try to avoid them.

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What other options are out there for women with less-than-satisfying sex lives? Just asking this question, rather than accepting a life void of sexual pleasure, is a start, the doctors say. The next step: Figuring out the nature of the problem and whether it's rooted in the body, the mind or both.

Some sexual problems stem largely from the mind. In those cases, the secret to better sex could lie in addressing one or more of these underlying issues, with or without the help of a therapist:

  • Stress
  • Emotional abuse
  • Depression
  • Problems with body image and self-esteem

Relationship problems rank up there among the "usual suspects" when it comes to sexual dysfunction as well. If going to bed with your partner is a dreaded occasion rather than an exciting opportunity for some intimate fun, examine the state of your relationship. Only a contented couple can have superb sex — that doesn't mean sustaining an unrealistic, infatuation-level of passion, but at least minimizing conflict and recapturing a partnership in which love and trust rule.

Talking with your partner about your favorite turn-ons can make the difference between a so-so love life and a spectacular one. Beware, the Bermans warn, of the "touch disparity" phenomenon. Explains Laura Berman, "Most people touch their partners the way they like to be touched, and that doesn't always work well. You can both be touched in the way you like, and in the places you like, even at the same time."

See the next page to take a look at common female complaints and solutions.