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Exclusive Interview with Author of "Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You"

By HERWriter
 
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In recent articles, I’ve spent a lot of time giving you my opinion on Dr. Diana Hoppe’s book, “Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You” and your patience with my blabbering has paid off. Yesterday I was lucky enough to interview the author, collecting her thoughts on the research, content and structure of the book. She was very willing to share her experience with writing this book, and open to my many probing questions. I’m excited to share the highlights with you!

As is the case with many successful doctors, Hoppe entered the field of medicine with a much different specialty in mind: veterinary sciences. However, her undergraduate experience working as a contraceptive counselor opened her eyes to the importance of women’s health. She liked the idea of continuity of care – of being able to establish a longer and more holistic relationship with her patients, offering advice on ways to live life as best as possible. So, she decided to become an OB-GYN. It was her time working with these patients, overseeing life changes, answering questions and soothing concerns in the realm of sexual health, which motivated the making of this book.

Hoppe wanted to create a tool for women that would answer the common questions she was asked about “what was normal.” She hoped to take away the “Sex and the City” myth implying that “normal” means having a constant, unvarying, “Samantha-esque” sex drive throughout your life. By creating a book that didn’t gloss over the scientific explanations but was easy to read, Hoppe wanted to leave women feeling empowered to understand the relationships they had with themselves and their partners, using intimacy to reflect on the healthiness of other life realms. She wanted to assure women that “normal” sex drive is a spectrum of variations over time, and provide reasons why we feel the ways we do.

Dr. Hoppe was quick to assure me that my review was correct – her exclusion of issues facing homosexuals and transgenders was simply due to lack of time and space, not an omission. She explained that for the sake of clarity, it was easiest to pick standard pronouns, rather than include lengthy and convoluted explanations.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I loved Dr. Hoppe's book, although I am glad you addressed the issues of gender roles in your summary of the interview. I was reading this NY Times article yesterday (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/business/media/14adco.html?_r=4&src=busln) about female aphrodisiac-maker Zestra and their recent issues with running certain ads that openly expressed female sexuality. I was fascinated by the media's general dislike of their openness and think that as much gender equality as we've had in the recent past, there is still work to be done.

September 15, 2010 - 6:38am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for sharing this - you are absolutely right. It is pretty crazy to see some of the concrete examples of our society's double standards. I especially liked when the author of this article explains how any commercial about women's sexual health (generally menstruation-related) is very vague and metaphorical - women running through fields - whereas men's sexual health commercials are blatant and borderline vulgar!

If you haven't already, check out this classic piece written by Gloria Steinem, called "If Men Could Menstruate". It illustrates some of our intense gender double standards in a slightly comical, slightly horrifying kind of way. http://www.mum.org/ifmencou.htm

I'd love to hear what you think!

- Hannah

September 15, 2010 - 2:18pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

"Dr. Hoppe was quick to assure me that my review was correct – her exclusion of issues facing homosexuals and transgenders was simply due to lack of time and space, not an omission..." Well that's good and as hoped for.

September 1, 2010 - 11:57am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Agreed. Though I stand by my previous statement that in the contemporary world of women's health, time and space are not excuses for exclusion of entire demographics. I truly think that for Dr. Hoppe's book to resonate with the newest wave of feminists, she will have to more carefully choose her vocabulary and frame her depiction of gender.

September 6, 2010 - 10:42am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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