Frigid is a term now outdated, but usually intended to describe a woman who is unable to experience any pleasure or arousal from sexual stimulation. Anorgasmiais a term used to indicate an inability to have an orgasm.
Frigidity is usually a psychological problem and not a physical one, and may be the result of a woman’s strict upbringing, a loathing for sex that has been conditioned by an oppressive mother or violent father, an unfortunate early sexual experience, an unwanted pregnancy, a rape or other assault.
Other causes include pain with intercourse, postnatal depression after birth, life stress (e.g. moving house or changing jobs), and the hormone drop associated with menopause. Certain prescribed drugs and hormones may also be responsible.
With sexual stimulation there is no lubrication of the vagina, enlargement of the nipples or clitoral tenseness. In extreme cases it may be responsible for infertility.
Treatment requires a very understanding partner and a very slow teaching process, usually with the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist. Stimulation of non-erotic parts of the body to relax the woman over a period of weeks, followed by stimulation of more erotically sensitive areas, slowly breaks down the barriers.
Most women respond to appropriate treatment after many sessions over several months.