Let's Talk about Sex: Robin and Tom

Let's Talk about Sex: Robin and Tom


"I could easily lose the love of my life," says Robin. "My lack of a sex drive is putting a strain on our relationship."

"A man has his needs, and I certainly have my needs, and if she doesn't fulfill them, I may have to move on," says her fiancé, Tom.

Robin has no idea why her libido has dropped. "I feel like my mind wants it, but my body is not cooperating," she says. She and Tom have been together for over eight years and have been engaged for almost four.

Tom says their sex started to diminish about a year and a half into the relationship. "She'll go to bed before I go to bed. She doesn't want to get messy, or she doesn't want to get another shower. Other reasons she'll come up with is certainly the pain."

Robin explains, "I have interstitial cystitis, also known as IC, so every time we have sex I have flare-ups. I may end up in the hospital." Tom sees it as an excuse. "He views when I'm getting a flare-up, 'Oh great. I'm not getting sex tonight.'"

"I've certainly suggested other ways that we can have sex," says Tom. "She doesn't seem too interested in that either."

Robin never saw their sex life as abnormal, until Tom started tracking it in a monthly planner.

"I would make a little S on the day we would have sex," he says.

"I started looking through it," says Robin, "and I was like, wow, we're not having sex very often."


"It hasn't always been this way," Tom laments. "We had sex whenever we felt like it, wherever we felt like it."

"We were like rabbits," Robin adds.

"When we do have sex, it's a great surprise," says Tom. "It just tops off the day."

"It would be OK with me if I never had sex again," says Robin, "but I know that that can't be if I'm in a relationship with Tom. I say, 'When are we getting married? You put this ring on my finger, but yet we haven't moved on.'"

"I can't see getting married and dealing with this. I'm not sure how much longer I can put up with it," Tom says. "The way we sit right now, I do see myself with someone else in the future."

"My biggest fear is that he's either going to cheat or leave or both," says Robin. "I can't even tell you what he means to me. And I just hate myself that I just can't perform to his expectations."

Tom refused to join Robin in meeting Dr. Phil because he said he didn't want to air his dirty laundry.

"I would have said to him if he was here, this isn't dirty laundry," says Dr. Phil. "If your body breaks down in some way, if there's a problem somewhere, somehow, then there are going to be effects of that. It's not a matter of you don't love each other. It's not a matter of you don't treat each other well. It seems to me that there is a libido issue, and what can it be? You've done some looking into this already."


"Yeah," says Dr. Masterson, turning to Robin. "We had your blood drawn, and the results came back that there is a problem with your libido, OK?"

"I'm happy to hear that," says Robin.

"You see, that's why you feel so guilty," says Dr. Phil. "It's like, 'Oh, I'm so glad I'm sick!'"

"I know!" Robin agrees. "Because I do. I feel less of a woman. I felt that I wasn't able to old up my end of the bargain."

"We drew your levels," Dr. Masterson explains. "One of the levels that we drew is called prolactyn, which is actually a hormone that goes into breastfeeding, but it's a hormone that can also decrease your sex drive, or your libido." She tells Robin that a normal level is around eight. Anything between 20 to 25 is considered abnormal. Robin's prolactyn is actually 128. She is visibly stunned by the news.


"So that can drive libido down," says Dr. Phil, "and from what I understand this can involve pituitary irregularities that need to be looked at, right?"

"Exactly," says Dr. Masterson. "So you're definitely going to need more testing, like an MRI to look at your brain a little bit more closely, and some more hormonal tests. So you have a lot of forces, a lot of chemical forces, that are really to blame for your low libido. We can fix those, though. They're fixable."

"How do you feel about hearing that?" asks Dr. Phil.

"That is, like, the greatest news ever for me," she says, "because I'm at this point now where my relationship is ruined. I don't understand, though, because in the beginning, we used to do it like rabbits " anywhere and everywhere " and I want to be that way. I want to want it."

"It's really good that you had an exam, and that we checked your hormones, because now this is something we can really work on," says Dr. Masterson.