Contrary to popular belief, erectile-dysfunction drugs like Viagra don't fix male libido problems, either. By enhancing blood flow, ED medications may help create or maintain an erection, but they don't provide the desire for one in the first place. They don't deliver what Boston urologist Abraham Morgentaler calls "the hunger for sex—that grrrr."
Libido technically means the urge, instinct or psychic energy to have sex. Experts are pondering the distinction, in both men and women, between "desire" and "arousal."
"The relationship between what happens in the genitals and how people feel about it is more complex than we realized," says Erick Janssen, research scientist at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University, in Bloomington. "You can, in principle, feel desire without necessarily showing any signs of physical arousal, and you can have signs of physical arousal without feeling desire."
"If the woman says, 'I love you, but I really don't have any libido,' look for medical issues," says Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine. The same applies to men.