Never heard of PGAD – persistent genital arousal disorder – have you? I hadn’t until researchers approached me and suggested I write about it.

Here’s my piece in Vice today.

Every solid study estimates 1% of women have this condition. It’s controversial to say they “suffer” from PGAD, as that labels it as disabling, but of the 13 women I interviewed who experience this, “suffer” is very much a fair descriptor.

Anonymous woman, 40: “This is relentless torture and has destroyed my life.”

As one doctor describes it: “There really is no disorder in sexual medicine that causes the bother and distress that this one does – it is the numero uno ‘I’d rather die’ sort of condition.” There are at least half a dozen documented suicides – so doubtless thousands more we don’t know about.

Again – one per cent of women have this. One per cent of the entire human population is also estimated to have schizophrenia – something that is, to say the least, very well known, studied and treated.

Yet PGAD remains an invisible disability, mocked by physicians, ignored by the mainstream establishment (it is not yet included in the DSM), and is hindering or destroying the lives of roughly 70 million women worldwide. Right now. (Sidebar: Men experience this too, but we have no data on how commonly it occurs. Incessant hard-ons and unwanted ejaculations thorughout the day don’t sound like much of a walk in the park, do they.)

You don’t have to read this. But please do. Not just because I worked my bum off on this story – but because it is heart-breakingly important.

Without question: you know somebody who is living with this right now – or maybe you are yourself – and they are suffering in silence.

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