Sexual dysfunctions refer to problems with sexual response or desire that are preventing you from wanting and enjoying sex. Men and women of all ages can experience sexual dysfunctions.
While it’s normal to lose interest in sex sometimes or to experience difficulties getting an erection or reaching orgasm, these natural occurrences become problematic when they are recurrent, making you unhappy or putting a strain on your relationship.
Sexual dysfunctions can be caused by physiological or psychological causes, or a combination of both. Certain health problems and medications can affect one’s sexual functioning and can require making changes in lovemaking to adapt and maintain sexual functioning and satisfaction. Meanwhile, emotions, beliefs, lifestyle and relationship issues are often behind sexual dysfunctions. In either case, sex therapy can help pinpoint specific causes to problems and restore sexual functioning and enjoyment.
Sexual dysfunctions can be divided in four categories:
Low sex drive
You’re rarely interested in having sex and this has been going on for a while. The situation is putting strain on your relationship with your partner. You’re never in the mood for sex or you are sometimes, but not with your partner.
You might also be struggling with getting back on track sexually following the birth of a child, the death of a loved one or a mental health issue.
Sexual aversions or phobias
You experience feelings of revulsion or panic towards sex, specific sexual behaviors or body parts like the genitals. These uncontrollable reactions can be triggered by be the sight of your partners genitals, their bodily secretions, smells, kissing, hugging, or intercourse itself. You may take pleasure in sensual touching and kissing but become very uncomfortable when genital contact begins.
In Men, Erectile Dysfunction
You’re experiencing difficulties getting or maintaining an erection. This situation is causing you or your partner distress. If your single, this problem may be causing you to avoid meeting potential partners.
In Women, Insufficient Arousal
You feel like having sex but are unable to become or maintain arousal during sex. This may make vaginal lubrication insufficient and genital stimulation or intercourse unpleasant for you.
Premature, Early or Rapid Ejaculation
You feel you ejaculate too quickly and this prevents you or your partner from enjoying sex. You’re unable to regulate your sexual arousal and control the timing of your ejaculations. You ejaculate before getting to intercourse or shortly afterwards.
Delayed or Inhibited Ejaculation
You’re unable to ejaculate despite getting adequate sexual stimulation. Or it takes so much time and effort to ejaculate that it ends up feeling like “work”.
You’ve experienced high levels of arousal but you’ve never had an orgasm, period. Or you can reach orgasm on your own by masturbating but not with a partner. Or maybe reaching orgasm takes so much time and effort that it feels like “work”.
Dyspareunia (in men and women)
You experience pain during genital stimulation or sexual intercourse and your doctor has found no medical causes. Assessment by a sex therapist is therefore required.
Vaginismus (in women)
You’re unable to relax your vaginal muscles which makes intercourse painful or impossible. You experience burning, irritating or cutting sensations when penetration is attempted. You may believe your partner’s penis is too large or your vagina too small and narrow for intercourse to occur. Sex has become stressful. If you want to conceive a child, this is adding additional pressure to you and your relationship.