Disorders that affect:
♥ Interest ♥ Desire ♥ Arousal ♥
♥ What is Sexual Dysfunction Exactly?
Have you been having trouble in your sexual relationships or with intimacy? There is a name for what you are experiencing and that is sexual dysfunction and it could be a very real condition or disorder! According to Nolen-Hoeksema (2014) it explains "Sexual dysfunction: is a set of disorders in which people have difficulty responding sexually or experiencing sexual pleasures", some examples of sexual disorders include:
Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder
Male Hypoactive Desire Disorder
Female Orgasmic Disorder (pp. 366-367)
Sexual disorders affect many people and are not limited to just men, they also
affect women and can happen at any time or age within a person's sexual life and relationships. It is important to know that just because you may suffer from a sexual disorder that you are not alone, that your intimate relationships matter, and that it is not just you, that there are actual causes for the sexual disorders that people have!
♥ Causes of Sexual Disorders:
There are all kinds of things that can affect sexual desires, interests and arousal on a daily basis. Some of the known causes can include stress, worry, having a busy life or schedule, and even addictions. Additional causes of sexual disorders include medications, medical conditions, and narcotics or alcohol and are all causes from a “biological” perspective (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014, pp. 370-371). Another example of a cause includes how “the menopausal transition is associated with decreasing sexual desire and the increasing likelihood of pain during intercourse” (Katz-Bearnot, 2010, p. 101). “Psychological causes” for sexual disorders can occur as well according to Nolen-Hoeksema (2014) which include “mental disorders, how people perceive, have been taught or how they think about sex, and trauma” (pp. 371-373), all of these things can lead to a decrease in sexual desire, interest, and arousal. For example, if a person has some type of major event happen in their life it can lead to them not having an interest in sexual intimacy and when the time continues to pass that they are uninterested in sex it can then turn into an actual sexual dysfunction/disorder.
♥ Treatment for Sexual Disorders:
Current medication adjustments to reduce the side effects that contribute to
Treating a medical condition that lead to the cause.
Medications that will help with the overall disorder.
Different forms of therapy, like individual, couples or sex therapies.
Varying techniques to treat specific areas/causes of the disorder, like techniques referred to as the start-stop and squeeze techniques. (pp. 377-379)
So if you suffer from a sexual disorder, you can rest easy knowing that there are many different ways in which you can receive treatment depending on your specific disorder and preferences.
♥ Myths Associated With Sexual Disorders:
There are a lot of myths (assumptions of what people perceive to be true but are in fact not true) that are associated with sexual disorders that people quite seriously believe. We are sure that everyone has heard various myths about sexual disorders and here we will broach some of those myths and give factual information regarding them. One example in particular according to Dune and Shuttleworth (2009) is the “myth of sexual spontaneity: sexual behavior follows desire and arousal without a conscious awareness of the process” (p. 97), this myth can especially be harmful in a person that is already suffering from the sexual disorders discussed here because it can more or less put them on the spot and create even more problems. The author explains that “studies have shown that a high level of communication between intimate partners positively influences the outcome of sexual experiences” (p. 106) and is specifically true when you are already confronted with a sexual disorder because communication aids in the relaxation process making sexual intimacy more enjoyable in comparison to being more stressful for you.
Additional myths include that “a man always wants and is ready for sex, a real man is sexually functional, something is wrong with a woman if she can’t achieve orgasm, and female sexual life ends with menopause” (Nobre, & Pinto-Gouveia, 2006, p. 68). These are all myths and not facts, the fact is the author notes “this set of erroneous beliefs about sexuality is more susceptible to developing catastrophic ideas about potential consequences of an eventual sexual failure” (p. 68). When it comes to sexual desire, interest, and arousal… Do NOT just take what you read, see or hear to be true! If you are ever in doubt then do research on your questions, better yet discuss it with someone that truly knows the facts about it like a therapist or a doctor. Never take something such as these assumed facts (myths) at face value; ask questions and get answers!
♥ How To Find Help For Sexual Disorders:
Have you been having trouble with intimacy, do you lack the desire and interest in having sexual relations or do you have concerns about being able to achieve arousal? Has your concerns been happening for an extended period of time? Do you think you may suffer from a sexual disorder? If so there are places that can help… So where exactly can you go to get help for your sexual concerns? Talking to your doctor is a great first step in finding out if you do have some form of a sexual disorder. Additionally, you can also visit online support groups where your concerns can be discussed between other people that might be suffering the same things as you are and it can be done from the privacy of your own home too! Below are two links for support groups that you might find beneficial or if you like do a search for other groups depending on your need or concern. Above all, do NOT just continue living with the concerns you have regarding your sexual interest, desire, and arousal... Please seek out help so that you can once again regain you sexual happiness and health that you so richly desire and deserve!
Abstract Word Cloud for Sexual Dysfunction, [Online image], (n.d.). 123RF: Radiantskies. Retrieved from http://www.123rf.com/photo_15998493_abstract-word-cloud-for-sexual-dysfunction-with-related-tags-and-terms.html
Dune, T. M., & Shuttleworth, R. P. (2009). "It's Just Supposed to Happen": The Myth of Sexual Spontaneity and the Sexually Marginalized. Sexuality and Disability, 27(2), 97-108. Retrieved from ProQuest Psychology Journals.
Katz-Bearnot, S. (2010). Menopause, Depression, and Loss of Sexual Desire: A Psychodynamic Contribution. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 38(1), 99-116. Retrieved from ProQuest Psychology Journals.
Nobre, P. J., & Pinto-Gouveia, J. (2006). Dysfunctional Sexual Beliefs as Vulnerability Factors for Sexual Dysfunction. The Journal of Sex Research, 43(1), 68-75. Retrieved from ProQuest Psychology Journals.
Sexual Dysfunction Treatment Message Board. (2016). HealthBoards.com. Retrieved from http://www.healthboards.com/boards/sexual-dysfunction-treatment/
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). New York, NY. McGraw Hill Education.
Dawn M. Wallis
March 28, 2016