What are sexual
are disorders related to a particular phase of the sexual response
cycle. For example, sexual dysfunctions include sexual desire
disorders, sexual arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, and sexual
pain disorders. If a person has difficulty with some phase of the
sexual response cycle or a person experiences pain with sexual
intercourse, he/she may have a sexual dysfunction.
Examples of sexual dysfunctions include:
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. This
disorder may be present when a person has decreased sexual
fantasies and a decreased or absent desire for sexual
activity. In order to be considered a sexual disorder the
decreased desire must cause a problem for the individual. In
this situation the person usually does not initiate sexual
activity and may be slow to respond to his/her partner's
sexual advances. This disorder can be present in adolescents
and can persist throughout a person's life. Many times,
however, the lowered sexual desire occurs during adulthood,
often times following a period of stress.
Sexual Aversion Disorder. A person who
actively avoids and has a persistent or recurrent extreme
aversion to genital sexual contact with a sexual partner may
have sexual aversion disorder. In order to be considered a
disorder, the aversion to sex must be a cause of difficulty in
the person's sexual relationship. The individual with sexual
aversion disorder usually reports anxiety, fear, or disgust
when given the opportunity to be involved sexually. Touching
and kissing may even be avoided. Extreme anxiety such as panic
attacks may actually occur. It is not unusual for a person to
feel nauseated, dizzy, or faint.
Female Sexual Arousal Disorder. Female
sexual arousal disorder is described as the inability of a
woman to complete sexual activity with adequate lubrication.
Swelling of the external genitalia and vaginal lubrication are
generally absent. These symptoms must cause problems in the
interpersonal relationship to be considered a disorder. It is
not unusual for the woman with female sexual arousal disorder
to have almost no sense of sexual arousal. Often, these women
experience pain with intercourse and avoid sexual contact with
Male Erectile Disorder. If a male is
unable to maintain an erection throughout sexual activity, he
may have male erectile disorder. This problem must be either
persistent or recurrent in nature. Also, the erectile
disturbance must cause difficulty in the relationship with the
sexual partner to be defined as a disorder. Some males will be
unable to obtain any erection. Others will have an adequate
erection, but lose the erection during sexual activity.
Erectile disorders may accompany a fear of failure. Sometimes
this disorder is present throughout life. In many cases the
erectile failure is intermittent and sometimes dependent upon
the type of partner or the quality of the relationship.
Female Orgasmic Disorder. Female
orgasmic disorder occurs when there is a significant delay or
total absence of orgasm associated with the sexual activity.
This condition must cause a problem in the relationship with
the sexual partner in order to be defined as a disorder.
Male Orgasmic Disorder. When a male
experiences significant delay or total absence of orgasm
following sexual activity, he may have male orgasmic disorder.
In order to be qualified as a disorder, the symptoms must
present a significant problem for the individual.
Premature Ejaculation. When minimal
sexual stimulation causes orgasm and ejaculation on a
persistent basis for the male, he is said to have premature
ejaculation. The timing of the ejaculation must cause a
problem for the person or the relationship in order to be
qualified as a disorder. Premature ejaculation is sometimes
seen in young men who have experienced premature ejaculation
since their first attempt at intercourse.
Dyspareunia. Dyspareunia is a sexual
pain disorder. Dyspareunia is genital pain that accompanies
sexual intercourse. Both males and females can experience this
disorder, but the disorder is more common in women.
Dyspareunia tends to be chronic in nature.
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