Sexual Aversion

What is sexual aversion?

Sexual aversion is a condition where people try to avoid sexual activity. This is typically due to psychological factors, and can involve the person in question resorting to aggressive behaviours in order to avoid sex. Sexual aversion can occur suddenly, for example after pregnancy, or may have been affecting someone their entire life. There are instances in which sexual aversion has been misdiagnosed. This is due to overlaps with other sexual problems, such as stress, tiredness and symptoms associated with loss of desire.

What is sexual aversion caused by?

Sexual aversion is a problem of psychological origin, often being caused by prior negative sexual experiences or any off-putting thoughts you may associate with sex. Causes include:

  • No interest in sex - There are some people who have no interest in sexual activity. For others, an aversion to sex can be a demoralising and upsetting problem.

  • Dislike of sexual organs - Sexual aversion may be due to a dislike of sexual organs. This can be an aversion to the vagina, penis or sperm. This can have a negative affect on a relationship and cause both partners feelings of inadequacy.

  • Negative stories - At a young age we often hear negative stories about sexual intercourse. Females, in particular, are made to believe that sexual intercourse will be painful the first time. This can turn sex into a scary proposition and result in an aversion to sexual acts.

  • Experienced sexual violence - If you have experienced sexual violence then this can cause an aversion to sexual activity. This can cause feelings of fear, which can become associated with the act of sex. If you begin to relate violence or pain with sex then this can cause an aversion to sex.

  • Misdiagnosed cases - This can be a difficult condition to diagnose due to many of the symptoms overlapping with other sexual problems. Examining the symptoms of other common sexual problems on this site can help you to determine whether you actually do have an aversion to sex.

What are the symptoms of sexual aversion?

Sexual aversion can be difficult to identify, but there are certain symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Dislike kissing and touching - There are instances when people do not want to be close to their partner, but if this is a repetitive sentiment then this can be a symptom.

  • Dislike sexual organs - A disdain for a partner’s sexual organ may be a symptom. There are also cases in which people dislike the look of their own sexual organs, resulting in an aversion to sex.

  • Rushing sex - Rushing to the end of sex can be an indication. For some people the very thought of sex can be a turn off.

  • Being aggressive - Many people who suffer from sexual aversion will resort to aggressive or violent behaviours in order to avoid sex. This is done as a way of creating a safety barrier.

Can sexual aversion be treated?

Sexual aversion can be a difficult condition to overcome. It causes feelings of fear and disgust, from which it can seem there is no coming back. Only through determination and the help of your partner can you learn to want, and enjoy sex. Therapy is often the best way to overcome this problem.

A therapist will be able to help you identify the causes of your aversion and to resolve any underlying issues. The type of therapy will depend on the cause of the problem, whether it is due to relationship issues, prior negative experiences or sexual abuse. Gradually, you will be exposed to your fears until you are finally able to overcome them. Self-help techniques that may help include:

  • Relax - If you are not relaxed then sexual arousal can be difficult. You need to be comfortable in your surroundings and with your partner to enjoy sexual intercourse.

  • Fantasy - Your sexual problems may not be due to an aversion but down to the fact you are bored with sex. Dressing up or role-playing can spice up your sex life.

  • Environment - If your bedroom has clothes scattered on the floor then sexual arousal can be difficult.

  • Communication - If you do not communicate your troubles and desires with your partner then there is no way they can help you. Building up trust will help you to be more comfortable in your partner’s presence.

  • Don’t rush into sex - If you are rushing into sex then you may find it difficult to become aroused. Try kissing, touching and oral to get things started.

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