Sexual anorexia: characteristics, causes and treatment

Sexual anorexia: characteristics, causes and treatment

Sexual anorexia is also known as anaphrodisia or inhibited sexual desire. When we talk about sexual anorexia, we refer to a disorder related to low interest in sex, a low sexual appetite. People who suffer from it have little desire to share sex.

This lack of sexual desire can be experienced by men as well as women. In the majority of cases, the cause is related to the occurrence of psychological or physical trauma or low self-esteem.

Characteristics of sexual anorexia

Sexual anorexia is characterized by the absence or significant reduction of sexual interest or arousal. It manifests itself in at least one of these diagnostic criteria:

  • Absent interest or reduced for sexual activity.
  • Fantasies and sexual or erotic thoughts absent or reduced.
  • Reduced or no start of sexual activity and habitual non-receipt of attempts by the partner attempting to provoke it.
  • Excitement or sexual pleasure absent or reduced during the sexual activity of the couple almost on all occasions (about 75-100%).
  • Excitement or sexual pleasure absent or reduced in response to a sexual or erotic invitation of any type (eg written, verbal or visual), internal or external.
  • Genital or non-genital sensations absent or reduced during sexual activity couple on almost all occasions (about 75-100%).

These symptoms must have lasted at least 6 months. In addition, they must cause a clinically significant malaise in the person who is suffering. Also, sexual dysfunction should not be better explained by a non-sexual mental disorder or by the consequence of a serious alteration of the relationship or the effects of a medical substance or prescription.

Causes of sexual anorexia

Some authors point out that the most common risk factor for experiencing sexual anorexia is experiencing physical or psychological abuse in the past. Nevertheless, this cause is not unique. The lack of sexual desire can be determined by other factors.

Stress, a monotonous couple life, discussions about problems of cohabitation within the couple, etc., are other factors that can trigger the development of sexual anorexia. Also, erectile dysfunction, impotence and anorgasmia can cause this suffering.

Sexual anorexia can find its origin in certain religious, political and cultural domains. These "social scenarios" can directly attack free sexual expression to the point of repressing it. Also, low sex education during childhood or adolescence can cause sexual anorexia in the future.

We can find other causes in the means of communication. Some of them bombard us every day with explicit images, messages and stimulations that sexualize every aspect of our lives. This can provide us with inadequate sex education and mistaken beliefs about sex life.

When lack of sexual desire turns into a problem

Lack of sexual desire is frequently associated with difficulty reaching orgasm and constant pain during the sexual act. This causes a non-frequent sexual activity and the appearance of divergences of desire within the couple.

Difficulties in relationship and moral disorders are also features that are frequently associated with sexual anorexia. Expectations and unrealistic standards at the "appropriate" level of interest or sexual arousal may be obvious to those affected by this problem.

of the weak sexual techniques and a lack of information about sexuality can also influence this problem. These factors associated with the usual beliefs about gender roles, are important circumstances that need to be kept in mind.

Factors that may be important in the treatment of sexual anorexia

5 factors exist, do not put them aside. These factors are important for the etiology and treatment of low desire. These are the following:

  • 1) Couple factors (for example: sexual problems of a couple, state of health of the partner).
  • 2) Factors of the relationship (eg, poor communication, divergence in the desire to maintain sexual activity).
  • 3) Individual vulnerability factors (eg, poor body image, history of sexual or emotional abuse, depression, anxiety, stress, job loss, pain).
  • 4) Cultural and religious factors (For example: inhibition of relationships and prohibition of sexual activity or sexual attitudes).
  • 5) Medical factors important for prognosis or treatment.

Treatment of sexual anorexia

The first thing an affected person has to do is become aware of the disorder she is suffering. Secondly, she will have to change the usual activities she experiences daily with her partner.

The key lies in reviving sexual desire. For this, it is necessary that the couple creates a relaxing and intimate environment, free of judgments and pressures. An important aspect to bear in mind is that sex does not necessarily imply the existence of penetration. There are many ways to enjoy sex.

In any case, it is ideal to consult a specialized psychologist. He can help you find the most appropriate treatment for your situation.

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