Not Interested in
More & more people are presenting for
sex therapy with a
lack of desire for sex. For
a couple, this can often cause a lack of understanding, blame,
shame and judgement. For the single person, a
lack of interest in sex can
mean confusion and avoidance of relationships and intimacy.
That’s not to say that these issues affect all people. Many
individuals have no interest in sexual intimacy and are
perfectly happy and fulfilled in their lives. However for those
who do feel distressed by a
disinterest in sexual activity, you are not alone and
there is help out there. The key is to determine if the issue
is: acquired (has occurred at some point in the individual’s
lifeline or is lifelong (has always been present); generalised
(occurs over all situations) or situational (only happens in
certain circumstances). The answers to these questions usually
give an indication of possible driving forces causing and
maintaining the problem. In addition, further questions that
need assessment include:
How much distress
wanting sex causing me or my partner?
Am I really not interesting in sex
or are other factors simply taking over my life?
What is the state of my health in general, both physical and
It is an educational issue?
Try and work through the issue as deeply as
possible and try to establish all the facts surrounding the
lack of interest in sex. Once
these have been established some possible causes and solutions
should be around the corner.
Difficulty Reaching Orgasm
Why can some
women achieve orgasm and others find it difficult or even
impossible to reach? There are many reasons for this variance.
Stress and anxiety, some medications, societal impacts and
emotional and psychological factors can all play a part. The
other complexity is that there appears to be a substantial
variation in the interpretation of what an organism actually is:
The clitoral versus G-spot orgasm argument. Some
women who are able to reach one but not the other, may
record a lack of orgasm believing that they should be
experiencing the other or both types of orgasm.
Many women record different physical experiences
of orgasm and those women lacking information, may feel they are
not orgasmic when in fact they are.
The difference in orgasm between men and women may
provide confusion for some individuals over what an orgasm is
supposed to look like.
Education can often overcome confusion
association with exactly what an orgasm should look like.
Sex in the
50’s, 60’s, 70’s plus
A common misconception is that
sexual intimacy should
decline as we get older. However does
sexual desire reduce in our 50’s,
60’s & 70’s? Fact or myth? It is true, that for some
individuals, the desire to have sex
reduces with age but for many it does not. Many couples
find that the absence of children that are now grown, more
financial stability and available time, all contribute to an
active and satisfying sex life. Some of the issues plaguing
individuals, who do experience a
reduction in sexual activity, may include: health issues,
some medications, relationship problems, injuries / operations,
and emotional or psychological lack of wellbeing.
Sex therapy can provide a
non-judgemental, supportive and educational environment to work
through these issues with the goal of rediscovering previously
satisfying sexual experiences.
Sex is Painful
The first step is to assess whether the
pain exists only during sexual activity or exists at other times
as well as during sexual activity. For example: is the pain
present during walking, sitting, bending over, legs up or down?
It is recommended that a physical, particularly pelvic floor
examination be completed by your GP to establish any biological
cause, such as vascular or pelvic damage or injury. Once it has
been established that the problem is not biological other
factors can be considered. Make note of when the
pain during sex first
occurred. Did it occur gradually or suddenly? Was there any
significant event that occurred at the same time as the start of
Pain during sex is a serious health
concern. Don’t delay in seeking medical advice. Then, endevour
to work through the questions above, looking for a common
denominator that could point to the cause of the issue. If
nothing comes to light seek the services of a professional sex
One of the most common problems presenting
in sex therapy is the
complaint that one party in the relationship,
initiates sex more than the
other. For the one initiating the
intimacy, this can often cause confusion, fear of
rejection and dissatisfaction, however for the other the
by-product can be just as problematic, causing the person to
feel pressured, resentful and avoidant.
Usually the more one
person pressures, the more the other avoids. The most important
step is for the couple to acknowledge that pressure and blame
are neither fair nor helpful. After all, who is the one that
should determine how often sex
should take place? Should it be the one who
initiates sex and wants it
more, or the one who doesn’t initiate and wants it less?
thing is certain and that is, that no one person should
determine for the couple the frequency of sex – sorry to all the
initiators out there. However, help can be at hand. It’s about
establishing what is reasonable and ‘do-able’ for each
individual as well as the ‘meaning’ that each person in the
relationship has attached to sexual
frequency. It’s not easy to work through some of these
issues, particularly as people by our very nature, work from our
own position of ‘right’ and sense of entitlement.
If all else
fails - sex therapy may be
helpful in establishing a middle yet satisfying ground, and one
that both individuals are happy with.
Sex therapy also works
towards implementing strategies to broaden and
enhance sexuality with the
goal of increasing the desire for sexual intimacy.
I Want Sex More
Than My Partner
Mismatched libidos can be a significant
problem for some couples. The problem may have existed for the
entire length of the relationship or may have arisen at some
point in the relationship timeline.
The driving factors for men
and women are quite different. There is evidence to support that
one of the most prominent issues contributing to low or no
sexual desire for women in Western countries are the multiple
roles women play within the family and society. Many women today
still carry the burden of the ‘double shift’ by undertaking
three quarters of the household work in addition to being in the
outside paid workforce. On top of this, women with children are
often carrying the additional load of primary child care-giver.
It is conceivable that managing these multiple roles leaves
little time for the individual and especially little time and
energy for developing sexual desire.
A starting point is to ensure that
workloads and family responsibilities are evenly distributed.
Ensure that each person has time for themselves and additional
time for intimacy. Remember that pressure is never helpful and
only builds mistrust, resentment and avoidance. If you
want sex more than your partner try
communicating quietly and honestly with a view of arriving at a
solution that works for both, not just concentrating on our own
Those who have experienced erectile
dysfunction cheered the development of PDE5 inhibitors (sildenafil
(Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra). These
drugs offered men, who have trouble gaining or maintaining an
erection, new hope for their own sexual satisfaction as well as
that of their partner’s.
The secondary benefit of the
development of these drugs was an increase in the acceptance of
talking about male erectile dysfunction and a greater acceptance
of the view that more men, than would have been suspected,
experience erectile problems.
Research suggests that just as many women
as men experience sexual difficulty, of one genre or another,
but women can often hide their dysfunction, whereas, for men it
is obvious when dysfunction is present. PDE5’s therefore, gained
popularity quite quickly but are the results really what we
thought they would be?
Widespread clinical trials suggest that
30-35% of patients taking the prescription fail to respond to
the treatment and at the 6–12 month follow up, only 30% were
still taking the treatment. These figures suggest a drop-out
rate not to be overlooked. Although currently, society desires a
‘quick fix’ for our problems, and drugs often offer this
pathway, other options should usually be considered.