Sex is a complicated thing for as simple an action as it is. At times it can be smooth and enjoyable, especially once a relationship has formed and two partners understand each other’s wants and needs. After some time in a relationship, however, sexual dysfunction can show its head.
Even for people not in relationships, problems relating to sex can exist without the addition of a romantic partnership. These problems, no matter the situation, can be psychological, rising from previous trauma or experience. They can also be naturally occurring, such as physical abnormalities in genitals or the pelvic reason.
There are certainly sexual dysfunctions that are solved with a doctor’s examination or a pill. Other dysfunctions are a little harder to handle because of the need for a sexual therapist. The following problems are common in relationships and can be signs that a sex therapist appointment is a good idea for the future.
Sexual Problems are Causing Relationship Turmoil
Regardless of the problem, cast a wide net and say that a sexual dysfunction exists between two people. This can be something experienced by one partner, the other, or even both. Regardless of the specific issue, sexual dysfunctions can cause stress in relationships, especially in partnerships that consider sex to be a large part of what makes the relationship work.
No matter what the issue, a sex therapist can see couples who are having trouble in the bedroom to help alleviate the relationship issues that are a symptom of the bigger problem. Without these issues being treated, the relationship turmoil can only become worse and worse. Some sexual issues can be talked out, but due to the psychological nature of others, sometimes therapy is the only answer. When a sexual problem persists even after a discussion between two partners, seeing a sex therapist is the next logical step.
Inability or Having a Hard Time Maintaining Arousal
There are physical reasons why a person might be incapable of maintaining arousal with a range of diagnosis. This is true for both women and men; no gender is free from the possibility of arousal dysfunction. Sometimes the remedies are simple, like popping a pill or simply applying some cream or lubricant. Others are more invasive, such as implanting devices or correcting a physical abnormality.
Other reasons for a lack of arousal can be more psychological. A person who is habitually stressed can experience an inability or difficult time becoming aroused. These problems can also come from other negative emotions, like trauma, guilt, or even sadness.
A sex therapist can help to find the root of these problems and give a person or a couple a blueprint for what they believe the issue to be. It’s often that problems are simple to fix with some sex therapy sessions; others require more specific psychological help.
Sex Comes with Pain or Discomfort
This is an issue that is largely physical in nature but can also be psychological in some circumstances. There is a litany of reasons someone might experience sexual discomfort, including a lack of preparation before sex, a lack of proper arousal, age related complications like menopause (in women), or menstruation related pain (also in women).
Pain can also be psychosomatic, especially for victims of sexual trauma and abuse. Sexual therapists can help parse out potential reasons for sexual pain, usually prescribing a doctor’s visit to rule out physical issues as a process of elimination. For issues truly related to psychology, a sex therapist in combination with a more general psychologist can help to fix the problem.
Sex Comes with Shame or Guilt
This sign of sexual dysfunction is largely psychological and one of the most common reasons sex therapists are consulted. Sex is still considered a taboo topic by many people, especially women. In typical situations, the shyness and hesitance exhibited in those who are sexually inexperienced fades with age. For others, however, persistent feelings of shame and guilt occur often when they are having intercourse.
The causes of these emotions can be varied. This is another example of a sexual trauma symptom reoccurring throughout a person’s life. Another reason might be body image issues or other self-confidence issues. Whatever the cause, sex therapists can help individuals or couples work through these issues to make their sex lives healthier. Sometimes these issues may also need to be examined by another psychiatrist to explore the bigger, non-sexual issues.
There’s a General Lack of Interest
A less critical and daunting reason for sexual dysfunction is a lack of interest in sex, whether in general or in regards to a partner. Sex drives differ from person to person, which is generally not a problem for those not in relationships: they can gauge their sex drive based on the number of partners they wish to have.
In a relationship, however, a lack of interest in sex can be a major problem. Sometimes one partner has a higher sex drive than another. Other times it might relate to how attractive or desirable on partner views another. A sexual therapist can easily mediate these issues and figure out ways to meet in the middle or create a more balanced sexual environment in a relationship.