Sex is still considered a taboo topic to be discussed openly in our society. People feel uncomfortable in asking, sharing or even seeking professional help about matters related to sexual health. It is ironical that Kamasutra, the standard work on human sexual behaviour, was written in India around the 2nd century AD. It is even more fascinating that despite such widespread stigma and taboo, we have a population of 1.2 billion! 

Since it is such a relevant topic which requires correct and authentic information, we will discuss this topic in the next 2 posts. This post will focus on some of the common sexual disorders. Subsequently, we will take the causes and treatments for such problems. 

Although everyone is expected to have some sexual difficulties from time to time, when these persist or are reasonably high in intensity, it may be due to a sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction is a disorder which prevents the individual from either wanting or enjoying the sexual activity as desired. It is generally classified into four categories:-

  1. Desire disorders – lack of sexual desire or interest in sex. The person may still enjoy sexual activities and experience satisfaction but doesn’t desire sex as much. This makes the initiation of sexual activity less likely. In a sexual aversion, sexual activity is completely avoided as it is anxiety provoking and associated with strong negative feelings.
  2. Arousal disorders – inability to become physically aroused or excited during sexual activity even though the person may be emotionally ready for sex. In men, this may be manifested as failure to achieve an erection suitable for satisfactory intercourse. In women, the principal problem is vaginal dryness or lack of lubrication which makes intercourse difficult or impossible. 
  3. Orgasm disorders – delay or absence of orgasm (climax).The person may not be able to experience orgasm at all or it may be delayed. It includes a condition known as premature ejaculation, in which the male partner is unable to control ejaculation sufficiently for both partners to enjoy sexual interaction.
  4. Pain disorders – pain during intercourse. In this condition, the person experiences genital pain during sexual intercourse making intercourse impossible or painful. 

Sexual dysfunction can affect any age, although it is more common in those over 40 years because it is often related to a decline in health associated with ageing. While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is fairly common (43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report some degree of difficulty), it is a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss. Because treatment options are available, it is important to share your concerns with your partner and healthcare provider. In our next post, we will discuss the causes and psychological treatment for sexual disorders.

‘Sex is between the ears as well as between the legs’ - H.L. Newbold