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The Fear of Sexual Intercourse
14 Nov. 2015

Sexual aversion disorderSexual aversion disorder (SAD) is a phobic avoidance of sexual contact with a partner and lack of sexual enjoyment, which causes personal distress. It is the most recent form of sexual disorders, first appearing in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1987.

SAD is the most severe form of sexual desire disorder, which involves a morbid fear of sexual relations and intense desire to completely avoid intimate situations. Sexual aversion can also encompass revulsion, shortness of breath and nausea. It is often related to an aversion to the opposite sex’s genitals or repulsion to their outward looks or smell. A person’s response to his partner’s body and sexuality can have a great impact on the quality of the relationship.

SAD is often a misunderstood diagnosis in the spectrum of sexual disorders. Low sex drive alone is not a sign of SAD as it can be accounted for both hypoactive sexual desire disorder and panic disorder, as well as by any other mental disorder or a general medical condition. Therefore, it’s hard to tell what exactly causes SAD.

The disorder can be general and lifelong (a person has lack of sexual desire or never had), situational and acquired (a person previously had and still has desire, but has low if any sexual interest in the current partner) and acquired and generalized (a person had sexual interest previously, but doesn’t want sexual activity anymore).

The etiology of each type is different and sometimes unknown. SAD may be caused by various health issues, psychiatric problems, and hormonal imbalance, such as low testosterone or high prolactin levels. As often as not the following factors contribute to SAD:
treatment for sexual aversion disorder

• Rape
• Sexual abuse
• Parental sexual attitudes
• Incest
• Unresolved gender identity issues
• Anxiety about sexual performance
• Relationship problems
• Fear of transmission of STDs
• Obsessive fear of blood on the penis after penetration
• Fear of pregnancy

In order to treat SAD counseling or sex therapy is recommended. As well as any other sexual dysfunction, SAD should be treated in the context of a relationship. The consulting physician first of all will identify the psychological or biological cause of the disorder and then will try to deal with it. If the cause is rooted in some biological reason, therapy will be aimed at that. If it is rooted in psychological problem, therapy for that will be recommended. Otherwise treatment mainly focuses more on relation issues and improved communication between partners.

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