It is normal to feel a little anxious about sex or sexual contact for the first few times. However, it is not common to feel terrified when it comes to sexual activity or any sexual touch. If a person avoids sexual intercourse due to uncomfortable feelings, it may be caused by a sexual dysfunction called Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD). This condition may occur due to certain past traumatic experiences. This document will discuss this condition, including symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Sexual Aversion Disorder
The definition of SAD is aversion or extreme avoidance of any sexual contact with a partner, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This condition may occur in both men and women. A study showed that SAD is more common in females than males. There are two types of SAD such as Lifelong SAD and Acquired SAD.
- Lifelong SAD – It is when a person avoids sexual contact since the first sexual interaction.
- Acquired SAD – In this case, an individual avoids sexual intercourse caused by recent sexual trauma or incident.
In addition, aversion is a feeling of avoidance, repulsion, or dislike of someone or something. Therefore, a person has a strong adverse reaction or distaste for a situation, object, or person.
Symptoms of SAD
There are many symptoms that may indicate this condition. In any case, these symptoms fluctuate among people but, the prominent symptom of Sexual Aversion Disorder is avoiding sexual activity.
Check below some symptoms of SAD:
- Decreased sexual desire
- Afraid to perform in sexual activity
- Suppressed sexual arousal
- Trembling during sexual activity, dizziness, nausea, rapid heart rate, and others.
In case, you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it is advised to see a doctor immediately.
Additionally, some symptoms of SAD are similar to low libido symptoms. However, they are different conditions because a person experiences low sex drive due to certain conditions such as depression or hypertension. In any case, a person who experiences SAD avoids sexual intercourse due to fear.
Causes of SAD
For effective treatment, it is important to diagnose the cause of a disease. Thereby, physicians prescribe the treatment suitable for you, which can treat the condition quickly and safely.
The common causes of SAD in women are sexual trauma from molestation, incest, rape, or other sexual abuse. However, in males, SAD may be provoked due to sexual trauma, poor mental health, and a relationship with their partner.
In addition, when a woman experiences a decrease in hormones (such as Adrenal Androgens and Estrogen) or a condition (such as cancer), it may result in a Sexual Aversion Disorder. Furthermore, it is very important to diagnose the causes of SAD. Otherwise, it may lead to panic attacks, relationship problems, anxiety, and others.
Treatment of SAD
Several methods are available to treat SAD. This condition is very similar to Anxiety Disorder, according to the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Texas. Therefore, treating Anxiety Disorder can help against Sexual Aversion Disorder. For example:
- Integrative treatment – In this treatment option a person gets treatment from several physicians such as doctors, psychologists, sex therapists, and a physical therapist.
- Medical treatment – In this option, healthcare professionals prescribe drugs that aid in the treatment of SAD.
- Psychological treatment – This treatment may include sex therapy, counseling, and others.