sexual aversion

Romantic relationships are said to reach dizzying heights when fostered by sexual compatibility.

Gone are the days when sexual incompatibility could cause a typhoon in the sea of marital bliss.

Today, this can be said even of unmarried couples who are sexually active. Physical intimacy is the cornerstone of any romantic relationship. When a partner in a relationship experiences aversion to physical intimacy, it causes severe strain.

Aversion is basically an unconscious physiological association of a particular behaviour with a severe unpleasant emotional experience, and therefore, sexual aversion is the negative emotional reaction to sex.

Sexual aversion is defined as 'Persistent or recurring aversion to or avoidance of sexual activity.'

This is found to be more common among women than men.

"There are a number of reasons why people lose interest in sex.
It is normal to experience a loss of desire during
directly after the birth of a child;
before or during menstruation;
during recovery from an illness or surgery;
and during such major or stressful life changes as death of a loved one,
job loss, r
etirement or divorce.
These are considered normal causes for fluctuations in sexual desire and are generally temporary."These reasons should not be confused with sexual aversion.

"Sexual aversion is usually a conditioned behaviour, where if you have experienced something negative pertaining to sex, you might become so fearful that you will inadvertently associate those negative experiences with forthcoming similar encounters."

"Nobody is born sexually averse. Restricted, prudish ideas of sex and sexuality create tremendous anxiety and guilt. This is evident during puberty when parents shy away from talking about the healthy aspects of sex with their children."

Traumatic experiences like rape, incest, molestation or other forms of sexual abuse also cause sexual aversion disorder. Some people have no history of trauma but may have imbibed negative sexual attitudes. These fears may intrude and prevent them from enjoying a healthy sexual relationship.

Sometimes, pain during or after intercourse experienced by women, called dyspareunia, which can have physical and/or emotional causes, might be the reason for sexual aversion,

Inadequate knowledge of sexuality and human sexual anatomy, and dislike of one's partner might be other reasons for such aversions.

People suffering from sexual aversion have low self-esteem and are socially insecure. They have a tendency to feel anxious and depressed too. "They feel isolated and generally turn pessimistic in nature. They might also experience panic attacks with the mere thought of contact or when faced with a similar situation."

"Relationships are often fraught with sexual difficulties. Non-consummated relations, unfulfilled sexual desires, lack of ability to attain pleasure in contact and sometimes no sexual contact between partners for years are some difficulties that exist with people who suffer from sexual aversion,"

counselling can help resolve relationship difficulties and individual therapy like cognitive behaviour therapy can help couples work on personal issues. Therapy for sexual aversion disorder can be very successful if people are willing to attend regular counselling sessions.

Communication training helps couples learn how to talk to one another, show empathy, resolve differences sensibly, respect each other's feelings, learn how to express anger in a positive way, reserve time for activities together, and show affection, in order to encourage sexual desire.