Anorgasmia or Low Arousal:
On average, about 15% of women struggle with the inability to become sexually aroused. Sometimes, this is related to a lack of desire. In other cases, the woman feels sexual desire but just cannot become aroused. Complicating matters may be the fact that the woman struggles with reaching orgasm or it may not even occur at all (anorgasmia). This can be very distressing for a woman who feels desire and becomes aroused. It can create a vicious cycle in which the woman loses interest in sex because she does not have an orgasm. Treatment begins with a visit to the gynecologist where medical issues are ruled out. If there are no medical issues, sex therapy can help the woman by first assisting her in becoming comfortable with her body. Following that, she brings her new found understanding to her partner where together they explore their sexuality. In these cases, it is often helpful to have the partner attend a few sessions to work on communicating about their sex
When women report feeling low desire, I often tell them that it is a very complex issue. Research has shown that it can be related to hormones, a side effect of birth control pills, a lack of connection with ones partner or anxiety related to performance or a history of abuse. Women seeking treatment for low desire are advised to first seek a complete medical examination to rule out any complications due to medical factors. Once the medical issues are ruled out or treated, sex therapy or couples therapy would be helpful to discuss any emotional or psychological concerns and to re-establish a healthy sexual relationship.
As with any physical issue that is producing pain, the first thing that needs to be done is for the women to obtain a thorough examination from their gynecologist. If there are no medical issues causing the pain, e.g. vulvodynia, it is likely that the women is dealing with vaginismus. Vaginismus is an involuntary muscle spasm of the muscles surrounding the vagina. The spasms close the vagina. This makes vaginal penetration during sex difficult or impossible. Women often also report pain when attempts are made to have intercourse or sometimes any form of penetration of the vagina. Treatment is available and typically involves self exploration, the use of dilators and in some cases a referral to a physical therapist who specializes in working with a woman's pelvic floor muscles.
Addictive behaviors are not just effecting men. Some studies suggest that as much as 17% of women report that their porn usage is troublesome to them. Studies on these women who are regular users of porn report feeling depressed and/or experiencing bouts of low self-esteem. These feelings are reportedly connected to their inability to reconcile their enjoyment of porn with their intellectual dislike of seeing women used as sex objects. Sexual Health Matters Clinicians will work with you on this issue without judgement. Exploring your usage, how it impacts your life and how you feel out of control with your usage is discussed first. Then, a treatment plan is created that will focus on empowering you. The ultimate goal is for you to be able to fully appreciate your sexual self in ways that feel comfortable and are no longer in conflict with your own sense of self.