Sexual Health Issues

  • shutterstock_7077685low or high levels of desire
  • desire discrepancies among partners
  • menopause and aging
  • painful sex
  • issues with body image
  • difficulty with orgasm
  • erectile dysfunction
  • rapid or delayed ejaculation
  • struggles around orientation or gender
  • performance anxiety and maintaining erotic focus
  • sex and infertility
  • intimacy after illness or disability
  • intimacy after infidelity or abuse
  • out of control sexual behaviors
  • negotiating kink within a relationship and managing a fetish that produces distress

Don’t think of these as dead-end issues with no resolution.  Many times, one issue from the list above comes up, and a few attempts are made to solve the problem.  For example, the man first goes to the internet, then possibly goes to the doctor for a medicine for Erectile Dysfunction, or the woman finds sex painful after menopause and tries to tells herself to relax or to tune out so that she can think intercourse isn’t that painful.    After a few attempts to solve the issues, or years of therapy with a therapist with no certification in sexual health, the person decides there is no solution.  Because we tend to not talk about sex, it can easily start to drive a wedge within our relationships.   The issue is often dropped and people begin to lose not only the sexual connection, but also communication and intimacy within the relationship. Resentments and feelings of anger and sadness grow over time.  Being non-sexual becomes a secret between the couple.  People often go years living in shame because they don’t feel comfortable taking the risk to talk about the issue, because this issue is sexual in nature and creates vulnerability and shame.  In fact, 33% of couples have sex not at all, or less than one time a month.  The partners are left to cope alone with isolation.

While we can’t wave a magic wand or turn back the hands of time, there is research in the field of Sexual Health guiding both the biomedical and psychological treatments for the issues mentioned above.  Have courage to be open to the possibility of vulnerability to get help, as it is often what leads us to emotional growth and sex that is more satisfying.   A commitment to make things different and the willingness to do face what has caused us shame is what often brings us the physical and erotic satisfaction we desire.  Some spend a lifetime avoiding situations that cause them to feel vulnerable but if you do the work, and proceed with accurate sexual health information, you end up emotionally stronger than you ever could have imagined.