As surprising as it may sound, this disorder is rather common than a rare phenomenon. A lot of men bring their wives/partners to the sexologist, claiming their partners”have no interest in sex”.
The patient gets evaluated with lots of tests and some times are given Injections of testosterone by some dubious practitioners. The partner may have to consume a whole list of drugs, undergo surgeries or suffer domestic violence or face divorce threats/verdict. All this because people are not aware of what we call, Sexual Aversion Disorder. There may not be anything wrong physically or with the hormones with these patients.
What is SAD?
SAD, also known as Sexual Aversion Desire is most commonly described as a feeling of disgust, fear and phobia, revolt, revulsion and lack of genuine interest in sex. Despite what people name it, Sexual Aversion Disorder is not just a common and mood-related downfall in one's sexual desire, rather, it is more about active avoidance and a strong feeling of dislike towards any sexual activity which would otherwise be termed normal for other people.
Other sexual disorders differ from the Sexual Aversion Disorder in a tiny little fact and that is, SAD does not only include a lack of interest, it also comprises of the feeling of disgust and fear (just like a phobia) for any type of sexual activity.
Different patients have different types of aversions such as:
Some might not like to see the genitals of their partner
Some do not like the smell of the ejaculations or genital organs
Some do not like kissing, hugging, cuddling, or mutual masturbation
? And for some, the fear grows to a complete hatred for intercourse as a whole
A person may become so obsessed with the fear/phobia for sexual activity, that he/she may take every gesture from the partner as demand for sex and may avoid all intimacy or communication between the partners. In the long term, aversion for sex might jeopardize their relationship, the bonding and finally the marriage itself.
What causes the SAD and are there any noticeable symptoms included?
Clearly, Sexual Aversion Disorder is a psychological disorder with a few physiological causes that might be an underlying reason. But the greatest factor which becomes the reason for a person developing an aversion such as this is due to some traumatic past experiences or perhaps issues with the partner itself.
If the cause is interpersonal with the partner, it is likely that the patient is capable of sexual fantasies and imagery. This person avoidance may be situational.
In the case of an abusive past, such as physical violence, rape, molestation even verbal abuse or bad parenting, the patient will need extensive therapy as well as the emotional support of the partner.
However, it is important to remember that no person can be branded as suffering from SAD unless he/she has been evaluated or any other causes have been ruled by an expert sexologist.
Also, SAD can be treated very well, with extensive psychotherapy, marital counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy. The results are very promising. The couple should really be motivated to work on their issues.
It’s not fun to be a sex addict. The only difference between chemical addiction and sexual addiction is that a sex addict craves sex and not a chemical.
To a sex addict, a sexual act has to be done without regard to potentially dangerous consequences. Like other addicts, sex addicts also use sex as a quick fix to relieve anxiety, loneliness, pain or stress.
Understanding sexual addiction
Also called compulsive sexual behaviour, hypersexual disorder, nymphomania or hypersexuality, sexual addiction is a state where one is obsessed with sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviours to the extent that it interferes with one’s work, health, relationships and daily activities. The patient follows a routine of acting out sexual desires, followed by denial, shame, despair and confusion. Sometimes but not always, sex fantasies extend to abnormal sexual behaviours that are considered immoral or illegal.
This cycle has to go on for at least six months before sex addiction is confirmed. Other signs of sexual addiction
1. Loss of control and addiction
2. Withdrawal symptoms
3. Lack of emotional attachment
Fortunately, just like other addictions, sex addiction can also be managed.
Only a trained therapist can diagnose sex addiction. There are a few conditions that can produce the same symptoms as hypersexuality like drug abuse and mental health conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Some sex addicts can be suffering from these mental health conditions concurrently with their nymphomania. That’s why a trained psychologist has to consider the case in its entirety before making a diagnosis.
The first step towards treatment of hypersexuality is the person recognizing that they are out of control sexually. Sex addicts can remain in denial until a significant life event like a divorce or a health crisis prompts them to seek treatment.
Many treatment options are available as cures for sex addiction which include outpatient programmes including counselling and residential sex de-addiction programmes. Residential programmes offer patients a lot of motivation and support and as the patient is removed from his environment, triggers and routines, he finds it easier to overcome sex addiction. Goals of a sex addiction treatment centre programme typically include:
Treatment for sex addiction usually follows the 12-step model initially developed for substance abuse disorders. Cognitive behavioural techniques help patients to learn thoughts and behaviours that will result in the more effective management of their desires and ways to achieve and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. In some cases, medicines used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders or impulse control disorders can also be used to curb the compulsive nature of sex addiction. Antidepressants, antiseizure medications and medicines that decrease levels of male hormones have been found to decrease strong sexual urges as well.
While alcohol and drug addiction are commonplace, sexual addiction is also a real problem. This addiction can affect men and women. In many cases, this type of addiction lasts for months before it is diagnosed. A sex addict is a person who uses casual sex to relieve anxiety, tension, feelings of loneliness etc. In some cases, people can get so obsessed with sexual activities and thoughts that it affects their day to day life. This addiction can involve activities that are considered normal and healthy or be focused on activities that are socially frowned upon. It can manifest itself in the form of one night stands, engaging with prostitutes, watching porn excessively etc. Thankfully, as with any other kind of addiction, sexual addiction can be treated.
It is not easy to diagnose a sex addict as this form of addiction has many stages. Some of the symptoms a sex addict professional looks out for are:
Intense sexual urges.
Abnormal sexual activities.
Difficulty connecting with people emotionally.
The use of sex as an escape from uncomfortable situations etc.
Irresponsible sexual behaviour.
Hence, the first step to coping with sexual addiction is for the patient to visit a doctor and accept that he or she has a problem. Many addicts do not realise they have a problem and lie to both themselves and their partners about the addiction. For example, most sexual addicts tell themselves that they watch porn only occasionally and that is simply harmless fun.
Once diagnosed, an addict needs positive motivation. Humiliation or looking down on the person because of his or her habits may worsen the situation instead of helping the person. Overcoming an addiction to pornography, voyeurism, phone sex, compulsive masturbation etc require intense effort and for this the person needs to feel that the people around him support him.
The patient and his loved ones also need to recognise the symptoms of the addiction. For example, if a person tends to watch pornography at night, he needs to ensure that he is occupied with something else until the urge to watch it goes away. In achieving this he may need the help of the people he lives with.
In some cases, psychotherapy may also be required to treat sexual addicts. This can be in the form of both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Psychotherapy takes the form of both one on one counselling sessions and group exercises.
The stereotype about pornography is that they are meant for single men who surf the web whenever they are lonely, which, in turn, testifies to the fact that it is the only pastime to overcome solitude. But the reality is that people who are in steady relationships also consume porn which brings the question of whether pornography affects the quality of their relationship.
Popular media has been cautioning youngsters against porn addiction since it may lead to men objectifying their female counterparts and having desires that expect them to behave like porn stars. But studies conclude that most young men and about half the women population think that watching pornography does no harm to their relationship.
The disagreement between men and women:
In most cases, men and women show disagreement on two issues: first, how porn is consumed, i.e., alone or with a partner or in groups and secondly, the frequency of its consumption. Young men enjoy watching porn with their peers and their porn choice tends to be different from older men and women. Some might enjoy extreme scenes with all sorts of humiliation including bondage sex and find such things enjoyable where they can together have fun just like the women present in the act. On the other hand, older men mostly love watching porn with their partners and prefer stuff showcasing instances where the female in the film is filled with desire and enjoys every bit of the act.
Understanding the effects of pornography on a relationship:
It is time to consider whether consuming pornography is really as benign as people think it to be. Let us take a deeper look at it:
Relationships without pornography consumption are much stable and stronger:
In a research conducted in America comprising men and women aged between 18 and 34 who were in a relationship, the researchers took into consideration the intensities of negative communication, dedication, level of commitment, sexual satisfaction and infidelity. It was found that people who didn’t indulge in pornography suffered from lower levels of negative communication while having higher levels of physical satisfaction.
Indulging in porn consumption reduces commitment:
The researchers also found that watching porn makes a person vulnerable to the thoughts of all the prospective sex partners which can lower down the amount of fidelity and dedication that you have for your soul mate. It may also make you disinterested in the person lying right beside you in the bed in favour of a person you are fantasizing.
There is no harm in watching porn but the key word here is the frequency. You can consume porn but make sure it doesn’t interfere with your personal relationship and ruin anything between you and your partner.
When a person is preoccupied with physical fantasies to the point of dysfunction for at least six months, he or she suffers from hyper sexuality. Hyper sexuality is also known as nymphomania or compulsive sexual behavior. These sexual fantasies are usually combined with a compulsive pursuit of non-intimate or casual sex, excessive masturbation habit, pornography, objective partner sex and romantic intensity.
It is more complex than just having an unusually high sex drive because sexual activity gives the addict an intense feeling of euphoria, suppressing other thoughts which cause distress, self-loathing and shame. This interferes with the daily regimen of activities. Treatment and management of sex addiction is imperative because it is disruptive and harmful not just to you but also to others.It also damages relationships, careers and self-esteem.
People suffering from hyper sexuality exhibit the following symptoms:
1. They engage in compulsive masturbation
2. They frequently hire prostitutes
3. Usage of phone sex services excessively
4. They have multiple extramarital affairs
5. They plan out sexual activities excessively
6. They engage in one night stands frequently
7. They are emotionally detached from their sexual partners
8. They prefer unprotected sex
9. They obsess about an unattainable sexual partner
10. They show tendencies of paraphilia
The primary and identifiable causes of hyper sexuality are as follows:
1. Biochemical imbalances in neurotransmitters and nervous system disorders
2. Medical conditions that damage certain parts of the brain of affect brain functioning
3. Overproduction of hormones such as androgens (present in males and females)
4. Being predisposed to hyper sexuality due to genes
5. Altered neural pathways
6. Suffering from childhood abuse
7. Dysfunctional family dynamics
Sexual addiction is believed to be a dysfunctional adult response towards emotional or character regulatory deficits and innate personality as well as abuse, early detachment disorders and trauma. Hyper sexuality is a symptom of a lot of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, adult attention deficit disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Sex addicts usually do not seek treatment for their addiction until the consequences of their activities are dire and have an overt negative effect on their health, relationships, finances and career. Since addicts feel ashamed and despise themselves, they usually do not seek help until they hit rock bottom. However, it is crucial to treat this disorder in order to lead a happy and fulfilling life where one is not controlled by their addiction. You can also take the package for having safe sex.
Hyper sexuality can be treated using the following methods:
As they say, it is all in the mind. The chemical and psychological correlation between the brain and intercourse is way too high. Arousal and physical gratification are chemical reactions and with watching porn, what starts as an innocent indulgence can play a major role in these chemical pathways and alter the natural course of things.
What many people don’t realize is that by watching too much porn, the mind’s channeling is affected and therefore the levels of satisfaction are altered. Read on to know some ways that porn harmfully affects your body.
So, while watching porn is one’s personal decision, but watching it within a certain limit may keep you from its side effects, and not let it rule your sexual expectations.