As a relationship counsellor and accredited sex therapist, there are predictable questions clients ask me about sex, sexuality and the cause of sexual problems.
How unfortunate that schools and universities don’t offer classes on factual, science-based, sex-positive education so that people are well informed about sex. Good sex education is vitally important for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of individuals and couples.
A lot of misinformation is available online. Which means I very willingly spend time answering client’s questions to clear up any confusions. The main questions often circle around the following issues:
- myths about sex
- myths about porn
- myths about orgasms
- what to do about sexual disappointment
- why it’s hard to talk about sex
- how to talk about sex in non-blaming, non-shaming ways.
I also give clear information about how to feel relaxed enough and safe enough with a partner so that you can experience enjoyment of Mindful sex. Sex is not about a performance or a destination i.e. orgasm. It’s about the whole journey focused on connection and pleasure – in whichever way you want to define it.
Understanding your own and your partner’s map of sexual self-awareness will go a long way to answering many questions you have about sex.
Many reliable sources of sex education and sex therapy talk about three to six main causes of sexual problems. In this post I’ll list five main groups of causes of sexual problems.
The main causes of sexual problems are:
These can be either hormonal (puberty, menopause); cardiovascular (blood flow); and/or neurological (nerve conduction). This may be the result of medications; drugs (recreational or prescribed); alcohol; acute or chronic illnesses (like diabetes), disability, pain or hereditary factors like low oestrogen or low testosterone.
Some of the following factors can contribute to sexual problems – anxiety; depression; mood disorders; trauma; negative views of self, body or sex; poor or no sex education; historical issues like childhood abuse or neglect, attachment styles and wounding.
Partner & relationship factors:
Any of these can contribute to sexual problems – illness; bad personal hygiene, relationship distress; bad communication; no affection; lack of trust; jealousy; no romance; no commitment; no intimacy; no constructive conflict resolution; no companionship or fun; no respect; not feeling attracted to your partner; not good enough sensual & sexual skills; effects on you about your partner’s sexual problems; performance expectations; your responses to your own sexual problems; no appreciation and unaddressed power dynamics. All relationships have power dynamics issues, once the honeymoon phase is over. Addressing relationship issues is fundamental for laying the foundations for working on sexual problems.
These can be any of the following – demands on individual and couples’ time; job responsibilities; financial worries; children; parents; not enough sleep; lack of quality time together etc.
A combination of any of the following can cause sexual problems – family of origin pressures or messages; social and religious factors; sexual values mismatch; unknown sexual scripts; misinformation or lack of information; lack of sex positive education.
So, can you see why it’s very common to have sexual problems? In fact, sexual problems are almost inevitable at some time in a relationship. Just look at the many possible causes above! They often combine together to create difficulties. These sexual problems become especially noticeable when the honeymoon phase of a relationship ends.
The honeymoon phase is usually hormonally driven. It’s evolution’s clever way of bringing people together, fuelled by powerful hormones. It creates the “chemistry” designed to bring about bonding. When this stage slips away, as it inevitably does, our dream relationship can turn into our biggest nightmare. This leads us into relationship and sexual power struggles.
Nothing is necessarily going wrong! This stage needs to happen for your relationship to develop and grow into something stable. The “chemistry” stage of relationship is temporary and unsustainable. The next stages require communication, negotiation and conflict management skills to address sexual problems.
You deserve the best trained relationship coaches if you’re planning to invest time and money in your relationship. If you’re not ready to book an appointment, call us on 0421 961 687 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.