As a relationship counsellor and accredited sex therapist, I’m sad to know that many people experience sexual problems. I’m often asked some predictable questions about sex, sexuality and the causes of sexual problems. This shows how many people are badly informed about sex. How unfortunate that schools and universities don’t offer more classes on factual, science-based, sex-positive education.
Good sex education would help people be well informed about sex & be more aware of how to create healthy sexual connections. Good sex education is vitally important for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of individuals and couples.
A lot of misinformation is found online. This means I very willingly spend time answering my clients’ questions to clear up any confusions. The main questions people like you ask often circle around the following issues:
- myths about sex
- the myth that sex should be spontaneous
- 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 comfortable, relaxed enough and safe enough with your partner. Experiencing comfort with fives types of touch is an important first step. Once you feel comfortable enough with these, you can learn to enjoy mindful sex. Sex is not about a performance or a destination – like reaching orgasm. It’s about the whole journey focused on pleasure & closeness – 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 discuss 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; believing myths about sex, historical issues like sexual or 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; lack of commitment; no intimacy; lack of 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.
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. And when this stage inevitably slips away, it feels like our dream relationship turns 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. Learn why it’s hard to talk about sex and to create a map of sexual self-awareness for yourself and your partner.
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.