Sexual anorexia is a medical condition where an individual is fearful of sexual intimacy. It could also be a lack of desire or interest in sex. Such individuals may try to avoid sex if they are married or in a relationship. Sexual anorexia can occur in both men and women. It is similar to ‘anorexia nervosa’ where individuals get paranoid about gaining weight and become obsessed with eating less and less.
Causes of sexual anorexia
Sexual anorexia can be a result of both physical and emotional causes. Physical causes include things like hormone imbalance, exhaustion, impotency, use of specific medications, recent childbirth, and breast-feeding. Emotional factors can include traumatic events such as sexual abuse or rape. In certain cases, religious factors may also be responsible. For example, in communities where sex is a taboo subject, individuals can grow up with a negative attitude toward sex.
Sometimes, things like communication issues and power struggles between partners can also lead to sexual anorexia. In some studies, researchers have also found a link between pornography and sexual anorexia. The researchers noted that people who watched a lot of porn at a young age could become desensitized to it. As a result, they may no longer feel aroused by real-life sexual situations.
How sexual anorexia is diagnosed?
In cases where sexual anorexia is caused by physical factors, a diagnosis can be made with standard medical checkup and tests. For example, if the underlying cause is hormonal imbalance, it can be detected via a blood test. Sexual anorexia caused by emotional factors is far more difficult to diagnose. Such cases may require detailed discussions with an experienced sex therapist, counselor or psychiatrist.
Sexual anorexia treatment
In case of physical causes such as low testosterone levels in men or low estrogen levels in women, the individuals may benefit from hormone therapy. Similarly, specific drugs can be prescribed for problems related to erectile dysfunction or impotency. Surgery is also a possibility wherever applicable. In case of women nearing their menopausal phase, hormone replacement therapy can help boost sexual desire.
For cases involving emotional factors, the affected individuals may need extensive counseling and relationship training. Partners can also openly discuss things in order to resolve conflicts and build trust and confidence. Individuals faced with traumatic events may require guidance and support from a professional therapist.
Sexual anorexia can be a temporary phase in your life or it can also emerge as a long-term issue. In case of the latter, it is advisable that you talk to your partner or visit a psychiatrist. Both physical and emotional issues can be treated, so don’t feel shy to discuss your aversion to sex.