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SEX AND SEXUAL PROBLEMS: DIFFICULTIES WITH SEX

Being able to express our sexuality is one of those things we take for granted, provided everything is going well. If you have a current partner and your relationship is happy, if you both manage to orgasm most of the time and don’t worry when you don’t, if erections are never a problem, and you have matching libidos, then sexuality is probably not an issue.

As a matter of fact, when you consider the intricate blend of factors that need to combine to make it all happen … personalities, emotions, moods, blood vessels, nerves, hormones and muscles … it’s amazing that it works as often as it does.

But things can go wrong and when they do it can come as a huge surprise. For many people, developing a problem with their sexual function will force them to confront their attitudes and beliefs about sex in a totally new way. It can make you question the way you see yourself, your partner, and your relationship(s). On an even deeper level, a sexual difficulty can suddenly bring up all sorts of memories of the sexual anxieties and insecurities of childhood and adolescence.

It is not possible to talk about sexual problems without also dealing with relationship problems. Difficulties with sex always need to be seen in the context of the whole living situation. It’s a chicken and egg situation. Sexual problems can have an influence on the relationship and, if the relationship is in trouble, one way or another it will show up sexually. All sorts of factors can have an impact. Do you have time alone together? Do you have privacy or are you sharing a house with the in-laws? Are you frightened of getting pregnant? Is sex being used as part of a punishment and reward system? Do you resent your partner controlling the pursestrings and holding back money unless they get their way sexually?

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