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SEX AND SEXUAL PROBLEMS: SEXUAL STIMULATION

For some people, sexual stimulation of any sort is unpleasant. Sexual aversion is the extreme lower end of the libido scale. Far beyond indifference or simple disinterest, sexual aversion is a feeling of revulsion at any genital contact and can cause anxiety serious enough to lead to full-blown panic attacks. The reasons for this are necessarily complex because our reactions (whether positive or negative) to any sexual situation are the sum total of a lifetime of experiences. Such serious negative reactions might follow bad sexual experiences in the past, like child sexual abuse or rape. If a child is given negative messages about sex in their formative years, like being punished for masturbation, they can learn that sexual feelings are dirty or wrong. For others it’s not so much sex itself but the consequences that can lead to aversion. An accidental pregnancy or abortion can leave you feeling pretty negative. If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to pick up a sexually transmitted disease it can turn you off sex, particularly if the disease or its treatment was especially painful or unpleasant, like herpes, pelvic inflammatory disease or genital warts.

Anxieties about touching around the vagina can lead to a problem called vaginismus. This is when the muscles around the opening of the vagina go into a spasm that is so tight that intercourse hurts or is simply impossible. This can put a big strain on the relationship and more anxiety means more spasm. Vaginismus is a problem where treatment has a high success rate.

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