Sexual dysfunction affects almost all of us at some point, it interferes with relationship satisfaction, connectedness and security, and it prevents you from experiencing sexual bliss. The most common types of sexual dysfunction include: loss of libido, reduced arousal and pleasure; delayed, weak or absent orgasms; erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual pain disorders, and vaginal dryness. Sex starts in the brain and psychological issues are a leading cause of sexual dysfunction. Read-on to discover the most common psychological causes and how you can overcome them and create deep intimacy and explosive pleasure.
Stress is both omnipresent and unavoidable and it is a leading cause of all types of sexual dysfunction. A few examples of common stressors include: work, traffic, long lines, the Western diet (especially sugar and stimulants), bills, interpersonal upheavals, worries about your children’s safety, and marital problems. Stress causes your body to divert its attention from non-essential functions such as sex, to essential functions for survival. It can also hinder sexual functioning by causing fatigue, throwing sex hormones out of whack, making you moody and irritable, and reducing oxytocin (which is the bonding, love hormone).
To reverse stress, you need to address both physical and emotional stressors. If you find you are always in a time-crunch, teach yourself time-management skills. Most of us have more free time than we realize, but we waste it on things such as social media or TV. Another great way to reduce stress is to spend five minutes at the end of each work day jotting down anything that is bothering you, making ‘to-do’ lists for the upcoming day, and noting 5 things that you are grateful for. Additional stress reducing practices include: yoga, breathwork, meditation, exercise, spending time in nature, and cuddling.
Depression can have a negative cyclic effect on your relationship, where the depression causes an emotional and physical disconnect from your partner, and the disconnect worsens depression. Depression is a major inhibitor of libido and it can be caused by mental and/or physical imbalances, and also by unaddressed emotional traumas.
To reverse depression caused by chemical imbalances, see a naturopath or functional medicine practitioner. To reverse depression that is mentally and emotionally rooted, see a hypnotherapist, Breathwork facilitator or NLP Practitioner. Also worth noting, is the fact that low testosterone can lead to depression and if you experience it in conjunction with sexual symptoms, you should have your total testosterone levels measured. If they are low or on the low-end-of-normal, Testro Vida Pro can help optimize your testosterone levels and maximize your libido and virility.
#3: Poor Self-Esteem
Poor self-esteem is a major sexual sabotager. It can prevent you from communicating your sexual needs, preferences, fantasies and desires with your partner. It can also prevent you from initiating sex, experimenting in the bedroom, and from letting go and getting out of your head during the act. This reduces your ability to experience pleasure and can diminish your desire to engage in sex. It can also lead to vaginal dryness and pain in women, ED and ejaculatory problems in men, and inhibited orgasms in both genders.
Loving yourself requires both physical and mental work. You need to change your inner dialogue and replace negative words and thinking with positive ones. Positive affirmations and LFC Audio Scripts can help you with this. You can also improve your self-esteem by being more assertive, trying new things, doing activities you enjoy, facing your fears, writing down and working towards goals, and practicing forgiveness (of self and others).
#4: Body-Image Issues
Worrying about your appearance and/or trying to hide your body during sex stops you from being in the moment and the negative thinking can make the whole experience undesirable. Positive affirmations, avoiding comparing yourself to others, consuming social media with a critical eye, and my LFC audio track – Love Your Body can help with this. For deeper issues, you may need to see a therapist or work with a life coach.
You also need to respect and take care of your body to truly love and embrace it. Consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly will do wonders for your body image. If you are unsure of what exactly a healthy diet entails because of all the conflicting information out there, or you want to learn how to make meals that are both nutritious and delicious, get a copy of the Simply Healthy Cookbook.
#5: Relationship Discord
Because sex starts in the mind, especially for women, if there is discord in the relationship, it can turn the desire button completely off. If you experience relationship-based stress, it is essential that you learn to understand and communicate with your partner better. The 5 Languages of Love is a book and website with tons of useful and free information on how to achieve this.
A hidden cause of relationship discord worth considering is adrenal fatigue. Chronic stress overworks the adrenal glands, which can lead to irritability, fatigue, loss of libido and explosive emotions – 4 things which are rarely beneficial for relationships. If you suspect you may have adrenal fatigue, you can help nourish the glands back to health with a nutraceutical such as Adrenal DMG.
#6: Sexual Trauma
Sexual trauma during youth is frighteningly common in both genders. Unfortunately, recovery isn’t easy, and most survivors don’t take the necessary steps to achieve it. If left unaddressed, sexual trauma can cause a total loss of desire, reduced sensations of pleasure, painful sex, an inability to orgasm, and/or erectile dysfunction. It can also lead to sexual promiscuity, recklessness, sexual addiction, emotional numbness and unfulfilling, disconnected sex. It can also cause you to associate feelings of shame with sex and pleasure. And the loss of personal power and control that occurs can cause you to over assert yourself in every aspect of your relationship and prevent the surrendering that is necessary for sexual pleasure and release.
To recover from sexual trauma, you need to realize you are not alone, you did not cause the assault, and there is no shame in what happened to you. Also, you cannot recover on your own, and suffering in silence will harm your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. It is important that you open-up and share your experience with a family member or close friend, and that you talk to your lover about it. You may also require professional help. A qualified and experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner can be especially helpful because they can quickly access the subconscious mind where memories and traumas are stored.
#7: Body Disconnect
Many people live in their minds and are disconnected from their bodies. When it comes time for sex, instead of enjoying the pleasurable sensations, they are bombarded with racing thoughts. This not only hinders desire and pleasure but can make orgasms nearly impossible to achieve.
Tantric sex can be tremendously helpful for this. Tantric sex emphasizes practices such as sustained eye contact and bliss breathing, which helps to connect you deeply to your partner and get you out of your head and into the moment. It also emphasises dramatically extended foreplay and enjoying the journey which gives you the time you need to connect to your body. These practices help create a safe, intimate space where you can more easily let go, relax, and bond with your partner — all of which enhance your ability to experience pleasure.
The above are the leading psychological causes of sexual dysfunction but there are numerous others that can be at play. Additional common contributors include performance anxiety, sexual guilt and shame, an overly analytical mind, pornography addiction, and a lack of understanding of yours or your partners body. Often there is more than one psychological issue that needs to be dealt with, or there is a combination of physical and psychological culprits that need to be addressed. If you would like to learn all the possible causes of sexual dysfunction, how to reverse them, how to deepen love and intimacy, and how to achieve a euphorically satisfying sex life, get a copy of: Mastering Love, Sex and Intimacy.