From Dr. Jane's Notebook
About Sex Changes
People who experience sexual dysfunctioning are often caught in a "trap of
silence." They may feel embarrassed to discuss the problem with their partners and
even more embarrassed to discuss it with their physician.
In the past, little was known about sexual dysfunction, let alone how to treat it, so
most cases were regarded as psychological. However, recent statistics indicate that 50% of
sexual dysfunctions may have a physical cause (for example, diabetes) or be due to
medications such as those prescribed for high blood pressure. It may be important to rule
out medical factors by seeking the advice of your physician.
In the psychological realm, several other factors may account for difficulties:
- The Problem of Distraction. People don't think about sex while they're having it. Their
minds may be preoccupied elsewhere, leaving their bodies to fight a lonely battle.
- The Self-Critic. "Failure to be perfect" may lead to stagefright the next
time. Stagefright, as another form of distraction, creates a self-fulfilling prophecy
which itself can interfere with responsiveness.
- Pressure to Perform. This is especially problematic among singles. People often apply
pressure to themselves to be perfect performers even when "that little voice inside
them" may not feel ready for this level of intimacy. The ability to enjoy sex fully
is subject to conditions of the environment, a sense of safety, trust, and comfort with
one's partner, and that partner's health and adequate protection. When we ignore our own
internal warnings not to proceed, we're asking for trouble.
- Hurt, Anger, Resentment. When there are unresolved feelings in a relationship, the love
just doesn't flow --- nor does the blood for that matter!
- Changing Expectations. The ability to remain sexually active is lifelong. However,as we
age, our sexual responses tend to change slightly, as do our other bodily functions. In
order to adjust to these changes, we must be flexible, accepting, and avoid comparing our
abilities now to our abilities at a younger age.
For more information on problems of impotence please seek advice from local
ęCopyright 1995, Jane Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
Return to Love and Marriage
Return to Table of Contents
Last Updated August 30, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.