Couple with open eyes in bed

What is sexual aversion?

What is sexual aversion?

Sexual aversion disorder is a sexual dysfunction more frequent than one would expect. The problem occurs mainly in women. Features of this disorder are:

  1. feeling aversion to sex
  2. terror in front of the possibility of sexual intercourse.
  3. avoidance of any sexual activity that could lead to the touch of the genitals.

Because the most significant feature of this disorder is the excessive fear and trembling, in recent years it has been proposed by scientists it is termed sexual phobia.

It is important to clarify that this is not a sexual desire disorder, because in most cases, people with sexual aversion feel sexual desire for any sexual activity that does not directly involve the genitals.

The problem may be extremely aggravating affecting the couple’s relationship, as sexual activity does not include penetration. Women with sexual aversion usually avoid seeking profesisonal help because of feelings of shame, but also because of intense fear. Usually, they seek treatment after strong pressure from the partner or when the motivation is to have a child.

Can it be treated?

While a traumatic experience may encourage the development of this disorder, it is quite likely that the exact cause is not obvious.

It seems that when the woman’s mind realizes that someone is going to touch the genitals, a series of biological (tachycardia, intense respiration, flushing, close the legs), cognitive (frightening thoughts or images that come to mind) and emotional (mainly tremor) reactions follow.

The type of psychosexual therapy that is appropriate is cognitive-behavioral therapy, including special exercises adapted to the specific characteristics of the individual’s sexual phobia.

It is very important that the woman seeks treatment, not only to address the sexual problem, but also to manage the relationship problems that may have been created from sexual aversion.


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