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Causes of Sexual Problems in Women

female sexual problems

Many of our sexual problems and hang-ups that aren't caused physically (for example, through illness or injury) come from social conditioning - interaction with our peers as they talk about their sexual exploits, and exposure to sexual myths and fantasies in the media.

With better education, our expectations about many things in our lives - including sex - increase. Our partner expects more from us, we expect more from our partner; we see and read about sexual role models on billboards, television, movie screens and in magazines and popular novels.

We talk and hear more about sex - we know things about our friends and the famous, that we would never have contemplated hearing about even 20 years ago. This exposure to information is not necessarily a bad thing. It demonstrates that our society is feeling more relaxed about sex as a natural and enjoyable part of life. But having this information becomes a problem if we feel we can't compete with the sexual 'standards' that now abound.

There have been many changes over the last two decades in the way men and women relate to each other: women, quite rightly, expect more from men, women are encouraged to be more 'up-front' and men are encouraged to discover the 'feminine' side of their character. Both sexes find themselves conforming to or reacting against these new sets of standards. Gay activism has made it easier for homosexual and bisexual men and women to express their sexuality. The question is raised however - 'where do I fit in?'.

Many causes of sexual problems can be traced back to when we were young. A strict or deeply religious home life can make us feel embarrassed, shy or even afraid of thinking about or exploring sex and our bodies. Some people believe, mistakenly, that it is 'dirty' to derive pleasure from touching and feeling your own body, let alone someone else's. Others, particularly those who have been sexually abused, suppress sexual feelings or think about sex in a non-pleasurable way.

People whose sexual self-esteem is low approach sex with the feeling that they will not be good at it, or will not be able to give, or even experience, sexual pleasure. Many of us think too much during sex, rather than 'going with the flow' and allowing true sexual feelings to take over.


 


Sometimes our problems involve unresolved or pent-up anger, suspicions or guilt - are we sleeping with the right person? Are we cheating? Is our partner cheating? Am I good enough? Is he/she good enough?

Sexual problems within a relationship may also have non-sexual causes: worries about finance, children, problems at work - these difficulties need to be worked out before any sexual problems can be dealt with.

Some partners have non-complementary libidos - she 'wants it' all the time, he wants it occasionally - or vice versa. Some partners place unachievable expectations on the other partner - to come quickly and often, to enjoy every position, to 'lie there and take it', to do it at any hour, to do it better. Some people draw inappropriate comparisons between their partner and the sexual prowess of ex-lovers or even fantasy characters depicted in fiction or pornography.

There are some people whose sexual problem is that they think they have no sexual problems. They regard themselves as studs, good in bed; yet often they don't take the time to make sure their partner is enjoying the sexual experience, sex for them is a one-way street.

Nearly everyone experiences some form of sexual problem at some stage, but unresolved sexual problems and hang-ups can compound - one bad sexual encounter can amplify and affect another, until finally we may have fears about every potential sexual encounter and this fear can become a pattern.

Read more about the specific sexual problems women here.

next: Women and Orgasm

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, December 19). Causes of Sexual Problems in Women, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/psychology-of-sex/causes-of-sexual-problems-in-women

Last Updated: April 9, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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