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Inhibited …desire

Inhibited sexual desire

Inhibited sexual desire (ISD) refers to a low level of sexual interest. The person with ISD fails to initiate or respond to their partner’s desire for sexual activity.

ISD may be primary (where the person has never felt much sexual desire or interest), or secondary (where the person used to possess sexual desire, but no longer does).

ISD may also be either situational to the partner (the person with ISD is interested in other people, but not his or her partner), or it may be general (where the person with ISD has a lack of sexual interest in anyone). In the extreme form of sexual aversion, the person not only lacks sexual desire, but may find sex repulsive, revolting, and distasteful.

Sometimes, rather than being inhibited, there may simply be a discrepancy in sexual interest levels between two partners, both of whom have interest levels within the normal range.

Occasionally, someone may claim that his or her partner has ISD, when in fact they, themself, have hyperactive sexual desire and are very demanding sexually.

Alternative Names:
Sexual aversion; Sexual apathy; Hypoactive sexual desire
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

ISD is a very common sexual disorder. The most common cause of ISD seems to be relationship problems wherein one partner does not feel emotionally intimate or close to their mate.

Communication problems, lack of affection that is not associated with continuing into sexual intercourse, power struggles and conflicts, and a lack of time alone together are common factors. ISD may also be associated with a very restrictive upbringing concerning sex, negative attitudes toward sex, or negative or traumatic sexual experiences (such as rape, incest, or sexual abuse).

Physical illnesses and some medications may also contribute to ISD, particularly when they produce fatigue, pain, or general feelings of malaise. Hormone deficiencies may occasionally be implicated. Psychological conditions such as depression and excessive stress may inhibit sexual interest.

Commonly overlooked factors include insomnia or inadequate amounts of sleep, resulting in fatigue. ISD may also be associated with other sexual dysfunctions, and sometimes may be caused by them. For example, the woman who is unable to have orgasm or has pain with intercourse, or the man who has erection problems (impotence) or retarded ejaculation, may lose interest in sex because it is commonly associated with failure or is not very pleasurable.

Individuals who were victims of childhood sexual abuse or rape, and persons whose marriages are lacking in emotional intimacy are particularly at risk of ISD

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