Sexual Aversion Disorder

Have you ever been called sexually frigid? Do you think you are? Have you ever thought that your lack of sexual desire was a significant character flaw?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may have a medical condition referred to as sexual aversion disorder. It’s also sometimes called inhibited sexual desire, sexual apathy or hypoactive sexual desire.

The good news is that the condition is treatable for those willing to take the steps to regain power of their sexuality.

What is It?

Sexual aversion disorder is a condition where the woman (or man) not only experiences a lack of desire for consensual actions involving genital contact, but also finds the act of sexual intercourse disgusting, revolting and distasteful. In extreme situations, the woman might also be afraid of sex.

It’s different from the normal ups and downs in desire that every woman experiences in that the dislike of genital contact is much stronger. It’s so strong that women with sexual aversion disorder will go to extremes to avoid any type of sexual activity in case it leads to genital contact.

The aversion can take a variety of forms in women. Examples include:

· Seeing her partner’s genitals

· Specific aspects of sexual intercourse

· The smell of her partner’s body secretions

· The smell of her own body secretions

Some women have an aversion to hugging, kissing and petting. Others are fine with the caressing and kissing, but freeze up when genital contact occurs.

There are four main sub-classifications of sexual aversion disorder.

· Generalized. This is aversion to sex with any partner and in every situation.

· Situational. This is aversion to sex with a specific partner or aversion to sex in a specific set of circumstances.

· Lifelong. This aversion is similar to generalized, but the biggest difference between the two is that the generalized sub-classification means the woman’s aversion has been present for only a certain amount of time. Lifelong aversion, as the name suggests, means that the woman has always had a significantly negative reaction to sex.

· Acquired. This is an aversion to sex that happened after a traumatic experience.


The most common causes of sexual aversion disorder are traumatic experiences and strained interpersonal relationships.

Those with strained relationships with their partners generally have situation-specific sexual aversion disorder. The unhappiness with the relationship due to family roles, domestic violence, marital infidelity, money problems, disagreements over children or lack of personal hygiene on the partner’s side can all cause desire that was once there to disappear.

The generalized sub-classification of sexual aversion disorder is more commonly connected to traumatic experiences like various forms of sexual abuse. The act of sexual intercourse or genital touching might bring back painful memories of bad experiences.

Generalized sexual aversion disorder can also be caused by cultural teachings, including religious ones, which cause the woman to feel excessively guilty about the “dirtiness” of sexual activity.


The symptoms of sexual aversion disorder vary widely. On the extreme end, they can include the following;

· Shortness of breath

· Rapid heartbeat

· Dizziness

· Intense fear

· Full panic attacks

Milder symptoms include mild disgust or an overall lack of interest in sex.

Women who have sexual aversion disorder may go to great lengths avoiding sexual situations including going to be at a different time than their partner, working extra long hours, or going out of her way to appear as unattractive as possible.

Sexual Aversion Disorder Can Be Treated!

If you suspect you may have sexual aversion disorder, it’s important to get properly diagnosed or you may experience chronic unhappiness in any intimate relationship or marriage. The first step to getting diagnosed is to talk to your family doctor or gynecologist.

Expect some difficulty in getting a correct diagnosis because the disorder has symptoms similar to other sexual problems. Sometimes it’s possible to have more than one problem at a time.

Once diagnosed, psychotherapy for the patient and sometimes even her partner have been proven effective. Severe panic attacks can be treated with medication.

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