It is an extreme form of sexual dysfunction and it consists in the intense, persistent and recurrent rejection to all sexual contact. It implies the avoidance of any sort of intimate contact with their partner. This may go beyond the genital contact, there can even be a rejection to caressing, as the person interprets it as a preamble to the sexual intercourse. This dysfunction provokes an acute discomfort and it usually makes it difficult to establish interpersonal relationships, especially forming an intimate partnership.
In its extreme form, the person not only lacks sexual desire, but also considers sex as repugnant, repulsive and distasteful… The sexual aversion can take place in men and, most often, in women. The patients suffer anxiety, fear and disgust towards sexual situations.
It can a long-life dysfunctions (primary) or acquired (secondary), generalized (with all sexual partners) or situational (with a specific partner). The aversion to sexual contact can be a result of a sexual trauma, such as incest, sexual abuse, etc.
It can also be the consequence of a very repressive family environment, often enhanced by an orthodox and rigid religious upbringing. It could have been identified after former attempts that produced some pain during sexual intercourse. Pain could have been disappeared, but the memory of the pain remains.
When the dysfunction is acquired, after a problems free period, its origin can be in a traumatic relationship or bad experience.
The aversion can generate a phobic response (even of anguish), in which case other irrational fears could also be present, less conscious, of domination and bodily harm.
Situational sexual aversion can happen in people who try or expect to have relationships incongruent with their sexual orientation. We can find an example of this in some cases of rejected homosexuality, in those people who due to social or family pressure, imposing relationships with people of the opposite sex aiming at “normalizing” their lives.
It can also be found in women who do not find their partners physically attractive and, unaware of this, establish sexual relationships with them… After some time, they begin to feel rejection to them and can reach a point in which it is almost impossible to have sexual relationships with them. Not all cases of sexual aversion, either male or female, are the same. Each one has its peculiarities.
The treatment to sexual aversion and sexual phobia is orientated to helping the person to improve their sexual communication significantly. If possible, it is guided to get rid of the cause that has generated the aversion.
Among the aims to help these patients are: finding their own model for the sexual pleasure or favouring their erotic imagination, for instance. Each persona should be able to listen to themselves and to choose what they like or feel like it, as well as being clear about what is not exciting to them.
Often, the problem is these people have very poor erotic referents. To help them, we always have to consider respect to their preferences, if not, all this can be counterproductive. It should be taken into account the fact that the universe of erotic preferences is extremely wide, and what can be exciting for some, it can be repulsive for some others.
In sexual therapy this principle is taken into account and it should aid the person (or the couple) to elaborate their own field for sexual expression. With this, the couple should feel comfortable and enjoy the pleasure that comes with sex.