What Are Sexual Disorders?
A sexual disorder is characterized as any ongoing issue with sexual pleasure, desire, or function that causes distress. There is a wide range of conditions that can be classed as sexual disorders. These come under four categories: desire disorders, arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, and pain disorders.
Sexual disorders aren’t uncommon, with one 2000 study finding they impact 43% of women and 31% of men. (1) However, people can be embarrassed to discuss sexual issues with health professionals, making these disorders more likely to go undiagnosed and untreated.
The different types of sexual disorders include:
- Fetishism: Recurrent and intense sexually arousing fantasies involving non-living objects
- Pedophilia: Constant arousing fantasies and urges involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children
- Paraphilia: Sexual interests that involve situations or activities that aren’t typical
- Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD): Little to no interest in thinking about or having sex
- Genital arousal disorder: Unwanted sexual arousal that isn’t relieved by orgasm
- Orgasm disorder: Inability to orgasm, or orgasms that are delayed or less intense than desired
- Erectile dysfunction (ED): Trouble achieving or maintaining an erection during intercourse
- Premature ejaculation: An orgasm that occurs earlier than the person expects or wants during intercourse
- Vaginismus: Inability to relax vaginal muscles to allow intercourse
People may have lifelong sexual disorders. Others may acquire a sexual disorder later in life, or find the condition only impacts them in certain situations. In all cases, steps can be taken to decrease symptoms and find sexual satisfaction.