Sexual Dysfunction and Your Relationship: Coping with the Frustration of Sexual Dysfunction at Mid-Life

Sexual dysfunction can occur at most any age. Young adults, the middle aged, and older persons all experience sexual problems at some point, for one reason or another. However, sexual dysfunction is most commonly a complaint of the middle aged. It is a frustrating condition that does not discriminate based on gender and one that has a number of causes. Sexual dysfunction and associated feelings of insecurity and inadequacy can lead to problems in your relationship. The important aspects of coping with this condition are to identify the cause, seek professional help, and place more emphasis on intimacy rather than on the act of sexual intercourse. 

Sexual Dysfunction in Men 

For men, sexual dysfunction is usually a matter of achieving and maintaining an erection. It’s not necessarily that they are not turned on or attracted o their partner; it’s simply that either a biological or medical issue is interfering with their sex life, or perhaps the stresses of life have had some impact on their performance. For many men, this is both embarrassing and frustrating. While men are more than just a penis and its capabilities, many men feel that any loss of sexual function s a reflection of their manhood, and frankly, to many men, this means they are not a whole man anymore.

Fortunately, no one man is alone, as this condition affects millions of men, and furthermore, men really are not alone, as women experience sexual dysfunction as well. 

Sexual Dysfunction in Women 

Women experience sexual dysfunction in similar and different ways than men, and for similar and different reasons. For a woman, it is typically a loss in sexual desire. Sure, she loves her partner, and she may even get turned on and want to have sex, but issues with pain, dryness, and other issues often make it difficult to want to put forth the effort for sex. And sometimes, even if they would like to engage in sexual activity, a woman experiencing sexual dysfunction might just not being feeling the physical fire that precedes sexual intercourse.

Sexual dysfunction in women can be caused by a number of things: 

  • Hormones due to childbirth or menopause
  • Pain (any kind, but mainly in the female sexual organs)
  • Stress
  • Tiredness
  • Medical problems/illness
  • Mental health/emotional issues

Just like men, women can easily view this loss of sexual function as meaning they are no longer a whole woman. Moreover, this can cause a woman to see herself as undesirable, and this can be quite the blow to one’s ego.

Coping with Sexual Dysfunction

Men and women both face difficulties, both physical and emotional, when it comes to sexual dysfunction, especially during middle age. The changing body, as well as stress, illness, and other physical or mental problems can wreak havoc on the body’s ability to become aroused, to perform sexually, or to even enjoy sex. And, unfortunately, this can lead to problems in your relationship, especially if there is any misunderstanding or you do not take appropriate steps to resolve the problem. Remember, extramarital affairs based on sex or an emotional need are often caused by misunderstanding and a lack of communication, especially if one partner takes the other’s sexual dysfunction as a lack of desire or love from the other party. If you or your partner is experiencing sexual dysfunction, there are steps you can take to ensure that your relationship does not suffer because of it.

  • Communicate. Don’t hide the problem, your embarrassment, or your frustration. Being open and honest with your partner can eliminate much miscommunication and misunderstanding.
  • See a doctor. Sometimes, treating an underlying medical or mental condition can solve the problem.
  • Seek counseling. An experienced sexologist can help you to resolve your sexual dysfunction and potentially restore your sex life.
  • View your relationship in terms of intimacy, not sexual intercourse. Sex is a great thing, but if you can’t do it, you can’t do it. Be understanding of your partner’s problem, and allow them to understand you as well. You can be close and intimate, and can even enjoy sexual activity without having to actually have sex. Explore ideas and one another. You can still have fun in the bedroom.

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