Sexual Arousal Disorder
Sexual Dysfunctions may occur in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Of the different stages in the sexual response cycle, three of them - desire, arousal and orgasm —are each associated with specific sexual dysfunctions. In addition, pain can become associated with sexual functioning in women, which leads to an additional dysfunction.
Sexual Dysfunctions can be:
- Lifelong -- Present during entire sexual history.
- Acquired – Interrupts normal sexual pattern.
- Generalized – Present in every encounter.
- Situational – Present only with certain partners or at certain times.
Sexual response stages are -
Desire: Sexual urges occur in response to sexual cues or fantasies.
Arousal: A subjective sense of sexual pleasure and psychological signs of sexual arousal; in males, penis tumescence (increased flow of blood into the penis); in females, vasocongestion (blood pools in the pelvic area) leading to vaginal lubrication and breast tumescence (erect nipples).
Plateau: Brief period occurs before orgasm.
Orgasm: In male, feelings of the inevitability of ejaculation, followed by ejaculation; In females, construction of the walls of the lower third of the vagina.
Resolution: Decrease in arousal occurs after orgasm (particularly in men).
About Sexual Arousal Disorder:
Males with recurring inability to achieve or maintain adequate penile erection suffers Erectile Disorder. Erection disorder is a specific disorder of arousal. The old and somewhat derogatory terms for male erectile disorder are impotence.
1. Frequent Sexual urges.
2. Fantasies and a strong desire to have sex.
3. Inability to achieve and maintain an erection.
4. In some, full erections are possible during masturbation and partial erections occur during attempted intercourse, but with insufficient rigidity to allow penetration.
5. Prevalence of erectile dysfunction increase with age.
Females with recurring inability to achieve or maintain adequate lubrication refers to female sexual interest /arousal disorder. The old and somewhat derogatory terms for female interest and arousal difficulties are frigidity. Woman who are unable to achieve vaginal lubrication, compensate by using a commercial lubricant. In women, arousal and lubrication may decrease at any time. The prevalence of female interest and arousal disorders is somewhat more difficult to estimate because many women still do not consider absence of arousal to be a problem.
1. Absent / Reduced interest in sexual activity.
2. Absent/ Reduced sexual /erotic thoughts or fantasies.
3. No / reduced initiation of sexual activity and typically unreceptive to a partner’s attempt to initiate. 4. Absent / reduced sexual excitement /pleasure during sexual activity in almost a or all sexual encounters.
4. Absent /reduced sexual interest /arousal in response to any Internal or external sexual / erotic cues.
5. Absent/ reduced genital or non genital sensations during sexual activity in almost all or all sexual encounters.
TREATMENT FOR SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
Treatment programs, both Psychosocial and medical, offer hope to most people who suffer from sexual dysfunctions. Psychosocial treatment include therapy program to facilitate communication, improve sexual education and eliminate anxiety. Both the partners should participate fully.
Medical treatment includes almost all interventions focus on male erectile disorder, including drugs, prostheses and surgery. Medical treatment is combined with sexual education and therapy to achieve maximum benefit.
David H. Barlow, BOSTON UNIVERSITY
V. Mark Durand, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA- ST. PETERSBERG
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