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Sexuality RelationshipsSexual Issues


Sex is all around us and portrayed through fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, in newspapers & magazines and on the internet. It is not surprising that conflicts can occur in how we view sexuality issues.


Sex and the sex drive has a pervading influence on our lives in many ways. Sometimes certain inhibitions and their effects can develop at a subconscious level having been programmed by earlier experiences.


Do you have difficulty in sexual relationships?


Suffer from erection problems?


Has your sex life gone off the boil?


Of course, sexual relationships serve several functions other than reproduction, including bonding and stress release.


Clearly it is important to first establish if the cause of a sexual problem is not a physical issue. You should seek advice from your doctor to identify any physical causes, before exploring any possible mental influences.


Several commonly occurring sexual issues are described below


Premature Ejaculation


This is a very common sexual problem in men, particularly those under 40 years old. It can occasionally occur with most men, often because of over-stimulation during intercourse, or anxiety about sexual performance. It is defined as when the man reaches orgasm in less than two minutes from penetration, or penetration is not achieved before orgasm. Surveys have shown that the average time for penetrative sex is about six minutes.


If premature ejaculation occurs frequently, the cause may be psychological. This condition may be triggered by fear, habit, guilt, or performance anxiety. Also it can arise due to sexual inexperience, or when the male is over stimulated typically in the early stages of a relationship.

Should premature ejaculation occur frequently, this can create a sense of failure and lower the man’s sexual confidence. A habit can be formed whereby history repeats itself.




This is also known as Erectile Dysfunction and is the most common male sexual disorder. It is where a man finds difficulty in having an erection, or can’t sustain an erection during sexual activity. It is most common in men over 50 years old but can occur at any age.


In most cases, impotence is caused by psychological factors. A long-standing problem may be linked to feelings of anxiety and guilt that originated in childhood. Impotence may also be a symptom of severe depression.


And an erection is an involuntary response and influenced by the subconscious mind. The more a man tries to consciously will himself to have an erection the worse it becomes. What the man expects to happen – what’s happened in the past, be it success or failure - will often be repeated. A subconscious habit will become consolidated.


As stated, impotence may be triggered by psychological factors or combined psychological and physical factors. It might occur in some settings only, or in all settings. It could occur only in response to specific, or trigger point conditions. Frequently, it is associated with anxiety and fear of failure and may be temporary or of lifelong duration. In the minority of cases (about 10%) there will be a physical cause. Your doctor should be consulted to rule out any physical causes


Orgasmic Dysfunction


This is the inability to achieve orgasm during sexual activity. It is a common condition which is reported more in women than men; even though they might actually enjoy sex they sadly don’t reach a climax. This could be due to an inhibition in sexual desire, or from an inability to become sufficiently aroused prior to penetration. Either could be of psychological origin; including anxiety, guilt feelings, early sexual trauma, or a fear of ‘losing control’ during orgasm.

Also anxiety about sexual performance may inhibit orgasm, which sets up a cycle of failure. Up to 50% of women will experience this on occasions. Sometime a woman might have the added condition of vaginismus to overcome.


Orgasm either does not occur at all or there is an unusual delay. With women it is often the case that orgasm does not occur under certain situations, or with particular partners. However, orgasm might occur during sleep but never in waking hours. Orgasm may never happen in the presence of a partner. Orgasm might can occur when the partner is there, but only through oral sex and not during intercourse. Habits can play a major part in consolidating this condition.




This is where the woman finds sex penetration painful, or even impossible, due to involuntary muscular contractions surrounding the entrance to the vagina. This occurs in women who fear that penetration will be painful. Penetration is then not the pleasure it should be, since the pelvic muscles have tightened and virtually closed the vagina entrance.


Symptoms include genital pain, loss of sex drive, lowered self-esteem, fear of penetration, painful sex, anxiety and depression. A traumatic experience (such as sexual abuse or rape) may have initially created a cycle of anxiety for the spasm to become established.


Vaginal Dryness


Vaginal dryness can cause painful sexual penetration, although normal lubrication will occur for most women. However, at certain times there can be less natural lubricant than desired. Lack of vaginal lubrication has several possible causes, including:


• trying to achieve penetration too fast, before normal vaginal lubrication occurs;

• feeling nervous or tense about the sexual experience;

• using a condom without the addition of a vaginal lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly;

• hormonal imbalances during the menopause, preceding menopause, or following childbirth.


Where dryness is due to anxiety, nervousness, or tension then hypnosis can help in making the sexual experience more relaxed and spontaneous.




This condition is a general loss of desire to experience sex, or inability to become aroused during sexual intercourse, or even blocking out thoughts on sexual matters. The term has in the past been used in the female context, but this is now discouraged. Clearly, this condition can potentially cause disharmony in a relationship.


Painful intercourse


This can occur in both sexes. In women it is similar to Virginismus, although the pain is not purely due to a lack of vaginal lubrication. The pain can be superficial (around the external genitals) or deep (within the pelvis). Any physical reasons for discomfort should first be investigated. Beyond this, there is the possibility that there is a psychological origin.




This is a psycho-sexual disorder in which a woman is dominated by an insatiable appetite for sexual activity with numerous male partners.


The term is usually used in describing women who see men as sex objects. Either the individual finds sex to be very enjoyable in itself, or sex is used specifically to reduce anxiety. Nymphomania is thought to be an expression of some deep seated psychological disorder. The equivalent behaviour in men is thought to be caused by either self-love or, conversely, low self-esteem.


Sexual Inhibitions


There are many physical and psychological reasons for a person to feel inhibited about sexual matters. Low libido (low sex drive, loss of sex drive, lack of interest in sex) can cause disharmony within most relationships.


Psychological factors include depression, anxiety, severe stress, unsatisfactory relationship with a sexual partner, grief, poor self image, feelings of sex being unclean or wrong, fear of being sexually experimental, guilt and shame, or a traumatic sexual experience such as rape or incest.


Sex & Sexual Addiction


With the advent of the internet and the mass availability of sexual material, it is not surprising that as a society we are becoming more sex obsessed. Sexual obsession is growing and can be as much an obsession as alcohol, drugs or gambling. Where an individual finds pornography becoming habitual this is the time to take back control. We can help.


Psychological factors include depression, anxiety, severe stress, unsatisfactory relationship with a sexual partner, grief, poor self image, feelings of sex being unclean or wrong, fear of being sexually experimental, guilt and shame, or a traumatic sexual experience such as rape or incest. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the description often given to the after effects of sexual abuse.


Hypnotherapy can be effective at resolving sexual problems
where these are mind-related.

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