Monday, December 31, 2012

Sexual Dysfunction: You’re Not Alone

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men have little or no sex drive, totaling 25% of the population.
  • 20% of women 5-20% of men face sexual arousal issues.  This includes lack of lubrication and erectile dysfunction.
  • 1 in 4 women have an orgasmic disorder (e.g. inability to orgasm), while about 1 in 3 men experiences premature ejaculation.
  • An estimated 3-6% of Americans struggle with sexual addiction, including compulsive masturbation, porn use, and cybersex.
It's easy to feel ashamed if you have a sexual problem.  The media inundates men and woman alike with conflicting messages about what sexuality should be – fast/long, hard/soft, multiple partners/save your virtue, multi-orgasmic/earth shaking, etc.  Other forces encourage us not to discuss sex at all, including abstinence-only sex education and avoidance of the topic in many families and religious/cultural groups.

Considering all this, it’s no surprise that many feel alone and ashamed when sexual problems arise. Yet, 43% of women and 31% of men struggle with a significant sexual problem abd most if not all couples face a sexual issue at one point or another.

So, if you’re struggling with a sexual issue, know that what you're experiencing is normal.  Sex is a complex interaction of personal expression and interpersonal connection, ripe for both pleasure and difficulty. 

What Causes Sexual Problems?

Sexual difficulties may arise from:
  • Fear of poor sexual performance
  • Psychological issues
  • Trauma, sexual or otherwise
  • Pent up resentment and other relationship issues
  • Stress
  • Lack of time
  • Aging
  • Physical issues, e.g. chronic health conditions
  • Medication side effects, including antidepressants
  • Smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, and other lifestyle choices
It’s important to look at all potential causes when identifying the cause of a sexual issue, as some issues are multi-faceted (while others are quite simple and straightforward).  A great way to do this is by speaking with a professional who specializes in sexuality such as a primary care doctor or therapist who specializes in sexuality.

Therapy for Sexual Dysfunction

While they can feel insurmountable, you can manage and even overcome sexual problems by unraveling their psychological roots.  A therapist who specializes in sexuality can help you do just that. 

Both couples and individuals can seek out therapy for sexual issues such as:
  • Cheating, including online affairs
  • Erectile Dysfunction (E.D.)
  • Best sex practices
  • Sex drive differences in a couple
  • Low or high libido
  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Sex and infertility, pregnancy, and birth
  • Sex and aging
  • Sex addiction, including addiction to porn
  • Sexual assault, violence, and child abuse
  • Psychoeducation for better sex, e.g. info on anatomy, sexual positions, etc.
  • Vaginitis, vaginismus, and other issues that cause vaginal pain during sex
  • Transgender, sexual orientation, and other queer identity exploration
  • Polyamory, kink, and alternative sexuality questions
Therapy for sexual problems may include a range of activities, from education about the mechanics of orgasm to an in-depth exploration of your past sexual experiences.  As a therapist specializing in sexuality, I offer advice, tips, and concrete tools that you and your partner can benefit from in the short term.  I also help you understand and resolve the emotional roots of your sexual difficulties that can't be solved with quick tricks.  

If you would like to learn more about how therapy can help you resolve your sexual problem and build a fulfilling sex life, please contact me at (510) 595-5500, ext. 36 or for a free 30-minute consultation.


  1. “Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) Facts.”
  2. Hatzimouratidis, K., et. al. (2010) “Guidelines on Male Sexual Dysfunction: Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation.”
  3. Pappas, S. (2010).“Orgasm-Seeking Women Find Little Help From Science
  4.  “
  5. Weiss, R. (2012). Who Is a Sex Addict?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 31, 2012, from
  6. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. (2012) “An Overview of Sexual Dysfunction”


  1. The first thing that must be done if you have erectile problem is to seek medical help. Discuss your situation openly so that Doctors will figure things out and provide you the best technique to be used depending on your symptoms.

    1. Great point, Semenax. Sometimes erectile dysfunction is purely physiological in nature, so it's always a good idea to check with an MD. If no physical problems can be pinpointed, time for a deeper psychological search via therapy or other self-awareness practices.

  2. NO! IAM ALONE COMPLETELY ALONE. I have no woman who cares about me. Let alone have sex. The internet certainly does not have information on everything. Type in lack of orgasm ejacutlation for many weeks, although the desire is there to at least masturbate. But that doesn't work and all you get is results that talk about people and their stupid sex partner.

    1. My heart goes out to you, Anonymous. Yes, I can imagine that a good majority of the online literature on sexual dysfunction out on the internet might privileges couples rather than singles. I recommend getting in touch with a good therapist who specializes in sexual and relational issues. Sending you warmth.

  3. Erectile dysfunction is a serious, troubling problem but you don’t have to just suffer silently. Numerous treatment options exist and many of these can deliver excellent results.

    Before looking for a treatment, it’s very important to have your health thoroughly checked. ED could be the symptom of another medical issue. Having another medical problem ruled out will then make it easier to overcome ED and enjoy a much more satisfying sex life.

  4. Is it possible to figure out whether your testosterone levels are low before undergoing testing? Several symptoms can be indicative of fluctuations in male hormone levels.

    If you’re experiencing ED, you should be paying a visit to your doctor or a reputable urologist:Erectile dysfunction the inability to get an erection is normal every now and then. If you find it difficult to get and sustain an erection for a prolonged period of time, however, you’re certainly experiencing a problem.