Sexual Reluctance in Women

Sexual excitement inherent in human nature is a very complex emotion; just like pride, shame, and guilt. As a result of a person consciously and unconsciously focusing his sexual excitement on a person, this excitement turns into sexual desire. In short, sexual desire is the desire to have sex with a particular person. In non-pathological individuals, sexual excitement and sexual desire are experienced together.

Sexual desire disorders, on the other hand, are a condition characterized by the absence or absence of sexual fantasies and behaviors that lead to marked pressure and interpersonal difficulties. In women, there is a lack or significantly less sexual desire, which manifests itself with some variables (symptoms):

  • Showing little or no interest in sexual activity

  • Absence or few sexual thoughts or fantasies

  • Not initiating or very little initiation of sexual activity, not responding to partner’s attempts to initiate

  • No or very little sexual desire for any internal or external sexual symbol (written, verbal, visual).

For a diagnosis of aversion to sexual desire, three of these symptoms must be persistent for at least six months and cause clinically significant distress in the woman. This diagnosis should not be better explained by a non-sexual mental disorder, or be caused by severe relationship disorders (such as partner use of force) or other significant stressors, and should not be attributed to a substance (medication or other health condition).


General Etiological Causes

  • Age

  • General health problems

  • Past negative sexual experiences

  • Marriage and relationship problems

  • Depression

  • religious beliefs

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

  • Problems in sexual identity development

  • Fear of getting pregnant and contracting an STD

  • fear of failure

  • Insecurity

  • Feelings of guilt and sin

  • Low frequency and quality of sexual intercourse

Organic Causes

  • hormonal disorders

  • Birth

  • Menopause

  • Side effects of drugs


Emotions seen in sexual desire problems include:

  • Resentment and anger towards oneself, one’s partner, the opposite sex, and sexuality

  • Shame on fantasies, passion, body, past experiences, childhood sexual abuse, first sexual experience, rape, rejection, parents, eroticism

  • Fear of physical pain, getting pregnant, fantasies

  • Anxiety about performance, rejection, physical pain, inability to respond appropriately

  • Feelings of guilt and sin


Sexual aversion is the most common sexual dysfunction in women. According to studies, it has been determined that 4 out of 10 women experience sexual reluctance at some point in their lives.


For the treatment of sexual reluctance in women, first of all, gynecological examination is essential. With this examination, organic areas where sexual desire can be affected should be investigated. Problems that may cause pain during sexual intercourse, chronic diseases, neurological problems, drugs used, etc. is evaluated. Individuals whose problems are not detected are referred to sexual therapies for the evaluation of their psychological state. In therapy, the subconscious psychodynamics that trigger the sexual problem are determined. Incorrect ones are corrected by giving information about the person’s sexuality and psychological state.

In sexuality, where a new perspective is gained, problems are tried to be solved with the experience of the therapist and the motivation of the client. In the next stage, behavioral therapy is applied to get the person to know their body. If problems such as erection and premature ejaculation have occurred with the partner of the woman, these are also treated simultaneously.

Treatment of sexual reluctance in women is possible in 6-12 sessions, depending on the treatment motivation of the couple, cooperation with the therapist and the level of support of the partner.

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