Sexuality concerns which we encounter in our clinic span a wide spectrum.
These could range from:
- Lack of intimacy between partners
- Performance anxiety (resulting in erectile dysfunction)
- Premature ejaculation
- Low sex drive (libido)
- Emotional issues over sexual orientation (confusion, anxiety or other emotions about attraction to same sex, opposite or both. To be clear, the difficult emotions are the issue; having a different sexual orientation or sexual identity is not a psychiatric condition.)
- Emotional issues on sexual identity (emotional issues on seeing oneself as male or female or non-binary)
- LGBTQ issues (e.g. same sex relationship problems)
- Depression due to discovery of extra-marital affair in partner
- Illness anxiety about sexually transmitted disease including HIV
For this section, we will elaborate on lack of intimacy between partners since sexuality concerns are so wide-ranging.
Couples will realise that the honeymoon phase does not last forever. After the first six months, they have gotten to know each other better and the relationship naturally becomes less passionate. The couple may have less intimate moments and some may even experience a “sex drought” later in the relationship. This may sometimes become a problem if one party feels that his or her psychological or sexual needs are not met, or they feel unloved as a result.
There are many causes for lack of intimacy between partners:
- Erectile dysfunction due to ageing, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking, spinal cord problem and other neurological problems.
- Painful intercourse (e.g. vaginismus, menopause)
- Medications that reduce sex drive due to side effects
- Psychological problems like stress
- Relationship problems
- Lack of communication on sexual desires
- Religious beliefs that cause inhibited sexual behaviour
- Performance anxiety resulting in difficulty achieving erection
- Psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety disorders
- At Private Space Medical, we adopt a respectful, non-judgemental and candid approach when we discuss and address sexuality and intimacy issues. We have both female and male doctors and therapists. We will take a careful history to understand the issues and if the client gives consent, we may also engage the partner. We may explore past emotional baggage, such as when one party habours a deep resentment towards a past incident.
- Couples therapy can help to mend rifts, improve communication, promote understanding of each other’s needs and impart skills for reigniting passion. It is important to remember that restoring intimacy may not come naturally and spontaneously, but that it takes time and effort e.g. learning to validate and praise each other. Some therapists will use the Masters and Johnson’s technique of sensate focus. Sometimes medications can be helpful (e.g. Viagra, Cialis) for performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction.
Seek Help Today
Call or WhatsApp us for a consultation with our psychiatrists or psychologists. Deal with your sexuality concerns or relationship problems so that you can re-connect with your partner, grow stronger as a couple and improve your lives together.