A fear of sex and a compelling desire to avoid sexual situations are considered a sexual aversion disorder. Sexual aversion can range from feelings of discomfort, repulsion, and disgust to an extreme irrational fear of sexual activity. Even the thought of sexual contact can result in intense anxiety and panic. A person who experiences sexual aver­sion exhibits physiological symptoms such as sweating, increased heart rate, nausea, dizziness, trembling, or diarrhea as a consequence of fear.

Excitement-Phase Difficulties

Inhibited sexual excitement occurs when physiological arousal, erotic sensation, or the subjective feeling of being turned on is chronically diminished or absent. Excitement – phase disorders among women take the form of lack of vaginal lubrication or lack of

Sexual Difficulties and Solutions

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(Basson et al., 2004). About 5-10% of adult women in the United States have never experienced orgasm by any means of self or partner stimulation, but data indicate that the number of women who have never experienced orgasm has decreased since the 1960s (LoPiccolo, 2000). This apparent decrease may be due to a cultural shift to acceptance of women being more sexually expressive and to the excellent self-help books and DVDs that were not previously available for women who want to learn to experience orgasm.

A woman who has situational female orgasmic disorder is orgasmic when masturbating but not when stimulated by a part­ner. Women who have experienced orgasm sometimes have diffi­culty doing so: About 25% of women reported having problems with orgasm within the last year (Laumann et al., 1994). Women most likely to experience difficulty with orgasm are unmarried and younger and have less education than women without prob­lems with orgasm (Laumann et al., 1999). For many women, experiencing orgasm is something they learn to do: One survey found that almost 62% of women were 18 years old or older when they first experienced orgasm (Ellison, 2000). ■ Table 14.2 shows the incidence of orgasm in college students.