'Guilt & Shame': Why Those Who Have Sexual Dysfunction Hesitate to Communicate

One reason why sexual dysfunction can lead to shame and guilt is the societal pressure to have a 'perfect' sex life.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Sexual dysfunction can be a challenging issue for individuals and couples alike, with far-reaching effects on both physical and emotional well-being. It can impact relationships in various ways, causing feelings of frustration, anxiety, and even shame.

In relationships, sexual dysfunction can lead to decreased intimacy, and communication breakdown, and even contribute to the breakdown of the relationship itself.

"Partners may often feel disconnected, unloved, or unattractive, and may struggle to find ways to communicate their needs and desires in a healthy and constructive manner."
Vickie Rai, Mental Health Counselor told FIT

The Pressure Of Expectations

"One reason why sexual dysfunction can lead to shame and guilt is the societal pressure to have a 'perfect' sex life," says Manoj Sahu, psychiatrist, told FIT.

We are bombarded with images of sexual perfection in the media, which can create unrealistic expectations for our own experiences. "When these expectations are not met, it can be difficult to talk about the issue and seek help," Sahu added.

Additionally, sexual dysfunction can be seen as a personal failure or a reflection of one's masculinity or femininity, which can further increase feelings of shame and guilt, explained experts.

This may sometimes result in the person suffering participating in the act without communicating the fact that they aren't exactly consenting to it.

"Lack of communication and being blamed for whatever reason can create a lot of self-doubt and leave you frustrated. Saying ‘yes’ to sex when not in the mood can make a person resent their partners, and contaminate the relationship."
Vickie Rai, Mental Health Counselor told FIT

Love & Love-Making Isn't Really a "1+1 Offer"

For someone struggling with sexual dysfunction of any kind, having a partner who is sexually functional along with having a higher libido just adds more weight to their already existing stress.

And sometimes they might end up feeling that they are wanted by their partners for nothing but sex. So how does one work around it and navigate the situation in a sensitive manner?

"It's important for couples to recognize that sexual dysfunction is not their fault and to work together to find a solution that works for both partners," says Dr Ajith Partha, MBBS, Diploma in Psychiatric Medicine, Kindly.

This may involve seeking professional help from a therapist or healthcare provider, exploring different forms of sexual expression, or making lifestyle changes to improve overall health.

Take Baby Steps: How to Deal With This?

It is important to recognise that sexual dysfunction is a common issue, affecting people of all ages and it can be challenging to navigate the emotions that come with it.

Firstly it's important to understand that they can manifest in various forms, such as:

  • Erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve or maintain an erection) premature ejaculation (reaching orgasm too quickly)

  • Delayed ejaculation (difficulty reaching orgasm)

  • Low libido (decreased interest in sex)

  • Difficulty becoming aroused

  • Pain during intercourse

  • Difficulty achieving orgasm


These issues can be caused by a variety of factors, like:

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Prostate problems

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Hormonal imbalances

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Menopause

  • Stress

  • Body image issues

"Talking openly and honestly about sexual dysfunction can be difficult, but it's a necessary step in addressing the issue and improving sexual health,"says Rai.

She also says that it's important for couples to create a safe and supportive environment for discussing sexual problems, free from judgment or blame.

By working together and seeking help when needed, couples can overcome shame and guilt and build a healthier, more fulfilling sexual relationship.

After all, what is love if not for something worth fighting for, right?

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