Do you frequently lack the desire for sexual intimacy with your loved one? If so you could possibly have hypoactive sexual desire disorder. To help understand what hypoactive sexual desire disorder is and what type of help is available for someone with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, I have interviewed Jay Tow, LMHC who is a Board Certified Sex Therapist.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Board Certified Sexologist. My practice is centered in Southeastern Florida. I also do distance counseling via the webcam and email. I have helped many clients work to resolve issues involving their sexuality, sexual functioning, and relationships. I tend to have an unorthodox approach to dealing with sexual and relationship issues.”
What is hypoactive sexual desire disorder?
“According to the DSM-IV-TR Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder is:
‘Persistently or recurrently deficient (or absent) sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity. The clinician, taking into account factors that affect sexual functioning, such as age and the context of the person’s life, makes the judgment of deficiency or absence. The disturbance causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. The sexual dysfunction is not better accounted for by another Axis 1disorder (except another Sexual Dysfunction) and is not due exclusively to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.'”
What are the signs and symptoms of hypoactive sexual desire disorder?
“Although we typically associate a lack of sexual desire with women, this disorder can occur with either gender. Most of us think about sex multiple times per day. A person with this disorder will have little or no interest in sexual activity and will report having few or no sexual fantasies. This disorder varies in length and can affect certain situations or is generalized to anything sexual. When diagnosing this disorder some medical conditions, medications, another psychological conditions must be ruled out as the cause.”
What type of impact does hypoactive sexual desire disorder have on a person’s life?
“To begin with, it should be understood that this is not considered a disorder unless it is causing the person problems or is causing difficulty in their relationship. Part of being a person is being sexual and this disorder reduces or eliminates sexual desire. People usually seek treatment for this disorder due to the affect this disorder has on relationships. This person’s partner may feel neglected or unloved. Conflict can result when a partner’s intimacy and sexual needs not being met.”
What type of help is available for someone with hypoactive sexual desire disorder?
“Doctors can determine if a medical condition or medications are affecting sexual desire. A hormone deficiency can also affect sexual desire. Once these causes are ruled out, a sex therapist can help people to discover the underlying source of their lack of sexual desire. I have found that many cases involve not having sexual desire for the current partner or sexual trauma of some kind. Issues regarding sex and sexuality can also affect sexual desire. The therapist can work with the individual as well as the couple.”
What advice would you like to leave for someone who has hypoactive sexual desire disorder?
“Don’t avoid dealing with this issue. Our sexuality is a very important part of who we are and sexual issues can cause relationships to be terminated if not addressed and resolved. Openly communicate with your partner. Seek individual and couples counseling from a professional.”
Thank you Jay Tow for doing the interview on hypoactive sexual desire disorder. For more information about Jay Tow or his work you can check out his website on www.alttherapist.com.
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