Sexual shutdown, numbness with sexual contact and averting or avoiding sex can be distressing, particularly when in a relationship where sex is an important way of connecting.

Sexual shutdown and numbness can happen with or without sufficient sexual arousal; that is, you may feel aroused and then that arousal is lost or gone. Alternatively, you just never feel aroused or excited about sex and it is easier to turn away from your partner (or yourself when you self-pleasure) because there is nothing exciting or rewarding about sex. There can be multiple causes for sexual shutdown and numbness and it is not always a problem that lies with the individual. Sometimes it reflects the state of the relationship or a lack of skills on a part of the partner.

Sexual aversion or avoidance is a persistent or recurrent phobic aversion to and avoidance of sexual contact with a sexual partner that causes personal distress. If sex is distressing and absent of pleasure, of course it would become something that we stay away from! In general, the more we avoid sex, the more fear and negativity surrounds it and the less we want to do it again in future. This can be a point of contention in relationships and cause ongoing conflict where partners have different levels of desire (also known as desire discrepancy). 

Experiencing sexual shutdown, numbness and aversion does not have to be a permanent situation. If you would like to feel again and experience passion and intimacy that accompanies satisfying sex then speak to a qualified female sexologist about the sex life that you want and deserve.

To read more about sexual shutdown, numbness and aversion, check out our blog entry – Sexual Numbness: All I feel is nothing