Let’s be honest. Sexual problems can put a damper on your sex life, which means they can lead to some “not so pleasant” relationship issues, especially if they go unaddressed. Yikes!
So, what is considered a “sexual problem?” Well, sexual problems, also referred to as sexual dysfunctions, are any issues that arise before, during, or even after sexual activity.
More specifically, these problems can occur during any stage of the sexual response cycle, preventing you and your partner from receiving the “oh so necessary” sexual satisfaction and fulfillment you crave, during foreplay and/or sex.
According to current research, sexual dysfunctions occur more often than you may think. In fact, approximately 30% of men and 40% of women experience some level of “sexual dysfunction” with their partners during sexual activity. Unfortunately, however, most of us are reluctant to talk about these types of “issues” for fear of being judged.
The great news is that most sexual problems can be successfully treated – which explains why it is so important to discuss your concerns with your partner. Ignoring or pushing sexual issues aside can lead your relationship down a very rocky path.
If your partner is the type to “shy away” from talking about his sexual concerns with you, you can unearth these secrets by reading this article (a couple of times) and asking questions – lots of them, but not so many that you become annoying. You get my point.
Listed below are four sexual problems that could be hurting your relationship without you being aware of it:
1. Inability to Orgasm
Being unable to orgasm can undoubtedly wreak havoc on your sex life AND relationship. This condition primarily affects younger women between the ages of 20 and 24. It gradually decreases once women hit their 30s and 40s; however, it rises again when women hit their 50s due to hormonal changes. One of the possible causes of this condition is that women have more casual sex during their 20s, which may account for the lower incidences of orgasms.
Other reasons you may not be orgasming include not being sexually attracted to your partner anymore, overthinking about orgasming during sex, feeling guilty for enjoying sex, and/or having other things on your mind during sex.
Or, it could be that your partner is “too aggressive,” during sex. Regardless, an inability to orgasm can hurt your relationship, because everyone wants their partners to feel sexually satisfied, so if that isn’t happening; it can create problems in your relationship. Feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment can arise, causing the couple to grow apart.
2. Premature Ejaculation (PE)
Premature ejaculation refers to ejaculation (the release of semen from the body) that occurs before penetration or immediately after it – within one minute or less.
The exact cause of premature ejaculation varies, but the good news is that in most cases premature ejaculation can be fixed! Men report this as one of their top sexual performance issues. In fact, according to Dr. Edward Laumann, sociologist, approximately 1/3 of American men report that they ejaculate too quickly for their liking.
How is it even possible not to be aware of your partner’s problem with premature ejaculation? It is possible to miss the signs, primarily because men with this issue often enter into relationships with women, who have little-to-no previous sexual experience.
Why is that? Well, these men feel more comfortable with novice sexual partners, who are unaware that they are experiencing premature ejaculation issues.
Ironically, inexperienced women often find out their partners are suffering from PE, not at the beginning of their relationships, but after dating for months or years or getting married. So, if you are curious if your partner is experiencing PE, ask yourself the following questions: “Does my partner “last” as long as I would like him to?” And, “How long does it take him to orgasm?” If the answer to the second question is “less than one minute,” then your partner may actually be suffering from PE.
3. Low Libido
Another common sexual problem that affects both men and women is low libido. What causes low libido? Well, for a man, low testosterone, the hormone responsible for male traits (i.e., pubic, facial, and body hair, deep voice, and muscle tone), can cause a low sex drive.
Testosterone also controls a man’s sexual desire and sperm production, so when it is low, it can not only negatively affect his libido but also prevent him from getting and staying “hard.”
For women, low libido may stem from a hormonal imbalance, past sexual trauma, stress, etc.
How can this affect your relationship? Well, it can cause your partner to avoid sex with you or you with him, which can lead to hurt feelings, low self-esteem, resentment, hostility, and indifference towards your partner and the relationship. The end result? The end of your relationship. Ouch!
4. Painful Sex
Painful sex can also damage a good relationship. How? Well, when sex is painful, you are more likely to avoid it. Women, who experience painful sex, tend to shy away from sexual activities with their partners. They may think it’s no big deal, but in reality, it can cause a myriad of relationship issues. If you withhold sex, for fear of pain, without talking to your partner about it, it can lead to hurt feelings and hostility from your partner.
The truth is sex shouldn’t be painful, but it is a common issue. What causes painful sex? Well, the exact cause varies, but it could be that your partner is “too rough” (thrusting too fast and hard during sex), or it could be that you are experiencing lubrication issues, due to changes in hormones, a hormonal imbalance, inadequate arousal – too little foreplay, etc. Your partner may be unaware that you are experiencing painful sex, so it’s important to talk to him about it and seek help if it continues.
In summary, sexual problems can plague both men and women, and even if you don’t feel as if they are affecting your relationship, they may be doing just that.
If the sex is painful, uncomfortable, or unsatisfying, it could prevent one or both of you from wanting to have sex. Over time, you and/or your partner may become resentful of the lack of sex in your relationship, causing you to grow apart from each other.
Keeping these issues to yourself only does more harm than good; therefore, it’s important to be open and honest with your partner about any sexual problems you are experiencing.
WebMD. (2017). Sexual problems in men. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/men/guide/mental-health-male-sexual-problems#1
Medline Plus. (2017). Erectile dysfunction. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/erectiledysfunction.html
Sollee, K. (2014). 4 sex problems that can affect ALL women. Women’s Health. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-love/sex-issues-that-can-affect-all-women
Hormone Health Network. (2017). Low testosterone. Retrieved from https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/mens-health/low-testosterone
Between Us Clinic (2017). How to prevent premature ejaculation – A List of Possible Treatments. Retrieved from https://www.betweenusclinic.com/premature-ejaculation/how-to-prevent-premature-ejaculation/