What is sexual dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction or sexual malfunction (see also sexual function) is difficulty during any stage of the sexual act (which includes desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution) that prevents the individual or couple from enjoying sexual activity.
Sexual difficulties can begin early in a person's sex life or they may develop after an individual has previously experienced enjoyable and satisfying sex. A problem may develop gradually over time, or may occur suddenly as a total or partial inability to participate in one or more stages of the sexual act. The causes of sexual difficulties can be physical, psychological, or both.
Male disorder categories
Sexual dysfunction disorders are generally classified into four categories: sexual desire disorders, sexual arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, and sexual pain disorders.
- Sexual desire disorders or decreased libido can be caused by a decrease in normal testosterone production. Other causes may be aging, fatigue, some medications or psychiatric conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
- Sexual arousal disorders were previously known as impotence in men, though this has now been replaced with less judgmental terms. Impotence is now known as erectile dysfunction.
This condition can manifest as an aversion to, and avoidance of, sexual contact with a partner. There may be partial or complete failure to attain or maintain an erection, or a lack of sexual excitement and pleasure in sexual activity.
There may be medical causes to this disorder such as decreased blood flow. Chronic disease can also contribute, as well as the nature of the relationship between the partners. As the success of Performax attests, most erectile disorders in men are primarily physical conditions.
- Orgasm disorders are a persistent delay or absence of orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase. The SSRI antidepressants are frequent culprits -- these can delay the achievement of orgasm or eliminate it entirely.
- Sexual pain disorders are known as dyspareunia (painful intercourse).
Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis. There are various underlying causes, such as diabetes, many of which are medically reversible.
A useful and simple way to distinguish between physiological and psychological impotence is to determine whether the patient ever has an erection. If never, the problem is likely to be physiological; if sometimes (however rarely), it is more likely to be psychological.
Premature ejaculation (PE), also known as rapid ejaculation, premature climax, early ejaculation; is the most common sexual problem in men, affecting 25%-40% of men. It is characterized by a lack of voluntary control over ejaculation. Masters and Johnson stated that a man suffers from premature ejaculation if he ejaculates before his partner achieves orgasm in more than fifty percent of his sexual encounters. Other sex researchers have defined premature ejaculation as occurring if the man ejaculates within two minutes or less of penetration; however, a survey by Alfred Kinsey in the 1950s demonstrated that three quarters of men ejaculated within two minutes of penetration in over half of their sexual encounters. Today, most sex therapists understand premature ejaculation as occurring when a lack of ejaculatory control interferes with sexual or emotional well-being in one or both partners.
Most men experience premature ejaculation at least once in their lives. Often adolescents and young men experience "premature" ejaculation during their first sexual encounters, but eventually learn ejaculatory control. Because there is great variability in both how long it takes men to ejaculate and how long both partners want sex to last, researchers have begun to form a quantitative definition of premature ejaculation. Current evidence supports an average ejaculation latency time (IELT) of seven to ten minutes.
Delayed ejaculation also known as retarded ejaculation and ejaculation incompetence means complete inability to ejaculate or persistent difficulty in achieving orgasm despite the presence of normal sexual desire and sexual stimulation. Normally a man achieves orgasm within 2-8 minutes after the beginning of sexual intercourse, whereas a man with delayed ejaculation either does not orgasm at all or orgasms after prolonged intercourse which might last 30-45 minutes or more. In most cases delayed ejaculation presents the condition in which the man can climax and ejaculate only during masturbation, but not during sexual intercourse.
Delayed ejaculation can be caused by physical and psychological reasons. Psychological causes are more common than physical.