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princessflavia58 | skincareprogram

How to deal with sexual dysfunction in your relationship

Feb 27th 2014 at 9:08 PM

Facing problems in the bedroom? Discover how to deal with intimacy issues and get your sex life up to speed.

By Courtney Hope
What is sexual dysfunction?   

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Sexual dysfunction is defined as any difficulty, problem or issue that arises for an individual or a couple during any stage of intimacy. In reality, it is an overly stigmatized situation that is far more common than most couples realize. From desire disorders and arousal issues to difficulties having an orgasm and dealing with painful intercourse, most people have dealt with at least one sexual dysfunction in their lifetime.

Overcoming sexual dysfunction doesn't have to be as daunting as it may feel. There are ways of handling the frustration without putting too much strain on your relationship. For more information, we turned to couples therapist Beth Mares, who specializes in relationships and sexuality. She helped us understand some of the most important steps couples can take to deal with sexual dysfunction.

1. Know the importance of intimacy
Couples need to understand that they won't always have the sexual drive or desires they had when they were much younger, and it is essential that they notice when intimacy starts to wane within their relationship.

"Intimacy is a very important element for helping couples bond," says Mares. "We need to experience love and physical contact in order to feel calm and connected." If you feel you and your partner are experiencing intimacy issues, know that they are worth addressing. Do not hide them out of shame or embarrassment.

2. Remember you are not alone
Though it may seem isolating, sexual dysfunction in all its forms is something that plagues countless couples. "Every couple's sex life has its ups and downs," says Mares. "The problem can be that couples don't know how to talk about sex or the issues that arise."

She notes that the societal stigma surrounding sexual dysfunction, as well as a lack of communication skills and education, can form the basis for why these issues can be so isolating for a couple.

3. Get educated
"It is certainly important for couples to not have unrealistic expectations about sex," says Mares, who also points out how essential it is for couples to realize that, as they age, their sexual desires, preferences and abilities will begin to change.

Reading about sexuality, sexual intercourse and sexual dysfunction is one way to ensure that both you and your partner are aware of the challenges you may be currently facing as well as the challenges that may lie ahead. A good place to start, she suggests, is by reading the book Women's Experience of Sex: The Facts and Feelings of Female Sexuality at Every Stage of Life (Penguin, 1985) by Sheila Kitzinger.

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