Sexual desire is, according to Kaplan, an impulse produced by a network of nerve cells in the brain whose function affects the genitals during the phases of orgasm and arousal.
On the other hand, according to Cottraux, it is a phase in the sequence of sexual behavior which is translated into affective phenomena, preceding consumer behavior, imagining itself as an anticipation of sexual activities, being conscious and result of the mental and physiological processes. and biochemicals. here we will discover some aspects of the functioning of sexual desire both in cases where there are disorders that affect it and in cases where these do not occur.
The role of hormones in sexual desire
Testosterone is actually involved in increasing the frequency of nocturnal penile tumescences. In women, androgens are also the basis of sexual desire.
The effect of testosterone on sexual desire is not immediate, but it takes seven to ten days to observe an increase in its presence.
Androgens are said not to be related to sexual functioning itself, but to sexual desire. Its effects are more in the domain of desire.
Emotional and mental aspects
Sexual desire is allied with experiences of pleasure. Successful sexual episodes often act as the driving force behind successive experiences. Likewise, negative ideas about sex, very frustrating or painful experiences associated with the sexual experience seem to have a clear inhibitory effect. Sexual desire is clearly influenced by psychological processes of an emotional type.
On another side, the quality of the emotional bond existing in the relationship can greatly affect the presence of desire. And sexual fantasies, as a form of sexual anticipation and recreation, seem to be a driver of sexual desire.
Factors to consider
Sexual desire must be related to several factors, which we will see below.
1. Importance of fantasies
They charge energy with desire and put that necessary play component into intercourse and reinforce behavior, anticipating the possibility of an encounter and preparing the neurochemical system for it. When the relationship becomes monotonous, that fun and necessary part goes away.
2. The dynamics of the limbic system
There are times when in our limbic system, in the emotional part, there is a primitive “recording” which negatively accuses the sexual response, feeling it as a bad thing, either through experiences or through messages conveyed by our environment.
3. Sexual learning is important
If the person has had bad experiences, there will be no good sexual learning, Tending the system to avoid it and giving rise to the absence of desire. This often happens when sex becomes something forced or done out of commitment to the partner rather than desire.
4. The object of sexual attraction is very important
This influences both if the couple stops loving them and if there is a secret homosexuality that prevents the person from being able to express their desires in a natural and healthy way.
5. The sexual education that the person receives and the perception of the other are fundamental
If we understand that the opposite sex is going to use us, use us or hurt us, the attraction component will be ambivalent., One part needs it and another rejects it. We include here when the sexual behavior itself is viewed as a danger, either through possible pregnancies or through anticipation of the relationship as something that generates alertness.
Lack of desire disorders
Normal Sexuality: We must not have the false interpretation that any hypoactive state of desire is tantamount to disorder. The lack of desire or the weak desire becomes a problem when the person who experiences such a situation with a lack that generates anxiety.
Physical causes of lack of desire
Certain dysfunctions of physical origin can interfere with the onset of sexual desire. The most common are:
- Low testosterone level.
- Thyroid problems.
- High level of stress, fatigue.
- Depressive states.
- Drugs: anxiolytics, antidepressants, sedatives and tranquilizers.
Psychological causes of lack of desire
The most common are:
- Fear of failure. Lack of pleasure in any of their intercourse.
- Fear of a dysfunction such as vaginismus, premature ejaculation, pain …
- Fear of pleasure (to be considered sluts) or negative ideas about sex.
- Anxiety for fear of having children or of taking on the new role of mother.
- When the affection decreases because the woman mainly tells the affection and the sex or simply the non-sexual attraction of the couple.
- Fear of uncontrollability (very important cause).
- Lack of fantasies.
- Presence of unwanted sex.
- Use of unpleasant sexual techniques.
A birth requires people who have suffered some form of abuse in this area. The percentage of the general population of women and men who have experienced some form of child abuse is very high. This can lead to a traumatized response to the sexual component, with a tendency to avoid. In many cases, the person cannot access this information for various reasons, such as a form of defense of our mind, appearing as a frozen response to sexual behavior, with no cause that the person can identify.
These are the techniques most used in psychotherapyfaced with this type of problem:
- Physical examination and treatment of problems of physiological origin, if applicable.
- Mentally relive pleasurable sexual situations.
- Pleasure techniques: exercises in which sexual relations are excluded for a certain time.
- Plan sex with your partner.
- In case of evaluation of a possible trauma, the work is recommended that this be part of the therapeutic framework.