People with sexual anorexia, also called sexual aversion disorder, feel extreme anxiety, fear and disgust before or after sex or even at the thought of sex. The disorder can make romantic relationships impossible and lead to self-isolation and depression.
At the KeyStone Center Extended Care Unit (ECU), we believe that understanding the underlying causes of the disorder is the key to recovering from sexual anorexia. We help you identify and process past trauma, beliefs and other issues that may be preventing you from having a healthy, fulfilling sex life.
Do I Have a Fear of Sexual Intimacy?
You may have a sexual aversion disorder if you:
- Can’t get or maintain an erection due to sexual inhibitions
- Avoid sex or discussions about sex with your partner
- Believe that you’re unattractive, undesirable or undeserving of sex
- Engage in sexually compulsive behaviors, such as pornography or sexual promiscuity, to avoid emotional intimacy during sex
- Feel angry, irritated or panicky when the topic of sex comes up
- Have an obsessive fear of sexually transmitted diseases
- Spend a lot of time and energy avoiding sex
Why Am I Scared of Sex?
A fear of sex is often the result of past trauma. Physical, emotional or sexual abuse can make your brain associate sex or physical intimacy with pain and degradation. So avoiding sex seems like the only safe way to prevent reliving the trauma.
Other people may have low self-esteem or body dysmorphic disorder (obsessive focus on perceived flaws in your appearance). They may feel that sex poses a risk of rejection or may make them feel worse about themselves.
Ultimately, sexual anorexia is a type of intimacy disorder. In addition to avoiding sexual intimacy, people with the condition often can’t establish lasting emotional connections with others.
Sexual avoidance can also alternate with periods of sex addiction. People may “binge” on sexual activities and then suddenly go back to abstaining from sex. Someone with sexual anorexia can also show signs of an internet sex addiction or pornography addiction.
Overcoming Sexual Avoidance Disorder: Why Choose KeyStone Center ECU?
Our sexual rehabilitation program for men offers:
- Specialized expertise: The training, expertise and diversity of the staff at KeyStone Center ECU set us apart. You receive intensive care from certified sex addiction therapists (CSATs), a psychiatrist, counselors and other providers who focus solely on sex and intimacy disorders.
- Range of therapies: Our comprehensive treatments include individual, group and couples counseling, 12-step therapy and trauma-focused treatments such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
- High patient satisfaction: Our patients report excellent experiences at KeyStone Center ECU. In patient survey results from 2022, 98% said they felt better upon discharge, and 96% reported that the program met their treatment goals and needs.