From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Sexual Health: Important Concerns
Sex is everywhere. It is difficult to turn on television, go to a movie or read
anything these days without being exposed to sexuality. As fiction, sex between consenting
human adults is usually portrayed as a perfect human experience. But in reality, sexual
dysfunction and embarrassment plague many relationships. Here are a few thoughts on the
- There are many Physical Causes of Sexual Dysfunction. Almost half of sexual complaints
can be attributed to physical causes. Disease often inhibits the body's ability to respond
naturally. Therefore, the onset of sexual dysfunction is a good reason to have a thorough
medical check-up. Family Practice physicians, Urologists and Gynecologists are the first
physicians to visit. If your doctor is uncomfortable with the subject, definitely get a
- Medications and Alcohol play a role. A wide variety of medications can inhibit sexual
functioning. If you've noticed a change in sexual desire or functioning, discuss possible
side effects of medications with your doctor. Alcohol, while often serving to relax, is
also a depressant which affects normal responses. When alcohol is used chronically, it can
impair blood circulation and the central nervous system, both of which are vital to normal
- Poor sexual relationships may be damaging. Sex is a very sensitive issue. Sexual
partners who are critical or intimidating often create doubt and self-consciousness in
their partners. This can lead to a form of stage-fright. When sex becomes an interpersonal
weapon, the scars can be long-lasting. If one's partner is critical, he or she may be bad
for your mental health.
- Early childhood experiences can spoil mature love relationships. Sexual abuse of
children is a national disaster. Unfortunately, it is not a new phenomenon. My practice is
filled with many individuals who suffered sexual abuse as children or who were hurt in
sexual relationships during their teenage years. Later on in life, these scars can
resurface and permanently affect one's attitude toward sex. Through therapy with a
well-trained counselor, these painful memories can be healed.
- Sex is a vital part of marital relationships. Sex is that bond which creates the
greatest sense of intimacy in a relationship. It is often regarded as the most important
bridge that connects two people. When it is lacking, members of that relationship often
grow apart, feel unloved or feel rejected. To maintain marital closeness, it is imperative
that partners be sexually compatible.
The role of love, affection, sexuality and intimacy cannot be overestimated in a
relationship. Counselors who are specifically trained in marital and sexual relationships
are credentialed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) or
the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).
We live in a time when the media bombards us with images of flawless sexual
experiences; in reality, however, sex is not flawless. We live in a time when there are
great expectations for life-long sexuality; in reality, however, there is far too little
education about maintaining sexual health. No question... sex is important. So if its a
problem, you owe it to yourself and to your partner to seek help.
ęCopyright, 1993, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,