Anorexia is most commonly referred to as an eating disorder that involves restricting food out of the intense fear of gaining weight. When anorexia is discussed in the realm of sexual disorders, it is characterized by the compulsive avoidance of sex due to an extreme fear of intimacy. Sexual anorexics essentially have a “loss of appetite” for sex or any type of romantic-sexual encounter. This often creates severe anxiety around the act of sex as well as the emotional aspects of sex and intimacy.
Sexual anorexia is a form of addiction because it involves a compulsive avoidance of sex that ultimately rules or overpowers the life of a sexual anorexic. Like other types of addiction, sexual anorexia can interfere with one’s daily life and ruin relationships. Therapy for sexual anorexia can limit and stop the destructive thoughts and actions of the disorder and help sufferers regain a healthy perception of themselves and sexual intimacy.
The symptoms of sexual anorexia can include the following:
- Ongoing fear of sex-related matters, such as intimacy, sexual contact, pleasure, STDs, etc.
- Preoccupation and/or obsession with sexual matters relating to themselves and others
- Negative attitude towards sex and body appearance
- Shame or guilt from past sexual experiences
- Self-destructive behavior as a means to avoid or stop sex
Treatment for Sexual Avoidance
It is not uncommon for sexual anorexics to also have coexisting obsessions or struggles with other forms of addiction, including those with food or substances. It can also be difficult to determine if your sexual avoidance is intense or severe enough to warrant treatment. A qualified professional with expertise in sex addiction can help you filter what is healthy and normal and what is addictive and destructive.
If you are concerned about you or your partner’s feelings about sex, intimacy or sexual expression, you can get help from a certified sex therapist at Triune Therapy Group. Our treatment programs are created and facilitated by trusted therapists who bring extensive knowledge and expertise in sex addiction and sexual anorexia. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with one of our therapists.