First and foremost, effective treatment of Sexual Dysfunction depends on an accurate diagnosis of what is causing the problem. You can’t expect to successfully treat a cocaine induced arousal problem with behavioral techniques alone. If a drug, medication, or medical condition is identified as ta least part of the cause, the Sexual Dysfunction treatment will inevitably require that these issues be addressed first.
Similarly, if the Sexual Dysfunction is a symptom of another psychiatric disorder, then the treatment must also center on that disorder. For example, it is uncommon for people with Major Depressive Disorder to lose interest in sex. Usually after successful treatment of the Major Depressive Disorder, sexual desire and functioning return to normal.
Finally, if the sexual problem is a direct outgrowth of a conflicted relationship, couples therapy that addresses these issues usually must precede or at least accompany any other interventions.
Cognitive behavioral sex therapy is the most commonly used approach for those whose sexual problems result from inexperience, inhibition, or psychological conflict. The specifics of the treatment will depend upon which phase of the sexual response cycle is affected.
For arousal and orgasm problems, the first step is to reduce the emphasis on performance and instead to emphasize the obtaining and giving of pleasure. “Sensate focus” is a fancy term that simply means retraining the individual or couple to enjoy the full erotic potential of the entire body by expanding attention well beyond the genitals.
Couples may ate first even be enjoined from touching the genitals at all in order to reduce their emphasis on performance and orgasm. Individuals or couples with inhibitions are instructed to explore each other’s bodies and become versed in each other’s preferences and dislikes. The less you think about sexual performance, the more fun you have and the better your sexual performance will therefore be.
For male erectile disorder, the treatment has been revolutionized by the introduction of Viagra, an oral medication that increases penile blood flow during periods of sexual arousal. Whether it proves to be similarly helpful for Female Sexual Arousal Disorder remains to be seen.
For premature ejaculation, the easily learned “squeeze technique” has become the standard and very effective treatment. This involves bringing the main right t the point of orgasm and then providing a gentle squeeze just below the glans of the penis in order to prevent ejaculation. Doing this repeatedly for a bried period of time will give the man much greater control over his ejaculations. Self confidence and reduced anxiety are more than half the battle.
Problems with sexual desire are often the hardest to treat. Psychotherapy is usually necessary if these result from intrapsychic conflicts in one or both partners. Other techniques that work with varying success include reintroducing romance to the relationship, improving appearance and grooming, suggesting fresh techniques or settings to expand a couple’s previously stale repertoire, and exposure to sexually arousing materials and fantasies. Dealing with problems in the relationship can also be very helpful.