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Glossary

What Is Low Sexual Desire? ↓

What Is Low Sexual Desire? People normally differ in the degree of sexual appetite they have. There is no single standard of sexual desire, and desire differs not only from person to person but also in the same person over the life span. One of the most common sexual complaints among couples is a disparity in sexual desire. Sexual desire can be low for an almost infinite variety of reasons, many of them psychological and interpersonal. But that doesn't necessarily make it a disorder. It becomes a diagnosable condition only when it diminishes the quality of one's life and creates distress, or a disparity arises in the sex drive between partners and it becomes a matter of unresolved contention in the relationship. Hypoactive sexual desire can both result from relationship problems and cause them. Moreover, hypoactive desire is almost invariably a relative matter. Partners who use as a standard of comparison the degree of sexual desire experienced early in a relationship may label as a problem the drop in sexual desire and activity that often accompanies longer-term partnerships, when the needs of everyday living tend to prevail. Further, a person who experiences low sexual desire that is problematic relative to one partner may not experience any disparity in desire with a different partner. Hypoactive sexual desire may arise only in response to one's current partner. And what is designated as one partner's low level of desire may more accurately reflect an overactive sex drive in the other partner. Sexual desire and responsiveness normally differ between men and women, and assumptions of sexual equivalency may falsely suggest the existence of hypoactive desire disorder. Men are more readily biologically aroused than women, and, for them, desire is tied tightly to physiologic arousal. Among women, sexual desire is more psychological and situational, related more to context than it is among men-to how they feel about their bodies as well as to the quality of relationship with their partner. Moreover, women often do not experience desire until after they are genitally aroused, and arousal may require an extended period of foreplay. The waning of sexual desire is sometimes considered an inevitability in a long-term relationship, but it is unclear whether that is truly the case, or whether it is a function of age or familiarity. Low sexual desire can often be treated. But increasingly, experts are optimistic that the sexual spark can stay alive throughout the life span.

Sex ↓
At least for humans, this most basic act is anything but simple. As the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey put it, the only universal in human sexuality is variability itself. Within the universe of intimacy and pleasure that sex affords, however, there's a lot of room for error. From the behavior itself to our orientations, sex never fails to be a provacative topic. Most people are affected by sexual problems at some point in their lives and safety is always a concern. Though the global jury may remain hung over sex's moral and political implications, we can all come to at least one consensus: It's why we're alive today and it's the first thing future generations depend on.
Exibitionism ↓

Exhibitionism is a condition marked by the urge to expose one’s sexual organs to others, particularly strangers.

Orgasmic Disorder ↓

Orgasmic Disorder Orgasmic disorder is the inability to achieve climax during sexual stimulation.

Fetishism ↓

Fetishism is sexual attraction to objects, situations, or body parts not traditionally viewed as sexual.

Masochism ↓
Sexual masochism falls under the psychiatric sexual disorders category of paraphilias, meaning "abnormal or unnatural attraction." Sexual masochism refers to engaging in or frequently fantasizing about being beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer, resulting in sexual satisfaction. Blindfolding, spanking and humiliation in the form of defecation, urination, or forced imitation of animals are other methods used by these patients. Masochists may inflict their own pain through shocking, pricking or choking.
Gender Identity Disorder ↓

Gender identity disorder (GID) or transsexualism is defined by strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex. People with GID desire to live as members of the opposite sex and often dress and use mannerisms associated with the other gender. For instance, a person identified as a boy may feel and act like a girl. This is distinct from homosexuality in that homosexuals nearly always identify with their apparent sex or gender.

Inhibited Sexual Desire ↓

Inhibited sexual desire (ISD) refers to a low level of sexual interest resulting in a failure to initiate or respond to sexual intimacy. ISD may be a primary condition (where an individual has never felt much sexual desire), or secondary (where lack of interest is something new). ISD may also be specific to the partner, or it may be a general attitude toward any potential partner. A diagnosis of hypoactive sexual desire disorder refers to a persistent or recurring lack of desire or an absence of sexual fantasies. However, sexual performance may be adequate once activity has been initiated. This disorder occurs in approximately 20 percent of the population and is more common in women, though it does affect both sexes. Sexual aversion disorder refers to a condition in which the concept of genital sexual contact seems repulsive. This disorder probably occurs less frequently than hypoactive sexual desire.

Autoeroticism ↓

Sensual self-gratification. Characteristic of, but not limited to, an early stage of emotional development. Includes satisfactions derived from genital play, masturbation, fantasy, and oral, anal, and visual sources.

Gender Identity ↓

One's sense of maleness or femaleness: usually includes awareness and acceptance of one's biological sex.

Intimacy ↓

The capacity to make a full commitment-sexual, emotional, and moral-to another person.

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