"Normal" and "broken" sexuality

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 19.10.2021

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A lot of circumstances and situations can cause sexual disorders. In this section, we consider the most common sexual problems and functional disorders, various therapeutic methods for their treatment.

  • Forms of sexual functional disorders

Sexual disorders are divided into three categories.

Sexual dysfunction. About sexual dysfunction can be said when the normal sexual cycle is blocked, which has a harmful effect on sexual activity. For example, in this case, we can talk about a man who does not have an erection, or a woman who does not get excited even when her partner stimulates her.

Paraphilia. This concept covers a wide range of types of sexual behavior that do not correspond to common habits. To paraphilias, for example, it is possible to attribute sexual activity of adults to children or exposure of the penis in the presence of strangers.

Disorders of gender identity. Is manifested in the fact that a man who has a corresponding body structure, feels like a woman or a woman feels like a man.

  • Sexual activity and practice

From the point of view of mental health, there is no concept of a "normal" form of sexual behavior. Between the two adults in agreement with each other, everything that seems safe and satisfying to them is considered normal.

Sexual needs and preferences are very different in different groups and among different people. Acceptable sexual practice reflects both cultural attitudes, family upbringing, religious influences, social trends, and individual preferences. The fact that in one culture or in a given family is regarded as normal sexual activity, in other conditions can be considered forbidden and reprehensible. In addition, the norms may change under the influence of certain events or with time.

In Western culture there is a wide range of sexual behaviors and opportunities for sexual choice. Possible as a complete rejection of sex before marriage, and pre-marital liaison with one or more partners, the observance of sexual fidelity, hetero-, bi-and homosexual relationships. Individual predilections can be reflected in sexual practice and include genital, oral and anal sex.

In some cultures and religious groups, there is a rejection of sex during menstruation. In certain circles it is accepted that the initiator of sex is a woman, whereas in other cultural or social strata the woman expects that the man will take the sexual initiative.

At the beginning of the XX century, masturbation was regarded as a painful disorder. At present, science considers self-stimulation to be normal and healthy sexual activity. In many societies, some of its members consider people of the same sex as sexual partners. In our society, most professionals do not consider homosexuality a sexual disorder.

Conflicting attitudes toward sexual preferences and sexual practices can affect a person's ability to achieve a full sexual response and regard their sexuality as normal. Sexual desires that differ from ordinary ones or regarded by society as shameful can lead to conflicts with the law, public ostracism and mental suffering.

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