Anorexia is thought of as an eating disorder. A person thinks they are too fat and stops eating, often to the point where they appear skeletal. Anorexia literally means “interrupted appetite”. Sexual anorexia is when a person has no interest in sex whatsoever. They may even feel an aversion to it. This can happen to both men and women. People with this disorder avoid intimacy, particularly sexual intimacy at all costs. Erectile dysfunction (ED) may accompany sexual anorexia. When the subject of sex comes up, anger or fear is often this person’s reaction. At the 2011 Global Addiction Conference Dr. Sanja Rozman a Slovenian doctor concluded that someone with sexual anorexia can avoid intercourse to the point where it, “dominates one’s life.” This disorder can occur due to both physical and emotional issues. Physical issues include exhaustion, a hormonal imbalance or as a side effect from certain medications. Emotionally a very strict upbringing with a dim view of sex, difficulty communicating, rape and sex abuse are reasons a person can become sexually anorexic.
It can be difficult to diagnose this condition. If it is believed to be psychological in origin an evaluation by a psychologist, sex therapist or a counselor will diagnose the issue. When searching for a biological cause, a physician or urologist uses a series of blood tests. If they each indicate a depleted hormone level this is deemed the cause. Some men suffer from the condition due to a lack of testosterone, a clinical issue called hypogonadism. A man may be born with this disorder or he may develop it due to an injury or a serious infection. For those who suffer from hypogonadism, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the proper treatment. Those who have a lack of libido due to erectile dysfunction may particularly benefit from TRT. Even if the problem is merely physical, the emotional side still needs to be dealt with properly. Couples counseling or sex therapy sessions can be of great benefit, particularly to those in a long-term relationship. A healthy attitude about sex can be attained by working with a trusted mental health professional. The good news for those suffering from sexual anorexia is that treatment is available and effective.