What Is Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD)?

Sexual Aversion Disorder

Sexual Aversion Disorder is the persistent avoidance of genital contact with a sexual partner. SAD as, it is commonly known, is a continuous desire to avoid anything sex-related activities. It is a syndrome that usually comes in the form of arousal dysfunction. 

Studies have shown that SAD is more prevalent in women than in men. In most cases, the affected person can show feelings of hostility towards sexual matters.

Sexual aversion disorder does not just surface for no reason; there is always a cause. 

If I may ask, how much do you know about this condition? Do you have any idea what triggers SAD? Let’s take you through this particular subject that many people hardly talk about.

Before we continue, I would like us to take a quick look at the types of SAD. 

Table of Contents

Types of Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD)

So far, there have been only two recorded types of Sexual Aversion Disorder, and they are:

  • Lifelong SAD: People with lifelong Sexual Aversion Disorder exhibit symptoms no matter what form of relationship they have with other people and the kind of people they interact with.
  • Acquired SAD: Individuals with this type of SAD variant experience it in response to a particular relationship. Notwithstanding, persons with this type of SAD may function normally if found outside the relationship that triggers them.

You’re probably wondering what may cause a person to develop this insane disorder? Read on to find out!

Causes of Sexual Aversion Disorder

Several factors can trigger Sexual Aversion Disorder, and while it is prevalent in women, it is also common in men.

These factors vary from both gender, and it is as follows:

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Sexual Aversion Disorder in women

Sexual Aversion Disorder in women can be influenced by the traumatic experience of the past like:

  • Incest: This is a sexual relationship between close relatives, especially immediate family members and first cousins. It is considered taboo or an abomination. Incest is particularly traumatic if the affected party or parties was either too young to understand what was happening or gave no consent to the act.
  • Molestation: Getting molested isn’t a new trend that society has fought for eons to battle. Many women suffer from molestation from either friends, families, or strangers. This act can, in many ways, lead to SAD in women. 
  • Rape: Women react differently to rape, and for some, it can leave an everlasting scar. Rape is the act of being forced to engage in sexual intercourse against one’s will. 

Sexual Aversion Disorder in men

Since some events are beyond our control, at least one in twenty men are equally affected by the sexual disorder.

The leading causes of sexual aversion disorder in men include:

  • Past sexual trauma: There are records of boys who are affected sexually. In most cases, these boys grow up disliking the idea of sex and would shy away from it the first chance they get. This may be as a result of repeated abuse when they were young.
  • Performance anxiety: This is the fear of not satisfying a sexual partner or partners. It may be due to poor body image, worry that their sexual organ doesn’t measure up, or concern about ejaculating too early. 
  • Relationship issues: There are challenges that some men have that can affect their relationship negatively. These may include communication difficulties, loss of intimacy, financial pressure, and inability to cope with stress properly. In addition, it isn’t unusual for some men going through some relationship glitches to experience Sexual Aversion Disorder.
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Signs and symptoms of Sexual Aversion Disorder

The signs and symptoms of Sexual Aversion Disorder can manifest depending on the damage done to the sufferer. It may range from mild to severe. 

The mild symptoms of sexual aversion disorder are:

  • Lack of interest in sexual Intimacy or sex-related topics or activities. 
  • Mild disgust over sex-related issues. 
  • People with SAD would do anything to avoid any form of physical contacts. These may include holding hands and fear that such contact will lead to sexual interaction or activity.

    A severe symptom of Sexual Aversion Disorder includes:
  • Panic attack: These symptoms manifest as rapid heartbeat, intense fear, dizziness, and shortness of breath. 

Effects of Sexual Aversion Disorder

Sexual Aversion Disorder has some effects that may leave the sufferers with permanent trauma if not quickly and adequately attended.

These effects include the following:

  • Sufferers of Sexual Aversion Disorder tend to isolate themselves, which affects their social well-being and interpersonal relationships. 
  • People suffering from severe SAD can experience discomfort, high levels of panic attacks, and extreme anxiety. 
  • SAD may eventually lead to hiccups in the relationship or marriage of those suffering from it. 

Treatment methods of Sexual Aversion Disorder

Can SAD be treated? Fortunately, SAD can be treated effectively. Let’s quickly run through the treatment method of sexual aversion disorder. 

Research has proven the treatment methods of SAD to be very effective. These treatments include:

  • Anxiety-reduction techniques: Systematic desensitization is a form of therapy that removes the fear of a response to a phobia and replaces it with a relaxation response. The phobia we are talking about here is the aversion to sexual relationships and their kind. 
  • Therapy: SAD can be treatable with various counseling sessions. These sessions can help the suffering face and fight their trauma, pain, and worries. Consequently, this can help them get over their psychological distress. 
  • Behavioral assignment: This is a crucial tool or method applied by the psychologist/therapist to observe, describe and predict the improvement of the patient. 
  • Communication enhancement: At this point, the patient is taught how to have an open dialogue with their partners about their needs and concerns, which will help overcome their fear and anxiety. 
  • Sexual intimacy promotion: In this treatment technique, the patient should go along with their partners. This treatment technique exposes both parties to different ways of getting over their fear towards sexual intimacy and redefining their viewpoint on sex. This may help to resolve interpersonal conflicts that may be a  contributing factor to the disorder.
    However, if the condition is left unattended, it may lead to the sufferer’s inability to stay happy or experience chronic unhappiness. 
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There are a few statistics on the number of people living with sexual aversion disorder because it is often mistaken for other conditions.

Besides, many people find it difficult to talk about sex-related topics, even with a doctor. 

It’s safe to say that many people living with SAD are much more than those who seek medical help. For this reason, it’s difficult to ascertain the statistics of people living with Sexual Aversion Disorder. 

Treatment will be very successful if SAD is quickly detected and addressed as a psychological disorder.

Additionally, it helps if the sufferers acknowledge that what they’re experiencing is psychological and are willing to attend counseling sessions. 


Sexual aversion disorder (SAD) is not a death sentence. Instead, it’s a situation that arises from traumas faced from past ugly sexual incidences. 

It’s a situation that can be tackled if noticed quickly. Also, don’t forget that the treatment of SAD can only be successful if the patients are willing to cooperate with their therapist to find solutions to this problem. 

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