Sexual Anorexia

sexual anorexia

They suffer silently, consumed by a dread of sexual pleasure and filled with fear and sexual self-doubt. They feel profoundly at odds with a culture that tirelessly promotes sex but is strangely unconscious about sexuality. It is not inhibited sexual desire they are experiencing, although they often possess a naivete, an innocence, or even a prejudice against sex. It is not sexual dysfunction, although their suffering often wears the mask of physical problems that affect sex. It is not about being cold and unresponsive although that certainly is a way in which they protect themselves against the hurt. It is not about religious belief, although religious sexual oppression may have been a place to hide. It is not about guilt and shame, although those feelings are powerfully experienced. Nor is it about sexual betrayal or risk or rejection, although those are common themes. It is simply the emptiness of profound deprivation, a silent suffering called sexual anorexia.

From ‘Sexual Anorexia’ by Patrick Carnes

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