Sexual Anorexia

Sexual anorexia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sexual anorexia is a term used to describe a lack of "appetite" for sex. However, the term is used broadly and can be better defined as a fear of intimacy to the point that the person has severe anxiety surrounding sex. There are people that appear to have a sexual addiction because they frequent strip clubs, prostitutes, cyberporn sites, etc., but really fit the definition of sexual anorexic because they are terrified of having any kind of relationship beyond a paid-for or anonymous experience. The person does not have an aversion to sex but to intimacy. A sex addict is more likely to be capable of being in a more intimate relationship and is often married or in a committed relationship when deciding to get treatment for their addiction. A sexual anorexic may have a social phobia or be so fragile emotionally that the risk of rejection or criticism is far more terrifying than being isolated. Narcissistic traits are often seen in both sexual anorexics and sex addicts, but in the sexual anorexic, the traits are considered far more "brittle" and the pain of rejection and criticism is far more excruciating than for the sex addict.

Treatment is aimed at helping the person see where his/her fears really are and to see the world in less black and white terms. The patient is encouraged to take calculated risks with social activities and distorted thinking is gently challenged with facts and reality. The goals for both sex addicts and sexual anorexics is to learn to have healthy sex and get emotional needs met in direct ways, and to set healthy boundaries. This is an issue that requires ongoing treatment in planned stages with the end goal of autonomy, independence, and improved social relationships.

The concept of "sexual anorexia" was first mentioned by psychologist Nathan Hare in 1975, in an unpublished dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment for a Ph.D. at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. Ellen Goodman, the nationally syndicated columnist, revealed psychiatrist Sylvia Kaplan's usage of the concept in 1981; which was quickly noted in the editor's "Notes" in the journal "Black Male/Female Relationships." A book by psychologist Patrick Carnes called "Sexual Anorexia" was published in 1997. Hare's Ph.D. dissertation on "Black Male-Female Relations" (1975) as well as the now defunct journal called "Black Male/Female Relationships" (1979-1982) are available from University Microfilms, at the University of Michigan.


Further reading

Carnes, Patrick J. (December 1998). "The case for sexual anorexia: An interim report on 144 patients with sexual disorders". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 5 (4): 293-309. ISSN 1072-0162. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.

Nelson, Laura (June 2003). "Sexual addiction versus sexual anorexia and the church’s impact". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 10 (2/3): 179-191. ISSN 1072-0162. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.

External links

Source: Wikipedia

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