Do you know what frigidity is? Frigidity involves lack of enjoyment or pleasure in sexual intercourse.. This disorder, which can affect both men and women, appears especially in the female sex, affecting one in ten women.
In this article we will know what frigidity is and how it differs from other sexual disorders or dysfunctions. In addition, we will explain what are its most frequent causes, symptoms and possible treatments.
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What is frigidity?
Frigidity is a term used to describe those cases of women who do not enjoy sexual intercourse.. It is often used in a pejorative way, although in this article we will limit ourselves to using the term to refer to this absence of female pleasure during sexual intercourse (without any positive or negative connotation).
Frigidity, in fact, is a disorder that can also manifest itself in men, although it is much less frequent. That is why in this article we will deal exclusively with female frigidity.
On the other hand, it should be clarified that frigidity implies an impossibility to enjoy sexual relations (because the woman does not feel pleasure), and that this can lead to the woman herself feeling a lack of sexual desire (but this lack of desire would be the consequence of frigidity, not frigidity itself).
Thus, women with frigidity do not enjoy sex (because they do not feel sexual pleasure).This also translates into an absence of erotic sensations during sexual intercourse (either in the preliminary stage of sex, during penetration, etc.).
Sometimes, women with frigidity do not feel pleasure during masturbation either (although this is less frequent). Frigidity can appear at different times of life; if it appears as soon as a woman begins to have sexual relations, we speak of primary or total frigidity; if, on the other hand, it appears later, we speak of secondary or partial frigidity.
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Differences between frigidity and other sexual dysfunctions
Before delving into the causes, symptoms and treatments of female frigidity, let’s clarify what frigidity is not.. We must know how to differentiate frigidity from:
Dyspareunia involves pain during sexual intercourse (specifically, during sexual intercourse). It can appear in both men and women, although it is more frequent in women.
Vaginismus is a sexual dysfunction that makes penetration difficult because the woman’s pelvic muscles contract involuntarily. But it has nothing to do with frigidity.
Female anorgasmia implies that the woman does not achieve orgasm during masturbation or sexual intercourse; however, she does feel pleasure (in frigidity, she does not). It is a more common disorder than frigidity, and should not be confused.
4. Hypoactive sexual desire
Hypoactive sexual desire involves reduced (or absent) sexual desire. Although frigidity can lead to this lack of sexual appetite (due to the impossibility of feeling pleasure during sexual intercourse), they are actually different things.
The causes that can lead to female frigidity are diverse.. As we will see, they can be organic, hormonal, psychological, social… Some of the most frequent are the following.
These occur especially in childhood; for example, situations of sexual or psychological abuse, trauma, mistreatment, etc. Such an event can cause frigidity in adulthood.
2. Problems in the couple’s relationship
When there are problems in the couple’s relationship (meaning the partner with whom the woman has frigidity), it is likely that the sexual field will also suffer. In the end, the quality of sex, to a large extent, reflects the state of the relationship.
In short, if a couple is going through a bad period, symptoms such as frigidity may appear (in both sexes).
Problems in the couple, in turn, can be caused by multiple reasons: lack of reciprocated feelings, falling out of love, lack of communication, jealousy, infidelity, etc.
3. Lack of confidence
Lack of self-confidence and personal insecurities are other possible causes of female frigidity. In turn, this lack of confidence may be caused by other factors (temperamental or personality factors, toxic relationships, abandonment, etc.).
4. Hormonal alterations
Certain hormonal problems can also be the cause of frigidity. These problems result in imbalances in the levels of certain hormones, for example, and may be caused by taking contraceptive drugs.
Certain diseases can cause frigidity, such as diabetes or plaque sclerosis.
6. Strict upbringing
Having a strict (or overly religious) upbringing, along with other factors, may be another cause of frigidity. Often this type of education can develop feelings of guilt in women about having sex.
7. Clumsiness of the sexual partner
If the sexual partner acts clumsily or does not know how to act during sexual intercourse, this can also favor the appearance of frigidity in women.
8. Certain drugs
Certain drugs such as antidepressants or sleeping pills can alter a woman’s sexual functioning (also affecting her desire and enjoyment during intercourse).
As we have seen the main symptom of frigidity is the absence of enjoyment or pleasure during sexual intercourse.. Thus, sex is not painful (as in dyspareunia), but simply does not produce pleasure either psychologically or sexually.
In addition to this main symptom, and depending on the degree and intensity of the alteration, frigidity may be accompanied by other symptoms such as: discomfort with the partner, insecurities, anxiety, fears, rejection of interpersonal contact, isolation, guilt, etc.
When we are facing a case of frigidity, it is important to see a specialist, whether a doctor, gynecologist, etc., in order to rule out the possibility of frigidity.etc., in order to rule out organic causes. Once organic causes are ruled out, we can go to a sex therapist or couple (psychologist) to help us determine the causes of this disorder.
Fortunately, frigidity is usually temporary and is a treatable disorder. Thus, as long as we wish to change the situation (and when frigidity is really a problem for us), therapy can be useful.
Psychological therapy is especially useful when frigidity is due to psychological causes (e.g. emotional blocks, anxiety, relationship problems…). During the therapy many factors can be known that, indirectly or directly, may be influencing the maintenance of frigidity.
In addition, as frigidity is usually a problem of two (not a “problem” only of the woman), it will be beneficial to know the dynamics of the couple, ways of relating to each other, degree of trust, communication, etc., to know what is not working in the couple’s relationship. During therapy, cognitive-behavioral techniques (cognitive restructuring, for example) can be used.