We often don’t stop to think about a woman’s experience with male sexual impotence, although many women are deeply affected by it in ways similar to men. Most psychologists agree that male sexual dysfunction affects a woman’s state of mind just as acutely as men. Both men and women often have trouble discussing sexual impotence problems openly and honestly. This lack of communication is often responsible for driving both men and women to thoughts of self-doubt and even depression. One of the most important things a couple can do is to examine their feelings openly, and discuss how each feels about how sexual dysfunction problems are affecting their relationship.
Men and women often experience similar feelings when dealing with sexual dysfunction. A man may experience profound feelings of dejection, frustration, embarrassment, shame, and guilt for not being able to perform for his partner. What sort of feelings might a woman experience when dealing with her partner’s sexual dysfunction? Perhaps surprisingly, women often feel the very same feelings that a man does. For instance, a woman may feel guilty and responsible for her partner’s inability to perform, she may fear rejection and even abandonment, she may blame herself for the problem, and she may experience feelings of embarrassment, frustration, anger, and depression.
While men who suffer from sexual dysfunction might call into question their sense of masculinity, many women will question their own feelings of attractiveness. Many women may fear that they are no longer attractive to their partner, and so a woman will often blame his sexual dysfunction on herself. Some women may even interpret their partner’s sexual dysfunction as a personal rejection. Along with these feelings comes the fear of rejection and permanent abandonment. Of course, these negative feelings experienced by both men and women are not at all conducive to healing or problem solving.
Relationships in which both partners are plagued by fear and self-doubt have a lesser chance of finding a satisfying resolution to problems of sexual dysfunction. In some cases, women who feel unattractive and who fear rejection or abandonment may strive to ‘desexualize’ their partner. They may simply give up on the idea of a healthy and satisfying sexual life with their partner. Both partners may conclude that they no longer deserve a satisfying sexual life, and may even strive to convince themselves that they do not desire a sexual relationship with each other anymore.
In order to get past these negative and even illogical thoughts, both partners must choose to have an open and honest discussion about their sexual relationship. What does each partner want from each other? Do both still desire an active sexual life? What can each partner do to make the other feel sure in the relationship? These questions are crucial in order to survive the level of tension that sexual dysfunction can bring to a relationship.