Sexual inhibition  

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The history of civilization is the history of a long warfare between the dangerous and powerful forces of the id, and the various systems of taboos and inhibitions which man has erected to control them. --Sex in History (1964) -- Gordon Rattray Taylor

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A sexual inhibition denotes a conservative attitude to or a reservation relating to specific sexual practices.

One might be defined as having high sexual inhibitions in the events of fearing (see erotophobia) or being repelled by any sexual practice or discourse. Alternatively, one might have low sexual inhibitions by unashamedly welcoming a variety of erotic techniques.

A particularly uninhibited individual might be branded in contemporary society as being a slut, stud or pervert while someone abnormally inhibited may be considered sexually frigid or Prudish.

The opposite of sexual inhibition is free love.

Causes of Inhibitions

Sexual inhibitions are caused by a number of things. The most common include, but are not limited to, repression of sexual behaviour as a small child, societal restraints on sexual behaviour, ignorance, sexual myths, and disparity in between the partners.

Early conditioning by not only parents and guardians, but society, can play a paramount role in one's sexual inhibitions. When the child is young, s/he begins to understand the concept of gender identity, and begins to associate him/herself as either a boy or a girl. This will also eventually lead to the discovery of the genitalia. Touching/playing/showing of the genitalia is generally considered inappropriate behaviour and the child may be admonished (on a side note, frequent spanking of small children violating these cultural taboos can lead to possible sado-masochism). The child learns the taboo of the genitalia and generally accepts them. If the child witnesses any sort of sexual behaviours between persons s/he is familiar to, after all of this anti sexual conditioning, the child may become confused and thus it may lead to sexual inhibition as the child grows. However this depends on the response of the child. Many times, if the child witnesses their parent(s) engaging in sexual acts, the child may see them acting frantically, and thus the child would interpret it in a negative manner, again leading to sexual inhibitions’‘. But if the parent(s) or another party are abusing the child, s/he may grow to engage in more atypical sexual behaviour.’‘

Society has a profound effect on one's perception of sex. Western culture has a decidedly negative attitude about sex, originating from the Catholic church's effect on English thoughts on sex’‘. The English brought these anti-sex ideas with them when they colonised North America, and thus the U.S.'s ideas of sex originated. Parents pass on their anti-sex ideas onto their kids at a young age, but the media imposes conflicting ideas on the youths as they grow older’‘. People who do not know how to cope with the conflicting attitudes regarding sex may suffer from certain inhibitions upon reaching adulthood.

Disparity among partners is by far the most common cause of sexual inhibitions’‘. For example, one partner comes home from work all stressed out and believes the s/he deserves a reprieve from the stress of work and thus desire sexual activity. S/he may have also been around sexually appealing people all day and may be in want of sexual activity because of that. The other partner may be too tired to engage in sexual activity that night. If the side in favour of sex wins, the other partner may hold back during sex. If the disparity is constant in the two partners, counselling to settle the issues between the couple may be indicated.

Results of Inhibitions

Sexual inhibitions can manifest themselves in multiple ways. Different types include impotence, premature ejaculation, vaginismus, and in rare cases, dyspareunia.

Impotence is of psychological cause in men under 40’‘. The most common cause of sexual impotence is when a man fears being impotent’‘. Other causes include disinterest in the partner, distraction, or intoxication. Therapy and prescription drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis can help alleviate this problem.

Premature ejaculation is a common problem, and is caused by excessive tension in males who have rarely engaged in sexual activity’‘. The simple solution is to just have more sex, however a squeeze technique can be adopted if necessary’‘. The technique is for the other partner to squeeze the man's penis before ejaculation, thus preventing the act. Further down the line, one can abandon this technique. Another solution is to ask doctor for drugs specifically targeted to treat premature ejaculation recommendation.

Vaginismus is another common result of inhibitions’‘. Vaginismus is when the vaginal opening is contracted sharply during sex to make penetration painful, if not impossible. It is caused by antisexual conditioning covered in the previous section. One can dilate the vagina in order to solve this problem’‘.

Dyspareunia is painful penetration. Usually it is physiological, but in a few cases it is psychological due to the woman's needless belief that she cannot accommodate a large penis’‘. However this fear is groundless, as the vagina is quite capable of accommodating quite the healthy sized penis.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sexual inhibition" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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