Sexual Anorexia Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Sexual Anorexia: Things YOU MUST Know & Do Something About

Sexual Anorexia Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment

If your libido or sex drive is weak, you may have sexual anorexia. Anorexia means “loss of appetite.” In this case, your sexual appetite is disturbed or interrupted. This seems to be an eating disorder, but it is actually a different condition from anorexia nervosa.  

This condition is related to certain signs and risk factors, and some people may call it addiction. People suffering from this avoid, and dread sexual intimacy. This condition is related to suppression of sexual desire, avoidance of intercourse, and sexual aversion in general. 

It may also involve physical problems such as male impotence. There is usually no cause for the occurrence of this disorder. This usually happens as a defense mechanism and provides a way to gain strength, such as in hunger or hoarding. People also use their obsession with avoiding sex to cope with stress or depression.  

How Sexual Anorexia can affect You  

This is usually caused by trauma. People with anorexia and other intimacy problems have a strong desire to be loved, but in many cases, they believe that they are not worthy of love and do not wish to trust others.  

They think that being abstinent and isolated is the only way to be safe from other people. A person with anorexia can also show fear and anger when the topic of sex arises. 

The possible causes of such problem can be among these.

  • Sexual abuse and rape  
  • Negative attitudes towards sex  
  • Religious and orthodox upbringing about the idea of sex 
  • Communication issues  
  • Power struggles with your partners or any loved ones 

What are sexual anorexia symptoms? 

Compulsive avoidance behaviors, including behaviors related to sex, self-esteem, and intimacy, make this a form of an addiction. Here are some of the symptoms you ought to look for.  

  • Consistent fear of intimacy, intercourse, sexual pleasure, sexually transmitted infections, etc.  
  • Frequently preoccupied to the point of obsession with sexual problems, including sexual orientation, intentions and behaviors of others, and whether their own sexual behaviors are appropriate.  
  • Negative, harsh, or severely critical attitudes toward sex, appearance, and sexual activity 
  • Shame and self-loathing about sexual experiences  
  • Self-destructive behavior to avoid, restrict, or terminate sexual activity 

In some cases there can be other symptoms as well, but all that will be few and far between.

Who is at risk? 

This problem can affect both men and women.

The most affected people are the survivors of sexual abuse or previous sexual rejection, and they often do not know the reasons for the difficulties in their sex lives.  

People with anorexia may also have other addiction problems such as food addiction, substance addiction and other obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorders.  

There are people who strongly identify with cultural, social, or religious groups that involve sexual oppression. They may also be particularly vulnerable to compulsive avoidance. 

Is sexual anorexia a type of addiction? 

Anorexia can be described as a “process addiction“. Experts explain that people with anorexia can be used to avoiding sex, because the desire to avoid sex becomes compulsive and overwhelm a person’s life.  

On the spectrum of sex addiction, one extreme is a person who compulsively seeks out sex and the other extreme is this. In which some people compulsively avoid it. It is also important to note that drug addiction can also be related to this.  

A study of men with a history of drug use found that most of them had struggled with sexual dysfunction before starting drug use. About half of people said they use drugs to improve sexual performance. Those who are struggling with anorexia can use drugs to treat themselves or mask their feelings about sex. 

Can people with sexual anorexia ever engage in sexual intercourse? 

Despite the aversion, sufferers can still have sex. The irony is that people suffering from this can even form relationships with people who cannot control their sex addiction, because one partner struggles to control their sexual behavior while the other is over-controlling. 

Many times, people keep themselves busy with housework, parenting and other activities until their partner has no time or energy. However, people who spend most of the day doing housework, and other activities can easily feel overwhelmed to share emotions, be intimate or connect sexually with their partner.  

In this case, redefining the division of tasks in the family is of great help in rekindling sexual activities 

Porn addiction & sexual anorexia? 

Some porn addicts are not really able to establish intimate relationships with their partners, which may confuse the spouses of porn addicts. They worry that their partners don’t feel attraction to them. So they prefer pornography rather than real sex.  

Although porn addiction can be a stepping stone to high-risk sexual activities, such as finding romance or hiring sex workers, it can also lead to decreased sexual function and emotional availability called sexual anorexia 

Porn Addiction & Sexual Anorexia – 2 Sides of the Same Coin  

Some sex addiction rehabilitation groups view sexual anorexia as the “other side of the coin” to porn addiction, both of which stem from the desire to avoid negative emotions such as intimacy and shame.  

In the case of porn addicts, a deep sense of guilt and shame can drive them to watch more porn, which makes it difficult to have sex with a partner. Although the partner of a porn addict may conclude that they can “win over” porn through being sexually available, this rarely happens to those who also suffer from sexual anorexia.  

If someone suffering from porn addiction has low self-esteem and think that they are not worthy of receiving love, they may also view their sexual urges as destructive and avoid establishing relationships with others for fear of harm or disappointing their partner. 

Can sexual anorexia affect porn addicts who aren’t in a relationship? 

This doesn’t only affect people in relationships. Single sufferers often spend a long time without a partner and avoid potential suitors as they fear of emotional intimacy.

In such a situation, they usually use pornography as an alternative for real emotions from a partner.

Sometimes, they may also find it difficult to engage socially and make friends as porn curbs their emotions and bottles it up in their mind.  

For those seeking romantic relationships but have sexual anorexia, they often find it difficult to get along with their partners, and it is difficult for them to meet their partners’ emotional needs.

They shut down when it comes to emotional discussions, and hence their fail to meet their needs.

They may use pornography instead of opening up to their partner, which can increase their partner’s feeling of inferiority. 

Porn can desensitize you  

In some cases of sexual anorexia, strong addiction to pornography is also a thing. Over time, the use of pornography did reduce people’s sexual sensitivity. Men and women who are addicts, are tolerant of porn pictures and seek more graphics and hardcore porn.  

It becomes more and more difficult for them to achieve and maintain sexual excitement in real life, and some people even avoid sex and intimacy altogether. Over time, the harmful cycle repeats, this phase suddenly ends with another phase of increased pornographic viewing and cravings for sex.  

However, it ends up with the inability to establish true intimacy or long-term relationships. If a partner again indicates that they want to have an intimate connection, the person can again go back to it. 

2 Options You Have if you’re Experiencing Sexual Anorexia 

There are essentially 2 approaches to treating the problem. 

Medical assistance  

Hormone therapy is an effective treatment for some patients with sexual anorexia. Adults who suppress libido due to low testosterone or oestrogen levels may benefit from medication. This is especially useful for men who lack sexual interest related to erectile dysfunction.  

Menopausal women with low a sex drive can also benefit from hormone replacement therapy to increase libido. 


If you are a person suffering from sexual anorexia mainly due to addiction to porn, therapy would be the best form of treatment for you. The emotional aspect of sexual anorexia also needs treatment.  

Effective communication and conflict resolution skills can help couples solve sexual problems. Family counseling, relationship training, or courses with sex therapists can help. 

If you think that porn is the only way to pleasure yourself. Or if you have experience of any kind of sexual trauma. You’ll need to sort your problems with a professional therapist 

Outlook for Someone Suffering from both Porn Addiction & Sexual Anorexia 

The outlook for patients with sexual anorexia are very different. Depending on your basic health, the medical part of the equation can be easily corrected. However, the deeper psychological aspects of this condition are more difficult to treat, especially if you are also suffering from porn addiction.  

Many centers that treat sexual anorexia also treat porn addiction through conditioning you to stay away from porn and developing a healthy sexual relationship with your partner. You may also consult your personal counselor or a doctor for what would work best for you.  

Keep the lines of communication completely open with your partner. This will help you to avoid feeling rejected. It can also help you feel connected with each other and hope for the future. 


There are many factors that contribute to the this problem. Un a low sex drive, it’s not caused by hormonal imbalance and should not be confused with asexuality. Sexual anorexia is a psychological phenomenon characterized by being deprived of a healthy sex life.  

Depression, anxiety, abuse, relationship problems, physical problems, and insufficient sexual experience can all cause this condition. To cure anorexia, you first need to know the exact cause of the problem. People suffering from this may have never had sex and avoid talking about or understanding sex.  

Some people with this condition can truly benefit from sex education, which can help them feel more at ease when they end up having sex. Do you think you have had this experience or do you know someone who does?

How are you planning to overcome it? 


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