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Nine questions about sexual problems

Below you read nine questions which can help you to clarify what the issue is if you experience a sexual problem.

Physical and psychological factors

If there is something going on in terms of your experience of sex or your sexual behaviour, you are the only oneseks problemen who can say whether or not it is a problem. If it does not bother you in any way, it is not a problem. With many sexual problems, physical and psychological factors play a role. For example: physical pain can reduce your appetite for sex. And of course your relationship can also have something to do with it. It is often difficult to distinguish causes from consequences, especially if problems have already existed for some time. And one sexual problem may lead to another sexual problem. Having a dry vagina or having problems getting or maintaining an erection can result in less desire for sex, for example.

A pretty good sex life
After a while, most people with HIV will have a pretty good sex life. There are some people who never experience any changes in their sexuality resulting from their HIV. But many others are a bit more inhibited in that regard. People commonly find it difficult to have dates or enter into relationships. They dread having to tell the other person about their HIV or they are afraid of passing the virus on to others. In some cases, they might end up abstaining from sex altogether, though they still have a need for sexuality and intimacy. That is often a real struggle. All the worrying that goes along with that can also lead to sexual problems: erection problems, a dry vagina, being less able to let yourself go during sex, or feeling pain during sex.
Loek Elsenburg, HIV nurse

Talking about your sexual problem is an important part of finding a solution - Psychologist and sexologist Eva Buitenhuis

I really enjoy discovering what motivates people: What makes someone do something? How does that person experience that? What do they think? Are those realistic thoughts? I think it’s amazingly cool to be able to help them look at what is going on in their minds. It is also really nice to become so close with someone. Thanks to the techniques that I have learned, when a person comes to me with a problem, I can make sure that person will never experience that problem again. I stimulate people to think or act differently. And I have the time to enter into a discussion with a client. Many people come to me for a 45-minute consultation once every two weeks. That’s more time than an HIV nurse can usually make available. It’s usually possible to solve the problem or in any case to make it much easier to live with it. And once in a while it doesn’t work, and that can be really frustrating.


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