‘It’s just for you, leave me alone’. Changes in sexuality meaning and experienced by Malay women living with sexual dysfunction.

‘It’s just for you, leave me alone’. Changes in sexuality meaning and experienced by Malay women living with sexual dysfunction.

2015-02-01 00:00:00

Female sexual dysfunction is a public health concern. It can have an overwhelming effect on a women’s physical and psychological health as well as their relationship with their husband. Many researchers had examined the meaning of sexuality among woman, however there is a paucity of evidence regarding the potential impact of sexual dysfunction on women’s sexual experiences and their meanings of sexuality. This study aims to gain an in-depth understanding of sexuality meanings and its changes among Malay women with sexual dysfunction.

Method: Five married mid-aged (29-51 years; M= 38.8 years) Malay women, from Kelantan and Klang Valley, Peninsular Malaysia took part in face-to-face in-depth interviews from September to November 2013. All women have had at least secondary education and self-reported sexual dysfunction for more than a year (2 with sexual desire loss, 2 with sexual pain and 1 with no orgasm). One was treated for infertility and endometriosis and another woman had asymptomatic fibroid. Thematic data analysis was utilized.

Results: Five themes and seven sub-themes were identified from analysis of the data: 1. It’s just for you: a. One side gained b. Marital and religious obligations 2. Leave me alone: a. No more sexual activity b. Passive player 3. Evolution of love 4. Challenges of pleasure: a. Nothing pleasuring me b. Indulge in religion and prayers c. Give me own time and pleasure 5. Changing perception from sweet sexy wife to good mother Malay women with sexual dysfunction experienced transformation in their sexuality from exclusively intercourse and pleasurable intimacy to something unpleasant that they disliked disapproved of and wanted to avoid. Pessimism sets in as they were unable to sexually fulfil their husband’s need and this affected their role of being a wife and a lover. Husband satisfaction was a vital component of their sexuality when dealing with abnormal functions that obscure their own needs of sexual pleasure. Their self-image changed from sweet and a wanted wife to one of the best friend and mother where they now concentrated their role in providing physical needs to their husband and kids. They negatively accepted their sexual problems causing them to avoid mutual communication and trying to improve own sexual potential. They gave up easily on sexual activities except for those with no orgasm that were still bargained for pleasure and love.

Conclusion: Changes of sexuality meanings deserve special attention from health professionals to modify current negative thoughts and to promote healthy sexuality.

Areas of Interest / Categories: Society of Australian Sexology 2014
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