TYPES OF ISD: SITUATIONAL ISD
Situational ISD, as you might guess from the label itself, is losing your appetite for sex or feeling no sexual desire at all in certain situations but not others. Relationship troubles or life adjustment problems such as work-related stress, concerns about aging, fear of intimacy, or attempting to be a "super-woman" or "superman" can lead to situational ISD. When these or other underlying problems are solved, sexual desire usually returns.
More often than not, the situation in which desire is inhibited involves making love with a spouse or another safe, seemingly suitable and receptive partner. For instance, Ed, a fifty-three-year-old vice-president of marketing for a major pharmaceutical company, feels little or no desire to make love to his wife. "She just doesn't turn me on anymore," he says. "I know it's not her fault that she got old, but the truth is that when I look at her I actually lose whatever interest I was able to drum up in the first place."
However, Ed feels a great deal of sexual desire for younger women. Over the past five years, he has had several affairs. And even while seeing us for couples therapy, he was giving serious thought to beginning an affair with his new twenty-four-year-old secretary, who was, in Ed's words, "a luscious redhead with legs that won't quit and a great body in general. When I take her out to lunch, every guy in the restaurant turns to look at her and I know they're looking at me and thinking, 'There goes one lucky son of bitch.'