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Sexual Behavior

During intimate moments, those with a TBI may sometimes act differently. These behaviors can often be addressed over time. It takes patience, feedback, and a consistent approach. Discuss with the healthcare provider the concerns you may have.

What might you see?

  • Hypersexuality (thinking or talking about or wanting frequent sexual activity, for example, masturbation, possible use of pornography)
  • Hyposexuality (lack of interest in sex)
  • Emotionally uncomfortable with intimacy
  • Trying to kiss or touch others
  • Making suggestive or flirtatious comments to or about others
  • Disrobing or engaging in masturbation in front of others

How can you help?

  • Develop a "stop and think" signal to let the service member or veteran know that they are doing or saying something inappropriate.
  • Use redirection (in other words, try to change the topic or focus of interest to something else).
  • Talk to the service member or veteran about acceptable and unacceptable ways to act in public and in private.
  • Tell the service member or veteran that having sexual feelings is normal. Inappropriate sexual behavior should be immediately addressed.
  • Emotional changes and physical symptoms can affect desire for intimacy and sex. The service member or veteran can discuss their concerns with a provider or counselor.