Do you and your partner have mismatched sexual desires?
Are you having performance issues?
Do you struggle to feel emotionally connected to your partner?
Have you had past sexual experiences that leave you locked up during sex?
Did you survive Purity Culture (or another rigid religious environment) but are still unable to let yourself go and enjoy the pleasure of sex?
A fulfilling sex life is both healthy and natural. Physical and emotional intimacy are essential parts of your well-being. When sexual dysfunction occurs, your overall well-being may suffer.
Sex therapy is designed to help individuals or couples address medical, psychological, personal, or interpersonal factors impacting sexual satisfaction. Sex therapy may be able to help you reframe and work through your sexual challenges, leading to a more satisfying sex life.
Sexual dysfunction is common. In fact, 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report experiencing some type of sexual dysfunction during their lifetimes. These dysfunctions may include:
- erectile dysfunction
- low libido
- lack of interest or arousal
- premature ejaculation
- inability to reach orgasm
- low confidence
- lack of response to sexual stimulus
- excessive libido
- inability to control sexual behavior
- distressing sexual thoughts
- unwanted sexual fetishes
Sexual trauma can particularly interfere with a person’s interest in or ability to enjoy intimacy and sex.
Research suggests that sex therapy may help people with a history of sexual trauma. For example, combining trauma-based therapy with sex-positive techniques may be more effective in helping someone work through their trauma-related sexual dysfunction than using trauma-based therapy alone
However, as some researchers note, some people with a sexual trauma history may need individual therapy to work through other issues before they are ready to explore sexual desire and satisfaction in sex therapy.
Individuals or Couples?
Sex therapy may benefit anyone who wants to improve their relationship with sex and pleasure, including couples or individuals.
If you are in a coupleship:
Sex therapy does not require both partners. Some people may benefit from individual therapy sessions, while others may find couples sex therapy more useful.
What to expect
Physical, psychological, and emotional factors can all cause sexual challenges. A therapist’s goal is to help a person or couple address these issues and obtain a more fulfilling sex life.
Sex therapy can help both individuals and couples:
- gain a realistic understanding of sex and pleasure
- identify and address underlying causes of sexual issues
- grow and maintain a deeper sexual connection with themselves and their partners
Sex therapy does NOT involve:
- choosing sides or attempting to convince anyone to do anything
- undressing or asking anyone to undress
- Sexual contact or instruction in session
- Sexual contact between clients and therapists
Sex therapy aims to provide a comfortable, encouraging atmosphere for people to safely talk through their challenges and obtain a healthy and fulfilling sex life through:
- Addressing constricting beliefs about sexuality
- Mindfulness training (eliminating and relaxing distractions)
- Sensate focus
- Learning to communicate what you’d like in a positive way
- Sex therapy exercises and homework (including nonsexual touching techniques!)
- Increasing or enhancing sexual stimulation
- Addressing physical or medical concerns (and referring when necessary)
- Evaluating the intimate dance between a couple
- Understanding the Dual Control Model (balance between sexual arousal and inhibition)
- Minimizing pain during intercourse
Talking about your sex life with a stranger may feel uncomfortable (rightfully so!) You can expect that in our first session we will begin with simple getting-to-know-you questions, and cover topics such as:
- Sexual background
- Beliefs and ideas about sex
- Challenges around sex
But please know you are always welcome to “pass” on a question and take all the time you need to warm up!
If you’d like to explore sex therapy, you aren’t alone in having sexual problems and wanting more for your sexual health and pleasure. Contact me today for a free consultation to see if we are a good match.