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But if you can push through that inevitable discomfort? It might just save your current relationship, or if you are single, make your next relationship into your best ever.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at sex therapy. We’ll examine what it is, what to expect, why people bother with it, and explore its many benefits and healing aspects.
Whether you landed on this article because your partner has requested you go to a sex therapist, or you are interested in it yourself, keep reading. By the end of the article you should be armed with the knowledge to make a decision and hopefully go ahead with this very worthwhile endeavor.
What is couples sex therapy?
Sex therapy is a safe space for a couple or an individual to discuss any sexual difficulties they may be having with an experienced psychotherapist. People can go to sex therapy with their partner or alone. Anyone can benefit from sex therapy – whether single or in a relationship.
The kinds of issues people go to a sex therapist for help with include things like:
- Premature ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Problems with reaching orgasm
- Conflicting levels of sexual desire
- Breach of trust after an affair
- Sexual incompatibilities
- Sexless marriage
A sex therapist will cater to the specific needs of the couple or individual attending. Each treatment plan will be different and totally dependent on the unique needs of those attending therapy. The treatment plan usually consists of practical exercises and communication methods.
It is recommended for couples to engage in sex and marriage counseling together for the best results. In the case of an unwilling partner, it can be done alone. You can still make progress by yourself. Anything learned can be carried over into your current relationship.
Sex therapy for singles
If you are single, sex therapy is still something you should consider. A sexual problem can be a big hinderance to the natural progression of a relationship. If you have any sexual concerns, trauma or problems with sexual functioning, it would be worth addressing those before you next enter into a relationship.
Similarly, if you find yourself falling into the same, harmful pattern again and again when it comes to sex and relationships, a sex therapist could be of great use to you.
What to expect from couples sex therapy?
Your therapist will ask questions to help assess any sex or intimacy issues that are harming the relationship.
They will ask about your past experiences with sex. This helps identify any problematic areas or dysfunctions.
In a sex therapy session, both parties have full permission to express themselves fully. Nothing is held back. This is often extremely difficult both to do and to receive. Presence of a certified sex therapist will help lessen the blow. Instead of arguments, healthy and productive conversations will happen. Many problems in a couple’s sexual relationship tend to mirror those of the wider relationship. Some things that can come up during the therapy sessions are communication problems, unmet needs and lack of relationship trust.
You may also learn some things about your partner that you didn’t know previously.
Maybe you have been doing something ‘wrong’ that doesn’t work for them throughout your entire relationship. Perhaps they have never told you. Maybe they think that you are selfish in bed or that they feel rejected by you when their subtle come-ons go unnoticed or ignored.
If you are going alone, you may learn some new things about yourself.
Using the information gathered, the sex therapist will create a tailored treatment plan. This will likely include communication exercises and practical things to try out. Going through sex counseling with an open mind and heart will definitely help the process.
What are the benefits of couples sex therapy?
Stops complacency in its tracks
Most of us settle into a routine when it comes to sex. We might never know how unsatisfied, unwanted or rejected our partner is feeling. Through sex therapy, there is no escaping your partner’s true thoughts.
Learning to speak each others’ sexual language
There is a saying that goes, “men are like microwaves and women are like crock pots.” Sex counseling will help you to understand how differently your partner’s body, and their sexual arousal, is from your own. Understanding the difference between things that turn men on vs. women will completely change your sex game! A sex counsellor will help you learn to speak in each others’ sexual language.
Relief from unrealistic expectations
An example of an unrealistic expectation we have for sex is joint orgasm. This applies a great deal of pressure and results in both partners being physically absent. They are in their heads rather than their bodies! Many times the joint orgasm doesn’t happen. One or both partners feel they have failed the other, and awkwardness follows. Often it isn’t until you talk through this kind of concern in a couples therapy session that you realize how unrealistic it is. A simple acknowledgement can do wonders for the sexual confidence of both partners.
A shared commitment
Sex and marriage counseling requires commitment to the process. Without it, the process will not work. When you commit to couples sex therapy, you are committing to the health and longevity of the relationship. This shared commitment in and of its own can do wonders for a relationship.
Unravelling the many layers of sex counseling will arm you with unparalleled personal power and wisdom. Sex therapy takes you beyond your own understanding of life. When we attune to the experience of life of the other (our partner), we gain empathy. We gain a better understanding of how to function as a unit, ensuring both parties needs are met as much as possible. The kinds of intensely uncomfortable conversations you will need to have during sex therapy can be applied in many other areas of life.
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Even more benefits of couples sex therapy
- Teaches us how to pick better partners (for singles)
- Helps with overcoming sexual dysfunction such as ED and PE – which can be devastating to relationships and the source of so much anguish
- Enables navigation of pain with intercourse due to conditions such as vaginismus
- Allows partners to find common ground where their sexual interests may meet (even when one wants BDSM and kink and the other is less interested)
- Revives sexless marriage (20% of marriages fall into this category)
- Helps to overcome discrepancies in sexual desire, sex drive and libido
Why you should get some sex counseling
If you’re considering sex counseling on your own, congratulations. I believe you’ve made the first step on your path to an enhanced experience of life in ALL aspects. In case you need some extra reasons to book that first appointment, here are a few:
To Heal your trauma
A lot of people nowadays have sexual trauma, especially women. Studies have shown that 13% of women have undergone some kind of sexual assault. This is more than 1 in 10! This can get in the way of a healthy and uninhibited sex life. If you have even a small amount of sexual trauma, sex counseling can help you work through and release it.
To release your sexual shame
Most of us have some element of sexual shame brought on by societal conditioning. Children who put their hands in their genital area are told from a young age not to do it. And so begins the stacking up of many reasons to be ashamed of our sexual nature. Even if you don’t think you carry shame, you probably do.
To improve your communication
Most couples in a relationship could probably do with working on their communication. One of the most common reasons couples break up is because they don’t share their needs and expect their partner to meet them. Couples who have better sex are more present and are better able to listen to each other.
To increase your capacity to love
Through sex therapy you will become more focused than ever on improving your ability to both love and be loved. Divorced people often complain that their partner was there all the time, but they felt lonely. When you go through sex therapy, you are forced to tune into the other and notice subtleties. This forces you to be more PRESENT with and for each other. Is there a better description or feeling of love than being seen, considered and valued by their beloved?
The final verdict: does couples sex therapy really work?
It absolutely does. The bottom line on sex therapy is that it is a very useful and applicable tool for everyone. This is irrelevant of whether you are single, married or in partnership.
The quality of our sexual intimacy has the potential to affect so much within us. Sex can literally make or break a relationship. Through directly addressing issues like erectile dysfunction, differing sex drives and problems with communication, relationships and marriages can be pulled back from the brink, and back into harmony.
Whatsmore, once your sex life is back on track, the door is open to tantra and sacred sexuality. Through looking into the eyes of a partner, you can come face to face with God. When two people are coming together in such a blissful, ecstatic, divine union – there is no force on Earth that could tear them apart. If you would like to learn more about how tantra can help your love life (whether you are single or in a relationship), you can take my free training here.
How do you get in touch with your sexuality?
The first and most important step is getting rid of your sexual shame. Do this by expressing your true sexual desires and needs, even if you are afraid to do so. Sex therapists can help here if you are struggling to find the courage.
When do men and women become sexually inactive?
Both men and women are fully able to have sex well into their 70’s and even their 80’s. This doesn’t mean that it’s always the case, though. Most couples’ sex lives have tapered off by the time one or both partners are in their 70’s.
What are the challenges of online sex therapy?
Online sex therapy can feel a bit impersonal. Sensitive topics are going to come up. It is easier to feel fully supported when the therapist is present and in the same room.
Is there any sexual issue that sex counseling can't fix?
Whatever the sex problem or sexual dysfunction, your therapist will likely have seen it before. Most problems humans have (sexual and non-sexual) are different variations of the same things.
Can more than one person attend a sex therapy session?
Yes! It is encouraged for couples to come to sex therapy together. This way, there are two people fully investing in the process.
Can I go to a sex therapist about a sexual health issue?
No. If you are worried about your sexual health (pregnancy, STI’s, etc.), you must go to a sexual health clinic or your GP.
Are sex therapists able to deal with mental health issues?
Yes. A sex therapist will usually have trained in clinical psychology. They will have then chosen to specialize in psychosexual health. This means that they will have decent knowledge of mental health issues. They will be able to tailor your treatment plan to work around whatever mental health issues you might have.