Obviously, very few people know what sex therapists actually do. And if you ask my opinion, I think the title itself is enough to deter the bravest of souls. "Shall we go to this establishment to discuss sex (eek!) with a therapist (feelings and emotions? No thanks!)?"
Believe me, sex therapy is a lot less threatening than you'd think - and, more people can benefit from it than one would think. Here is a list of reasons why you might want to check into it for yourself:
(1) You have never had sex before
Because intimacy is rarely openly discussed, it can be hard to find a safe person with whom you can ask questions, explore your thoughts or convictions, and seek holistic sexual health. Experience does not always teach wisdom, so please hear this: not being sexually active does not count you out of an enriching, fun and meaningful intimate life. Let's get a clearer vision for true intimacy, whether you're wanting to be physically active right now or not.
(2) You are about to get married
Just as we enter marriage with preconceptions about conflict resolution, where we should spend holidays, and how much money we should spend on a house... we have just as many beliefs about what a healthy intimate life should look like. Sex therapy is a great chance to get it all out in the open! Do you agree on everything? Great! Let's strengthen that. Do you disagree on more than you'd thought? Awesome! Let's talk about it in a constructive and positively-oriented manner.
(3) Frequency is not quite what you'd prefer...
It may not be too big of a difference, or perhaps you're dealing with what we call desire discrepancy. One of you wants sex a lot more or a lot less than the other. Usually, frustrations in this area show up as more fights or irritation in the household as a whole. Suddenly, a sink full of dishes is where you release the pent-up-anger from six days without any affection. A professional environment is the perfect place to sort through these concerns and communicate fairly.
(4) A baby is on the horizon
Babies will change your family dynamic. It's a wonderful and tricky thing that you can navigate well if you tackle the conversation head-on. Let's refresh your expectations for intimate connection and prepare for some of the physical changes that can occur after the birth of a child.
(5) You feel pain or discomfort. Any amount.
Pain is your body's way of telling you that it needs something. Sexual pain can have legitimate physical origins (take this quiz if you're having sexual pain), emotional origins, or a combination of both. Let's talk about navigating uncomfortable sex and work on (a) reducing your pain, and (b) getting back to enjoying your sexuality to its fullest.
(6) You watch (or have watched) porn
This varies based on the couple, but porn can cause distress by impacting: trust, expectations of sex, frequency, attitudes towards a partner, sexual dysfunction, and more. This area is so complex that you could greatly benefit from a professional getting to know your specific situation and helping you navigate into healthy connection as a couple.
(7) You are on antidepressants, have depression, or have anxiety
Depression decreases sex drive. Ironically, many antidepressants also suppress sex drive. Similar to depression, anxiety can impact your ability to enjoy intimacy with your partner. A professional that has knowledge of psychopharmacology and the interplay with sexual functioning can help you figure out intimacy with your partner. You don't have to give up on intimacy.
(8) You want to know more about yourself
Sure, you can Google anything these days - but you may receive more focused and specific information by sitting with a therapist and learning about how all the varying areas of your life (emotional, social, physical, spiritual, etc.) combine and play together.
Interested in a 15-minute consultation call? Click here to schedule a Q&A with me!