Sex Therapy

Everyone experiences their sexual selves in their unique ways. Some have higher or lower sex drives than others, some struggle to enjoy engaging in sexual activity, and some feel no sexual feelings at all. In working with a sex therapist, you may begin to challenge your existing concepts of what sex means, what your ideal sexual experiences look like, and who you are as a sexual being. You may find education in working with a sex therapist that you may not have learned in your home, school, religious institution, or other institution’s explanation of sex.
Sex may be difficult to talk about. We often censor our sexual thoughts, feelings, and fantasies from one another, or even ourselves. Facing our sexual selves, however, can help us to form what may be “healthy” sexual habits, practices, and attitudes. Engaging in sex therapy can help one process sexual trauma, consideration of sexuality, attraction, and orientation, or even address addictive tendencies that we may face in our sexual relationship to ourselves, others, and sexual materials. Here are some examples of experiences that may be addressed in sex therapy.

Low/Non-Existent Sex Drive

So many factors can contribute to difficulty achieving interest or arousal. Oftentimes, it is found that anxiety can be an underlying issue when dealing with the lack of desire for touch, activity, or emotional intimacy that may come from engaging sexually. Sometimes this may even be a result of sexual trauma. In working with a sex therapist, one might gain insight into early experiences that contribute to their feelings toward sex, or engaging sexually with themselves or others. Engaging in practices suggested by a sex therapist may also increase knowledge of erogenous zones and understanding of positive sexual sensations in the body.

Sexual Addiction

While there is no concrete diagnosis for sexual addiction, it is possible that sexual thoughts or actions (including observing pornographic material “excessively”) may interfere with your everyday life. In working with a sex therapist, one who experiences these interferences might address impulse control, and the underlying reasons for seeking out an amount sexual contact and experiences that one may consider atypical. Group therapy is often utilized as a great source of support and process work through sexual addiction when used in conjunction with individual therapy. What are some symptoms of a possible sexual addiction?

Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is known to affect 30% of sexually active males worldwide (Carson & Gunn, 2006). While there are medications gaining traction as a way to address premature ejaculation, it may also be helpful to engage in therapy in order to process the sexual response cycle, and how an individual experiences their sexual encounter. Often, those who experience premature ejaculation as well as their partners will express some distress. It is not uncommon for a couple to engage in sex therapy together in an effort to understand each other’s experiences and find common ground in their struggle.

Sexual and/or Gender Identity

For one who is questioning their sexual and/or gender identity, attraction, and orientation, sex therapy can be a useful source of understanding and support. A sex therapist will not try to change you, but help you navigate in the journey to self-assurance in who you are, what you feel, and what you enjoy while examining the roles sex and gender have in one’s unique culture. In therapy, one might explore ways to increase social practices that will inspire resilient relationships while learning about oneself along the way.

These are just a few topics that may come up in sex therapy, but if you are struggling with any part of your sexual self or experience, sex therapy may be a worthy avenue to explore. We utilize psychodynamic psychotherapy to inquire about early experiences, relationship experiences, and self-talk to assist in processing the many possibilities of sexual issues. If you are struggling with any of the topics above, or another sex-related issue, please get in touch with Menachem Psychotherapy Group for a phone consultation.

Resources

Carson, C. & Gunn, K. (2006). Premature ejaculation: definition and prevalence. International Journal of Impotence Research, 18, S5-S13. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3901507