We always hear that we could be have better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the details of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us with the details. No gender, sexual orientation or question is prohibited, and all questions remain anonymous. Now let’s move on to this week’s topic: signs your relationship might be using sex therapy.
Question: How to know if you need sex therapy? My boyfriend and I had problems in the room. We’re pretty compatible in terms of what we like and how often we want sex, but if there’s only one time he wants sex and I’m not in the mood, it can turn into a big argument. I feel like we could both improve our communication skills, but he thinks we should be able to fix these issues on our own.
A: Thanks for your question! I’m obviously biased since I’m a sex therapist myself, but I think sex therapy is helpful for a wide range of issues. I also think that you don’t have to have a particular problem to undergo sex therapy; a good sex therapist can help you turn your sex life from good to great with new skills and ideas.
A lot of people have the same reaction as your boyfriend. It’s great to be able to figure things out on your own, but sex is such a touchy subject. We all have problems with sex, and most of us find it difficult to talk about it honestly and openly. Anytime you feel stuck, a trained sex therapist can make things a whole lot easier.
Sexual problems often arise in a relationship, so sometimes going to therapy together can be the best way forward. Let’s dive into a (non-exhaustive) list of signs your relationship might benefit from sex therapy.
1. You fight for sex – a lot
Disagreements over sex are normal and predictable, but if you find yourself having full-blown arguments over topics like sexual frequency or not putting yourself first, or if you feel like your arguments run around in circles, never fully resolved, or keep telling you over and over again, it’s time to start Google searching for a âsex therapistâ.
2. You just want to feel more playful, fun and spontaneous together.
This is the perfect example of a âno problemâ reason to see a sex therapist. Sex therapy can help bring more joy to the bedroom. Sex is meant to be a way to show our love for each other, but all too often it can get complicated with other factors. If you want to start having more fun in the bedroom, sex therapy can help you learn new ways to connect with each other and bring out your playfulness.
3. You have different sex drives (and that’s a problem)
All couples have some degree of inadequacy in their relationship, but it can be difficult to determine how often to have sex. Sometimes it is difficult to find a happy compromise for both parties, and resentment can build up. Sex therapy can help you initiate sex in a more seductive way, deal with rejection better, and find that happy medium.
4. A partner doesn’t want sex
A particular variation of incompatible sex drives is when a partner completely stops desiring sex. There are a number of different reasons why this can happen (such as stress, anger, or a medical problem), and sex therapy can help you get to the bottom of the problem while also meeting the needs and wants of the people. two partners.
5. You want to spice up your sex life
Let’s face it: we all get into ruts with our sex lives. If you’ve been together for a long time, chances are good that your sex life is quite routine, predictable, and maybe even a little boring. Sex therapy can help you spice things up with ideas for new positions, toys, and techniques. So many people think that you only need to go to sex therapy when there is a problem, but it is just as helpful for couples who enjoy their sex life. There is so much to explore when it comes to sex, so why not try something new?
6. You can’t remember the last time you had sex
Some couples end up getting so far apart from each other that they stop having sex altogether. (Please note this is different from asexual couples or have made a conscious decision to avoid sex.) Whether it’s because you’re angry with each other, because you don’t have time, or because you have stopped prioritizing sex, a dead room is never a good sign.
7. You want to make privacy a priority
We are all so busy these days. Sex has a way of going through the cracks if you’re not paying attention. A good therapist can help you strategize to create more quality time alone together. They can give you exercises to be more present with each other and help you feel special.
8. You want to improve your sexual communication
It’s hard to talk about sex! I always said I wouldn’t have a job if it was easy. You can get together as a couple to talk about your needs, fantasies, likes and dislikes. Sex therapy can help you become much more comfortable talking about sex.
Your sex therapist can help you find the words and phrases that are easiest to pronounce, and suggest exercises to practice saying them out loud. They can also help you and your partner discover your unique communication styles and how you can each tailor your styles to communicate better with each other.
9. You are in the throes of change
Our sex lives are surprisingly fragile. Even the smallest things, like a partner catching a cold, can make us lose our rhythm. If you’re dealing with a much bigger change in your life, like having a child, losing your job, dealing with depression, or having the death of a family member, your sex life can really take a hit. Sex therapy can help you deal with the other things that are going on in your life and make room for privacy.
10. You explore new boundaries in your relationship
Have you ever thought about opening up your relationship? Was there a fantasy that you always wanted to play with, but were too nervous to try? Sex therapy can help you get a feel for your limits and determine if you want to extend them.
11. You are facing performance issues
A large number of men struggle against getting and maintaining erections, cumming too quickly, or having trouble reaching orgasm. A lot of women don’t know how to reach orgasm, cannot orgasm with a partner and experience crippling bodily self-awareness. We all feel pressure to play in the bedroom, and that pressure can end up making sex extremely unpleasant. Sex therapy can give you strategies to overcome your performance issues. It can also help you manage your anxiety, feel more confident, and start enjoying sex more.
Want more sex and relationship coverage from Bustle? Discover our new podcast, I want it this way, which explores the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and finds more on our Soundcloud page.
Pictures: restlessness; Giphy