What does sex therapy really look like? 7 things to know before making an appointment


We always hear that we might have better sex, better orgasm or 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 on today’s topic: what sex therapy really looks like.

Question: I read in your biography that you are a sex therapist. I’ve never heard of sex therapy before, and I’m curious about it. I have a complicated sexual history, but never felt like I could talk to anyone about it. What sex therapy looks like? How do I know if I really need it or not?

A: Thank you very much for your question! Glad to be able to answer this one. Most people have never heard of sex therapy before, so the whole concept might sound weird. In fact, sex therapy is much more normal than you might think. Here are seven things to know about sex therapy.

1. Sex therapy helps you have a better relationship with sex

The most basic goal of sex therapy is to help you have a healthier, happier sex life. Let’s face it: there isn’t a single person who doesn’t have at least a few snags about their sex life. Many of us don’t even know what it means to have a healthy relationship with sexuality. Sex therapy helps you identify the sex life you want to have and helps you get there.

Sex therapy can address a wide range of concerns, including improving your relationship with your body, learning to feel more pleasure, finding new ideas for getting things done in the bedroom, decreasing performance anxiety, learning to be in the moment, develop better communication, improve your romantic relationships, learn how to reach orgasm, deal with negative sexual experiences, understand your fantasies and decrease shame.

2. Sex therapy is professional

Many people tend to assume that sex therapy is fishy, ​​or that the sex itself is involved in the therapy. (Songs like Robin Thicke’s “sex therapy” don’t exactly help.) These myths are understandable; if you’ve never heard of sex therapy before, you might be inclined to think the sexiest.

But sex therapy is none of that. You’re here to talk about sex – and alone speak. A professional sex therapist will never touch you or ask you to touch him. You will never be asked to undress. Nothing sexual will ever happen in the room. Sex therapy is really not that different from psychotherapy. In a sex therapy session, you sit in your chair, your therapist sits in their chair, and you have a conversation.

3. Sex therapy is about education

Our society does not prepare us for healthy and happy sex. Our media is completely saturated with sex, but it’s also full of misinformation and unrealistic expectations, and our sex education is horrible. We never get the chance to learn more about our body in a precise, direct, and unashamed way. So it’s no surprise that so many people struggle with their sex lives.

The first step in making any type of change is having the correct information. One of my main goals as a sex therapist is to disseminate comprehensive and more realistic information about sex. You will not feel comfortable with your body if you think the vaginal discharge is abnormal. You’re not going to learn how to orgasm if you think penetration alone is supposed to make you cum, or if you think you’re supposed to orgasm in a minute or two. Sex therapy makes sure you have the facts you need to make the changes you want.

4. Sex therapy is active

In my (obviously biased) opinion, one of the coolest things about sex therapy is that it’s active. Like many other sex therapists, I like to offer my clients specific exercises to do in the privacy of their home (remember, there is no sexual contact during the session).

Depending on my clients’ goals, I could give them exercises for different masturbation techniques, learn to orgasm, talk about sex or experiment in the bedroom. The idea behind these exercises is that sex is a skill that takes practice. Just like you can’t learn how to play baseball by reading about it, you can’t learn how to have good sex unless you try things out and have new experiences. Fortunately, sex is a really fun skill to develop!

5. Good sex therapy is never shameful

I’m obviously excited to talk about sex, but I also understand that it’s a difficult subject for most people to talk about. When I first meet a new client, I immediately recognize that sex can be embarrassing and that it is brave to sign up for a session. A good sex therapist knows how to guide the conversation slowly and carefully so that it is never overwhelming.

We sex therapists have heard it all, so there is no need to be ashamed or uncomfortable sharing your story. Believe me, you can’t make a sex therapist blush.

6. It is important to choose your therapist carefully

Sex therapy is still a relatively new field, and we are not a lot of sex therapists. Nonetheless, it is important that you are picky when choosing a sex therapist.

You want to find someone who you feel comfortable with from the start. Check the websites of potential therapists to get a feel for their approach and attitudes towards sex. A sex therapist can come from various backgrounds and backgrounds. You can find sex therapists who are licensed psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, or educators. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their training and methods, like “what’s your background? Or “what is your typical approach to problems like mine?” “

7. Sex therapy is for everyone

One of the biggest myths about sex therapy is that you only need to go if you have serious issues to deal with. Sure, sex therapy can help with your sex-related issues, but it can also help turn your sex life from good to great. I have a lot of clients who are happy with their sex life, but want things to be even better. They want new ideas, new techniques, and new ways of making things happen in the bedroom. Other people seek preventive sex therapy, such as pre-marital counseling or coming to resolve a problem before starting their next relationship.

And finally, some customers come just because it’s fun to talk about sex! I’ve even had clients who signed up for a session as a birthday, anniversary, or bachelor / bachelorette gift. The bottom line is that sex therapy can be beneficial at any stage of your life or relationships.

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.

Images: Relativity Media; Giphy


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