couple

Sex and relationship issues affect singles and couples of all ages, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and faiths.

The reality is that most of these issues may be attributed to a lack of effective communication.

It could be that you’ve lost touch with your romantic side, or you’re looking for ways to spice things up in the bedroom, but you’re not sure how to or how to broach the subject with your partner. Or maybe you’re having a hard time coping with a difficulty in your relationship like having intimacy after infidelity. These are problems that most individuals have to deal with throughout their lifetime, but finding out how to handle them isn’t always easy.Sex therapy is simply an opportunity to talk about these issues with a professional.

So, what is sex therapy?

Sex therapy, often known as psychotherapy, falls within the umbrella of behavioral health that focuses on sexuality and sexual functioning. This kind of counseling assists individuals or couples who are having issues or concerns regarding their sexual lives. It’s a false narrative that sex therapists have their patients doing all kinds of weird, filthy, or creepy things during therapy sessions. This is just not true. In fact, for over fifty years, sex therapy has been used to help people regain their sexual health for over fifty years.

Who is a sex therapist?

Talking about sex is generally considered taboo, and most people are embarrassed by their sexuality, which is why sex therapists exist.  A sex therapist is a licensed healthcare practitioner who specializes in assisting people to cope with emotional and psychological problems associated with sex, both individually and in relationships. They provide a private and discreet environment where patients may open up about their problems and discover new strategies for improving their sexual well-being.

What does a sex therapist do?

A sex therapist assists people with a variety of physical and emotional issues affecting their sexual health, such as inability to get or sustain an erection, problems with orgasm, such as difficulty experiencing one or climaxing too quickly, and difficulties with intercourse, such as finding it painful or difficult to achieve. They also assist couples or individuals who have stopped having sex or who have differences in their sex drive or sexual preferences. Basically, they discuss a patient’s current concerns as well as the history of the problem.

Sex therapy exercises

If you’re seeing a sex therapist, they will most likely recommend a few sex therapy exercises to get you started.

The exercises in sex therapy are meant to address communication, trust, and routine issues. Some of them include:

Sensate focus technique

Sex therapists Dr. Williams Masters & Virginia E. Johnson created sensate focus exercises. The majority of sex therapists highly recommend this sex therapy exercise. They can be used by any couple interested in trying out a new kind of intimacy. With this exercise, partners can learn how to be more present during their sexual experiences (and relationships as a whole). It’s also worth mentioning that it may help alleviate any sexually-related anxiety couples may experience.

How does this exercise work?

These exercises are usually done in stages. Initially, one person is the “giver,” while the other is the “receiver.” Partners then exchange roles until they reach the stage of mutual touching. It aids in improving the ability to express likes and dislikes by informing each other of what they enjoy and dislike, increasing sexual self-awareness by assisting both of them in recognizing unique sex needs, increasing sexual versatility, enhancing the ability to enjoy non-orgasmic forms of sexual activity, and developing romantic yearning for each other.

Other couple sex therapy exercises from clinical psychologist Dr. David Schnarch’s book, Intimacy, and Desire include:

Hugging until you feel at ease

This sex therapy exercise is pretty simple, really. Hugging until everyone is at ease. Partners remain completely dressed while enjoying a full-body embrace. This is where things get interesting. They can’t lean on each other because if they do, both of them will fall. If one partner is standing on their own two feet and the other falls, they can still support the other. So the goal is to be able to stand on your own two feet not only physically but also emotionally — that is, to maintain your sense of self, quiet your worries, and relax while remaining in full physical contact with your partner.

How does this exercise work?

This workout contains no genital contact or anything remotely sexual. It’s all about unwinding during physical contact. Firstly, they both need to agree that sex is not an option at this time – it is off the table. As a result, neither party will interpret this as anything other than what it is.

There are no other rules.

Heads on Pillows

This is also not sexual, and there must be an agreement ahead of time that it will not lead to intercourse. This is critical to remove any sexually suggestive remarks and allow each other to calm your concerns and regain control of yourselves freely.

Here’s how it works

Put your thoughts and emotions aside and look your partner in the eyes. While touching is permissible, it should be limited to the hands, face, or other nonsexual areas.

It may be difficult to be both comfortable and personal as uneasiness, connection, or lack of it can creep in. Still, both partners can help relieve each other’s concerns by discussing your goals and exercising self-control.

Does a sex therapist touch you?

There’s no contact in sex therapy with a licensed sex therapist, even if there is some discussion of sensitive or intimate issues. During a sex therapy session, everyone in the room has clothes on, and no touching is involved.

A sex therapist may advise a physical evaluation to rule out the medical reasons for sexual problems in certain instances. But unlike doctors, sex therapists never do medical examinations on their patients.

Bottom line

If you and your partner are considering sex therapy, make sure you choose a therapist that you both click with. Having to communicate with your spouse following sessions is important, particularly regarding how they responded to the therapist’s personality and treatment approach.

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