The goal of therapy is not simply to solve problems, whether they are personal, romantic, financial, or sexual. In terms of sex therapy in particular, it should be known that there are countless benefits for individuals who aren’t just in need of help after a breakup or those who are just starting to think about it. In a similar way, as regular therapy helps people live their most authentic lives, sex therapy can help couples (and individuals) enjoy their most fulfilling sexual lives, even when there’s no specific “problem” to solve.
Keep reading to learn what sex therapists think are the must-knows about sex therapy, including what it includes, how it may benefit you and your relationship, and more.
Sexual therapy is beneficial for whom?
Are you ready for it? Everybody. There are also those in honeymoon mode. Kimberly Sharky, relationship expert and sex coach with Union Square Play, notes that life is filled with so many transitions and experiences: dating, breakups, infidelity, trauma, pregnancies, postpartum recovery, health crises, aging, and more. Throughout these moments, there is the possibility that we are impeded from making a meaningful connection with our sexual selves and our sexual partners.”
People may be better able to manage any of the above-mentioned instances when they come to fruition, when they work with a sex therapist who specializes in the field, so as to avoid negative interference in their relationships. Although a therapist’s guidance can be invaluable in times of crisis, it’s best utilized during times of stability when one can benefit from a more holistic approach to the issues at hand,” says Sharky.
The answer to how often to attend sex therapy is subjective and individual (as it is with any form of therapy). As for the degree of support, it depends on the level of momentum and progress necessary to maintain it. Once they have met with you once or twice, your therapist will be able to make recommendations in this regard. They will then be able to collaborate with you on a plan.”
Why are sex therapists so helpful?
Lovehoney’s expert in sex and relationships Megan Fleming, PhD, says sex therapy benefits people in specific ways, including cultivating a realistic and authentic perception of sex and pleasure, which is something many people do not possess. She says that sex-positive explicit sexual education is rare in the United States. There’s too much scripted sex and too little feel-good sex among couples. Giving and receiving pleasure is at the heart of sex therapy.”
Too often, couples engage in scripted or unwonderful sex. The fundamentals of sexuality are re-emphasized in sexual therapy.” Megan Fleming, PhD
Couples can infuse their relationships with more eroticism (especially in long-term relationships) by working with a sex therapist, says Sharky. Moreover, sex therapists can also help couples resolve differences in sexual interests or desires. According to Sharky, the bulk of sex therapy work is focused on removing obstacles to pleasure, whether they’re rooted in anxiety that inhibits, interpersonal conflicts that shut down sex, or countless other ways that everyday life and long-term relationships interfere with sex.
Because we possess a vast erotic imagination and, therefore, can do anything we desire, says Dr. Fleming, working with a sex therapist to unlock that state of mind makes sense.
Do couples need sex therapy?
Sex therapy, says relationship and sex therapist Rachel Wright, LMFT, can be as effective for individuals as it can be for couples. “Sex therapists work with individuals, couples, triads, quads, and groups,” she says, caveating that it’s the individuals who put in the most dedicated work with a sex therapist who benefit most. “Understanding your libido and your sexuality is a part of understanding yourself, which is a big piece of any form of psychotherapy.”
Moreover, sex therapy can also be particularly helpful after a relationship or when you are single in general. Sharky says addressing sexual concerns on one’s own can be liberating and can positively impact dating and early relationship-building.
Many people also find that sex therapy is a more candid, vulnerable, and honest experience when done without the influence or gaze of another person. Essentially, it has the ability to help you authentically be yourself, so it lends itself to both relationship and general health.
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