Sex Therapy FAQs
What is sex therapy, and what can be expected from a session?
- Sex therapy focuses on the mental, physical, and social aspects of individuals and couples.
- This type of therapy can help teach couples in all kinds of relationships how to be conscious, caring, and connected.
- Plus, did you know that sexual dysfunction is best treated as a couple’s issue? As they say, teamwork makes the dream work.
What does a sex therapist do?
- First, a sex therapist (also known as a marriage therapist), performs a comprehensive questionnaire on the clients’ sexual history.
- After careful examination, the therapist determines a diagnosis and the best treatment plan to achieve sexual pleasure.
- Then, with input from the client, a treatment plan is put into place.whether it’s for an individual or a couple.
- Types of sexual dysfunction a sex therapist/marriage counselor often deals with include: erectile dysfunction, getting a female to orgasm successfully, infidelity help, porn addiction, sexual trauma, premature ejaculation, and much more.
What are the steps for successful sex therapy treatment?
- The sex therapist will meet with each partner separately and discuss their sexual history. Couples in relationship therapy will also give a joint sexual history report as part of their first homework assignment. A type of sexual history questionnaire is done to better understand the needs, desires, or lack of sexual pleasure, etc.
- Once the treatment plan is presented by the sex therapist, goals will be set in place.
- All couples in sex therapy must complete treatment homework, which is given at each session.
- Review all homework assignments and answer any questions or concerns.
What is premature ejaculation (PE)?
- Premature ejaculation occurs when a man reaches orgasm, but ejaculates too quickly with little to no control.
- This type of male sexual dysfunction can lead to negative thoughts and feelings, such as, “I’m an inadequate lover,” or “I’m coming too fast!”
- PE is considered a sexual dysfunction, and is the most common type in males.
- Studies show that 29 percent of males are affected by premature ejaculation (PE).
- Medication for PE can be the most effective when paired with a psychosexual skills program. This method is beneficial when integrated with the couple’s sexual style of intimacy, pleasure and eroticism.
- Without treatment of PE in males, it can set unrealistic expectations in the bedroom for both partners.
- Premature ejaculation (PE) can also lead to feelings of distress, shame and frustration for both partners involved, which can result in secondary symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.
What does it mean if my partner is unable to ejaculate?
- Delayed ejaculation affects about 8.3 percent of men. It’s not commonly recognized by many in the medical field, as it’s the least studied and least understood of male sexual dysfunctions.
- The causes can be physical, psychological, or both.
- If a man takes longer than 30 minutes to ejaculate while performing penetrative sex, it is considered to be ejaculatory inhibition (EI).
- EI can be a source of infertility and blocked sexual pleasure.
- This type of sexual dysfunction can easily disrupt relationship intimacy.
- Being unable to climax can increase with age, and is often misdiagnosed as an erection problem.
- Some men are led to believe they have “run out of sexual energy.”
- EI is definitely recognized as a couples therapy issue.
- Most men are unaware of EI and other normal changes associated with aging. This includes sexuality and physical changes. Erections may be less firm, and it may take longer to ejaculate. Testosterone levels may also decrease, which can affect energy, strength and sexual function.
How can sex therapy help with erectile dysfunction (ED)?
- Sex therapy focuses on the five most common psychological factors associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) in males, which are depression, anxiety, feelings of guilt, marital discord, and sexual trauma.
- One common reason for ED is sexual trauma — statistics show that male victims of adult-child sexual abuse are three times more likely to experience ED.
- Analyzing a patient’s medical history with prescribed anti-depressants can also help navigate common symptoms of sexual dysfunction.
- Care must be taken not to exacerbate complaints of ED by prescribing antidepressants.
- Sensate focus exercises are used with each dysfunction during our sex therapy.
What is sensate focus and how can it help with sexual dysfunction?
- This type of sex therapy technique focuses on sensory perceptions and sensuality. It was introduced by the Masters and Johnson team.
- With the guide of a sex therapist, couples will take the learnings from each session to their private bedrooms at their leisure. This is one type of relationship therapy homework.
- In the bedroom, couples in therapy are encouraged to be intimate with touch, embracing the warmth of each other’s skin with some kissing, but little to no sexual intercourse.
- The goal is to minimize the pressure of sexual expectations and to appreciate intimacy.
- Sensate focus exercises are used to help treat almost all sexual dysfunctions.
Can my sexless marriage survive?
- It is important to get help as soon as possible if your marriage is lacking in sexual arousal or desire, especially if the sex is non-existent.
- The sooner you seek help, the higher the chance that a sexless marriage will survive.
- Getting back into the groove can be awkward at first, but it’s important to take your time and to respect boundaries. Practicing “mindfulness” or “Sensate Focus” is key to initiating intimacy, and for successful completion of couples therapy.
How can porn addiction be identified?
- The first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem, or an out-of-control obsession.
- Porn addiction is not an official diagnosis recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
- Individuals addicted to pornography might be experiencing a behavioral addiction that relates to compulsion.
- Depending on how porn is affecting an individual’s life, a sex therapist might consider individual, group or family counseling. This also includes relationship therapy with the partner or spouse.
- Signs that a loved one is having problems with porn include: watching it at work or other inappropriate places, trying to cut back without success, and letting habits disrupt intimate relationships or sexual encounters in real life.
Why do I like to watch internet porn?
- Internet porn is easy to consume because of its endless novelty.
- Porn content can escalate quickly, from more kinky material to more shocking scenarios. The novelty of porn never dies, because there are endless options of links to click.
- You don’t need to have an addictive personality to develop a damaging porn addiction. Some habitual porn users have reported having zero past addictions or substance abuse issues.
- Did you know that porn is considered a “super stimulant?” Over time, the porn-addicted brain can begin craving new content every day.
Low desire and low libido, what’s wrong?
- A frequently asked question by new clients seeking sex therapy is about their non-existent sex drive, also known as a low libido, or hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
- A few areas to look at include sleep patterns, stress, age, household changes (having a baby, moving, etc.), medication, depression, low self-esteem, weight changes, and substance abuse. All of these factors could lead to low libido.
- Desire plays a big part in one’s sex drive. Let’s concentrate on your current desires. Is your partner fulfilling them? Are you comfortable enough to chase those desires?
Is sexual dysfunction due to psychological or medical causes?
- Your sexual dysfunction could be psychological or caused by a medical issue.
- Is it all in your head? Psychological causes can range from a variety of experiences. Taking a comprehensive questionnaire on your sexual history is the first step.
- Your sexual dysfunction could be caused by a medical condition. If this is the case, a therapist can refer you to a medical specialist for further evaluation.
What if my partner won’t come to therapy?
- Kim will see individuals on their own, but if after three sessions their partner is still not willing to come, she will not see them as a couple.
- If the partner is eventually interested in therapy, Kim will refer them to a separate couples therapist and continue seeing the first individual.
- She will also continue seeing one person if the other stops coming, due to divorce, for example.
Why do I think about sex all the time?
- Sex therapy is valuable for treating porn addiction and sex addiction, but you don’t have to be battling an extreme addiction to feel troubled by persistent thought patterns and constant thoughts of sex.
- Whether you’re concerned you’re thinking about sex too much, or troubled by an intrusive sexually-charged thought, therapy can help you get to the bottom of it.
- Frequent thoughts of sex are natural and may ebb and flow as your hormone levels change with age, but certain thought patterns may be the result of trauma, which warrant being explored.
Do couples actually have sex at sex therapy sessions?
- No! This is one of the more humorous myths we hear about sex therapy, but everyone’s clothes stay on at all times.
- We will work through issues (by talking) during your session, but any physical activities assigned as “homework” will be done at home.
- You might be asked how things went, but a sex therapist can help you find language you are comfortable with, if you’re not used to discussing such things.
How do I get my boyfriend to stop watching porn?
- If your partner’s porn-watching has become compulsive and is interfering with other aspects of life, sex therapy can help them understand what’s behind the habit and how to regain control.
- If your partner occasionally watches porn and you want them to stop, you might want to ask yourself why it is bothering you. More women are watching porn than ever before, and while it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s worth exploring if your aversion is based on a conservative upbringing, unnecessarily burdening you with guilt and shame.
- If your partner’s main source of sex education is internet porn, unrealistic expectations might be a problem. A sex therapist can point you toward alternative educational material.