If you rarely talk about sex with your friends or partner(s), you may ask "Why would I want to talk about sex with someone I don't know?"
For Normalization & Affirmation.
There is so much information about sex out there! It can be hard to discern what is factual and what is a myth. Yes, even things we hear from our friends!
A sex therapist can offer up-to-date and research-based information about what sex is and isn't.
We often feel like failures when we compare our sexual experiences to sexual myths or ideals. A sex therapist can help normalize your experiences during sex, your sexual responses, and your sexual desires.
You can also have the opportunity unpack any harmful beliefs or myths about sex you've experienced in the past or present.
And if you're questioning whether or not you experience sexual attraction, a sex therapist can normalize and provide you with education about the continuum of sexual attraction, and offer alternatives for connection and intimacy.
To Increase Sexual Satisfaction.
For those who experience sexual attraction, a lack of sexual satisfaction can lead to negative emotions towards yourself and/or your partner(s).
Sex therapy can help identify what is getting in the way of your sexual satisfaction and offer ways to increase your sexual pleasure and sexual confidence.
To Treat Sexual "Dysfunctions."
The use of the word "dysfunction" can be stigmatizing. Many concerns about dysfunction is simply an individual's natural and normal experience or a response to stress, external pressure, and lack of education about sex.
However, there are common concerns about dysfunction that can be addressed and treated in sex therapy such as:
performance anxiety (not just cis-males!)
decreased desire or arousal
desire discrepancy (when you and your partner have different sex drives!)
difficulty with orgasm
premature or delayed ejaculation
pain during sexual intercourse
To Navigate Significant Life Events.
So many things happen in life that can really impact our sex lives such as a new baby, a new job, moving, relationship distress, and trauma.
Stress of all kinds can hinder our ability to be receptive to and seek out sexual activity.
Based on your needs and situation, a sex therapist can guide you through your life event, manage stress responses, and work on ways to get back to sexual pleasure!
To Increase Body Awareness.
It's amazing how so many people are unaware of how their own body works and why! Or made to feel as if they aren't in control of their own bodies.
When it comes to sex, we are grossly misinformed and misled by gender roles, sociocultural messages, media, and marketing tactics.
Being aware of your own body and it's many processes, and identifying what feels good and what doesn't, are key to amazing sexual experiences.
Sex therapy can help facilitate body awareness through body work, body mapping, attunement, and other sensation-focused activities.
Additionally, through a trauma-informed framework, sex therapists can help you re-integrate with your body and take control of your own sexual pleasure if you have a history of sexual trauma.
To Learn Boundaries & Communication.
Often, we are made to feel as if we can't advocate for our sexual needs, or have them at all!
You may struggle with identifying what you want (or don't want) and communicating them to a partner. Or you may have had your sexual boundaries violated.
Boundaries are so hard to follow through with!
Sex therapy can provide education about boundaries, help you identify what your sexual boundaries are, practice how to communicate them to a partner, and maintain them.
It can be hard to talk to anyone about sex, let alone a stranger.
A therapist's job first and foremost is not to judge you, but to embrace you as you are, sit with you, and be in relationship.
I have been told by my clients that the value of having a space to talk about their struggles, concerns, fears, and anxieties around sex (and gain education and tools) far outweigh the difficulty of reaching out.
But if you are still hesitant in seeking sex therapy, take some time. When you're ready, contact a therapist with any questions you have and see how comfortable you feel with them. Many therapists and counselors offer free consultation services.