Sex is a very personal thing, and for many people talking about sexual issues can be difficult and embarrassing. However, talking about the issues and seeking help is often the best thing you can do to improve your sex life as sexual issues can arise at any time in your life for a range of reasons and can have a significant impact upon the couple relationship.
There is a myth out there that sex should just be great if you find the right person, however, this is not always true. Sexual problems affect most people at some point in their live. Our sexual needs change over time and can be influenced by medical factors and aging as well as many of life’s stressors such as work problems, arrival of children, parenting pressures, bereavement and unhappiness in the couple relationship.
It’s natural to want better sex and sometimes there are specific psychological or medical reasons for your difficulties. Many sexual problems are psychological in origin and this is what Psychosexual Therapy deals with. If you are in a relationship which is essentially sound but it is suffering because of sexual problems then Psychosexual Therapy, more commonly known as ‘sex therapy’ can help.
Sex Therapy can help to overcome such difficulties ranging from a low sexual desire to performance anxiety, erectile difficulties and sex/porn addiction. Examples of some of the common problems are:
Anorgasmia is when you can't reach orgasm during any form of stimulation, particularly if you have never achieved orgasm. This, however, is not difficulty reaching orgasm during intercourse as this is the norm, in fact, an estimated 70% of women don't ever have penetrative orgasms.
Dyspareunia is a medical term that simply means ‘painful intercourse’. It is a general term used to describe all types of sexual pain. It can affect men but it is more common in women. Sexual pain may occur upon penetration, during intercourse, and/or following intercourse.
Vaginismus is caused when the vaginal muscles uncontrollably contract and tighten, ‘clamping the vagina shut very tightly’. The spasm is caused in anticipation of pain.
♦ Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse.
♦ Premature Ejaculation
Premature ejaculation occurs when you achieve orgasm soon after, or even before, putting your penis inside your partner. A feeling you have no control of when ejaculation happens.
♦ Delayed Ejaculation
Delayed ejaculation occurs when it takes an extended period of sexual stimulation for a man to reach sexual climax and ejaculate. Some men with delayed ejaculation are unable to ejaculate at all.
♦ Loss of Desire
Through varying reasons of lifestyle, sexual boredom, stress, health or being a new parent, people can experience a loss of desire and interest for sex.
♦ Sex Addiction
Sexual addiction is the term used to describe any sexual activity that feels 'out of control'. That might be sex with a partner, viewing pornography, masturbation, visiting sex workers, or any number of other sexual activities. Refer to Sex Addiction for further information.
Sex Therapy offers an opportunity to meet with a qualified person in a safe place to explore sexual issues, sexual norms and the needs of each other to improve your physical intimacy, in order to gain a better understanding and work on more positive ways of doing things, providing you with the skills for ongoing long term improvements to your sexual relationship.
I understand there can be concerns about what coming for Sex Therapy involves so to reassure you, you would never be asked to do anything in the counselling room other than talk. Having explored the problems with you I will design a therapy programme for you including exercises for you to do with your partner in the privacy of your own home to achieve the goals set out by you the client. We will meet regularly to discuss your progress and to deal with any issues that arise. The treatment plans are all individually tailored for the needs of the individual/couple using a range of theories including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
I have had many years of experience working with couples and individuals with sexual and intimacy problems who initially found it very difficult to ask for help about sex. However, they have gone on to achieve many benefits and increased confidence in their sexual relationship having completed this therapy programme.