You may well wonder what is sex therapy? There is definitely confusion about what it involves.
What is sex therapy? Talk therapy about sexual issues.
It IS psychotherapy that addresses issues of sexuality, sexual functioning, sexual health and reproduction. It is talk therapy that uses a variety of approaches to improve a person’s experience of their sexuality and sexual expression.
It does NOT involve any state of undress. If you were watching a session of sex therapy, it would look exactly like sessions of traditional psychotherapy. Neither the therapist or the client(s) ever takes off their clothes or touches each other.
Sex therapy involves exploration but not enactment.
It IS a detailed exploration of the client’s sexual attitudes, experiences and behavior. This discussion happens at a pace acceptable to the client and in a manner that is safe, supportive and accepting. It might involves exercises done at home that we then discuss in therapy. As with all therapy, everything discussed is completely confidential.
It IS NOT an enactment of sexual behavior either in front of or with the therapist. There is no touch between therapist and client, and any touch between clients would be limited to exercises of hugging, hand holding or touching the back or arm. There is no overt sexual touch in the therapy room at all.
Sex therapy creates a safe container to explore sex and intimacy.
It IS an effective tool for individuals and couples to explore and improve issues of sexual functioning and sexual health. It also addresses shame or adjustment to sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual preferences. Sex therapy addresses issues of arousal (erection and vaginal lubrication), orgasm (failure to reach as well as reaching too fast), desire (discrepant desire between partners or diminished or absent desire), sexual pain, sexual orientation, gender identity, the impacts of sexual abuse, medications, illness and disease, and aging.
It IS sex positive. It holds a positive view of the role of sex and sexuality in people’s lives and respects all sexual orientations, relationship structures and sexual behaviors that are consensual and non-exploitative.