Typically, when people ask me what I do I tell them that I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist-Associate and that I am working towards specializing in Sex Therapy. Once that cat gets out of the bag, in come the questions! I have found that there are a lot of misunderstandings as to what it really means to be a sex therapist and what exactly happens during a session focused on sex therapy. So, I have compiled a list of the most common questions that people tend to ask.
Q: “Does a sex therapist have sex with their clients?” A: NO!!! Definitely not! Sex therapy is just like any other type of psychotherapy; all you do is talk.
Q: “Does the couple have sex with each other in front of the sex therapist?” A: Again, NO!!! There is no touching of any kind, nor are any sexual acts played out. However, the therapist may encourage the couple to go home and try an exercise that was discussed during the session, if they are comfortable with it.
Q: “Do you have to be in a relationship to go to sex therapy?” A: Not at all! Although sex therapists typically see couples, there are times when an individual is dealing with sexual problems of their own.
Q: “What type of issues does a sex therapist help with?” A: Sex therapists generally help discover different emotional issues that are creating sexual problems between the couple. Sex therapists also help people who are dealing with issues such as: lack of desire, difficulty achieving orgasm, difficulty getting and/or maintaining an erection, premature ejaculation, pain during penetrative sex, unwanted fetishes, and sexual addiction.
Q: “Does a sex therapist ever get embarrassed or uncomfortable during session?” A: Due to the sex therapist’s extensive knowledge in the field, nothing you say will embarrass the therapist, nor should it embarrass you! Just like any other therapist, your issues will be treated with compassion and understanding. (And don’t worry, your sex therapist has probably already heard of anything and everything there is to do with sex at least once!)
Q: “Is my relationship ruined if my partner and I have to go see a sex therapist?” A: Absolutely not!!! Even though most people tend to wait too long to seek professional help, seeing a sex therapist, by no means, implies that there is no hope for your relationship. In reality, coming to therapy shows a lot of strength in the relationship; it shows that your relationship is something worth fighting for. Seeking help from a sex therapist can allow your sex life to flourish and liven up like you’ve never seen it before (and who doesn’t want that!).
I hope this entry has helped broaden your view on what sex therapy really is and I hope it has helped fight any stigma that may be keeping you, and your partner, from getting the help you really need and deserve from a sex therapist!