sex therapist

Jenifer Costigan guest speaker on "Love, Sex and Religion"

We are proud to announce one of our therapists, Jenifer Costigan was invited as a guest speaker and appeared on the "Love, Sex, and Religion" podcast.

To listen click on the link below:…/sex-therapy-feat-jenifer-costigan

How to Turn Up the Heat!!!


Are you and your partner stuck in a sexual rut?  Are you getting bored with your mundane sex life?  Have you been together so long that you feel like you’ve run out of new and exciting things to try?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, let me take just a few minutes of your time to tell you about some of the many ways you can heat up your bedroom during these cold winter nights!  

  • Start with Foreplay:  This means instead of just getting straight to business, build up the excitement and anticipation.  This can be done in ways such as kissing, exploring each other’s bodies using your hands and mouth, and stimulating each other’s genitals manually and orally.  For those of you who may need a little help in the “how to do foreplay” department, you can start your foreplay by using a pair of sex dice.  With this type of game you each take turns rolling a pair of die and it instructs you what to do (suck, lick, kiss, blow, etc.) and what body part to do it on.  

  • Initiating Sex:  It can get pretty boring, and possibly even frustrating, if one partner is the one who is always responsible for asking for sex.  Switch it up!  Both partners should be responsible for keeping your sex life alive.  

  • Be Spontaneous:  When was the last time you and your partner were out in public when you got the urge for a quickie in the bathroom stall?  Or even right in the middle of the kitchen?  I’m not talking about all the time—or else it wouldn’t be spontaneous, right?!  However, every once in a while, amongst your busy schedules, being spontaneous sexually can heighten your, and your partner’s, interest in sex.  It can also increase the intensity of orgasm.  

  • Introduce Toys:  There are so many sex toys out there now that your possibilities are seemingly endless!  Shop together and pick out the toys you think will be best for the both of you.  There are solo toys specifically for men and women that can be used during masturbation, while being watched by your partner, or even handed over to your partner to use on you.  These types of toys include male masturbators (aka strokers) or vibrators and dildos.  There are also a lot of toys the couple can use together, such as vibrating penis rings, “U” shaped vibrators, and penis sleeves.  

  • Explore Each Other’s Fantasies:  There’s not much out there that can connect you and your partner more than knowing each other’s deepest and darkest sexual secrets.  By talking and acting out each other’s fantasies you will learn more about your partner than you ever thought possible.  This will allow you to please your partner based on their desires and directions, and it will help you find new ways to turn your partner on the next time you want to initiate intimacy.  

  • Maintain Eye Contact:  By this I don’t mean have a staring contest!  I just mean lock eyes from time to time, especially during orgasm.  This may be awkward for some because most people are used to closing their eyes during the big release.  However, if you look into each other’s eyes during these moments, you are allowing your partner to connect with you and see just how much pleasure they can make you feel (and who doesn’t want that boost to their ego!).  Don’t worry either, no matter how silly you may think your “O” face is, that’s probably the furthest thing from their minds!

Remember, these are just a few ways you can crank up the heat in your sex life; there are a lot more out there.  Some of these suggestions may not be for everyone, but as long as you go into any sexual experience with an open mind and trust in your partner, you’ll never know what you may discover together!  



What's Really Up with Herbal Viagra!

I’m sure you’ve all read about, or at least have heard about, the big sex scandal that is surrounding Lamar Odom.  Before we begin, let’s do a little recap.  Mr. Odom had a four-day stay at a legal brothel in Nevada where it was reported that he had been mixing alcohol, cocaine, and herbal Viagra pills.  On the fourth day there, Mr. Odom was found unconscious in his bed.  In a few of the articles I have read, the brothel owner stated that Mr. Odom had taken about 10 of the herbal Viagra pills within his four-day stay there.  This trending story has inspired me to write this blog for you guys on the benefits, as well as the health concerns that come with taking any herbal Viagra supplement. 

There are numerous pills out there that are labeled as male sexual enhancement pills, all which are not FDA approved.  The main reason why the FDA does not approve these is because they contain an ingredient, which is not listed on the package, called sildenafil, or more commonly known as Viagra.  Sildenafil is never listed on the packages because one has to have a prescription from a doctor in order to obtain Viagra; whereas anyone can simply buy an herbal Viagra pill from a gas station or their nearest sex shop. 

Lets start with the good news, the advantages to taking an over the counter Viagra.  Due to the main ingredient being sildenafil, it will work just like Viagra does.  These pills will help increase blood flow to the penis, resulting in a stronger, firmer erection.  These pills will also increase the girth size of the penis, again, because the blood vessels running along the shaft are dilating, allowing more blood to flow through.  These pills are also known to help increase a man’s stamina; therefore he will be able to last longer than he normally does.  Also, after the man ejaculates, these pills will help him regain another erection in less time than it usually takes.  

Now on to the bad news…these pills do come with some health and safety concerns.  All of these pills are vasodilators, meaning they help the blood vessels expand, which in turn lowers a man’s blood pressure.  Most of these pills come with a warning on the back stating that the user should talk to their doctor about taking the pill prior to using them; especially men who are already dealing with high blood pressure, have heart problems, and/or have diabetes.  Mixing any other medication, especially pertaining to these health concerns, can be very dangerous, if not fatal.  Most of the pill packages even advise not to take more than one pill within a 72hour period—which Mr. Odom exceeded.  

All in all, I hope the Lamar Odom scandal didn’t scare anyone away from trying any of the over the counter herbal Viagra pills.  I do, however, hope that it has shed some light onto the risks and consequences that can result from not paying attention to the warning labels and not talking to your doctor first.  These pills can, after all, help boost a man’s confidence and liven up your sex life!

Surviving the Damages from an Affair

What exactly is an affair?  Many people have different definitions for this word.  Some people believe an affair is having a sexual relationship with someone outside of the relationship, others believe becoming emotionally attached to someone else is considered having an affair, while some believe the act of watching pornography could be considered an affair.  This is why it is so important to communicate individual expectations with your partner in where healthy boundaries and limits can be established in order to protect your relationship.  

If an affair within the relationship does occur, it can be very detrimental to the relationship, as well as to the non-offending partner.  However, just because damage has been done, does not mean it cannot be repaired!  It won’t happen overnight, but with the guidance and support of a skilled professional, it can be done.

You may be asking yourself, “How?”  A licensed therapist will be able to help the couple identify the underlying contributions to the affair.  The shared responsibility of these contributions may not be equal; however, addressing each partner’s role in the relationship could provide clues on issues that weakened the relationship prior to the affair.  This can help the couple prevent these circumstances in the future.  A therapist will also help the couple with improving their communication patterns.  They will learn how to “communicate more sensitively, how to listen with more respect, how to talk about sensitive issues without anger or criticism, and how to offer more positivity…” (Heitler, 2011).  The most difficult aspects of surviving the affair are forgiveness and trust.  Be prepared for the long haul while repairing these pieces.  It can, however, be done while working with a therapist through the anger, pain, and fears. 

Once the communication gate is open and flowing, and the partners have repaired trust, it may be time to explore restoring the couple’s intimacy.  In the beginning, sexual intimacy may be compared to the intimacy that occurred during the affair.  The therapist can help the couple come back together in order to achieve more enjoyable and pleasurable intimacy that may have been missing or lacking previously.  

With all of this being said, in order for the couple to survive this rainstorm, both partners have to be willing to repair the damages together.  This can all be done with the support and help from a professional therapist.  Some couples even report developing an even stronger and more intimate relationship after surviving the affair!


Bloom, Charlie & Bloom, Linda. (2010, May 10). Is there (marital) life after an affair? [Web log post] Retrieved from

Heitler, Susan. (2011, Nov 1). Recovery from an affair. [Web log post] Retrieved from

McCarthy, Barry W. (2012, Jan 2). Sexual recovery from an extramarital affair. [Web log post] Retrieved from

Sex Therapy FAQs

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!