Life can take unexpected turns and not everything will be hunky and dory. We say this because all of these challenges take a toll on other things in our day-to-day life. From deteriorating mental health to physical condition, stress does show its effects on the body in many ways.
However, a person’s sex life may also be affected by constant pressure. Even if you do not acknowledge it, it does not mean that the problem isn’t there. But unlike physical and to an extent mental health issues where we actively seek a doctor or a therapist, sexual health isn’t touched upon.
There’s the stigma associated with it too, which further discourages us to reach out to professionals and seek advice on how to turn around problems related to sex or sexuality.
But sexual problem is a medical issue and that’s how a doctor or a therapist will see it. Once the patient realises this, it’s more about resolving the issue rather than hiding it.
That’s exactly what a sexologist – a person with academic knowledge in sexual science, aims to help you with. They are also commonly known as sex therapists and can help address concerns about sexual function, feelings and intimacy. This can be for either an individual or even for couples therapy sessions.
Sex therapy techniques can be effective with any age, gender, and orientation. It can be a lifesaver helping improve your sex life or resolving complex personal issues. Here’s how sex therapy works and what you should know about it.
What Is Sex Therapy?
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Just like mental and physical therapy, sex therapy requires the person seeking help to speak to the professional therapist, psychologist or counsellor about their problems. These health professionals help individuals and couples address medical, personal, or psychological factors that may be creating a hindrance towards sexual satisfaction.
The difference between going for sexual therapy vs just reading about it is huge. Counselling helps you learn skills on how to deal with any shortcomings and also helps create awareness about what the problems are.
Every individual has different trigger points and sex therapy techniques will help you understand your specific underlying problem.
The end goal of sex therapy is to help people move on from physical and emotional limitations to have a satisfying sex life. And you can rest assured that all the information remains strictly confidential.
Types of Sexual Dysfunctions
Sexual issues can be caused by a number of factors. This can possibly include:
- Low confidence
- Lack of response to sexual stimulus
- Inability to control sexual behaviour
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Lack of interest
- Premature ejaculation
- Inability to reach orgasm
- Excessive libido
- Distressing sexual thoughts
- Sexual fetishes
How Does Sex Therapy Work?
Like other counselling sessions, sex therapy will require you to share and talk about your concerns, fears, past experiences and feelings.
With the help of the therapist and their sex therapy techniques, you can work out coping mechanisms that help improve your responses to the situation in the future.
The goal is to have a healthy sex life and this can’t be achieved over one session with the therapist. It usually requires multiple sessions wherein you speak to the counsellor.
The therapist may also ask your partner to join the conversation to gain more understanding about where the problem lies.
In marital issues, therapists also look at counselling the couples together to help both partners achieve sexual satisfaction. Given their neutral standpoint, you can be certain they will have an unbiased opinion about the problems.
And just to be clear, the therapist will not be involved in any manner with you sexually. They are only there to speak to you and guide you further as a health professional.
Sex therapy techniques also include working on assignments between sessions given to you by the therapist. These may be deeply personal answers that help the therapist understand problems that are affecting your sex life.
In the case of a physical sexual concern, the therapist will refer you to a medical doctor. Your therapist and doctor can then work together to help resolve problems.
How Do I Know If I Need Sex Therapy?
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It’s not necessary that problems like depression and physical trauma only affect your sex life. You could be happy and “normal” on the outside, and yet face issues in the bedroom.
That’s where a sex therapist steps in. They help you understand and acknowledge your problems, especially if you are an intimacy anorexic. It not only affects your sex life but your relationship with your partner as well.
So, if you are looking to save what you have, sex therapy is a great place to begin that process.
How Can I Find A Sex Therapist?
There are multiple sex therapists in Singapore like Tammy Fontana, Dr Srilatha, Erin Chen, among others. You can consult with your closest hospital to find a sex therapist or look for more options online.
A certified therapist will be a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, marriage and family therapist, as well as a clinical social worker. They have learnt about human sexuality and how it works, and hence, are accredited as sex therapists.
There are also free counselling centres like
- Silver Ribbon Singapore
- Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic
- TOUCH Community Services
- Alliance Counselling
- Olive Branch and more
Some offer free counselling while others charge as low as $25 per session going up to $150.
You can also check if your insurance company covers you for mental and sex therapy. They also have their own affiliations and can help you find a therapist as well.
Finding and connect with a sex therapist is a deeply personal endeavour. So, even if you are going to the best professional on the island but are making little progress. That’s completely okay and you can look for someone new.
Sex Therapy vs Speaking To A Friend
Sometimes you may feel that all you need to do is speak to someone and that should take care of the problem. While in some cases that might just work, something as complicated as sexual issues may require professional help.
Here are five reasons why a sex therapist is preferable over friendly advice.
- Therapists know what they are doing
- A therapist can refer you to a doctor if you need medical help
- A sex therapist will be objective about your problems and not judge you for your shortcomings
- They are legally bound to keep your information private
- You can involve your partner without having to feel shy or embarrassed about the whole situation
Every individual has the complete right to stay healthy – physically, mentally and sexually. All three overlap with each other and may require intervention from time to time.
Most importantly, seeking sex therapy is nothing to feel ashamed about.
It’s a natural part of life and you are as eligible as your partner to have a happy sex life. The key though is recognising when there is a problem and working with professionals to resolve it. Honest and open communication will be key in helping you achieve sexual satisfaction.
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