Check out this great article about why some women’s sex drive decreases with age- the findings suggest it is more than just hormones. Many different life circumstances play a role, like a partner with health issues, loss of interest and even addiction. Sex therapy can help you find a satisfying sex life taking into account various life factors. It can also help with adjusting expectations and learning to cope with a new sexual reality.
Cultivating a healthy masturbation practice helps you learn more about your body and what feels good. It’s a precursor for a satisfying sex life with a partner(s) by empowering you to communicate about what you like. W
Sex therapy can help you develop a healthy sense of sexuality and learn more about yourself, your body and how to live your best sexual life.
Check out this great article outlining reasons why everyone should masturbate (it’s specifically geared towards women, but all genders can benefit from this!)
Control. It is what gives us reassurance, safety, agency. But it can also dictate unhealthy behavior, reinforcing the irrational belief that we can control others or the situations around us. A control fallacy relates to how one views the locus of control in his/her/their life. Some people have an internal locus of control, which means that they attribute things that are happening to their own hard work or lack there of. Conversely, they also assume full responsibility for other’s feelings and behave in ways that preserve this belief. Other people have an external locus of control, attributing much of what they experience to fate or luck (and also seeing others as victims of such forces). This leads to a lack of taking responsibility and feelings of helplessness. We all live with and ascribe to both versions of these fallacies, but we tend to lean towards one over the other.
These fallacies often get played out in intimate sexual situations. For example, the person who fears losing control, so he rather pleasure his partner without fully receiving pleasure back. Or the partner who avoids vulnerability during sex and doesn’t advocate for what she really likes. Internal locus of control causes us to be mindful lovers, but can also take us down a rabbit hole of assuming too much responsibility over the other person’s pleasure. An external locus of control can lead us to be more experimental (since we are victims of fate either way) but also complacent. Before we know it, we avoid feeling vulnerable at all costs and feel helpless when it comes to our intimate lives.
Sex therapy and couple’s counseling can help unpack these fallacies and address how to cultivate a healthy balance of taking and ceding control. Intimacy is a delicate balance of feeling safe and also playful at the same time. Learning to embrace both of those concepts, which is tough, can go a long way in developing healthy sexual relationships.
What do you do when your partner is the life of the party and you enjoy quality time with the couch instead? How do you both get what you want and stay happy in your relationship?
Differing social needs in relationships is a very common theme amongst everyday couples. While one person may identify as an extrovert, the other person may see themselves as an introvert thus causing different views on going out and socializing. Introverts get their energy renewed by staying in and cozying up with a good book. Extroverts spend their energy by going out with friends and being the life of the party.
While it may be hard to understand for the opposite individual, it is important that find that balance and compromise within the relationship.
In therapy, we would look at this situation from the perspectives of both individuals and try to see where we can change the potential cognitive distortions which may be present and interfering with seeing eye to eye when it comes to social needs of your significant other. Challenging these distortions makes way for a more positive thinking pattern which allows for both partners to be happy and content in their relationship while getting what they want and need.
In the U.S., there is no standard curriculum for sex education, with many schools preaching abstinence only or not providing sex education at all. Sex is a fundamental human need, deemed as important as sleep and shelter. From childhood, we learn about (and are encouraged to develop) healthy sleep habits, eating habits and the fulfillment of other fundamental needs, like shelter. When we become adults, we then have a base from which to improve on and understand the importance of these basic needs. Except for sex. Yes we learn about the mechanics, but words like “pleasurable”, “fun” and “consensual” are rarely used in the discussion. We then stumble into the world of sexuality ill prepared; brimming with uncertainty and preconceived notions. But we are expected to perform, be confident and KNOW what we want and how we want it. These expectations put massive pressure on us all and creates more anxiety and trepidation around sex.
Check out this great article about the damaging messages in sex ed and what should be learned instead.
The sex advice columnist Dan Savage coined the term GGG: Good, Giving and Game when it comes to sexual and intimate relationships. Check out this great video outlining the basics of GGG.
This is not surprising!! Sex, deemed a basic human need as important as food and shelter, is good for our mental and physical well being. The Guardian published an article outlining this claim as well as what actually happens in the body when we are aroused. Enjoy :)
Anxiety around sex can be debilitating and prevent you from having a fun, pleasurable time. If anxiety is inhibiting you from enjoying intimacy and sex, consider sex therapy. It can really help you develop coping skills and learn more about how to embrace your sexuality. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, sex is a basic human need and is just as important as food or shelter! Here is a great article that suggests some ways to cope.
The orgasm gap is real! After analyzing more than 52,000 adults, it’s clear that heterosexual men orgasm more than any other gender group. In sex therapy, we work on deconstructing what sexuality and intimacy mean, promote sex positivity and helping you identify what works best for you. Check out this great article on some of the common reasons why people can’t orgasm and some suggestions to help resolve this.
With porn being as accessible as ever, we still don’t know how exactly it affects our sex lives. Check out this great article by The Atlantic, with a link to Crazy/Genius podcast episode about this topic:
The societal message about sex and intimacy is still very negative and many children don’t learn that sex is fun, pleasurable and normal. Sex education in the United States is sub-par, with no standardized curriculum, so we can’t rely on our education system to do this for us. It’s up to parents and caretakers to step up and give an accurate, real life explanation of sex.
But first, we all need to re-examine what we’ve been told about sex and the gender norms that play into it. In individual and couple’s therapy, we explore the role sex and intimacy play in one’s life. We foster unconditional self-acceptance. Your sexuality and sexual desires are part of you! Accepting yourself for being a living, breathing human who seeks pleasure, while also learning to identify your thought patterns and beliefs. What we internalize about sex throughout our lives shapes our perceptions about what healthy intimacy looks like. Exploring those perceptions can help you talk about intimacy in a more positive, self-affirming way to your kids.
The tricky part is explaining what happened in an age appropriate way. Let’s assume your child is old enough to understand what sex and partnerships are. Sex is part of being in a relationship and it’s one way to show love, be intimate, get pleasure and have fun together. The technicalities of sex and how it happens aren’t the only important parts to talk about. Don’t forget to talk about consent, emphasizing that when adults have sex, it should be because both of them want to. When people want to have sex, they must make sure they are happy and comfortable with each other.
Be mindful- your child will internalize your discomfort through non-verbal body language and expressions, so practicing before hand with your partner or in front of a mirror is not a bad idea. Remind your child that he/she can come to you with any questions and stay positive- you want your child to come to you for support when they are ready to have sex in the future. Talking about sex doesn’t have to be scary , weird or awkward. You control how this goes! Stay honest, open and affirming- you’ll be fine.