“This entire culture is profoundly uncomfortable with vulnerability and dependence. Good intimate sex requires both.” How do we define sex? What is the role of intimacy and connection in the sexual relationship?
Many of us avoid the topic of sex. In my work with couples and individuals, I often hear that the client has been experiencing sexual issues for years before they end up in my office. In fact, the average time that a man takes to seek help form a therapist for sexual dysfunction is 6 years, with some cases waiting up to 8 years. One of the reasons behind this delay in seeking treatment is the stigma around sexual topics, resulting from unrealistic expectations about sex. These expectations have been misguided by the media, magazines, pornography and lack of sex education. How do we begin to un-do and reconstruct?
I begin by exploring how each individual has come to understand themselves as a sexual being. I focus on helping the client define sexuality by identifying messages from family of origin, culture, life experiences, religion, and peers. I often hear couples’ concerns around the “differences” in desire, libido, intimacy, positions, fantasies, likes, etc. Still, these differences, while discomforting for some, can be seen as the key to fueling curiosity. It seems like there is a silent expectation that we should all want the same sexually. Sex at the same time of day (typically night), in the same position, , with the same initiation, even similar fore play. This begins to sound unrealistic right? The reality is that 1 in 5 married couples have a low or no sex relationship (frequency of sex of 4-10 times per year), and unmarried couples that live together for more than 2 years are more likely to be at risk for a no sex relationship. We are often afraid of what we don’t understand and the result is shame, guilt and isolation. Despite these statistics, the majority of people in these situations feel like they are the only ones feeling “this” way.
I specialized in sex therapy because I began to discover that many individuals have not tapped into parts of themselves that can be a garden for intimacy and pleasure. I see sex therapy as a path to exploration. I aim to educate, normalize sex and intimacy, and help the client build a relationship with themselves. In my work, I find that sexuality is transcendent and can influence the individual in many ways. My job is to help you understand self-intimacy and introduce a confident sexual voice to reclaim your sexuality and accept who you truly are. Lastly, I cherish differences because they can be the starting point to a great journey.
“Therapy is a process of sexuality by shedding inhibitions, encouraging physicality and negotiating boundaries. Couples learn to dance step by step, and it takes as long as it takes.”