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Sex/Sexuality

Sex doesn’t always involve intimacy, and intimacy doesn’t always sex. Both involve vulnerability, and vulnerability can be hard.

Whether you are experiencing distress from sexual shame, discomfort with being sexual with a partner/s, unsure how to navigate your partner's pleasure or your own pleasure, unrealistic expectations about sex, disappointment with sex,  or you would just generally like to improve your personal relationship to sex, therapy can help. If you are in a committed relationship, dating, single, celibate, poly, or single-but looking, sex and  sexuality is an area that can be troubling for many folks, yet receives little attention in regard to direct, intentional healing, growth and education.

For some of us, sex/sexuality is something that just happens (whether its healthy and fulfilling or harmful and traumatic), and for some it is something that we have put an exorbitant amount of thought into and pressure on ourselves with little to no satisfying outcome. Sex and sexuality can bring up a lot of uncomfortable feelings. To name a few, sex/sexuality can feel scary, uncomfortable, overwhelming, boring, uninteresting, stressful, shameful, oppressive.. and all of those feelings can be a valid result of a number of different sources, including but not limited to: family of origin, trauma, culture, religious beliefs, f*d up social constructs.

Why talk to a therapist about my sexuality & sex life?

 I could fill an entire website with all of the reasons why sex can be complicated for people. For most of us, it's due to a negative experience or message from our family, religion, culture, & society. The reality in the United States is that our nation is very contradicting when it comes to how sex is portrayed- simultaneously exploited and hidden. There are few places where honest and educated conversations are had, and yet sex is used as a commodity to sell corporate agendas/products everywhere we look. The media shows only one type of sex between one type of duo (typically, a heteronormative white cis-man and cis-woman) Most of us were taught very little about how our bodies work, beyond the obligatory health class where you learn a very limited & medicalized version of what parts are where, and that menstruation happens. We were taught to hide our bodies and repress or deny sexual urges. We are not encouraged to learn what we like, we are not taught how to communicate about sex, and we are not taught how to have mature, consensual sexual relationships.

 Gender constructs also play a huge part when we look at how we are socialized into pre-scripted sexual identities & roles. These constructs inform how we are 'supposed' to express our sexuality and what we 'should' anticipate from partners (i.e., typical feminine and masculine portrayals of sexuality- men are 'supposed to' want to have sex as much as possible with as many partners as possible and be ready to go anytime, and women are 'supposed to' be receptive to sexual advances, but also be chaste and demurring,  a real "lady in the streets but freak in the sheets" type of thing) And if you are a person who identifies outside of the gender binary, or have a sexual orientation other than heterosexual, then the social messages about sexuality are often either deeply stigmatizing, harmful, and one dimensional...or there are no messages/examples at all. All that is just the tip of iceberg!

Many of us then grow into adults who form loving bonds with others, and once the honeymoon phase is over, we get bored or we get stuck and then we have very few tools for how to embrace a mature sexuality. Add any form of trauma to that mix and sex/sexuality becomes even more arduous and complicated. 

Therapy can provide a safe and empowering space to work through some of that, to untangle the knot that results from harmful life experiences and circumstances, to provide you the freedom to embrace the sexuality that is authentic in you, and to have the type of sex that you want to have.

If you are struggling with any of the following, sex therapy may be an appropriate form of support:

  • sexual shame

  • difficulty with or lack of desire & arousal

  • processing sexual trauma or unwanted sexual experiences

  • disconnection from self as a sexual being

  • dissociation during sex

  • ruminating thoughts during sex, "spectatoring"(viewing self as 3rd person rather then experiencing sensations), other thoughts/images/comparing that distracts during the sexual experience

  • out of control sexual behaviors or compulsive sexual behaviors

  • sexual functioning (including but not limited to: premature ejaculation, anorgasmia, erectile dysfunction, genital pain, and more)

  • desire discrepancy with a partner 

  • generally wanting to improve your relationship to your sexuality or improve your sex life

 

Are you ready to get started? Want to reach out with a question? Fill out this form!

386.956.5165

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