You may have a pretty consistent pattern of when your sexual libido takes a turn that feels out of your control. Or something unexpected changed along the way about sex and you’re not sure what to do. You could be in a place where you want to explore parts of your sexuality, such as certain fantasies and/or with other genders, which may feel overwhelming.
It’s probably gotten to the point you notice yourself avoiding or withdrawing from sex altogether. It might be hard for you to talk about these issues with a partner and it’s reached a crisis point. You worry about burdening them, or the topic has gotten so fraught it is causing problems.
Some folks feel in the dark about how all their problems came about. For others, there’s an intuition that old relational or sexual trauma wounds are affecting their ability to have a fulfilling sex life. Wherever you are, it can feel like you’re out of ideas on how to change things.
Desire can run on a spectrum of very low or very high. There is no right way to be. But when people feel like they’re “different” from others, they often assume that something might be wrong with them. The truth is that sex rarely follows a standard script. We’re all unique individuals with changing sexual needs and preferences.
You’re ready to focus on this part of your life more than ever.
Human sexuality is such a nuanced and complex concept. Sex therapists recognize how numerous psychological, physical, societal, and relational factors intersect with a person’s sexual life. This speaks to the first step of our therapy – building a relationship together. It’s important that you feel comfortable talking about your needs and feelings. My overarching goal is to offer an accepting space where it feels truly safe to share your difficulties. Some of the topics we might cover are:
What turns you on: Not knowing what makes you feel good or interested in sex to begin with can feel daunting, like you’re frozen about what to do next. There’s a feeling of hopelessness that can take over. My interest is not in getting you “just to have more sex”, but to start having the sex worth having. Wanting no sex is also a perfectly acceptable option.
Who turns you on: There could be curiosities about what intimate experiences with other kinds of people could be like. Could be different genders or just different types of partners. It’s hard to challenge your own ideas about yourself and figure out if you’re supposed to have new ones. Alternatively, if you’re not able to disclose your sexuality or desires with others, it may lead to secretiveness or isolation.
Fear: You could be wondering if you’ll ever get what you want or if you’re somehow inadequate. This fear can be even more pronounced if you’ve always had sexual issues or if you have ever felt rejected by past partners or healthcare providers.
Shame: Shame is the emotion that tells you, Something is really wrong with me. I think I’m broken. When we feel high levels of shame, we tend to struggle with low self-esteem and isolate ourselves from others. Even if you’re in a loving relationship, you might notice yourself avoiding vulnerability or feeling immense embarrassment during sexual activity.
Cultural and religious beliefs: Sex myths are reinforced in our relationships, media, and our cultures and religions of origin. Because there is so little support to help you understand sexual health, it can be challenging to find your own values about sex. Together, we think about how gendered and cultural beliefs inform where you are now.
Ruminating about your past sex life: If you’ve thought more you may notice yourself continuously comparing your current situation to what you had in the past. People experiencing sex problems often fear that things will be this way forever. There is a longing to have things go
Problems with too much sex: Sometimes folks can become over-focused on the excitement of sex and what they hope it will provide them. That could be partnered sex or solo sex with erotic imagery. In some cases it has impacted relationships or jobs. There are cycles to these behaviors that need some attention in order to unpack.
In therapy, we will work together to further solidify your therapy goals and identify what needs to change, and create a plan for you to achieve them. Over the course of your therapy treatment, I will provide ongoing feedback and offer various solutions intended to help you improve your well-being. Based on your specific goals, therapy may be either short-term or long-term.
It’s common for clients with sexual concerns to have anxiety and depression attached to it. Sex may be an apparent stressor in your life, but there can also be old wounds and trouble in other areas that have gone unresolved. I will always bring in relevant discussions of where else you are getting stuck. After we put your story together, we’ll both have better insight into your current challenges. We’ll start to focus on addressing immediate concerns, such as managing difficult emotions or problematic life situations.
If you have an existing individual therapist and would like to explore working with me for sex-related issues, I address this more in depth in my FAQ.
Your sexual health is part of both your physical and emotional health. Whether you’re experiencing performance anxiety, libido changes, confusion about your sexuality, or you simply feel uncomfortable talking about sex with your partner, therapy can help. My depth training in sexuality helps in bringing in the full picture.
In my practice, I welcome all genders, sexual identities, and different relational and monogamy agreements. I am a sex work ally and have advanced competency in kink practices. Many of my couple therapy clients or couple partners are LGBTQIA+ identified. Matching my own background, I often work with people of mixed ethnic and cultural identities, first and second-generation immigrants, and BIPOC clients. Come as you are.