Sexuality

Sex Therapy
If you’ve been told that sex should be easy, hot, and happen “naturally”, you’re not alone.
If you thought that a committed or primary partnership is the place that where sex would be problem-free, you’re also in good company. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy? You may be surprised your desire doesn’t follow a standard script the way you thought it would or want it to. Now, whenever you think about what is going wrong with you sexually, you’re sure no one else is going through it. At best you’re embarrassed, and at worst, you feel “broken.”
Depictions of sex as uncomplicated and require little to no communication have done you a disservice. The truth is sex is complex, it changes over time, and it’s filled with all kinds of bodies and desires that work differently. And sexual issues can be isolating. It can feel out of control to have desire issues or find that your body doesn’t respond the way that you want it to. It’s disappointing and stressful to be in a partnership where there are sexual problems between you. Figuring yourself out without access to accurate information and the comfort to talk about it is daunting.
While sexual issues can be challenging to live with and impact others, my goal is to help you develop your own self-compassion and reduce judgments about your struggle. I will help you find a sense of ease, dignity, and curiosity about these parts of you. Types of sexual issues that I have experience or interest in:

  • Couples learning how to become more sexually compatible
  • Differences in partners’ desire or sexual interests
  • Lack of clarity about what turns you on
  • Shame or guilt about sex or what turns you on
  • Wanting more passion and heat in your sex life
  • Performance anxiety before sex
  • Trouble maintaining arousal (erections or lubrication)
  • Early or delayed orgasms, or no orgasms at all
  • Out-of-control sexual behaviors, sometimes called “sex addiction”
  • Sexual (re)discovery after trauma or a conservative upbringing

What sex therapy is: Sex therapy is a discussion about your sexual thoughts, experiences, feelings, physiological functioning and any distress it causes – just like other talk therapies. It can feel vulnerable and awkward to discuss your intimate thoughts with another person, but most people find out they wished they had an outlet to talk about these things sooner! I take a holistic view of sex in your therapy. Sex is both a direct experience and a symbol of something else. The deeper we explore, we more we find out how sex can be linked to your creativity, play, pleasure, joy, sadness, rage, loss, and renewal.

What sex therapy is not: I integrate sex as a dimension of general therapy; however, no client is required to talk about things they are not comfortable with. Sex therapy is not sexual surrogacy. There is never erotic touch, sexual enactments, or physical exams with me. If you’re with your partner in couples therapy, any touch exercises suggested during session will be clothes-on and for the purpose of connection – not for sexual stimulation. Any exercises I suggest outside of session will occur only with your and any partner’s consent.

I welcome clients across the sexual and gender spectrums – LBGTQIA+ folks, trans* and gender non-binary, kink/BDSM practices, sex workers, and consensual non-monogamy/polyamory. I am influenced by the works of David Schnarch, Esther Perel, Peggy Kleinplatz, and Jack Morin (my human sexuality instructor). Couple clients are recommended to have 80 minute sessions.
Sexual health looks different for everyone. If you want to be on a path to find out what it looks like for you, book a free consult call with me.

“Sex not as something we do, but a place that we go” – Esther Perel

Deva is a psychotherapist practicing in the downtown Financial District of San Francisco, CA (LMFT #103816). She has worked with clients aged 6 to 88 in different settings since 2011. These days, she helps individuals and couples get more in tune with their wants and needs. She has a special focus on sexuality and folks of mixed ethnic or racial backgrounds.

She slightly prefers pie over cake, but loves dogs and cats equally.
582 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94104 · 415-496-6660

© Deva Segal, SF Therapist. All rights reserved. 2021