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 this 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 “wrong” with you sexually, you’re sure no one else is going through it. You’re left with embarrassment and anxiety.
Messages you’ve gotten and depictions of sex as uncomplicated, requiring 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 tough to live with and impact others, my goal is to help you develop your own self-compassion and reduce judgements 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
  • 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 known as sex addiction
  • Shame or guilt about sex
  • Sexual (re)discovery after trauma or a conservative upbringing

What sex therapy is: Sex therapy is a discussion about your sexual thoughts, experiences, and 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. There is never erotic touch with me or examinations of any kind. Any touch exercises suggested during session with your partner will be clothes-on and for the purpose of connection – not for sexual stimulation. Any sexual exercises I may suggest will occur outside of session and only with your and, if applicable, your partners’ consent.

I welcome clients across the sexual and gender minority 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).
Working with me begins with a weekly commitment of 50 minute sessions. Longer or more frequent sessions may be recommended depending on your needs. Couples are recommended to have 80 minute sessions. Read more about my style or review FAQs. I have special interest in working with multiethnic and third culture clients.

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

© Deva Segal, SF Therapist. All rights reserved. 2020