“What kind of therapist are you?” they ask.
I take a deep breath, brace myself slightly, “A sex therapist,” I reply.
“They”, in this specific instance, is the admissions coordinator at one of the preschools we were looking at for my son.
I never know how my response is going to be received. Thankfully, most people are intrigued or excited to meet “one of those”. Usually, what follows is a list of questions about what exactly I do.
As a sex therapist, I work with individuals and couples. Many couples come to me feeling that they have great relationship “except for sex”. And I believe them. When sex is good it takes up about 10% of a relationship, when it is problematic it can take up about 90% of the relationship (Barry McCarthy). The emotions that are attached to sex bleeds into everything else, either creating joy and flow in the couple or creating further complications.
I have found that when couple become comfortable communicating about sex generally, learn how to identify and express their own personal desires and create a safe container to practice and connect with their sexuality individually and with a partner, the other issues begin to diminish.
Some other areas that I work with are individuals or couples recovering from childhood sexual abuse, a history of sexual assault or abuse, infertility and the impacts this has on the couple, infidelity, shame around sex, difficulty communicating about sex, different sexual styles within a couple, different amounts of sex desired within couple, erectile dysfunction, vaginismus, pain during sex, out of control sexual behavior ( commonly referred to as sex addiction), opening up relationships/ polyamory/ swinging, gender identity, performance anxiety…. The list goes on.
My days are never the same, one to the next. I love that about my job. As every individual is unique, so are their perspectives and experiences. Some days I am a teacher, others a sounding board. I practice being a translator, a buffer, a coach, or a referee.
I am honored that my clients trust me and seek out my support in some of the most vulnerable areas of their life.
If you are curious to know more, or think you would like my help reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!