What is a misconception that people have about sex therapists?

The biggest one is that there is a lot of hot, sexy talk in a sex therapist’s office.

The truth is that when your sex life isn’t working, it hurts. Moreover, many of the things that you think are true of sex, probably aren’t, especially if you read articles in popular culture. Spiked heels and better nightwear won’t get you where you want to go when being sexual feels impossible.

Most people have a tough time talking about something so intimate because they probably don’t talk about sex on a regular basis. If they did, according to Gottman, they’d likely have better sex.

Sex therapists work with you to develop a way to talk about you, your body, the way you interact with your partner, and the way you feel about it. None of that is designed to arouse you or excite you with sexual talk. It’s not meant to, any more than seeing a couples therapist is like an enjoyable date night.

But, unlike what happens when you try to talk about sex yourselves, and find that difficult, in my office, we slow things down. We examine the assumptions each of you are making about what happened and what it means. And you learn to talk to each other about what sex is like for you. And the more you talk, the safer it feels. The more you express your feelings, the easier it is to explore your sexual “accelerators” and sexual “brakes.” Then you both can try to create an environment that accentuates the first while minimizing the second.

We do have laughs together, don’t get me wrong, no one is laughing at anyone. The humor is to lighten the tension and relax the room (even if it is a Zoom Room).

Sex therapy is serious business because sex has stopped being fun.

So sorry, no hot, steamy sex talk in sex therapy.

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