Tag Archives: sex therapy

Hand-Break Off, Gas Pedal Down

Summarised from Come as You Are by Emily Nagosky.

In Nagosky’s book Come as You Are, she comprehensively explains a really useful theory in sexuality research – The Dual Control Model of sexual response.

Complicated name, but incredibly user-friendly.

This post is my summary of the most critical points in the theory, and how they might apply to our sex lives. Please indulge me as I use an automotive analogy throughout. Continue reading Hand-Break Off, Gas Pedal Down

Painful Sex: Empowered Help Seeking

Painful sex is incredibly distressing & confusing for those who experience it, and their partners.

Sexual pain can be caused by a variety of medical factors, and it manifests in a variety of ways – such as chronic discomfort during sex, pain upon genital touching and/or penetration, or an inability to have penetration due to intense pain. Some people who experience sexual pain may also experience pain using tampons, and/or discomfort sitting or wearing tight pants. Continue reading Painful Sex: Empowered Help Seeking

Ambiguities of The Erotic

I’ve recently been reading Esther Perel’s book Mating in Captivity: Sex, Lies and Domestic Bliss. The book discusses sex and eroticism in long-term relationships and is interesting in many ways. But there’s a particular point that has stood out for me as a sex therapist.

In Mating in Captivity, Perel discusses what I’m going to call the ambiguities or intangibles of sex, sexuality and love-making. She also explores the way that these intangibles can fly in the face of our can-do, goal-oriented society: Continue reading Ambiguities of The Erotic

What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 2.

Part 1 of this blog series described three common kinds of “low sexual desire” concerns.

Whilst different kinds of sexual desire concerns need to be approached in different ways, there are several ideas that can be helpful in all scenarios. And this is what I will cover here in Part 2.

The four key ideas covered here are: Understanding spontaneous and receptive sexual desire, knowing the value of sex in your life,  using communication to negotiate a satisfying sex life, and exploring the conditions for good sex. Continue reading What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 2.

What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 1.

One of the most common and distressing sexual difficulties that couples present with when they see a sex therapist is that one partner in the couple has “low desire” or “no desire”.

This can translate into a variety of bedroom scenarios:

  • One partner feeling unhappy that sex and intimacy is not occurring at the frequency they wish.
  • The other partner feeling unhappy that sexual initiation is occurring far too often.
  • Both partners feeling sexually depressed – this is not how they envisaged their sex life to be.
  • One partner feeling inferior, guilty, pressured and hopeless.
  • The other partner feeling out of control, rejected and also hopeless.

Continue reading What is Low Sexual Desire? Part 1.

Why am I experiencing sexual difficulties?

Many people experience low sexual satisfaction and other sexual concerns for many different reasons, and there are usually multiple factors involved for each person or couple.

On the flip side, a very promising flipside, there are also factors known to increase the likelihood of experiencing sexual fulfilment and pleasure.

We can think of the factors involved as The Four P’s: Predisposing, Precipitating, Perpetuating and Protective factors. Continue reading Why am I experiencing sexual difficulties?

Mindful Sex: Tuning In, Turning On

While completing my studies in clinical psychology, I spent three years researching mindfulness and how it relates to sexual pleasure and intimacy.

Mindfulness is the practice of present moment awareness, the skill of consciously bringing our attention to the here and now.  It is a form of meditation with origins in many religions and contemplative cultures, although it can also be practiced (and often is in Western culture) with no religious or spiritual underpinnings.

Some other ways to describe mindfulness practice include:

  • Tuning into the senses
  • Being centred or grounded
  • Making space for current experiences
  • Being attentive and curious

Continue reading Mindful Sex: Tuning In, Turning On

My Sex-Positive Compass

Sex therapy has been around a long time in many different shapes and forms, and each therapist has their own style and focus that works for them and their clients. As I was having some reflection time this week, I began to think about what concepts and ideas I find most helpful as a compass in my work.

Whilst I belief many different theories and strategies are helpful, these five main ideas are what guide my practice: Continue reading My Sex-Positive Compass

How on Earth Did you get Involved in Sex Therapy?

On all my fingers & all my toes, I couldn’t count the amount of times someone has said

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how on earth did you get involved in sex therapy?”

And this is what I tell them:

I was always a very curious kid. I was the kind of kid who waited until my mum and my two sisters were all locked in the car before asking “Mum…what is a penis for?” or something of that nature.

I was the kind of kid who knew where all the books in the house with nudie pictures resided, and showed them to all my friends (one was an art book in my mum’s house with lovely fleshy ladies, and the others where sexology books in my dad’s therapy office). Continue reading How on Earth Did you get Involved in Sex Therapy?