Category Archives: Sexual dysfunction

Andrology Angst: What are my Options Doc?

The idea of providing a sperm sample during fertility preservation or reproductive treatment is a bit awkward and uncomfortable for most people considering it. And fair enough – you don’t usually have to ejaculate on command in a foreign location.

All of a sudden, the whole scientific community is in this private sphere of your life, and you have to masturbate into a cup.

But for some people, the idea may be particularly anxiety provoking and distressing.

Why does collection day cause anxiety?

Here are a few reasons why:

  • You may be worried about “performance anxiety” in a strange and clinical environment, and not being able to arouse yourself to ejaculation;
  • You may have been fine when you did the initial semen tests, but now feel the pressure of providing sperm on the actual big-day of treatment;
  • You may have had issues in the past not being able to ejaculate in sexual or medical situations;
  • You may not usually masturbating or you may be used to having a partner with you for sexual stimulation; or
  • You may have personal or religious reasons for not masturbating.

Continue reading Andrology Angst: What are my Options Doc?

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

A Psychologist and a Sex-Design Researcher Walk into a Bar…

I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with a Melbourne-based Sex-Design Researcher by the name of Victoria Cullen. Victoria is a Workshop Facilitator and Sex Educator at Passionfruit: The Sensuality Shop. She also lectures for RMIT University in the Future Sex Studio where she teaches students about consumer-centered design for sex products, aids and services. And, she has recently started a great sexuality blog called The Lubrarian.

So, when a Psychologist and a Sex-Design Researcher walk into a bar, what do they talk about? Here’s a little summary of our interesting chats. Continue reading A Psychologist and a Sex-Design Researcher Walk into a Bar…

Reproduction Can be Very Unsexy

Part of my work has involved counselling with couples who are undergoing assisted reproduction such as IVF, donor sperm insemination, and donor egg and embryo use.

From this work I have noticed some key things about sex and reproduction:

  1. Sex can be unproductive;
  2. Reproduction can be unsexy; and
  3. Reproductive treatment can be downright sexually demoralizing.

Continue reading Reproduction Can be Very Unsexy

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?