The Basics of Sex Therapy

Some couple not only would have to deal with problems about finances, childcare, in-laws, and other things that would test their relationship, they also would have to cope with an issue that one or both of them may have: problematic sexual behaviors. These issues range from sexless marriage, erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety, lack of physical affection, and negative thoughts about sex in general.

Sexual problems are almost intertwined with psychological issues, which is why sexual therapy should not only focus on the physical aspect but also the problems that go through the patient’s mind. A healthy sexual relationship is very much important between couples to achieve a happier marriage.

Defining sexual problems

Issues about sex may vary, but they have a common denominator: all of them are debilitating to the couple’s lives. Aside from those previously mentioned, problematic sexual behaviors include unsafe and risky sex, having sex when you do not want to, extramarital affairs, promiscuous sex, compulsive sex, violent or degrading sex, and engaging in abusive sexual fantasies. These "old habits" may take a long time to break, and it might not be enough to deal with it alone.

What sexual therapy does

Patients suffering from sexual problems should learn how to channel their sexual energy in ways that would nurture them in positive ways instead of being swallowed with too much negativity. The first thing sex therapy does is to be able to distinguish the difference between healthy sex and abusive sex. To check the sexual behavior of a person, a self-examination is conducted. That person should use adjectives to describe sex, and if any of these words appear-dirty, overwhelming, bad, frightening, hurtful, and secretive-the person is more likely subject to sexual abusive and needs to consult with a licensed sex therapist.

Sex therapists help the patient combat the overwhelming emotions that go along with sexual abuse through different means, primarily by helping the patient take care of the environment that he or she is in. Exposure to abusive sex images, such as pornography, or even several TV shows and movies, should be blocked and replace them with romance novels and certain films that would only increase one’s exposure to examples of healthy sex.

Sexual therapy is also advisable on couples who are about to consider using medication to sustain sexual performance, such as Viagra.