Sex Therapist’s Couch

How Men & Women Cooperate to Undermine Sex

As a sex therapist, I hear a lot about how sex doesn’t work, how complicated it is, and how often it simply isn’t worth the trouble. Of course, I’m sympathetic.

But my job is to notice exactly how people create the sex that frustrates them. It doesn’t take much: disliking your body; not trusting your partner; feeling guilty about what you want or don’t want; anxiety about, well, anything.

Those are the issues I help individuals identify and resolve. After that, people often enjoy sex much more.

Frequently, though, sexual difficulties are maintained by two partners together.

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Let’s Talk Vaginas

They each had a Ph.D, had been married for three years, and obviously trusted and loved each other. And neither one knew a vagina from, well, a hole in the ground.

Their parents were pressuring them to have children as soon as possible, but it “just wasn’t happening,” so they figured they’d have to go through artificial fertility treatments.

Su’s gynecologist suggested they see me before they did, “just in case” I could say something helpful.

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What Sex Therapy Can’t Do

Sex therapy, first developed by Masters & Johnson in the early 1960s, can be wonderful—life-changing, cost-effective, marriage- (and therefore family-) saving.

But we can’t do everything that people want or need. Here are some things I’m asked to do periodically, which I just don’t know how to do—and I doubt that my colleagues, can, either.

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Myths About Infidelity

Every single week for the last 42 years I have spoken with one or more clients who have cheated or been cheated on.

Survey data regarding cheating keeps changing as social definitions of cheating evolve. And the invention of cars, telephones, and the internet—not to mention mixed-gender schools and workplaces—have multiplied people’s opportunities for a broader range of physical and emotional relationships.

I do believe I’ve heard every possible reason for infidelity, and…

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The Primary Sexual Concerns of Most People

  With all the current media attention to drag queens, pronouns, polyamory, and a few felons with penises demanding to be jailed in women’s cellblocks, it’s easy to forget that these aren’t the central concerns of most people.

While issues like these can be fascinating (and legitimately important to a very small number of people), most people’s sexual concerns are far more pedestrian.
It’s easy to forget that the central sexual concerns of most people do NOT involve orientation or identity.

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