Sex Therapy for Couples
In my work with couples I often find that sex between the partners has become unsatisfactory for one or both, and neither really knows why. It usually isn’t because there’s a problem in the relationship generally, because if that were so, talking therapy could identify and resolve it.
Often, I wish that couples had consulted me earlier, and, actually, I really love working with Couples at the start of their relationship, where things haven’t yet become fixed, and so exploration and change is easier and quicker.
People take it for granted that they need to look after their bodies, but don’t seem to apply the same criteria to sexual love.
“Sex Therapy” can often imply ,incorrectly, that there needs to be something wrong, but what is preferable is the desire that something can be better. You wouldn’t hold up your gym membership until you’d had your second heart attack.
Yet people who have been with their partner 5/10 years are likewise often apt to think “Things aren’t as good as they were, but that’s natural isn’t it? It’s not as if there’s something wrong”. But why wait until there is? Isn’t an adventure better than a hospital pass?
If ‘Sex Therapy’ as a term doesn’t resonate, what would? ‘Sex Lessons for Couples?’ ‘Sex Education for Couples?’ Who knows?
Sometimes sexual issues can be caused by resentments and difficulties elsewhere in the relationship, and talking therapy deals well with that, but often it’s the other way around. Talking therapy doesn’t, as a general rule, often work well with sexuality per se, and you can waste a lot of time and money without any real change. And you can’t get that time back.
From my experience, sexual issues in a relationship are likely to have a number of different aspects.
Firstly, the couple tend to have a clear idea of what sex should be like, coupled with a belief that everyone else is having great sex, but not them, or at least not anymore.
That’s the first problem: there’s an ideal, and you’re disappointed and frustrated if it isn’t like that for you. There’s also the awareness that the sex is generally less joyful and connecting than it was at the start of the relationship. A couple can get into patterns which get repetitive and which don’t really work; one person always initiates, for example, or what happens is always the same.
Another is the focus on “performance” and orgasm. Couples tend to speak about this in terms of what “works”. If it promotes mutual orgasm, it’s good, if it doesn’t, not so much. But over time, the sex gradually narrows, until, quite soon, you get to the point where it’s just perfunctory, and then perhaps stops entirely.
And women’s orgasms, or lack of them, in partnered sex is a particular problem, so sex for them may always have felt disappointing and limited, and just seems to get worse over time. Longer term, resentment is created, which sooner or later will create a crisis.
How can we think of sex in a different way? How can we make things better?
There are three primary issues:
–opening up ways of making love which are richer, more varied and more authentic, and which satisfy both partners
-more variety in your lovemaking
When I work with a couple, they are often so focused on how things should be, on performance, that they often become disconnected from what they actually feel and want. In that case, it’s helpful for me initially to work with them separately, to get them back in their bodies and their desire.
For some couples, the central issue is communication: how to know what we want, and how to ask for it. How to say yes, and how to say no. It’s surprising how difficult this is for many people.
Another big problem is simply boredom: busy couples, with the best will in the world, can get into a repetitive rut, and need help to find their way back to a more interested and varied intimate life together. I can share with you exercises to greatly broaden and deepen the scope of your joint sexuality.
Everything I do is clearly explained and agreed in advance, I will never ask you to do anything you don’t want to do, and I will always go at your pace.
If you’d like to take things forward, you can contact me here
BACK TO HOME
Sex Therapy for Couples
John’s talk from the Sex Lectures Series Glasgow
As a first step, if you are curious about my work but are not sure if I can address your particular issue, why not complete my short questionnaire?