sextherapy 

Someone who suffers from a tooth ache goes to a dentist. Someone with a sexual problem does not as easily go to a sexologist. In the first place, there are not so many sexologists, secondly it is not so normal to talk about sexual problems as it is to talk about a tooth ache. At the same time, sexual difficulties are so normal, one might say, everybody has them.

 

Sex therapy and sexual problems

What we call ‘sex therapy’ is the treatment of a number of complaints that couples experience, usually after having lived together for some years: erectile dysfunction (impotence), premature ejaculationorgasmic dysfunctionvaginismuslack of desire or pain.
These are the most frequent sexual problems that can be dealt with by sex therapists or counsellors. Sex therapy is usually short (between 5 and 10 sessions) during which the couple (or individual) talks about the problem, gets information, is given tasks to do at home and reports about their effect. Sex therapy is successful if at the end the problem has disappeared, or if the couple know how to deal with it if it recurs. Sometimes the clients must be referred to a medical doctor, if the complaints suggest that a medical examination is required, or if drugs are to be prescribed as part of the counselling. Sexologists often work in teams, in which psychology as well as medicine are represented.

 

The procedure followed in sex therapy

  • decision as to what the problem is and how often it occurs
  • explanation, with the help of illustrations, of the structure and functions of the sexual organs
  • explanation of the counselling philosophy and procedure
  • assignment of tasks, beginning usually with learning to relax, lose sense of urgency or obligation, abstain with pleasure from coitus
  • sensate focus practice, specific tasks, such as exploring vagina or penis, manual stimulation, introducing objects graded in thickness into the vagina, stopping before orgasm, applying squeeze technique, practice with pelvic muscles
  • learning to associate pleasurable lust with relaxation, letting go, communication, gradual increase of time penis remains in the vagina without ejaculation or losing erectile strength. In both these latter cases, medication can be used effectively as part of the therapy.
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