Many couples don't know how to resolve relationship difficulties related to sex.
You might be feeling that you and your partner are sexually incompatible. Do you experience sexual desire at much higher or lower levels than your partner? Is your partner wanting you to initiate sex more frequently than you really want to? Are you or your partner experiencing pain during sex? Perhaps sex brings up issues related to honesty and trust for someone in the relationship. Whatever the issue might be, talking about it with your partner might feel tense, charged, or uncomfortable. You or your partner might not know how to move these conversations forward. Sometimes couples feel like there are no available solutions given each person's sexual needs and wants.
Frustration, uncertainty, and fear are common responses to sexual difficulties between partners.
Sexuality is an important part of the human experience. Each person's experience of sexuality is unique, and it is not unusual for differences to arise when two or more people come together in a sexual relationship. Unfortunately, many people don't get a lot of information, education, or skill building around what to do when these differences arise. Without that kind of knowledge, these differences can feel overwhelming and impossible to solve.
Sex therapy is an opportunity for partners to have honest conversations about sex and to map out a path forward.
I offer sex therapy for couples in Denver, CO and provide a supportive and non-judgmental space for you and your partner to articulate problems and concerns, to deepen your understanding of your own experience as well as your partner's, and to explore potential solutions that work for both of you. Couples counseling is a dedicated time when you and your partner can focus on the sexual aspect of your relationship. This includes attending to problem areas, identifying shared values and desires, and the opportunity to create a mutually satisfying sex life going forward.
Solutions to sexual problems in a relationship often require couples to expand their ideas about sex and what is possible sexually.
There is extensive messaging within American culture about what sex is, what is supposed to happen in a sexual encounter, and how a person is supposed to feel before, during, and after sex. However, human sexuality is much more complex than that. Sex touches into all aspects of the human experience: body, mind, emotions, spirituality, relationships, self, society, identity, etc. The conditioning that happens around sex is often deeply rooted and difficult to identify. This is one important component to solving relationship problems involving sex.
I'm just not interested in sex. I don't really know how that kind of problem can be solved.
Some people are genuinely not interested in sex and nothing about that is wrong or abnormal. No one should feel coerced, pressured, or forced to have sex when they don't want to. In couple's therapy we might explore how you define sex, what makes sex uninteresting to you, and if you even want to want sex. We might also look at what options are available to both you and your partner to get your needs met. Some couples want to meet sexual needs together within the relationship and some couples want to explore sexuality on an individual basis.
One or both of us has a history of sexual abuse or sexual assault. I'm afraid of triggering my partner's trauma around sex.
Sometimes discussing these fears out loud with your partner can make a big difference in allowing both of you to feel more relaxed. There are also many skills that support trauma-informed sex. Learning how to be more present with and attuned to your partner during sex is one of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of triggering past trauma. The great news is that more presence and attunement during sex tend to make sex more pleasurable for everyone!
I have unusual sexual desires and I feel embarrassed or ashamed to tell my partner what I want.
Your personal feelings about sex and sexual desire are influenced by many factors, including the beliefs and feelings about sex that you are exposed to in your family, at work, among friends, and in the culture at large. In the context of couples therapy, you and your partner can explore where these beliefs and feelings come from, how they impact your sex life, and the role you want them to play in your sexuality going forward. I support couples to work through feelings of shame related to sex and to develop a positive relationship with their sexuality. Sexual interactions must involve consenting adults.
Sexual differences do not have to mean the end of a relationship!
Sexual differences within a relationship can be an opportunity for partners to learn more about themselves sexually, to increase intimacy and closeness, and to have a more fulfilling sex life. I identify as a sex-positive therapist, and I encourage partners to embrace their sexuality, and to find the courage to share their needs, wants, and struggles with their partner in a supported and non-judgmental environment. We can work together to have the difficult conversations, to dream about what might be possible, and then to take practical steps towards something different.
To find a sex-positive therapist in Denver, Colorado, I encourage you to meet with at least three therapists before making a decision. You can schedule a free telehealth consultation to see how it feels to talk with me and to ask any questions you may have. If you have particular concerns about sex therapy, you can bring them up when we meet! Please familiarize yourself with my pricing and logistics before scheduling.