Both men and women can experience a variety of sexual issues that might affect their ability to enjoy sex. This can have a significant effect on the quality and closeness someone feels within a relationship.
Experiencing difficulties in your sexual life can lead to low mood, frustration and even despair. Not being able to have a full sexual life can also lead to a range of issues connected with poor self-esteem and low self-image for both genders.
Commonly referred sexual difficulties for women are:
Commonly referred sexual issues for men are:
Most people (when they are honest about it) will report they feel some initial anxiety when talking about their sexual issues. This is quite usual. Although it seems that sex is all around us – films, television, Internet – we still don't have many honest conversations about sex in Britain today. As a professional therapist working in the field of sex therapy, I do my best to make people feel comfortable when they come for their sessions. There are no 'off limits' areas in what you might have to talk about. I will treat you with professional respect and do my best to facilitate the least stressful way of working we can find, together. However, I think it is also important to be able to refer people to a female psychosexual therapist if that is more likely to present them with the best outcome.
When the sex goes bad, make the talking good
Article posted on 2 December 2015
Sadly, lots of people don’t feel very satisfied with what happens in their sex lives, and there are many reasons why it can go wrong. Sexual difficulties for men such as premature or delayed ejaculation (when they orgasm too quickly or, conversely, take too long to get there for the couple’s satisfaction) or issues for women like vaginismus (where they might not be able to let their partner enter, or find penetration painful) are common experiences for couples. When a couple suffers the issues rather than talking about them to try to work out the root of the difficulty, things can tend to get worse. Many common sexual issues can have organic, health-based origins or can be related to the use of some types of prescription drugs. Other difficulties can be psychological at their roots. Age and general health also often contribute to an individual or couple experiencing difficulties.
Additionally, sex can break down because relationships become stale or are challenged by life events. Over time, negative issues in sex lives build up because talking about your sex life often seems too difficult and challenging. Talking about your own intimate and personal experience, especially with the partner you share your life with, is a different type of talk for most people. No one really teaches us how to discuss a part of our lives that can make us, and our partner, feel unusually vulnerable. Add to this difficulties around intimacy for one partner due to, for example, a loss of trust based on infidelity, cheating, flirting or perhaps use or overuse of pornography, and you might begin to see why sexual activities fall into a rut or ‘just cool off’; rejection and blame are often quick to follow, and the sex cools further. No one dares to talk about the root issues - be they physical, emotional, psychological, cultural or even spiritual - that can affect what is or isn’t going on in the bedroom. And yet, that is where therapy can begin.
While you might perceive that talking to a therapist (a total stranger) about your sexual issues will be anxiety provoking (quite normal), or could be even worse than suffering in silence or living with the proverbial elephant in the room, the majority of people who talk to me as a couple or as individuals generally find it easier than they thought. I’ll always do my best to make clients feel comfortable: there are no 'off-limits' topics of discussion; you’ll always be treated with professional respect; and I’ll do my very best to facilitate the least stressful way of working with you. Therapy really can become ‘good talk’.
For a short informal conversation about working with me, or to book an appointment for yourself or as a couple, call me confidentially on 01223 504376 or email [email protected]
Duncan E. Stafford MBACP (accred) registered and accredited counsellor / psychotherapist bound by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice