7 Things Sex Therapists Wished You Knew

Remember the song “Let’s talk about sex”? Despite the encouragement from the ladies of Salt-N-Pepa all those years ago, it seems most of us still shy away from asking sex-related questions. Don’t fret – we rounded up some sex therapists to answer some of the most commonly asked questions they get.

Should I get a vibrator?
“Men and women shouldn’t be embarrassed about bringing sex toys into the bedroom for both solo play and sex with a partner. Look for toys from reputable companies that are made from 100 percent silicone or elastomer, or food-grade vinyl. A great option for couples is the We-Vibe 3, a popular couple’s vibrator that’s worn while making love to provide intense pleasure for both you and him. The only downside of frequent vibrator use is that because your orgasms come so quickly, you may lose patience with your partner. Mix up your masturbation routine to teach your body new tricks.”
Dr. Trina Read, author and sexologist (trinaread.com)

Should I be worried about my low libido?
“If you’re one of the tens of thousands of women who feel like they have a low desire for sex, you’re not alone, and it’s not always a problem unless it’s a problem for you. Ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to change this?’ Be willing to let any answer be present without judging it. Finding out your motivations for sex is key to unlocking the desires (or lack thereof). Being depressed, stressed or experiencing hormonal fluctuations can affect our libido. Fluctuations in libido are natural – sometimes, they are a sign we need some downtime; sometimes, they’re a sign that we’re fine!”
Cyndi Darnell, sex therapist and educator (cyndidarnell.com)

My partner watches a lot of porn – am I not enough for him?
“There are many reasons why a man might watch porn. You need to determine if the amount of porn he’s watching has a negative impact on your relationship, and if it’s a replacement for having sex. As long as it’s you he’s coming home to, don’t stress. If you think he has an addiction, go about it carefully. Make sure you don’t accuse or scold, and be cautious about using the word ‘addiction’, as it’s a sensitive topic. You need to help him see it’s a problem before you tell him to solve it or seek professional help.”
Dr. Nikki Goldstein, sexologist (drnikkig.com.au)

How much sex are other couples having?
“People’s sex lives ebb and flow around life circumstances, like work, children or illnesses. The amount of sex that a couple has drops off after the ‘honeymoon period’ (anywhere from six months to two years). A recent Australian study revealed that couples in long-term relationships were having sex about 3.5 times a month, and a global study found that long-term couples have sex twice a month.”
Tanya Koens, sexologist (sydneytherapist.com)

Image: Goran Bogicevic / 123RF.com

Why can’t I orgasm during sex?
“Although reaching orgasm comes naturally for some women, it requires the right amount of tension and relaxation. Hormones, past sexual experiences, and not spending enough time ‘warming up’ can hamper the process. If you’re trying too hard, it’s less likely to happen. Try to focus on enjoying the moment. Orgasms come in many different forms, and women climax in a variety of ways, so don’t expect to be screaming the house down every time. Explore what you enjoy by yourself and with your partner. For many women, clitoral stimulation (especially with a vibrator) is the easiest way to reach orgasm.”
Isiah McKimmie, somatic sex therapist (passionatespirit.com.au)

Is it OK to masturbate if I’m in a relationship?
“We all have varying sexual requirements. One partner may want sex every day and the other person may want it once or twice a week, so it makes sense for the first partner to self-pleasure. It’s also healthy to know what stimulates your body, and how it responds to your own pleasuring. That way, when you’re with your partner, you can guide them to hit spots that they may not otherwise think to do.”
Pauline Ryeland, intimacy and sexuality coach (healthypassionateliving.com)

How can I ask for what I really want?
“The best time to tell your partner how you prefer to be pleasured is when it’s happening. Say, ‘I love the way you do that, especially when you go slower/faster’, or whatever it is that you prefer. We all feel vulnerable about our sexual performance, so always frame things positively. Ask your partner to touch your genitals and tell him what feels good as he’s exploring you. Most men want to find out what works for you, and they appreciate knowing what they’re doing right and how to do it better.”
Kim Gillespie, sex and life coach (savvyinspiredwomen.com)

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