Have You Ever Wondered If You Should See A Sex Therapist?
Love & Relationships

Have You Ever Wondered If You Should See A Sex Therapist?

I’ve always enjoyed movies. Since forever, I used to really like going to the movie theater, yet maybe it’s just me, but since the pandemic, it seems like the quality of films has gone down. That’s why, these days, I watch a lot of indie stuff at home. Not too long ago, I checked out this movie called She’s Lost Control; between it and a conversation that I had with a friend of mine, who also works in the mental health field, I was inspired to pen this piece.

There are a few reasons why I thought it was important to tackle this topic. One is because, as a life coach, I think it’s important that people learn about as many avenues as possible that are available to them when it comes to professional support for their overall mental (and emotional) health and well-being. Two, if you hang out on this side of cyberspace on a fairly consistent basis, you know that I talk about sex quite often. And three, lawd, if there is one thing that I think a lot of people have a TOTAL MISCONCEPTION about, it’s sex therapy.

So, if sex therapy is something that you’ve always been curious about and/or you’re wondering if it’s something that could benefit you and/or your partner, I’m going to try and share some facts and also debunk a few myths about it, so that you can gain about more clarity about an ever-evolving form of sex-and-relationship-related treatment.

Let’s Talk About What a Sex Therapist ACTUALLY Does

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So, let’s jump right on in. Before getting into the actual “sex” part, it should go on record that, like any other therapist, a sex therapist is someone who is a licensed healthcare provider. The thing that sets them apart is they specialize in the mental and emotional aspects as they directly relate to sex. What does that mean exactly? Well, say, for example, that you’re currently in a sexless marriage and, even though you and your spouse have been seeing a marriage therapist, counselor, or even a marriage counselor, it doesn’t seem like your sex life is improving — that is when a sex therapist might be able to be of assistance to you. That’s because they are specially trained to deal with things like:

  • Sexual trauma
  • Sexual incompatibility
  • Poor sexual communication surrounding sex
  • Religious and cultural differences about sex
  • Poor body image issues (as they directly relate to your sexuality)
  • Sexual anxiety
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity

A sex therapist is also trained in how to help you connect any “blocks” that you may have as it relates to how your mental and emotional state may be directly affecting your sexual appetite or even your ability (or inability) to have an orgasm or when it comes to your partner, his ability to get or maintain an erection.

When it comes to that last part, does that mean that sex therapists get sexually involved with their clients in any way? Ah, I’m so glad that you asked.

What People Oftentimes Mistake a Sex Therapist for Is a Sex Surrogate

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One day, while I was talking to a friend of mine (the one whom I referred to in the intro), the topic of sex therapy came up. He asked me if I would ever consider becoming a sex life coach since sex is something that I talk about so often/much. When I told him that it was certainly something worth considering, his immediate response was, “How are you gonna do that if you’re abstinent?” Dude what? At first, I didn’t get where he was going with that; then, I realized that he thought a sex therapist and a sex surrogate were the same thing. In fact, he argued me down about it for about 15 minutes (SMDH). I came to realize that a lot of people confuse the two. If you’re one of them, here’s the deal about sexual surrogacy.

Okay, so the movie that I also talked about in the intro? It’s about a woman who was a sex surrogate. Long story short, she ended up getting emotionally caught up in one of her clients, and that caused things to get…strange. And yes, she was someone who slept with those she worked with (at least, some of them).

Why would she do that?

Well, a sex surrogate is someone who works alongside a licensed sex therapist to assist a client with certain types of sex-related issues.

For instance, if the therapist thought that talking wasn’t enough for someone, they might bring a surrogate in to assist in the realm of things like:

Typically, what happens is a client will meet with a sex therapist for an hour and then their assigned sex surrogate for 1-2 hours following that session (sometimes the same day or later in the same week). That way, the therapist can help to monitor the progress between the client and the surrogate.

And who does sex surrogacy benefit the most? While there is still quite a bit of research that’s being conducted to thoroughly answer that question, those who are unable to climax, who deal with erectile dysfunction, or those who experience some sort of discomfort during sex (that isn’t health-related), especially if they are sexual trauma survivors, they all tend to top the list.

Now, something else that should go on record is sexual surrogacy is still a pretty controversial form of therapy and is currently considered to be unethical for those who are psychotherapists to practice. However, since a lot of sex surrogates aren’t actually licensed therapists (again, they are people who work with those who are professionals in the field of therapy), that tends to be their “workaround."

Anyway, if sex surrogacy is something that you would be interested in learning even more about or exploring at some point, speak with a sex therapist. If they are reputable, this is a topic that they should be pretty well-versed in.

What You Should Strongly Consider Before Seeing a Sex Therapist

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Now that, hopefully, you know the very clear differences between a sex therapist and a sex surrogate, if a sex therapist is something that you would like to invest in, you might be wondering if there are any additional things that you should know before actually booking an appointment.

I’ll say this — as a marriage life coach, sex comes up quite a bit in my sessions. If you’re someone who is shy around the topic of sex, although a sex therapist is trained in how to make you feel more comfortable, you should know upfront that you’re going to have to be prepared to be very open when it comes to things like your childhood; first sexual experience; any sex-related trauma that may have transpired; some of your deepest/hidden sexual thoughts; your sex partners (both past and present); your sex habits, and sex-related goals.

Yep, they are gonna be all up in your business, so if that’s not something that you’re even the least bit cool with, it’s probably best that you go with a relationship therapist/counselor/life coach — at least initially, to see if your issues can be resolved in that type of setting or so they can “ease you into” seeing a sex therapist.

It's also important to keep in mind that you don’t have to be in a relationship to see a sex therapist — they are equipped to work with you by yourself or with your partner (or both at some point). And if you’re wondering if something “deep” or “super complex” has to be happening for you to see a sex therapist, absolutely not. The main thing to keep in mind is if you want to see someone who deals in the realms of all things sex, a sex therapist is what you’re looking for.


So, how do you go about finding a sex therapist? Good question. If you are already in relationship-related counseling, your therapist/counselor/life coach may be able to refer you. Or you can check out the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) database.

At the end of the day, sex therapy is like any other form of therapy — you’re just honing in on your sex life. That’s it.

I hope you can breathe easy now. Oh, and please spread the word.

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