Sexual wellbeing is a universal human right – everyone deserves a fulfilling, healthy sex life. Intimate sexual relationships with others are an important part of adult life, and have the potential to be amongst the most rewarding aspects of our lives. If we’re happy with our sex lives, we’re often happy in other areas of life too.
Society – particularly the media – seems sex-obsessed at times. There are thousands of articles online offering tips and tricks to improve your sex life, and we’re constantly being bombarded with images and ideals of perfect bodies, perfect partners, and perfect sex. Yet when our sex lives don’t measure up to those impossible media standards, people can feel embarrassed about seeking help.
Around 43% of men and 35% of women experience sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives. Yet many people report feeling hesitant about accessing help for sexual difficulties – which is a shame, because in a recent study involving 365 couples, sex therapy resolved the presenting issue for 65% of clients (of the other 35%, sexual functioning was impaired by physical illness, yet the majority of those couples still reported increased sex and intimacy satisfaction). Specialist confidential sexuality counselling can address a range of sexual concerns quickly and effectively, freeing you to enjoy your sex life to its fullest.
Sex therapy for couples
Couples commonly experience sexual difficulties at one point or another during their relationship. When sex becomes dissatisfying for one or both partners, it can have a disastrous impact on your relationship and life in general. Sexual difficulties may be the result of a whole host of psychological, physical or relationship factors. Sex therapy for couples approaches concerns holistically by addressing both the symptoms of the sexual issues, and underlying causes.
Common sexual problems for couples include:
- Mismatched libidos
- Loss of interest or desire
- Sexual dissatisfaction
- Lack of emotional intimacy
- Performance anxiety
- Sexual boredom
- Compulsive sexual behaviours
Sexual satisfaction involves love, lust, connection, fun, passion, enjoyment and pleasure…
Many couples do not know how to communicate their sexual desires with their partner, or they feel like they’re in the dark about the best ways to have a deeply satisfying sexual experience. James Ising sex and intimacy counselling can shine a light on those areas of your sex life that need improvement, and give you the tools to create the sex life you desire.
James Ising psychologists and counsellors frequently see one member of a couple for individual sex and intimacy counselling – this can be a really effective way to address individual concerns within a relationship. However, if your partner is insisting that you attend counselling by yourself to address a sexual issue you’re experiencing, we actively encourage you to consider attending together. It takes two to tango, and sexual concerns affecting a relationship can be successfully addressed with the full participation and support of both partners.
Individual sex and intimacy counselling
Whether you’re in a relationship or single, sexuality counselling can improve your body image, self-esteem, and sexual confidence. Sex therapy has many facets – you can explore your feelings and thoughts around sex and intimacy, and address any physiological symptoms or sexual behaviours that are causing you concern.
Common reasons individuals seek sexuality counselling include:
- Seeking to improve sexual performance
- Infidelity issues
- Body image concerns
- Orgasmic difficulties
- Sexual pain
- Premature or delayed ejaculation
- Erection problems
- Anxiety caused by sexual inexperience
- Past sexual trauma
Sexuality counselling is a strictly talk-based therapy. Although there is no physical contact during a session, your counsellor or psychologist may give you take-home exercises to practice by yourself or with your partner. These tasks may include sensate focus, communication exercises and/or physical activities for you to explore. The focus of sexuality counselling is to increase your sexual wellbeing and authentically intimate connection to yourself and other people.
The majority of people have watched porn at some point, either as an aid to masturbation or to enhance their sex lives. Yet sometimes the urge to watch pornography becomes compulsive, and the desire to masturbate with porn consistently overrides any impulse to have sex with your partner. Although commonly called ‘porn addiction’, a preoccupation with porn and masturbation is simply a compulsive sexual behaviour. You may feel compelled to spend all of your time watching porn, leaving less time with your partner, children, family and friends. A healthy sex life is a balanced sex life! If your porn use and masturbation habits feel overwhelmingly compulsive and you’d like to moderate your behaviour, specialist sexual counselling can help.
Common signs of problematic pornography use include:
- Intense preoccupation with porn and masturbation
- Escalating frequency of masturbation
- Feeling anxious when you’re not masturbating
- Feeling unfulfilled by masturbation and/or sex
- Attempts to reduce or cease the behaviour are unsuccessful
- Neglecting important responsibilities to masturbate
- Continuing to engage in compulsive behaviours despite negative consequences
Whilst looking at porn can be part of a healthy sex life, compulsive use can lead to social isolation and the inability to maintain intimate relationships. It is essential to seek help if you feel your compulsive behaviours are preventing you from leading a productive, meaningful and balanced life. James Ising specialist sexuality counselling for pornography issues helps you to address destructive sexual behavioural patterns, and replace them with healthy ones. Effective, evidence-based treatment for compulsive porn use and masturbation include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Our specialist sex and intimacy counsellors and psychologists
Sex and sexuality issues can impact greatly on both your personal wellbeing, and the quality of your sexual relationship. Our sex therapy and sexuality specialists are trained to help you identify and address these issues. James Ising counsellors and psychologists offer an open-minded, confidential forum for you and/or your partner, to help you better understand the issues you are currently facing. We will encourage you to find new ways to manage those issues, and make the changes required to enhance your relationships with others and yourself.