Who are your clients?
If you’re anywhere near as nosey as I am, you’re really curious to know who goes to a sex therapist.
I used to think it was only perverts and weirdos, but guess what?
It’s actually people a lot like you.
So who are these people?
If I were going to sum up my clientele, I’d say they’re people who want to do things their own way. They’re people who reject the mainstream way of doing things and strive to make a meaningful impact in their community. From trailblazing CEOs and extraordinary entrepreneurs to academics, advocates, and authors. Consequently, their privacy is important and discretion is something they value highly.
One other factor that unites them, at least when they arrive, is their fear that they’re sexually broken or damaged. They feel there’s something about them that is shameful and unacceptable.
Our deepest human longing for connection, understanding, and acceptance is always present. Like any of us, my clients want to be seen, heard, and held.
But enough generalities, let’s get down to specifics (names changed and some cases have been amalgamated).
Pete is a handsome and confident 54-year-old cisgender heterosexual man, who recently left a 35-year monogamous marriage. His reason for booking in was that he’d recently started dating a gorgeous Brazilian woman who had “walked out of my dreams and into my bed!” Frustratingly, for the first time in his life, Pete found he had issues maintaining his erection. He was confused and annoyed that his body wasn’t responding the way he wanted it to, especially when presented with this voluptuous goddess.
We unpacked his expectations around his body “performing” the same way it had with his previous partner. We explored his assumptions around sex and dating, which were based on his 19-year-old self’s memories. By voicing his expectations he realised the need to update his understanding of himself and sex. The big shift was seeing sex as a pleasurable experience rather than a performance he needed to achieve.
Along with a series of standard sex therapy exercises, Pete’s erection problems decreased over time and he became more confident in his ability to stay hard for longer. Happy Pete, happy partner!
But that’s not all. When we dug a little deeper, Pete also shared his feelings of frustration on “missing out” on other sexual experiences due to his long, traditional, Christian marriage. Strip clubs still felt unethical to him, but with some probing, Pete blushingly admitted that he wanted to visit a BDSM club.
The following session, he proudly told me about how friendly people had been there, how unashamed they were of their bodies and tastes, and, how he’d found a new practice he enjoyed: sounding. This marked a huge turning point for Pete to drop his religious guilt and shame and to dive wholeheartedly into exploring what really turned him on.
Is age the enemy?
While we’re happy to accept that our tastes in music and clothes changes over the years, many of us assume our bodies and preferences don’t.
We have sexual experiences in our teens and twenties and then often stop experimenting. We decide that we “never orgasm during penetrative sex” or “have no sensations in our nipples” or “are too old for that kinky stuff”.
We can feel perverted, dirty, or frustrated because we want to have group sex or because we want to be kept in a collar and cage like a pet. We live in shamed silence because we can’t even begin to bring this up with our partner. Although this is changing thanks to the internet, sadly, a lot of people never even begin to explore their changing sexual needs and desires.
We fear nobody will love us the way we are, especially if we want to watch Gardener’s World once we’ve packed away the paddle.
Jenny and Ed are an extraordinarily lovely and lovable couple who had met through their local kink scene. They came to me as Jenny wasn’t feeling like having sex and almost never orgasmed despite the fact they had a very loving and affectionate relationship. Jenny is a bubbly, highly spiritual bisexual woman in her 40s, who couldn’t understand how she could love her partner and be so attracted to him and yet not want receive him sexually.
Having explored their arousal patterns and desires, Jenny started to wonder if she was asexual. When we dug deeper it turned out that Jenny was generally more turned on by women than men, something she’d put to one side since starting to date Ed. Thankfully, he was unwaveringly supportive and encouraged Jenny to explore her sexual preferences, regardless of gender, and to work through the residual trauma caused by a painful previous polyamorous relationship.
By consistently choosing each other and communicating honestly, Jenny and Ed were able to adjust their sexual relationship so it is fulfilling for both of them, whether they have penetrative sex or not. Ed gets to play with partners that they vet together and they have a comfortable set of rules that allow them both to feel loved and secure in their non-monogamous relationship.
There were a lot of tears and difficult conversations over many months of therapy, but they have found a way to make the impossible possible and continue to be really happy together.
How do you actually help?
Good question! Sex and Relationship Therapy is a form of talk therapy. There’s no physical touching and we all keep our clothes on. There are professional bodyworkers and sex workers who can help you if you want touch-based treatment.
In Sex and Relationship Therapy, we explore both the physical presentations of the issue and the psychological and emotional aspects. By addressing both the body and the mind, we are able to provide a more holistic approach to treating the issue, which tends to lead to better outcomes.
Personally, I also draw on previous trainings in Life Coaching, NLP, EFT, Body Love, and Shadow-work, as well as meditation and mindfulness.
I believe that we are all brilliant problem-solvers and we do the best to overcome our issues with the tools we already have. Sex Therapy can enhance this by providing you with new tools and different perspectives on your problem.
You are the expert on you and I’m here to help you to better support yourself.
Fabi is a gorgeous, radiant pansexual woman in her 40s who looks 20 and spends her life teaching women how to connect with their core femininity and to have better orgasms. She came to me ashamed and frustrated with her own pattern of attracting partners who were “broken and needed fixing”. She would help them to heal and just as she was starting to get more of what she wanted in the relationship, the “mended” partner would leave for greener pastures. She also had a complex jumble of feelings around being a sex coach, including pride and excitement, as well as shame for repeating this pattern and ending up single, lonely, and deeply frustrated again.
When we started exploring what Fabi wanted in a relationship she admitted it was very easy for her to ask for anything she desired sexually, but the same was not true emotionally. In her words, “growing up in my family, you could be demanding but not needy”.
Through Shadow-work, we uncovered painful memories of being told she was frigid and terrible in bed by early partners who coerced her into sex. Fabi then overcompensated by cultivating her erotic deliciousness and only sharing it with those who would allow her to over-give. After many sessions of screaming out her rage and resentment at ex-lovers, and thrashing her sofa with her tennis racket, she reached the buried grief underneath, which then poured out of her. All the sadness of her traumatised teenage self that she was finally able to forgive and comfort, was heard and healed.
Fabi’s recently started seeing someone new and, although it’s early days, she says that she’s asking for more of what she wants and needs. She feels more met and nourished rather than drained and is balancing it appropriately with her daily life. She even laughed that it felt “too small” to have such a measured and mature relationship but that she knew it was much healthier than her previous all-consuming courtings.
But can you help me?
That’s all well and good, but what if my sexual experiences are nothing like any of these people’s? You mean, what if your weird is a different kind of weird?
Whatever your sexual preferences, identities, and fetishes, I will offer you a safe space to explore what is authentically best for you (with the exceptions of paedophilia and necrophilia).
If there’s something in your sex life that you’d like to change, then we can work together to improve it in a safe and confidential space.
Together, we can ensure your frustrating personal issues don’t get in the way of your extraordinary life. You deserve to be satisfied and satiated and I’m here to help you.