7 Questions You've Always Wanted To Ask A Sex Therapist, Answered
Everyone deserves a happy and healthy sex life, and talking openly and honestly about sex with someone in the know can be really beneficial in that respect. Talking about sex can feel intimidating, but it's definitely something worth trying if you can. However, for those who aren't quite ready to take the leap, here are seven questions you’ve always wanted to ask a sex therapist answered by psychosexual and relationship therapist Kate Moyle. Because, when it comes to sex, there are certain things that we all want to know about.
Moyle says, “Everyone could benefit from therapy in some way. I think if you are struggling with a sexual or relationship issue and you’re noticing that it’s getting worse or you’re starting to feel more stressed about it then it’s really important to recognise it.”
In a new study, Boots found that 80% of people don’t feel confident enough to talk about their sex lives. Sexual wellness plays a massive part in keeping us happy and healthy. However, Boots found that only seven percent of people rate it as as important as keeping fit and getting enough sleep. Boots have teamed up with Kate Moyle to develop a sexual wellness range in a bid to get us feeling more comfortable in opening up about what we really want and need in the bedroom. The new range includes products from Love Honey, Smile Makers, Hanx, Fert-iliy, Ava and Hanx condoms and they’ll be available in select Boots stores and online at Boots.com.
Now, without further adieu, here are the seven questions I put to Moyle.
1. What does a sex therapist do?
The title ‘sex therapist’ sounds pretty mysterious. While the topics discussed in sessions may be a little bit raunchy, Moyle says, “I have to tell people it’s talking only and completely hands off. It’s talking therapy that specialises in sex and relationship difficulties. Some people assume that it’s a darker corner of society and the biggest misconception is that it’s not everyday people talking about everyday problems.”
2. Is sex therapy for me?
Talking to a therapist about your sex life may seem like a pretty big step, but it may be incredibly useful. Moyle explains, “Like anything in life, if you address a problem when it’s not such a massive deal, before it snowballs, then it’s going to be easier to tackle.” Whether you’re in a relationship and attending therapy with your partner, want to work out how to talk to your partner about sex, or are single and want to explore sexual wellness, this kind of therapy really is for everyone.
3. Am I normal?
Ahh, the age old question. And one that can feel particularly important when it comes to sex. Moyle certainly sees a lot of variety in her job, and assures me that there’s no such thing as normal. She says, “This idea of ‘normal’ is actually really harmful. In everyday life we accept that we’re all different. We dress differently, we have different eyes, hair, skin, and interests. We have variants in our mental and physical health, so why wouldn’t we when it comes to sex?”
4. Can sex therapy make you more confident in bed?
Some say a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking about the things you want to do in bed but are perhaps too afraid to approach with your partner may give you the confidence to work up to it. One of the greatest things sex therapy can give you is confidence in your own sexuality and sexual wellness. Moyle says, “We are playing catch up because sex education wasn’t something that was well done. Even from an early age sex isn’t something we are given the confidence to talk about. So, how can we expect people to be confident when we are taught everything else and there are processes of trial and error. It becomes our job to find the confidence ourselves.”
5. What should I know about sexual health?
Sexual health can be something that's shrouded in shame and fear. However, it’s as crucial as your physical and mental health. Moyle says, “Sexual health and sexual wellbeing is a part of wellbeing as a whole and we need to stop segregating it. The Eve Appeal found that a third of people aren’t going for smear tests because they’re embarrassed, but we need to start addressing it.”
6. Can sex therapy help me explore my fantasies?
Therapy can be an awesome safe space to air any worries you have about your health or confidence behind closed doors. However, it could also be an ideal situation to explore your fantasies and desires. Moyle says, “I think sometimes people are quite scared of their fantasies but the reality is we fantasise about a lot in life; the house we want to live in, the money we want to earn, the shoes we want to buy. So, exploring sexual fantasies is something that you shouldn’t be afraid of.”
7. How do I get started?
You might want to find a therapist and start to focus on your sexual wellbeing but not know where to start. However, with so many podcasts, books, and high street shops like Boots running sexual wellness campaigns, it couldn’t be easier. Try and find someone to talk to and educate yourself about sexual wellbeing. As well as that, Moyle says, “Get to know your own body. Understand what feels good for you and engage your imagination.” She continues: “Start small. Listen to a podcast or buy a book about sex, find a TED talk about sex. Expanding your comfort zone a little bit at a time will make it feel easier but you shouldn’t be afraid to try.”
One of the greatest things about the Boots campaign is that it’s so accessible for everyone. You can check out their full range of sex toys online and in some selected shops and head online to read more about the benefits of therapy and why your sexual wellness is the most important thing.