Sex doesn’t just happen like it does in the movies. People are not always swept away with fireworks and mutual orgasms. Instead, human beings have to learn how to make love. Unlike dogs, cats, birds, and other animals that have sex as an instinctive joining for procreation, for humans it’s a learned behavior.
When people look at porn or read romance novels (the female version of porn), they think that’s how sex is supposed to be. However, it takes time to get to know each other’s bodies and communicate (which is usually the part people don’t do). Oftentimes, couples feel embarrassed or think certain things are taboo.
This is where sex therapy comes in. Most people believe that something has to be broken in order for them to go to sex therapy. However, the first thing you should know is that you don’t have to wait until there’s a sexual problem in your relationship before you get help. After many years of habits forming and walls going up, certain feelings and behaviors get entrenched and often become hard to reverse. A lot of divorces could be avoided if people dealt with these things sooner.
There are all kinds of events and experiences which get in the way of people feeling comfortable, relaxed, and open. If there’s a medical issue (cancer treatment, surgical procedure, physical disability, etc.), a history of sexual abuse or rape, or perhaps lovemaking has simply slipped from your schedule, sex therapy can help with a number of areas.
The goal is to talk about your feelings, thoughts, and fantasies with your spouse and put them out there for the therapist to examine. If a guy is too quick to the draw or a woman can’t seem to be able to reach an orgasm, these kinds of issues can be addressed openly and honestly. It’s all about sexual and emotional enhancement, and having some fun too!
Now let me dispel one fear right off the bat. When you go to sex therapy, you don’t have sex in the office. Some people think, “Oh my gosh, are we going to have to get naked and do stuff in front of the therapist?!” No, you don’t. And by the way, if you do go to somebody who tells you to get naked and do things, get out of there and report them.
If you’re not feeling satisfied, if you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, if you want to experiment but your spouse doesn’t (or vice versa), if painful issues from your past are interring, or if you feel like infidelity is the only answer, then you and your spouse should see a sex therapist.
That being said, not all sexual issues require therapy. I have some tips for you and your spouse to try first:
In the beginning of a terrific relationship, most people are in the mood most of the time. But with careers, kids, and the house, life becomes busy with demands and responsibilities. People underestimate the importance of hugging, touching, and loving on a daily basis. You need to make time for each other. Be sure to talk about something more than what bills need to be paid or what has to happen tomorrow.
When you’ve made time together, it’s important not to expect that you will both be aroused and filled with desire immediately. In addition, don’t stick to a formula. For example, “I do this same thing to turn him/her on and then we go to sleep” isn’t romantic. Playful interaction is important. Think about it as improvisational jazz or a dance: make it spontaneous and have some fun with it.
Moreover, don’t make the orgasm the be-all, end-all. It’s been calculated that we spend eight hours of our lives in orgasm. That’s not a lot of time. Having an orgasm is great, but it’s not necessarily the point. Your focus should be on the amount of time spent lovemaking or else you’ll miss out on a lot of fun.
Most importantly, communication is the best way to get positive feedback. When you go to an expensive restaurant, you take time with the menu, you discuss the possibilities, you savor every bite, you share from each other’s plates, and you talk about the meal afterwards – the presentation, the flavors, the sauces, the ingredients, etc. Do the same with sex (e.g. “I love it when you touch me exactly like that.”). Talking about sex does not take the romance away, and in fact, giving feedback to your partner about what you find pleasurable is a wonderful gift because then he or she knows they’re not failing.