Sex Therapy in a Holistic Way
When we think of sex, we tend to think about the physical aspects of it. We think of our physical attraction to others and the physical response of this attraction. We also tend heavily focus on the physical stimulation of sex itself. When people have problems problem with issues relating to sex, such as low sexual desire, problems with sexual gratification, or sexual dysfunction, we also tend to think of it purely on a physical level. However, our sexuality is so much more than our physical responses and sensation. For people who continue to have issues surrounding sex, there can be a great deal of frustration and hopelessness. There can be longstanding moral messages about sexual desires. Finally, there is meaning that sex in intimate relationships can have, along with expectations of what it should mean to each partner.
Connection, fun, emotional distress, confidence, religious messages, fear, shame, and excitement can all be aspects of sex that can often remain ignored. These complicated issues can be easily ignored when dealing with obvious physical issues of sex such as erectile dysfunction, painful sex, or delayed ejaculation. The physical symptoms of these issues create a great deal of distress for many people, which means that these symptoms take center stage. However, these symptoms are often based in other deeper problems that are less obvious.
Sex therapy is about learning the sexual story of who a person is. There is a physical part to this story. However, there are also pieces of this story that are based in emotion, mental messages, and even spirituality. Without paying attention to these parts, people can lose an opportunity to sexually grow into themselves as much as they can.
Emotion is very important in our sex lives, and how we rate it. For example, it’s important to know how we feel about the problems that are being experienced. It’s also important to see if these emotions are further contributing to increased problems with performance or enjoyment. Working with a sex therapist to cope with problems in a way that doesn’t reinforce more issues can be extremely helpful. It’s also helpful to work with this therapist to recognize, identify, and express these emotions in a way that helps, rather than hinders a person.
Sex is riddled with psychological messages. There are taboo behaviors and desires that people have to contend with. There is shame that can come from family messages on sex, as well as religious messages. There are social constructs that men and women have to deal with about sexuality. This can create tension between people in a relationship who don’t know how to communicate about these issues. Holistic sex therapy can help to decode, interpret, and redefine these messages. Shame can be reduced in a way that helps people hold to a moral code that they build themselves, rather than one that is only reactive to the outside.
Finally, sex in relationships has meaning, yet many people have no idea what that meaning actually is. This is not something that is easy to understand, break down, and uncover. Holistic sex therapy helps people to learn about the meaning of sex, and how to make this important part easier to understand. It also can help a couple talk about this dynamic of each person’s sexuality or sexual issue.
When thinking about working on a sexual issue, finding a sex therapist who focuses on several aspects of sexuality can help you treat the root of the actual problem. Although the physical symptoms can be the most distressing and obvious, there is a story behind and around them that is equally as important to know and share. With a more complete story, people can move from problematic sexuality, to sexuality that is pleasurable and more meaningful.