Sex Counseling and Erectile Disorders – The # 1 Problem for which Men Seek Help
Men enter sex counseling most often due to erectile disorders (ED). For most men, getting and maintaining an erection is by far more important sexually than anything else. Males build their identities around erections. “To be a man is having the ability to get hard and stay hard” is what many men tell themselves. Thus, when erections stop working and a man is left flaccid, he finds himself lost and his masculinity threatened.
Males of all ages have problems with erections for various reasons. When it occurs, the pressure they put on themselves to perform sexually can lead to performance anxiety. This pressure can worsen ED. The penis says, “I’m outta here, I can’t take the pressure!”
Sex counseling helps ED by teaching men relaxation techniques that redirect the focus from the erection to his and her mutual sexual pleasure. ED medications like Viagra can help, however not when desire is absent. In order for any ED medications to work, sexual desire and attraction must be present.
Sex Counseling and Women’s Sexual Desire – Problem # 2
Women enter counseling for sexual problems expressing frustration and anxiety about their level of sexual desire. Their husbands often want sex when they are not in the mood. Women’s interest in sex is dependent on many variables and is often not as spontaneous as it is for men. This is because the motivation for women is often relational. In other words, women in sex counseling report that if their relationships are going well and they feel respected, loved and connected to their partner, their sexual desire may start before or more often during sexual activity. While there are other factors to consider, sex counselors look first at the relationship and assess how well connected she feels to her partner and vice versa.
Sex Counseling and Sexual Desire Discrepancy among Couples – Problem #3
Perhaps the biggest reason couples enter sex counseling involves sexual desire discrepancy. Desire discrepancy is when one partner wants sex more often than the other.
First of all, every couple suffers desire discrepancy! Most people don’t know this because in movies, books and television—as well as the beginning of your own relationship—couples are in synch with each other and both want sex at the same times and match each other’s desires and even seem to like the same type of sex.
Sex counselors know this only lasts for the first 6-18 months of any relationship.
Physiology, including internal chemicals and hormones, and the psychology of new romantic love are helping you out in the beginning. After that goes away—as it does for everyone—you are left with your own level of sexual desire.
The higher sexual desire partner in sex counseling feels controlled by the partner who wants it less often. By default, the lower desire partner is in control by saying yes or no to having sex, but that is not their intention. Their intention is to be in control of themselves and have sex when they feel the desire to have sex. This is an area where counseling for sexual problems can help to make a big positive difference.
At The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health, we help couples recognize that there are times for the lower desire partner to have sex, even when they are not in the mood, in order to please their partner. This should not be under coercion or distress but from a place of wanting to please and feeling good about the fact that they are pleasing their partner even if they are not in the mood. The higher desire partner must also recognize and respect the needs of the lower desire partner and wait longer periods of time than they would like, out of respect for their partner’s needs.