How to Talk to Your Therapist About Sex
Some topics are easy to talk with your therapist about, such as problems sleeping, or lack of a work/life balance. Others might require more vulnerability, including gender identity questions or challenges related to sex. At our therapy practice in Denver, Colorado, we encourage clients to have uncomfortable conversations with our team of specialists, including those related to sex. In this post, we’ll provide some strategies to make talking with your therapist about sex easier.
First, Do Your Research
Sex is often still seen as a “taboo” topic of conversation, which can sometimes make it challenging to bring up in therapy. Finding a therapist that is comfortable exploring and addressing curiosities or issues related to sexuality and sexual health can be essential for many clients. Doing your research ahead of time is a crucial first step.
Start by reviewing therapists’ bios and looking for mention of sexual topics in the description of their training and/or experience. This might also look like trauma training or training around alternative approaches to relationships. Diversity in their overall training might also indicate that they are also comfortable and skilled in talking about issues around sex.
If their bio is unclear, ask for a phone consultation to understand more. Some questions you might ask in that consultation include:
Can you tell me if you have experience in therapy around sexual topics?
Can you talk with me about sexual trauma?
What are your thoughts and beliefs about sex?
How do your identities influence how you can help?
How would it feel for you to talk about [insert specifics here]?
If your conversation with a therapist doesn’t yield the results you want, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral. Therapists are a tight-knit group and if you aren’t confident in the experience one therapist offers, chances are they have a colleague who may have more training around topics related to sex.
Once you’ve found the right fit, don’t hesitate to dive right in with your therapist on topics related to sex. Make sure your needs are being met early by asserting yourself and sharing your questions or curiosities. You’ve likely already set the expectation with your therapist that discussions around sex in your sessions are important, so talk about it early, feel it out, and dip your toe into topics that are on your mind to see how the conversation flows. If you still feel uncomfortable or unsure, considering sharing with your therapist what might help you feel ready to broach topics around sex. Perhaps you have more questions to ask or you need more time getting to know them.
Like any new situation in life, whether it be feeling out a new romantic relationship, trying a new job, or finding a new therapist, don’t hesitate to change your mind if the fit just isn’t right. Be willing to walk away and share with your therapist why it isn't a good fit. If you aren’t having meaningful conversations about sex early on in your therapy sessions, be willing to change course and find someone new to work with on these topics.
At Center for Shared Insight, our therapists offer expertise along a wide spectrum of interests, including topics related to sex. In fact, two of our therapists, Dr. Brittany Woolford and Dr. Mallaree Blake, offer specialties in sexual health and functioning, sex positivity, LGBTQIA+, kink, fetishes, open/polyamorous relationships, BDSM, cultural identity concerns, as well as trauma and abuse. Learn if our team is right for your needs by scheduling a consultation with an intake specialist.