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Sex Therapy ; Treatment of Sex Problems

Abstract: One way of treating a sex problem is to learn to look at yourself in a more suitable way. And sex therapy tries for example to control negative thoughts related to sex.

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Sex Therapy ; Treatment of Sex Problems

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Written by: Wendy Moelker, psychologist in charge of Emergis, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: Aug 2008.

What is sex therapy? How to you treat sex problems?


In short the inventors of sex therapy assume that people with sexual disorders or problems don't easily submit to sexual feelings and thoughts and don't take much pleasure in it. They are more occupied by their own sexual behavior and give less attention to their sexual feelings. This is called spectator behavior or 'spectatoring' (like looking at yourself from a distance). People get into the 'spectator role' when they worry about all kinds of things related to making love: 'If only she enjoys it', 'last time she didn't come either' etc. These thoughts are not very arousing. Sex therapy tries to control these thoughts. In the case of vaginismus, pain while making love and erection disorders, the coitus stop is normally used. This means that intercourse is not allowed and that the genitals can't be touched. Only other parts of the body may be caressed. In the case of people with a paraphilia, techniques are used to get more control over feelings and behavior.

The final goal of the therapy is to teach the person to enjoy making love without negative thoughts.

Sex therapy, however, doesn't always work. Specific causes need a specific therapy, relational conflicts that cause the reduced interest are treated with relation therapy. The goal of sex therapy is to reduce the pressure on making love, making love in a less competitive way and getting to know one's own body and the body of the other person.

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