Why would I need a “real life” therapist? Aren’t you good enough?
There are many reasons I refer clients to sex therapists off of NF, and many remain my clients while having a real life sex therapist.
I’m most likely to refer a client who wants to work with a sex therapist with their partner on an issue, or simply on working on improving their relationship. Far more people go to sex therapists to improve things that are already good, as opposed to fixing problems. A lot of clients come to me to work on their problems or identify what exactly they are wanting to improve or achieve from their sex life, then go to work with an outside sex therapist with their partner.
The other category of client I am likely to refer is the client who has serious sexual compulsion issues that center around them calling NF. I can be a good transition for such a client – they can move from making sex calls on NF to making therapy or phone sex calls with me, and then gradually wean away from phone sex (if that’s what they want) using an outside therapist.
I also refer clients out who are having specific sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction which may be related to physical issues that need to be explored by a medical professional such as a urologist or a primary health care physician. Today I am talking about finding a therapist, but a lot of this will apply to finding a sex-positive professional of any kind.
Sex positive? What does that mean?
A person who is sex positive will be comfortable with their own sexuality and the sexuality of others, even if that person’s sexuality and sexual expression is different to their own. This is especially important for sex therapists.
A regular therapist has probably received little or no training in sexuality. They may not have had to face their own prejudices about sex or to face how hard it can be to talk about sex comfortably. Even marriage counselors may have had no training in talking about sex. A good therapist will be comfortable talking about sex.
A good sex therapist has received special training that helps them to be comfortable with all sorts of different sexual expression – from bdsm to fetishes, from vanilla to kinky, gay or straight or anything in between. The best sex therapist for you is one who is accepting of your particular sexual expression, and who either knows a little (or a lot) about it and is willing to learn about what it means to you in your sex life.
Okay, so now that I know what I am looking for, how do I find the right therapist?
A good place to start is the American Society for Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists: http://aasect.org/. They have a list of therapists, and you may be able to find one in your area. If you don’t find one immediately, check out what other sex positive organizations or health professionals they list closest to you. Call that person and ask them if they can recommend a sex positive therapist in your area.
Also look up people who already work with sex and sexuality in your area. Gynaecology or Urology clinics, a professor in gender studies or sexuality at a local university, local std clinics etc. Again, you don’t need to tell them your issue if you don’t want, just that you are looking for a therapist who is okay with talking about all sorts of different sexual matters.
I’ve found a therapist. Now what?
You need to find out if the therapist is sex positive in the direction you need from therapy. Therapists are people too. We hold the same sets of prejudices as other people before our training and still hold some of them after.
Marty Klein, a prominent sex therapist and author, has some suggestions for questions you might want to ask your therapist before starting work with them:
- What are your sexual values?
- How do you define healthy sexuality?
- Are you comfortable talking about kinky sex?
- Do you think monogamous, heterosexual, genitally oriented sex is ultimately better than other consensual arrangements?
I think it’s also okay to ask a therapist outright if they are comfortable talking about your particular form of sexual expression. Recently a client of mine asked a therapist all of the above questions and thought she sounded a little uncomfortable. He then asked if she would be okay talking to a client about cuckolding. A few more questions revealed that the therapist was comfortable talking about dealing with a relationship in which his partner was cheating on him, but not entirely comfortable with talking about a consensual cuckolding relationship. However, she was still sex positive enough to refer the client on to someone who was able to work with him.
Call me if you are having trouble finding a therapist in your area. I’m very good at finding them, I enjoy meeting new therapists for a little chat on the phone. I won’t be telling them anything about you without your permission (that’s your job) but I can interview them to see how they feel about working with sexual stuff similar to yours.