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A sexologist is a specialist in the field of sexology, usually a psychiatrist , who as part of his training is well versed in various aspects of human sexuality, from normal sexual development to sexual orientation, the dynamics of sexual relationships and sexual dysfunctions and disorders,like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation , sexual desire problems and anorgasmia.

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Just like a biologist studies biology, a sexologist studies sexuality. We are interested in what people do sexually and how they feel about it. Sexology encompasses many different fields such as biology, psychology, medicine, gender studies and many more. You can be involved in research, sexual education, or as in my case, counselling.

What types of sexual problems/concerns can a sexologist help with?

The following are common concerns that a sexologist helps individuals and couples, address:

  • Erectile difficulty(erectile dysdunction/impotence)
  • Ejaculatory control difficulties including premature ejaculation.
  • Lack of or reduced desire or arousal
  • Difficulty maintaining arousal.
  • Difficulty reaching orgasm.
  • Fear of or aversion to touch, intimacy, penetration or pain
  • Feeling abnormal (in terms of sexual behavior, fantasy, capability, physique, etc.)
  • Feeling inexperienced, uninformed or misinformed, & unskilled in sexual matters.
  • Feeling ashamed of sexuality or sexual desires
  • Not finding satisfying sexual activities or maintaining intimacy after surgery, a health crisis, ongoing health challenges or during pregnancy and parenthoood.
  • Difficulty identifying satisfying activities for both partners
  • Difficulty communicating sexual needs and desires
  • Lack of Intimacy
  • Sexual trauma or sexual abuse history
  • Sexual orientation identity (straight, gay, bisexual, etc.)
  • Sexual compulsion.

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Why do people have sex therapy?

Lots of people have a problem with sex at some point in their life. Some people deal with these problems themselves. For others, sexual problems can cause a lot of distress and unhappiness.

A sex therapist can help people with various sexual problems, including:

In men:

  • lack of desire
  • difficulty getting or keeping an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • premature ejaculation or other ejaculation problems

In women:

  • lack of desire
  • difficulty having an orgasm
  • pain during sex or inability to have penetrative sex

For more information, read more about male sexual problems and female sexual problems.

What happens in a sex therapy session?

A sex therapist will listen to you describe your problems and assess whether the cause is likely to be psychological, physical or a combination of the two.

Talking about and exploring your experiences will help you get a better understanding of what is happening and the reasons. The therapist may also give you exercises and tasks to do with your partner in your own time.

Each therapy session is completely confidential. You can see a sex therapist by yourself, but if your problem affects your partner as well, it may be better for you both to attend.

Sessions usually last for 30-50 minutes. The therapist may advise you to have weekly sessions or to see them less frequently, such as once a month.

How can I find a sex therapist?

If you have a sexual problem, it’s a good idea to see your GP first as they can check for any physical causes. Your GP can refer you to a sex therapist if they think it will help you. However, sex therapy is not available on the NHS in all areas, and an NHS clinic may only offer a limited number of therapy sessions.

You can also find a sex therapist privately, which you’ll need to pay for. It's important to see a qualified registered therapist. Look for one who is a member of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) or the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine.

Organisations such as Relate also offer sex therapy for a fee.

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