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Why Talk About Sex in Couples Therapy?

Couples therapist Chris Langer gives five strong reasons for talking about sex in couples therapy.

By far the biggest sex organ is the brain. Engage it in couples therapy

Couple walking on beach at sunset
Talking about sex in couples therapy can boost your sex life

1. It can massively improve your sex lives together

It never ceases to amaze me how talking about sex in couples therapy increases the likelihood of partners having the sex they want and deserve. Even where partners have experienced what might be called a ‘dry period’ for months or years, couples therapy can massively change things up in the bedroom.

By opening up and talking about one’s vulnerabilities and fears of rejection, a whole new, exciting experience of authentic intimacy and sex can begin. You might not have thought it of it this way, but by far the biggest sex organ is the brain. Engage the brain in couples therapy, talk through the issues, and find yourself having the best sex of your lives.

The principles are the same whether you’ve been together six months, two years or more than a decade. It’s always possible to spice things up.

2. You may not talk about it anywhere else

If you don’t talk about sex and intimacy in couples therapy, the conversation may never take place at all. This would be a shame if partners find their intimate lives unfulfilling and reach a stalemate which is never overcome. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Nor does progress need to depend on talking graphically about the sex itself - to the relief of many! it’s more often about how partners feel about sex. Feeling safe whilst talking about intimacy in couples therapy can set things up for a far more satisfying time in the bedroom.

3. What happens in the bedroom mirrors the rest of the relationship

If there are communication blockages outside the bedroom in everyday life, this often translates into a less than satisfying time in the bedroom. Often couples initially treat these areas separately, but there is far more mileage to be had in connecting the dots.

One partner might say ‘I want sex to feel closer to you’. The other says ‘I don’t feel I’m getting what I need emotionally’. Both partners can in fact get what they want if they tune in to ‘unmet’ needs here. Their needs may have got frustrated over time, ending up in a bedroom stalemate.

This pattern, which has normally developed over a period of time, can be overcome with a therapeutic intervention.

4. It can stop affairs dead in their tracks

By talking about sex and any related frustrations, you are protecting your relationship from the risk of an affair. It is possible to recover from an affair afterwards, but why go through all that hurt and disappointment in the first place?

Instead of acting out unmet needs and frustrations, it’s far better to talk it out in couples therapy first. Not only can this resolve what superficially may seem just a sexual issue, it can uncover the root causes of more fundamental communication problems. And, in turn, that can create the conditions for a more satisfying sex life.

5. It’s an opportunity to talk about what you want outside the bedroom

It’s often the elephant in the consulting room, but not talking about sex may lead to a stalemate in communication outside the bedroom. When a partner is brave enough to say, ‘This is the kind of sex life I want…’ it can encourage the other to step forth and describe what it would take to make that possible.

Partners are more likely to achieve the all round satisfaction they deserve in their relationship if both feel safe enough to ask for what they want. What a couple want both inside and outside the bedroom is important to reflect on and turn into actionable steps.

Holding back one’s innermost thoughts about sexual and emotional needs can stifle growth. Bringing them out into the open can supercharge the rewards of doing couples therapy. This pathway often leads to greater emotional and sexual fulfilment.

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