Friday, May 24, 2019
Home Social aspects of sexuality Committed relationships The role of relationship therapists & counsellors

The role of relationship therapists & counsellors

Adults are embarrassed about sex because of their emotional insecurities. Our emotional needs include a need to impress, a need to belong and a need to be valued. Some people lack self-esteem, which stems from anxiety. We avoid discussing relationship issues for various reasons. We want to avoid conflict. We don’t want to admit that we have behaved badly, that we have said things we shouldn’t have or that we were wrong. We may want to continue behaving in a way that suits us but that we cannot justify logically.

The suggestion that women can enjoy sexual pleasure through intercourse in erotic fiction (and the sexual bravado of both sexes in society) drives everyone’s interest in any story that suggests intercourse might cause female orgasm. We assume that there must always be a solution. But some situations don’t have a solution. They are just way they are. People find that hard to accept. So they pay for therapy perhaps hoping for reassurance.

As with all things in life, the less we expect, the more content we are. A woman can get pregnant regardless of whether she has an orgasm. So women are only thought to be dysfunctional because of a few bogus orgasm claims. Most so-called sexual dysfunctions rely on the idea that women should orgasm from intercourse, yet this belief is not supported by research.

Women may talk about their sexual experiences in terms of orgasm but this does not mean that they truly have one. Women are told they should have orgasms so naturally some think they do. Even if female clients refer to orgasms they think they have, counsellors still focus on relationship issues. Sex therapy focuses on relationship issues from the perspective of what the woman needs to be amenable to offering the sex a man needs. Men’s relationship issues are easy. As long as they get regular sex, men are happy.

Therapists often assume that their work qualifies them as objective observers of sexuality in the general population. But a therapist is trained in techniques that help resolve relationship issues. A therapist’s clients may provide sexual histories but a therapist cannot easily challenge a paying client. Sex research is quite different. A researcher needs the personal qualities that ensure they can challenge and question. A researcher should be intellectually independent, free from political bias and prejudices.

No one can be taught how to be responsive. The ability to respond to the point of orgasm is an instinctive response of our mind and body. This ability varies considerably between different individuals. In particular, female responsiveness is extremely rare. This is why it is only recently in human history that we have been made aware of its existence. But given our society labels a woman as dysfunctional because of her responsiveness, it is highly unlikely that a responsive woman would ever become a sex therapist.

An unresponsive woman may feel that by obtaining a qualification, she validates her own experiences. The sex therapy establishment educates unresponsive women in the orgasms portrayed in pornography. They are not backed by any research findings. These orgasms are couched in such vague and inexplicit terms that any woman can use them to explain the emotional feelings of lovemaking that she assumes equate to what men call orgasm. A sex therapist cannot, any more than anyone else, help a woman to orgasm. Orgasm arises because we have the necessary responsiveness.

There is, of course, money to be made by suggesting that there is a recognisable condition that can be treated in some way or a problem that can be solved by a sexology specialist. People are inclined to believe what other people say even when it conflicts with their own experience. We are easily persuaded that other couples have discovered something we have not. However, one has to ask why such vital information is not made available to everyone. If such information existed, it would surely not be secret for long? Therapists provide reassurance rather than any facts or logic that might explain the experiences of loving couples. Many so-called solutions do not stand up to scrutiny but everyone is too embarrassed to complain.

The first misconception is that women have a sex drive. Women are told that they should be driven to want intercourse as much as a man is. This is incorrect. A woman does not have a sex drive. Women do not orgasm with a lover regardless of the stimulation a man provides. A couple needs to understand this. Telling a woman that she should naturally want sex, when she doesn’t, means that she can only conclude that she is abnormal or dysfunctional in some way. This causes embarrassment and silence.

The second misconception to overcome is that a man is not responsible for providing a woman’s sexual pleasure. Women are not aroused with a lover. A woman needs to put conscious effort into sexual activity of any kind (even when she is alone). She has two options with a lover. She can either engage proactively on providing her lover with sexual pleasure. Or she can give him permission to explore her body and allow him to try to provide her with some sensual and possibly erotic sensations that she might enjoy. If she does this, she should assist by giving him some encouraging erotic feedback.

To us men, sex is sex. We want it, let’s do it, we’re done. For many women it isn’t always that simple. You need to be in tune with her emotionally if you want to make her more receptive sexually. (Stephan Labossiere 2012)