Chemsex vs sober sex – The sexual functioning lowdown

Although our sexual expression, preferences and confidence are dictated by biology, a lifetime’s experience and a (very) heavy dose of sociocultural messages, sexual experiences are influenced in the moment by the interplay between three key factors;

  • our psychological arousal (i.e. how comfortable we feel, whether what is happening turns us on or off)
  • our physical experience (i.e. pleasure/pain)
  • the presence or absence of distraction/negative thoughts (i.e. how much we are able to be in the moment rather than in our own evaluations of what’s happening).

Finding a suitable sex therapist

One thing that always surprises me is the number of clients we see who have already seen many doctors and therapists before arriving at our door. Sadly, many experiences of seeking help and not finding a solution can give us a sense that we can’t be helped, and that the problem is ‘too big’ leading to hopelessness and sometimes even giving up. In my experience the problem being ‘too big’ is rarely the issue, and it’s more likely that the therapist who was consulted in the past (albeit very competent as a therapist) was not specially trained in sexual medicine, or in the interaction between mind and body so vital for its success, and so the intervention was ill advised and didn’t work.

But say you do decide you need to see a sex therapist or such like- how do you choose the right therapist and how do you know you’re getting the best? Equally, how do you know that this therapist has enough knowledge of the warning signs of a physical cause to your difficulties to suggest you see an appropriately trained doctor if needed? Well, there’s certainly lots of choice out there, and this guide is intended to help you find the person that’s right for you.