Sex therapy can be a valuable tool for individuals and couples in the LGBTQ+ community who are seeking to improve their sexual experiences and overall satisfaction.
Sex therapy is a specialised form of therapy that focuses specifically on sexuality and sexual health. It can be particularly helpful for individuals and couples who are struggling with sexual issues related to their gender identity or sexual orientation.
How Sex Therapy Can Benefit LGBTQ+ Couples and Individuals
Following are several of the main advantages of sex therapy for LGBTQ+ couples and people.
Access to a welcoming environment
In more expansive communities, there may be biased and occasionally oppressive approaches towards individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, resulting in detrimental effects on their emotional and physical health, as well as their interpersonal relationships.
Engaging in couples therapy with an LGBTQ+ therapist provides an opportunity to collaborate with someone who validates, rather than dismisses, your identity.
Ability to be authentic
Choosing an LGBTQ+ sex therapist enables you to be genuine and truthful about your relationship dynamics and personal background without fear of being judged.
While you may have encountered disapproval from other therapists in the past, this is not a worry when you and your partner pursue LGBTQ+ couples therapy.
Many couples in the LGBTQ community face challenges arising from their internalised feelings of shame concerning their sexual orientation and identity. You have the chance to address these feelings in treatment and aim to weaken their influence over your performance in the bedroom.
Addressing gender roles and expectations
Differences in expectations and roles within a couple’s sexual interactions have the potential to create strife. By acquiring a clear understanding of your sexual needs and preferences, effective communication techniques, and other important aspects, you can enrich your sexual experiences with your partner.
Treatment for sexual difficulties
For LGBTQ+ couples, sex therapy provides a secure and non-judgmental space to address sexual issues, including disparities in sexual desire and preferences. An LGBTQ-specialised therapist is attuned to the distinctive challenges that may arise concerning sexual intimacy within these relationships. These problems can include erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia, sexual pain, and low libido.
Guidance with transitioning
An obstacle that may confront LGBTQ couples is when one partner decides to transition from their assigned gender at birth to their true gender identity.
A therapist who specialises in LGBTQ matters can support couples in navigating this transition by providing guidance and assistance in the processing of associated emotions and adjustments.
Emotional support for ‘coming out’
For LGBTQ couples and individuals, disclosing their sexual identity to family and friends can be a challenging process, particularly if they are in a new relationship. A therapist can offer assistance in navigating this experience and provide support to both partners during the coming out process.
How Sex Therapy Differs For LGBTQ+ Couples
Sex therapy has been predominantly depicted in mainstream media as being relevant only for cisgender, heterosexual, and monogamous couples.
However, the absence of representation should not deter you from seeking the support you require for your relationship. Professional therapy can offer benefits to anyone. Here are some differences between sex therapy for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples as opposed to heterosexual and monogamous relationships:
LGBTQ+ Couples Face Different Challenges
LGBTQ+ couples face unique sexual issues that may not arise in heterosexual relationships.
For example, transgender individuals who are undergoing hormone therapy may experience changes in their sex drive, and this can lead to conflicts with their partners. Additionally, LGBTQ+ couples may encounter social stigmas and discrimination that can impact their sexual relationships, causing them to experience feelings of shame and guilt.
LGBTQ+ Couples Face Different Personal Issues
As LGBTQ+ couples are so varied, personal issues within their relationship tend to be more diverse than those experienced by heterosexual couples. For couples where one partner is considering medical, social, or legal transition, pressure, obligations, and expectations can arise both within and outside of the relationship.
Lack of Education
One of the primary differences is the lack of education and representation of LGBTQ+ sexuality in schools and society, resulting in a greater need for education and exploration within the relationship.
Moreover, sexual activities and preferences can vary greatly within the LGBTQ+ community, and therefore, sexual problems and concerns can also be different from those of heterosexual couples.
This can include the use of sex toys or other sexual aids, negotiating sexual boundaries with different gender or sexual orientation partners, and addressing issues related to gender identity or expression.
Lena Fenton Counselling
If you’re part of an LGBTQ+ couple and experiencing difficulties in your sexual life, Lena Fenton, a psychosexual therapist, provides LGBTQ+ sex therapy that can assist you in navigating and resolving the concerns outlined in this article. For more information, fill out the form or call us on 07721 633 521. Follow our Instagram to stay up to date.