Maybe you’re not in the mood. Maybe you’re wanting too much sex. Maybe you, or your partner, wants to try something different. You might not be reaching orgasm. You might be masturbating more, and having sex with your partner less.
When sex within a couple isn’t working (or maybe it’s not happening at all) feelings of loneliness and dissatisfaction are likely to arise. This is compounded by the fact that talking about it is tough. There’s the ‘shame’ or embarrassment that comes with having the discussion. One of you gets defensive, one of you gets accusatory, both of you are left feeling frustrated (in every sense) and asking yourselves what went wrong?
Maybe you’ve always had problems. Maybe your relationship went from eye-watering, ‘never-had-sex-like-this-before’, feels at the start of the relationship, to this stark, disheartening contrast.
Either way. Sex therapy is a thing. And it’s designed to help. Here are the signs it might be time to consult a professional.
(If you’re worried about having that discussion with your partner, skip to number 8 and you’ll see sex therapy can be made to sound exciting. Even fun.)
Mamamia have a podcast dedicated to everything sex and relationships. Listen to the latest episode below. (Post continues after audio.)
Changes in libido.
When sex drive drops or falls in one partner, the other partner is left behind. Often at a complete loss of what to do with the rejection / persistence of the other partner.
A sudden and flooring loss in libido (which is different to ‘not being in the mood’) will see you not having any desire to have sex with your partner (or anyone) for an extended period of time. If you’re feeling like this, it could be down to underlying personal, medical or lifestyle issues. Maybe you’re in a constant state of stress. Maybe you’re not happy within the relationship. Your hormones, or your contraceptive pill, could also be to blame. Just know, a complete and sustained lack of interest in sex is not necessarily ‘normal’. And there are ways a sex therapist can help reverse this.
In comparison, a super-charged libido can be detrimental to everyday life and can take it’s toll on the relationship. If you find yourself constantly preoccupied by sex, to a point where it’s interfering with your day-to-day functioning, it’s time to seek the advice of a therapist. You, my friend, are likely experiencing a sex addiction, and you should probably get that looked at.
Orgasms have become a problem.
Everyone reaches orgasm differently. It takes longer for some than it does for others, and maybe you need certain stimulus to really get it off. There is likely nothing wrong with your individual preferences / processes when it comes to reaching orgasm. The problem only arises when these habits change. When you can no longer reach orgasm like you used to. That’s a sign that something is ‘off’ in your sexual relationship, and it’s time to seek help.
“An orgasm is intended to be an enjoyable part of sex, but for many people it may be something to dread,” the pair said. “You may see yourself reaching an orgasm or making your partner reach one as a requirement, something to attain otherwise you have failed. This attitude can be quite common and the pressure it causes can negatively affect your love life.”