Written by Kait Scalisi MPH, Director of Education and Training, My Secret Luxury and My Secret Soiree
Over the last five years leading adult sex toy parties and doing sexuality consultations, I’ve learned that most everyone has questions about sex. The questions vary a lot in terms of breadth and depth, but everyone, myself included, has them.
Maybe you’ve been in a relationship for 20 years and are looking to add more variety and fun into your sex life. Maybe you just started a family and find you and your partner struggling to communicate effectively and with empathy. Maybe you’ve only been together for a short time and realize your your partner have some major hangups about sex that are making this part of your relationship really difficult.
Whatever the reason, you find yourself full of questions about your sexual health and pleasure needs and desires. So you do what any smart person does: consult the all-mighty Google. You quickly realize there are a lot more options out there to get the the answers you need.
Now the question is: If you have sex questions, how do you get answers?
It all comes down to the type of questions you have and what type of strategies work best for you. If, for example, you’re looking to learn about adult sex toys and how to talk to your partner about using them during sex, both a sex toy soirée and sexuality consultation(s) can provide the information and skills you need.
The difference here comes down to format: do you want a fun night with friends during which you also learn or do you want targeted strategies and individual guidance? Similarly, sex coaches, counselors, therapists and sexologists can help you navigate mismatched sex drives. However, how they go about working with you can vary dramatically, ranging from energy work to talk therapy.
Different sexuality professionals have different skill sets and goals. None are better or worse than the other: it all comes down to what you need. The beauty of this is that you always have someone else to turn to if one question leads to another..and another…and another!
The following options are listed in order of increasingly depth and individualized help.
Host a Soiree
My Secret Soirees are the perfect first step if you’re looking for some practical tips and tools to keep your sex life and relationship exciting so that you get the pleasure that you deserve. In addition to having a great time with friends, you’ll learn about topics like sexual anatomy and function, how to introduce toys in the bedroom, and what types of toys can help with specific sexual complaints. All soirees are led by a trained sex educator who also is there to answer additional questions you may have or point you in the direction of the best answers.
Sexuality Consultation, Counseling, or Coaching
Perhaps you are looking for something a little bit more personal. You have some specific questions or concerns that you want to address not in a group. Seeking out a sex educator, counselor, sexologist, or coach is the next best step. These individuals are trained to educate and problem solve, specifically to help you have the best sex and relationship possible. You generally work with them for shorter periods of time (one session to a few months) and focus on more concrete and acute problems. The main differences among them is in their approach to working with you. This varies by individual and can include breath work, readings, sexual communication exercises, practical sex tips, and more.
My Secret Luxury offers complimentary 15-minute consultations with our Director of Education and Training. Click here for more information or to schedule a session.
If you’ve tried the first few options or feel your sex concerns are rooted in deeper issues, sex therapy is your best option. Like all of the other practitioners, sex therapists help their clients have amazing sex and relationships. However, they also are licensed mental health providers. This means both that their training is regulated and they can provide more intensive therapy.
Sessions can include counseling, education, and coaching as well as specialized treatment for complex or coincident issues such as depression or a history of trauma. Similar to any other therapist, sex therapists may have different modalities they work with such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and family systems therapy.
It’s important to note that sex therapists are not the same as couples’ or relationship therapists. These focus more on the relationship and personal factors and may not have the knowledge or training to discuss sex beyond the basics.
Now that we’ve gone over the different types of people you can work with, you may be wondering how to choose someone who is right for you.
Here are 3 steps to finding the best sex professional for you:
- Choose the type of help you want. A soirée, short counseling, or intensive therapy? Be honest with yourself here: what is really going to help you have the amazing sex, relationship or pleasure you deserve?
- Research research research! Make sure whoever you’re seeing has the credentials to back them up. Certifications aren’t everything but they can tell you how much education and training a professional had had in their specific specialty. If you aren’t familiar with a certification, look into it, paying special attention to the education topics and hours of supervised work required.
- Make sure it’s a good fit. You have a few potential options in mind. Check out their blogs and social media to get a better sense of who they are. If it is an option, schedule a short meeting. If it isn’t offered, ask if you can chat for 15-20 minutes to ensure you’re well suited for each other. Remember, this work is a two-way street. You need to feel comfortable with them and they need to have the skills and knowledge to really help solve your individual concerns.
We all need a little help from time to time, and sex is definitely no exception! It may seem overwhelming, but there is a resource out there that is perfectly matched to help you get your your sexy on again or for the first time. Remember that none of these options are better than the other – it is based on what you need in order to experience the amazing sex, pleasure and relationship you deserve. Ultimately, it is all about what is best for you!