11 Things About Sex That Sex Therapists Wish More People Knew

11 min read
11 Things About Sex That Sex Therapists Wish More People Knew

Not all of us are love experts and when it comes to sex, there’s more to just doing the deed.

We know how sex is one of the most important parts in a couple’s life. But with all the stress, technology and distractions that life brings, sex has taken the backseat in most relationships.

What complicates it is that when the couple is not on the same page when it comes to rolling in the hay, then their relationship tends to get strained. Thank heavens for love experts or sex therapists, couples may be enlightened as to how sex should be at the forefront in sustaining a relationship.

If you find yourself on the brink of ending your relationship, wait until you read these 11 things about sex that sex therapists wished more people knew.

(*Some entries have been edited for clarity, spelling, and grammar.)

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1. Think about how you enjoy having sex.

User lifthanded says…

“For couples with mismatched sex drives (which is the majority of couples)- ask yourself whether or not, when you really get things going, you enjoy having sex. If the answer is yes, remind yourself of that when your partner makes advances. In a lot of cases you will find that you don’t want to start having sex, not that you don’t want to be having sex.”

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2. Schedule sex.

User Keohane says…

“How feeling sexy comes from being sexy, so scheduled sex today can lead to delightfully spontaneous sex tomorrow. Too many people settle into the cold comfort of a minimally maintained relationship, and let the friendship and sexy side of a relationship wither.

Schedule a date to go do something together, agree to a time to have sex, and things usually do get better.

As an aside, I provide counseling for sex offenders, so it would seem obvious that consent was never well explained to my clients. But what bakes my noodle is that I rarely meet people with a solid understanding of consent.

I have one non-sex offender couple where the wife is coerced into having sex. He is threatening divorce and she would be deported if they got a divorce. It took three sessions for him to get it.

Edit: I get it, I get it, a healthy relationship should have sex in it. I agree completely. But he’s checked out of the relationship entirely outside of using her for a cook, a maid, and a sex object. It’s not a healthy relationship and she feels she deserves better. I have to admit I agree. She can’t be putting in all the work, AND live in fear of what will happen if she just doesn’t want to have sex.”

3. “Don’t stress about being the first person to orgasm.”

User PBRidesAgain says…

“So many guys are worried about premature ejaculation.


PiV (Penis in Vagina)sex lasts typically 3-5 minutes.

Lasting “longer” needing to go “longer” is a myth.

Edit: reminder piv sex isn’t all sex, foreplay, oral sex and other activities mean sex can last… Hours, but the average time the penis is in the vagina thrusting is Yeah 3-5 minutes (some studies say 4-6 minutes)

Edit #2: ouch my inbox, sorry I can’t answer every person & pm individually.

Basically if you’re satisfied there’s nothing wrong with your sex life. 2 minutes, 30 minutes whatever works best for you. We’re taking averages, also time yourself, I used to swear it was 15-20 minutes, actually time? 8-9 minutes. Sex can distort your perception of time.

Edit #3: I have a lot of people asking “what if I can go for an hour plus but I can’t orgasm.” If you’re unhappy with your inability to orgasm there’s a couple of things you can try to do. First stimulation does not equal penetration, so try stimulation try only to start having sex when you’re at 90 to 95%. Communicate with your your partner tell them you’re trying to get off sooner, promise them an orgasm even if you come first. Don’t stress about being the first person to orgasm. There is a myth out there that you have to orgasm at the same time as your partner, but the reality is most partners aren’t able to experience simultaneous orgasm. Especially if you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s okay to be a little selfish and pay attention to yourself as well as your partner.

Sex education is seriously lacking across-the-board I highly recommend sexplanations on YouTube for a really good basis of sex and orgasms and how our bodies work. It’s okay to seek out answers from therapists and doctors if you are unhappy with your sex life change something.”

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4. “Having expectations doesn’t make you selfish or needy, it makes you a person.”

User DorothyGaleEsq says…

“I’m a marriage and family therapist who specializes in sexual and LGBT issues (although currently working primarily with children while I get my private practice off the ground in a new state).

The first thing I tell many clients (and this is true about every relationship, be it partner/partner, parent/child, friend/friend, etc,) is that a lot of future issues can be spared if you take the time to communicate your expectations of one another plainly. This is especially true (and hardest to do) regarding sex. Having expectations doesn’t make you selfish or needy, it makes you a person. Sex is a big part of a relationship, and acknowledging its importance doesn’t make you shallow. Furthermore, you are setting your partner up for failure and yourself up for disappointment if you are not making your expectations known.

Making sure your expectations of one another are realistic, communicated effectively, and that each partner has a desire to meet them are all fundamental. The amount of people who come to me for sexual dysfunction is tiny compared to the amount of people who are having trouble effectively communicating with each other.”

5. “Sex is like an oil change.”

User Portergeist says…

“Sex is like an oil change. It will not fix a broken relationship, but it is part of good maintenance.”

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6. Understand “sexual concordance.”

User prehensilefoot says…

“Everyone needs to learn about “sexual concordance”. What a body does, and how you feel/think about it are often two different things. Understanding how sexual concordance happens is probably the single greatest gift you can give yourself and your partner(s) current and future.

For men, generally, they tend to be more sexually concordant than women. Women, generally, are not quite as sexually concordant as men. For many people, a sexy situation doesn’t always = arousal. Sometimes, for both sexes, something that shouldn’t–for whatever reason–be arousing is, and vice versa.

EVERY one needs to be aware that a body’s responses is not always in line with what they think should happen. Emily Nagoski’s excellent book, Come As You Are, is a great way to get sexual concordance in your vocabulary.”

7. Get to know your own body.

User kinglizardking says…

“More women should put a mirror on their vagina to get to know it better. Tons of sexual issues come from no self body knowledge. People should also know that gay people aren’t defined by anal sex or by being top or bottom. And would be so much easier if people got that safe sex is not only to avoid pregnancy or STIs, they work to prevent both, many persons tend to forget one of those parts. And it’s never about trust with condoms, it’s about yourself, trust makes people blame the partner about STIs, when is mostly a decision made by oneself and not by the partner.”

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8. Sexual trauma may be the culprit.

User wanderingaz says…

“For me it’s a lot of trauma education. I see so many women (and I know men experience sexual trauma and trauma as well, they just aren’t a large part of my clientele) who struggle in the bedroom with their spouses because of sexual abuse/trauma in their past. Once you can educate both parties how trauma like that affects you physically and mentally, you really start to see some growth.”

Another user adds…

User spalmerboy says…

“LCSW here. A couple thoughts from working with incredible teenage survivors.

Sexual trauma can define you. If you’re fine with that, that’s fine. Lots of advocates allow their survivor status motivate them to help others. That sounds very honorable to me. For these people, their trauma and stories of healing can be very close to the surface. It is a fire within them and others are lucky to experience their love and protection: it burns fiercely.

It’s also ok to forget about the trauma. It’s normal in the healing process to confuse healing and repression. You may not be able to tell the difference sometimes and that’s ok. Your therapist may not be able to tell the difference sometimes and that’s ok, too. It’s ok to place feelings on the shelf when they’re inconvenient. It’s ok to forget to keep your guard up. Remember when it helps, forget when it helps.

Edit: Oh! And this is important: Healing and growth start out as peaks and valleys and then become more stable in a slightly upward linear fashion, just barely above plateau. And then plateau happens. But it’s supposed to happen. So just think of it like this: With anything, whether it’s healing from sexual trauma or trying out your lover’s kink for the first time, you’re going to have good days and days when it doesn’t go as planned. Those are the ups and downs. Just keep at it. The goal is not “progress” – the goal is continuing the effort. Healing and growth are sometimes so gradual as to not feel upwardly linear but they are.”

9. Depression or anxiety medications can affect sex drive.

User Joey_koop says…

“If you’re taking a depression or anxiety medication its common to not have as high of a sex drive as before. Understand it has nothing to do with the relationship.”

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10. Remember: The 5 Love Languages

User Schwannomaaa says…

“A satisfying relationship inside the bedroom starts outside the bedroom. I used to intern with therapists and they’d always stress the importance of communication. One of the therapists loved “The 5 Love Languages”, which I believe started as a book, but she’d tell them to take a free quiz online to figure out their “love language”. So many patients throughout the years would say how learning their “love language” helped save their relationships. I’ve personally found it incredibly beneficial as well. If nothing else, it opens the door for communication with your SO on what’s important and meaningful to you, and that can lead to a much more satisfying sexual relationship.”

11. “Communication is key.”

User oredditisgonalovdis says…

“Both men and women, in talking about and beginning things regarding intimacy, require emotional bits. Not just women. This is a common misconception and can lead to some problems. If a loving, kind, supportive, and communicative relationship is the foundation, sex is going to be much easier and more comfortable and open. Communication is key. Always. And when it isn’t, there’s usually some deep seeded problem that needs to be mended ( or at least addressed ) before a couple can move into a flourishing sexual partnership.

A couple of comments are very helpful here, especially those regarding dry spells. I would like to add, however, that dry spells can become cycles. Meaning, if a couple stops having sex because the husband becomes less emotionally available (as an example; a common one), a great fix for this can be sexual intimacy. But on the other side, if problems aren’t taken care of, a sexual relationship can be a bandaid when surgery was needed.”

More Reading:

giphy 5 1 | Stay at Home

Do you do practice these sex advices?

11 Things About Sex That Sex Therapists Wish More People Knew | Stay at Home

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