Sex and Therapy

I got an interesting Formspring question the other day, and I thought it was worth reposting and expanding on here.

What are your opinions about sexual deviance in the context of therapy? You personally seem to embrace so-called slut identity and repost from self-identified nymphomaniacs, so what does that mean to you therapeutically (in practice) and where’s the line?

I’m not sure I fully understand the question, so I’ll answer it how I see it. I embrace sexuality in a positive context. If someone is a “slut” or into kinky things, and they feel good about those things and they’re positive identities and influences for them, I would never question them.

As a therapist, I don’t judge my clients. Ever. Where I have them question or examine their choices, however, is when it seems that they’re destructive to them. Are they sleeping around for validation? Let’s examine that, because that’s different than someone who is sexually liberated and free because they enjoy sex and feel good about what they’re doing.

As for kink, obviously, my clients don’t know where I stand on that (nor do they know where I stand when it comes to any kind of sex; I do not disclose my personal morals or beliefs to them). But again, I would use the same criteria: is this empowering for them? Is it being done in a healthy way? A safe way? Do they feel good about it?

If answers to those questions are no, I never judge or disapprove or make them feel bad about their decisions, but I would find a way to help them examine those decisions and the motivations behind them.

How does that sound to you guys? What are you experiences with therapists and sexuality?

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  1. JonsBabydollNo Gravatar
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    My mom forced me to see a therapist after she found out I was kinky. She was determined that something was wrong with me and I needed to be ‘fixed’.

    I went to one appointment, and my mom freaked out because she said I was approaching my sexuality in a healthy way. So my mom found a therapist who was a specialist in sex and sexual deviance. After seeing her for months my mom deemed her ‘ridiculous’ because she said I was doing this in a safe manner that was healthy.

    So my experiences have always been healthy. My mom just gets pissed when she hears I’m sane.

  2. SkyddsDrakeNo Gravatar
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    When I’ve worked with clients it has always come around to: is this getting in the way of your daily life? Is it inhibiting your functioning at school? Work? Is it inhibiting your social life? The relationships you feel are important to you? I dislike the blatant application of mental health diagnoses without the thorough understanding that everyone meets a few criteria for several diagnoses. Every diagnosis exists along a spectrum… It’s not a cut and dry kind of thing. And, quite frankly, I’ve never had a client mention sex as a topic of conversation unless it was an issue. That hour can go by pretty damn fast… Clients generally grasp the need to get to the point they want to handle pretty quickly. (Especially in managed care settings.) Just my two cents.

  3. CapNo Gravatar
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    when I talk to my therapist about sex it ususally talk about communication of what i want and need. When I first started to see my therapist we talked about my sexual likes and dislikes and how they dovetailed into my life and relationships. My therapist never forces her opinions upon me instead she asks me to think about things from the point of view of my partner.

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