Sex and lovemaking can be the most satisfying or disappointing part of your relationship and life.
Most couples begin their relationship as a romantic passionate love affair, complete with idealization of their new love and a strong sexual desire for each other.
But, once you’re settled in the relationship, and it becomes both more serious and secure for you both, the challenge then becomes how to integrate both your intimacy and your eroticism.
Sex is about so many things; love, fun, desire, lust, connection, pleasure and intimacy. A healthy sexual connection with our partner is a very important component for a happy, fulfilling relationship. Great sex and lovemaking can be the glue that keeps you feeling deeply and physically connected with each other, enabling you to weather many other kinds of storms in your relationship and life in general.
But when we’re unsatisfied with our sex life, our whole relationship can start to go downhill.
When you’re intimate with your partner, you’re at your most vulnerable. So, if sexual issues arise, such as mismatched libido’s or erectile dysfunction, it’s understandable that one partner can take it as a personal rejection. When issues arise regularly, it’s easy for either partner to become hurt, frustrated, resentful, disconnected and feel embarrassed, undesirable or unwanted.
The paradox of sex is that when it is good and satisfying, sex plays a small but positive role in your relationship (about 15 – 20%) ; BUT when sex is unsatisfying, avoided or a problem, it plays a hugely powerful drain and negative role in your relationship (from 50 to 75%).
Ultimately your sexual relationship is meant to play an energizing role in your relationship, one that enlivens and bonds the two of you together, while giving a regular charge of energy to your love.
If your relationship is currently going through sexual difficulties, rest assured there is help available from our Hart experts in Sex Therapy and Relationships.
Types of sexual issues we can help with
- low libido
- differing libidos
- difficulty orgasming
- premature ejaculation
- erectile dysfunction
- porn addiction
- maintaining desire
- sex addiction
- gay/lesbian issues and sexuality
- sexual abuse
- sex during and after pregnancy
- sex and IVF
- self-esteem and body image
- reigniting love and passion
Sexual problems are common
There is not a couple alive who has not had even the occasional difference in what they would like and expect in their sex life.
Many couples – some experts estimate about 45% – have concerns or problems with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm or sexual satisfaction. Sex problems are rarely simple.
There is not one cure-all for all sexual problems. They are a result of psychological, physical and relationship factors and can cause great emotional suffering and distress.
The most recent studies have shown that 1 in 3 women are turned off sex, whereas the figure is closer to 1 in 6 for men. It seems that from the 2008 Durex Sexual Wellbeing Survey of 26,000 people around the world, as well a recent Australian study, women often feel they lose interest in sex because the kind of sex on offer is not what turns them on.
Even though sex is a common topic for jokes in many social conversations, most couples don’t really talk much about what they like and don’t like with each other, nor are most people educated on how to have a great and healthy sex life.
Can sexual issues be fixed?
If sexual issues are coming up in your relationship, you may be wondering what can be done to help?
Rest assured there are many avenues that can be taken to help sexual issues such as low libido, differing libidos, difficulty orgasming, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, porn addiction, and maintaining desire.
Sex & your relationship
No one has a perfect sex life. Great sex, especially in a committed relationship, is uneven and is also variable.
Often it is assumed that once you have been together for a period, that the fun and quality of your sex life naturally diminishes, but research by Laumann (1994) has shown that this is not the case, and that the best sex can happen in couples who have been in a committed relationship for 15 years or longer.
Therefore, the best sex doesn’t, in fact, happen between young couples, or first-time sexual experiences, which most of us assume.
The best research suggests that regular frequency and variable, flexible couple sex that is fully integrated into your real life is the best quality, most satisfying wonderful sex for you as a couple.
Quality couple sex is made up of a blend of intimacy, desire, pleasure, eroticism and satisfaction.
How we create sexual problems – The Cycle of Sexual Misunderstanding
The most common cause of distress in a sexual relationship arises because many people are not prepared for the extent of differences in sexual wants and needs that may occur between partners.
In the initial stages of a relationship, the intoxicating feelings of initial infatuation often mask any differences, and one or both may believe that love will conquer all.
The set of expectations an individual brings to a relationship is often quite complex and detailed and problems begin when the two sets of expectations differ in significant ways.
In addition to this, problems escalate when judgements are made. The way each partner reacts to their partner’s sexual desires and preferences is a major factor in how the relationship proceeds.
Negative reactions such as withdrawing, sulking, being critical, hostile, angry or abusive often become toxic over time. Even subtle reactions such as a sigh can be seen as rejecting or critical.
Our Melbourne Psychologists & Sex Therapists
The Hart Centre Melbourne has 9 Psychologists and Sex Therapists, Catherine, Karen, Ann, Jasmine, Lauren, Tegan, Dr Susi and Sarah who specialise in Sex Therapy, some of whom also offer relationship and marriage counselling.
We have found that on most occasions our sex life and our relationships are intricately linked so having joint skills and knowledge in both fields as therapists allows us to get the the heart of any combined problem and help you create both a better sex life and better relationship.
We have written many articles on common sexual problems like low libido, differing libidos, difficulty orgasming, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, porn addiction, the truth abut viagra, maintaining desire, and you can find a sample of these below.
- How Normal Is It To Watch Porn?
- Sensual touch: the cornerstone of a great sex life.
- Maintaining desire: Keeping sex exciting in a long term relationship.
- Differing libidos: How to manage them in a healthy way.
- Erectile dysfunction: Having Problems with erections
- The Secret to more sex and why women in particular, lose interest in sex.
- Penis size: How much does it really count?
- Difficulty Orgasming: How can I experience more pleasure?
- Premature Ejaculation: How to last longer in bed
Our Sex Therapy Offices in Melbourne:
To enquire or book a session with us, please phone 1300 830 552 and our friendly receptionists will help you.
Sex Therapy (and Relationship counselling) sessions are 50 mins
Cost: $175 ($190 for after hours sessions or for all sessions at CBD locations)
Private Health Insurance Rebates apply, and Medicare Rebates may apply.
(please check for details)