Sex matters: How a therapist can help you find your way

Sex matters: How a therapist can help you find your way

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How happy are you with your sex life? In this article, Christina Gesing, a sex therapist and psychotherapist in Berlin, explains who can benefit from sex therapy and what happens when you go to a session.

While sex can give intense pleasure, a sense of positive esteem and a feeling of connectedness to a partner, it can also be a source of conflict, stress, resentment, anxiety and shame. The good news: whether you long for more between the sheets or experience stress when engaging in sex, trained therapists can guide you to explore what feels right for you.

When can a sex therapist be a valuable addition to your life?

You might benefit from sessions with a sex therapist if any of the following apply to you:

1. You encounter difficulties with arousal, sexual functioning, or experience pain 

Sexual dysfunction comes in many forms. Challenges with getting or keeping an erection, early or premature ejaculation, or difficulties reaching orgasm are common concerns. Some women also experience pain disorders like vulval or vaginal pain and vaginismus, which may need therapeutic intervention. 

2. You and your partner’s desires do not seem to match

Sex is central in many relationships, but it’s natural to have diversity in desires. Knowing yourself, as well as understanding your partner’s needs and desires make the base for creating fulfilling sexual encounters. Having mismatched libidos, wanting to explore BDSM or other kinks, or wanting to have an open relationship or practice polyamory or non-monogamy can be difficult conversations that a therapist can help you navigate.

3. You carry unprocessed sexual trauma 

Sexual trauma can affect your body and mind long after the traumatic incident ends. It can decrease sexual desire and even present as chronic pain. Combining interventions from trauma therapy and sex therapy can help survivors process the trauma and move forward towards pleasure.

4. You are questioning your gender identity, identify as gender queer, and / or are considering transitioning 

Struggling with your sexual orientation or realising a different gender identity can be confusing and scary. It might make you question what you previously thought you knew about yourself and might impact existing relationships with family, friends and partners. An LGBTQIA+-friendly therapist can be your ally in this challenging time and help you develop coping strategies. Also, German insurances require psychotherapeutic treatment before they cover the costs of gender-affirming surgeries.

What you can expect in a sex therapy session

You can either opt for individual therapy or couple’s counselling depending on the issues you want to focus on. Your therapy session will typically involve talk therapy where the therapist will try to understand and assess the problem you’re facing and why. 

They may ask about your formative sexual experiences and your idea of what sex should and shouldn’t be. Instead of making assumptions about “what everybody else does” in bed, I  believe that understanding what “sex worth wanting” means to you in particular is key! This can feel invasive, awkward, and uncomfortable at first - a good therapist understands that and will try to make you comfortable.

Once the goal is established, they will help you unpack the issue and get to its root. The therapist will often also assign homework, such as reflections and private exercises, to help you explore your body and sexuality and establish trust with your partner. 

Sex therapy in Germany does not fall under a protected label, so be sure to check your therapist’s background and expertise in the area before booking an appointment.

Could sex therapy be for you? Christina is a licenced cognitive behavioural psychotherapist who supports individuals, couples and multi-person constellations to explore new dimensions of intimacy and find authentic sexual expression. Book a free 20-minute exploratory call or follow Christina on Instagram for additional sex and relationship advice. 

Christina Gesing


Christina Gesing

Christina (she/her) is a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist and Couples Counselor from Berlin. Her mission: empowering people to make conscious choices about their intimate lives and to unfold their...

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