Everyone wonders about this. Are our friends having more sex than we do? Do any other couples have this problem where one partner has high desire, and the other one has little to none? There must be something really wrong with us! Everyone wants sex 24/7 don't they?

The answer to these most commonly asked questions are no. Not really. More than 40 million Americans feel stuck in low-sex or no sex marriages. Research studies tell us that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men reported little to no sexual desire. Sometime in a marriage more than 50% of couples experience one or both partners with little to no sexual desire.

Desire problems are the most frequent complaint of couples entering sex therapy. They are also often the unspoken complaint of couples entering relationship therapy. It is important to first rule out any physical or biological medical problems.

With this in mind, it is recommended to make an appointment with your general medical doctor, or get a referral from your Sex Therapist (Board certified Clinical Sexologist). Your therapist will recommend that the medical doctor run a hormonal profile along with a physical exam to rule out any other problems, such as medical disease or medications that could be affecting your libido or sexual desire.

In today's society relationship issues including, sexual anxieties, inhibitions, and problems are the norm. We're afraid of not doing it "right", like in movies and books. "Right" would be intercourse, with both parties craving each other all the time and having simultaneous orgasms every time they're intimate. In other words, "being all over each other 24 hours a day.

Wrong! Healthy sexuality means giving and receiving touching that is pleasurable. Sexuality and intimacy may include 1001 different modes of showing love and affection for one another. There is no 1 one "right way" of making love. The optimal experience would be that of being together, with no "editing" of the respective partner. In other words, take your time, experiment, kiss, touch, and take time to build up the level of excitement with one another. If there is always an ultimate goal of an absolute outcome...surely one of you is likely to be disappointed.

Great sex and love- making is not goal oriented, but process oriented. (The journey, not the destination.) It allows both partners to enjoy pleasure. It varies. Sometimes one or both has an orgasm. Sometimes not. And that's ok. What's not ok is not caring about yours or your partner's needs.

There are many possible reasons for a discrepancy in desire between partners. The first is biological. As I mentioned in the statistics above, more than twice as many women than men have problems with sexual desire. This is because after the infatuation phase of the relationship, when hormones are running rampant, things settle down to natural biological rhythms. And biologically speaking, whoever has the most testosterone usually has the most desire.
Hmmm.... I wonder which gender that is!

Other reasons relevant to both genders are performance anxiety, emotional pain in the relationship, coerced intimacy, sex used as a bartering tool, lack of time, lack of energy, and fear of intimacy to name a few. These can be helped with an understanding therapist.

What you can do: see a relationship expert or sex therapist that can help you experience the pleasure and joy of intimate connection. You deserve no less.


Sexology is...

Posted by: in Sex Facts

Do we need to see a therapist?
I think we have sexual problems?
How do we find the right type of therapist?
A sex therapist, what the heck is a sex therapist?

It never fails to amaze me, that the mere mention of sex and human sexuality continue to titillate and cause a state of unrest for most, when thrown into the mix of everyday conversation.

I'm standing inside the sushi restaurant last week, waiting for my take-out tempura salmon roll. A very charming and handsome man also waiting outside the front door beckons for me to join him while waiting for our lunch orders. He casually asks if I live in the neighborhood and what I do for a living.

Before I answer him, I notice a woman sitting not 3 feet from us, observing the conversation. She seems somewhat amused by the charming man and his social tactics (pick-up lines).I open my mouth to respond and my mind is already whirling with thoughts of the response I will most likely get from my answer."I'm a Board Certified Clinical Sexologist, a Marriage and Family Therapist with a PhD in Clinical Sexology..." I pause, watching the expression on his face.

The woman at the table nearby, also has looked up from her lunch, I have their absolute attentions at this point.You do what, he exclaims? I again define my profession, and add, "you know, like Dr. Ruth, America's favorite sexologist...only a bit younger."The woman at the table is still watching us. She smiles and says, "this should be interesting."

This is the response I receive 99.9% of the time from persons, once they've asked what my profession is. Even upon explanation, there still seems to be that stunned look on their faces.So then, why the shock effect from stating that one works in the field of Human Sexuality?

First off, `I'm not sure that people fully understand hat it means to be a sex therapist, sexologist or clinical sexologist. It often can mean different things to different people, since the field of sex therapy is very specific to its requirements and regulations.

What then does it actually mean to be a sex therapist? Florida is the only state to license sex therapists. Other licensed professionals in the mental health field may obtain the additional specialty license by completing 120 hours of training and 20 hours of supervised clinical practice. Or, they may attain their PhD in Clinical Sexology by completing a State certified doctoral program in clinical sexology.

Currently, The American Academy of Clinical Sexologists offers such programming in Orlando, Florida. Dr. William Granzig is the founder and Dean of the program, with whose guidance and training I was honored to have studied.Dr. Granzig states in a past interview with the Washington Post, that sexual matters cannot be addressed by just any therapist, so it is beneficial to train people to deal with them specifically.

He also maintains that the model for sex therapy, created more than 30 years ago by William Masters and Virginia Johnson calls for therapists to refer patients to sex therapists when sexual issues arise.Outside Florida, sex therapists are generally licensed in such fields as counseling, social work or psychology. Some receive additional training and certification from organizations such as the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the American Board of Sexologists (ABS). There are conflicting views about this very specific profession however.

In a recent passing conversation with a colleague in the mental health field, he claimed that sex counseling is simply an aspect of an everyday psychology practice, and though the subject may not come up often, he was surely capable of dealing with such issues, simply based on "personal experience."

WHAT?? No No No No! In the State of Florida there are very specific and absolute statutes defining the specifics of who can practice sex therapy and who can call themselves a sex therapist. These statutes are clearly stated along with the specific training and course work that one must have in order to practice sex therapy in the State of Florida.Just because my colleague was once a playboy and has endured 4 marriages, doesn't give him the qualifications to shoot from the hip so to speak, and practice "sex therapy" in his office!That said, hopefully I've answered some questions about, what is a sex therapist and how do I find a sex therapist that is qualified?

Why a Sex Therapist instead of any other type of therapist?

Now, I'd like to address exactly when you may need a sex therapist and what to expect in sex therapy, and what sex therapists can really do for you. First of all, it is important to understand that we as human beings don't exist in a unilateral world. We are almost always in relationship with one or another persons. Whether it be work or personal life, there is a systemic flow to who you are and how you interact in the world around you. In your relationship the issues of sex, intimacy, love, career, health and life in general all add up contextually to who you and your partner are.

As sex therapists, it is often important to break down these individual issues and isolate the actual sexual issues from the relationship factors. Although if is often difficult to separate the two, that's exactly what your sex therapist tries to do. In better understanding sequences of behavior and patterns of interaction in your relationship, therapy helps you to gain clarity on who you are and what you expect from your partner. Your relationship and sex life are not independent of one another.

However, it is important to point out that fixing your relationship doesn't necessarily mean a quick fix for your sex life.There is a method behind the madness of therapy and sex therapy. We don't simply sit in our chairs and pull questions out of thin air like rabbits out of a hat. The original therapeutic models for sex therapy go back some thirty years to the pioneering sexologists. Sex therapists have devoted much time and research in order to gain an understanding of human sexuality and human behaviors. The training and coursework is very specific to sexuality issues. In choosing a therapist of your choice, make sure that the clinician you choose, has received both a proper education, as well as clinical supervision from a University that offers a State qualified graduate program in Human Sexuality.

Some of the more common problems that sex therapists deal with include: premature ejaculation, erectile disorder, performance anxiety, orgasmic dysfunctions, low libidio and lack of desire. Often couples report that they have simply "fallen out of love." Many sex therapists also handle gender identity issues, gay and lesbian issues, trans-gender counseling, as well as fetish and paraphilia related issues and sexual trauma to name a few. Also of critical import are the interpersonal/ relationship dynamics including both sexual issues and the communication or lack thereof between individuals and couples regarding their sexuality and relationship.

Therefore, they are much more likely to have a comprehensive understanding of your sexuality and relationship issues than a typical psychologist. Sex therapists don't fix your problem. They help you help yourself. As Sex therapists, we foster a safe place where you can communicate understand, and focus on defining and healing the specifics of your sexual and relationship issues, under the guidance and direction of a trained professional.

Sexual dissatisfaction is the no. 2 reason for divorce in this country. If you are seeking help, you can locate a licensed and qualified sex therapist by contacting the American board of Sexology, or go to your Internet which provides numerous therapist locater programs, such as psychologytoday.com or 4therapy.com etc. You may also want to ask your medical doctor for a referral in your local area.


A Day for Equality

Posted by: in Random Thoughts

As a Marriage and Family therapist, and Clinical Sexologist, I am thrilled to use this forum to address the news of this week, honoring and acknowledging Same Sex marriages in California.
In matters of love, marriage and relationship, we are all Gods children. This is spoken from a spiritual stance, not one of religiosity. My heart sings with joy and happiness for this decision in allowing full marriage rights for same-sex partners. Hello 21st century!!! May we move onward and forward.

In love and light...
Dr. Arlene G. Krieger

As quoted in Wikipedia, May 15, 2008:

"The status of same-sex marriage in California, known for its large gay communities and generally liberal political climate, has been an intensely debated political issue since the mid-1990s.
On May 152008, the Supreme Court of California overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. The four-to-three decision made California the second state, behind Massachusetts, to allow full marriage rights for same-sex partners.

California had already permitted domestic-partner registration, a right similar to civil unions found in other states.[4] This grants "same-sex couples all state-level rights and obligations of marriage - in areas such as inheritance, income tax, insurance and hospital visitation" but does not apply to "federal-level rights of marriage that cannot be granted by states."

As quoted:

SAN FRANCISCO - Gay and lesbian couples in San Francisco rejoiced on Thursday over a State Supreme Court decision affirming their right to marry even as political leaders on both sides of the issue girded for an extended fight over the ruling in the courts and at the ballot box.

Hundreds of people showed up at San Francisco City Hall, including some women in wedding dresses and at least one carrying an open bottle of Champagne.

"It's just amazing to feel like I am a full citizen - I am not a second-class citizen," said Christmas Leubrie, a nurse, who was with her partner, Alice Heimsoth, across the street from City Hall on the steps of the Supreme Court Building.

Gay rights organizations said the decision was a watershed moment for their movement, which has found greater societal acceptance in recent decades but continued opposition in some quarters toward same-sex marriage.

A bit of History:

California becomes the second state to allow same-sex unions, after Massachusetts. Forty-one states have laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a nonpartisan institute, while 27 states have constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage or defining marriage as a union between a man and a women.
Florida will vote on a constitutional amendment this fall, and Arizona is also considering putting the issue on the ballot.

The Thursday decision was cause for celebration for Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, who set off a national debate over gay marriage in 2004 when he ordered the county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. More than 4,000 couples - from 46 states - married in 2004, though those unions were later invalidated by the courts.


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