Sex therapy in 2023: what I want to see

When I began my journey as a sex therapist I was approaching it like a sex educator. For most of my life, I wanted to be in sex education, but I could never quite find my place in it. I tried working with youth, exploring sexual health through holistic medicines, I even tried filling the gap between birth education and sex education teaching about sex in pregnancy, labour, and postpartum. The more I learned, the less confident I felt about what exactly I thought people should know about sex. As sexuality got more nuanced and complicated, I got more nuanced and complicated feelings about it.

That’s when I decided to become a sex therapist: when I realised that each individual person, each relationship, had their own specific sexual health needs that needed to be acknowledged in all their complicated details. I really believed that most people were just suffering from a lack of information. And while I still believe that is a very real part of the problem of our sex negative culture, it’s so much more than that. It’s:

  • how we feel about sex and how we feel about how we feel
  • the stories we absorb from the world around us about sex
  • how we talk about sex with ourselves, our partners, and our friends
  • what we think our sex lives say about who we are
  • how well we can pay attention to the sensations in our bodies
  • our willingness to self-reflect and be firmly in our truth while acknowledging when we’re wrong

What I want to see more in sex therapy in 2023 is the courageous willingness to completely rewrite the rules about what sex is, who it is for, when and how much it should happen, while taking a strong critical eye toward who is telling us what they think it “should” be– from both sex positive and sex negative speakers, alike.

In 2023, I want people to feel capable of reckoning with the grief of letting go of what they’ve been taught about sex and I want people to feel courageous about exploring their sexual curiosity (including whether or not sex is even for them)!

In 2023, I want to see people try stuff and watch it flop, and try again! Or avoid sex until their longing and fantasies are yearning to be expressed. I want to see people not take sex so seriously while seriously tending to their sexual wounds.

In 2023, I am ready to keep exploring the landscape of sex therapy!