Santa Rosa Sex Therapist Helps Couples Regain the Passion
If you’re looking for a sex therapist, Santa Rosa-based counselor Dr. Barbara Molle is one of the area’s leading specialists in helping couples regain sexual trust and intimacy.
So, what is sex therapy all about? Is it about becoming the best lover? Is it about both partners having the highest pleasure at each lovemaking session? Is it about always being ready and available for sex?
Working with Sex, Love, Trust and Other Bonds that Heal
The answer is yes and no to the above questions. Discussing the ‘no answers’ first will help us understand and fix your relationship and make it a healthier, sexier place to be with your partner.
Good sex is about TRUST/SEXUAL TRUST! Trust is the ticket that allows us to take risks, open our hearts, open our bodies, open our eyes, try new things, ask for what we want, show our partner what we like, share fantasies, be playful and even admit our fears or shortcomings. The more free we feel in our heart, mind and body, the more we can embrace what comes in a healthy and lively sexual relationship.
The Sexual Speed Limit
When I begin working with a couple, I often ask them about the sexual speed limit in their family of origin. The speed limit is determined by the appropriate level of sexual openness and communication in the early family. If one partner in a couple had a family that moved at 35 MPH and the other grew up in a family that had an 80 MPH speed limit, one can imagine the roadblocks that couple may encounter in the bedroom..
The lower speed limit might describe a family that rarely talked about sex, discouraged exploration, frowned on masturbation, and/or used shame as a control to keep the kids in line. The higher speed limit might indicate a family that talked openly about sex, demonstrated lots of affection for each other, and gave their children information and appropriate support for their developing sexuality.
These differences would certainly affect the couple in their openness and willingness to approach sex with confidence, curiosity, a sense of adventure and excitement.
I also ask each person in the couple about their sexual development. If a person grew up with confidence in the areas of social, sexual, physical and intellectual development, they will feel more open and available than a person who perhaps developed later than their peers, had poor social graces, was very smart but shy to a fault, etc. These differences can also cause gaps in the confidence and availability a couple brings to their sexuality. Having differences is not an impossible roadblock if the couple can achieve communication and understanding about how those differences play a role in the interactions now.
Clearing the Past Brings Passion to the Present
I sometimes ask a man or woman to notice how early sexual experience has played a role in the openness of the body. We can do this assessment using breathing exercises, fully clothed, to assess the openness and memories being held in the body.
I also find, when working with couples, that past resentments must be cleared . We carry resentment, hurt and anger in our bodies. It causes us to contract and shut down. Orgasm and pleasure are about beautiful, flowing energy and the release thereof. If a person is tight in the jaw, heart, belly or pelvis, sexual energy is blocked and the pleasure factor will be diminished. So for a couple to do structured museum tours, the cleaning of old resentments, opens the way for more energetic harmony in the love-making arena.
A couple also needs to learn that most of us are not mind-readers. A woman’s orgasmic response is typically less obvious than that of a man’s. A woman’s genitals can be moody, changeable, ecstatic, sensitive, responsive and/or withholding.
Orgasms can be like the Fourth of July at best or smaller and quieter versions of pleasurable release and sensation. Men can feel confused by a woman’s sexual response. Women sometimes fake it till they hopefully make it so as not to disappoint their partners. Many men feel inadequate as lovers if they do not bring their partners to that Fourth of July orgasm. One research study stated that 34% of married women have never had orgasms with their husbands.
Healthy, Trustworthy, Hot Sexuality: What it Takes
Healthy, trustworthy, hot sexuality is about the body/mind openness to talk about, demonstrate, give feedback to each other so that each partner gets to have a great experience and can learn from each encounter how to be that ‘Don or Donna Juan’ that we all want to be.
Healthy, trustworthy, hot sex is also about bringing creative ideas, articles, play, and fantasy into lovemaking. Clearly, long term relationships need a bit more spice than a newer relationship. Doesn’t that challenge each partner to bring sugar and spice to their relationship? Who says the seduction is over? Who says we can’t reinvent ourselves as lovers just like in other areas of our lives? It might take some risk to bring something new to the bedroom. So what? Isn’t that the adventure? Perhaps it will be grist for the mill. Perhaps it will engender good discussion.
And sexual communication……very important! Most of us did not learn how to talk about sex. Sex words were nasty. Sex exploration was shameful. Whether we are describing body parts, sexual fantasies, desires or dreams, we have to be able to talk about it with our partner. I suppose we could draw pictures and that might even be erotic but in our culture, the right words seem to most often get the job done.
I recall in our training in sex therapy, my teacher wisely had us sit in circles and name every word we could think of for sex words like penis, vagina, etc. It was fun and funny, and we realized that it helped us become accustomed to talking more freely about sex with our clients.
Permission is key, isn’t it? Permission to explore, to bring things up, to inquire, to ask questions, to discuss limitations or even disappointments, to describe, to request, to urge, to ask for sex, to say no or yes, to even be too tired. Permission creates the atmosphere that makes exploration, adventure, and aliveness possible.
So trust, risk, play, openness, communication, a sense of adventure, the new, the old, the curious, stimulating the senses, revealing and more……..that is the royal road to healthy sexuality. As your sex therapist, I will help you find your way to healthy, joyful sex!
Email Dr. Molle about sex therapy
Learn about the Re-Igniting Passion workshop for couples (note: this is not therapy)
Read “The Path to Love,” an article by Santa Rosa sex therapist Dr. Barbara Molle