Time to debunk the most common sex therapy myths and misconceptions about sexual functioning!
Last month I covered Sex Education Myths & Misconceptions.
I often hear my clients and students say, “It’s not like that on TV!”
“My pastor said this was true!”
“All my friends told me this.”
I would have learned 0 of these facts if I had not received psychology classes on sexuality and then later training in Sex Therapy. Holistic and accurate Christian sex books like A Celebration of Sex by Doug Rosenau and The Great Sex Rescue by Sheila Wray Gregoire provided the missing pieces that the church failed to give me.
That’s why I’m passionate about educating Christians who missed out on this knowledge.
So let’s cover the sex therapy myths and uncover the truths about sexual functioning that were missing from your sex ed.
Sex Therapy Myth: Married couples need to have sex every 72 hours.
Truth: You and your spouse can determine the frequency that is right for you.
There is no 72 hour rule.
There is no physiological, psychological, or spiritual reason for the teaching that Christian couples need to have sex every 3 days.
And there’s no rule about how often couples should have sex.
You and your spouse can determine the frequency that is right for you!
If 72 hours work for you–great! If 24 hours is your thing–go for it! If it’s about weekly–that’s average! It is also normal to be less than weekly depending on time, health, stage of life, and other responsibilities.
Do enjoy intimate, pleasurable, and mutual sex with your spouse. God wants us to enjoy sexual pleasure in marriage!. If there are physical or relationship issues preventing you from enjoying a fulfilling sex life, please see a medical provider or a licensed therapist.
Otherwise, don’t let people pressure you into thinking sex has to occur at a certain frequency.
You are not on anyone else’s timetable but your own. Do what works for you and your spouse.
There is no physiological, psychological, or spiritual reason for the teaching that Christian couples need to have sex every 72 hours. You and your spouse can determine the frequency that is right for you!Tweet
Sex Therapy Myth: All men have a higher sex drive than women.
Truth: Sex drive varies by person. There is no gender rule.
There is no gender rule when it comes to sex drive.
I have seen couples in therapy in which the wife has the higher drive as much as the couples in which the husband has the higher drive.
Sexual desire is complex. There are two types of sexual desire: assertive or initiating desire, and responsive desire.
People with an initiating desire (more commonly men) experience desire that compels them to initiate sexual activity. People with a responsive desire (more commonly women) experience desire that is more a response to their environment or their spouse’s desire.
Neither one is good or bad, right or wrong. We can respect the natural differences in how we experience sexual desire!
There is no gender rule when it comes to sex drive.Tweet
Sex Therapy Myth: Women should be able to orgasm from intercourse alone.
Truth: Only about 10-30% of women report being able to have an orgasm by vaginal stimulation alone.
Most couples do not realize how important the woman’s clitoris is for sexual pleasure.
I can’t tell you the number of clients and couples I see for therapy who think something is wrong with the wife because she doesn’t orgasm from intercourse.
Only about 10-30% of women can orgasm from intercourse alone–and even then it usually takes some clitoral stimulation too.
Women, you are not broken, damaged, or “sexually immature” if you don’t orgasm during intercourse.
Men, you are not failures or “lousy lovers” if your wife doesn’t orgasm during intercourse.
Learn some other ways to experience pleasure and orgasm. Invite God into your sexual intimacy and ask him to guide you to greater knowledge and understanding of each other’s bodies. Take time to communicate and share with each other what brings you pleasure.
Remember, God created the woman’s clitoris with only one purpose–pleasure!
Only about 10-30% of women can orgasm from intercourse alone. Remember, God created the woman’s clitoris with only one purpose–pleasure! Learn some other ways to experience pleasure and orgasm.Tweet
Sex Therapy Myth: Every couple should be able to orgasm simultaneously.
Truth: Simultaneous orgasm is rare and not something to experience shame over.
Simultaneous orgasm happens all the time in the movies–so there must be something wrong with you if it doesn’t happen for you, right?
It’s actually rare for both spouses to orgasm at the same time during sex. Because women typically need clitoral stimulation and men need penile stimulation, most couples find that simultaneous orgasm is the exception rather than the rule.
If you and your spouse want to experiment with simultaneous orgasm, go for it! But if you don’t, it is not something to experience shame over. There is nothing wrong with you or your sex life.
Use the natural differences in your bodies and your sexual responses to draw you closer together as you mutually explore what brings you pleasure.
God created our bodies differently to draw us outside of ourselves and to learn how to care for each other’s bodies. That is what makes sex mutual, intimate, and pleasurable.
God created our bodies differently to draw us outside of ourselves and to learn how to care for each other’s bodies. That is what makes sex mutual, intimate, and pleasurable.Tweet
Sex Therapy Myth: Sexual pain for women is normal and unavoidable.
Truth: Sexual pain for women can be treated and should not just be tolerated.
One of the messages I heard from purity culture is that sexual pain is unavoidable and “that’s just the way it is”.
About 75% of women experience sexual pain at some point in their lifetime. But although sexual pain is common, it does not have to be tolerated.
Generalized sexual pain is called dyspareunia. This can be most common after childbirth, in first sexual experiences, and if there is a history of sexual trauma.
And a shaming religious upbringing can increase the risk of sexual pain. Vaginismus, sexual pain involving involuntary spasms of the vagina, is more commonly diagnosed in women from a restrictive religious background.
But sexual pain can be treated and healed through a combination of medical treatment, pelvic floor physical therapy, and sex therapy with a licensed and trained mental health professional.
If you experience sexual pain, know that you are not alone and you do not have to keep suffering. God has provided tools for your healing and wants you to be free of the shame and pain that inhibits sexual intimacy with your spouse.
About 75% of women experience sexual pain at some point in their lifetime. But although sexual pain is common, it does not have to be tolerated.Tweet