Pornography, or sexual imagery, is a loaded topic in our world. Some research says that up to 30% of online searches are related to sexuality. But what does that mean?
A very important question to ask would be “is the sex I’m looking for…consensual? Does it include the agreement of all parties involved? Non-consensual sex refers to sex with minors (those under 16 or 18, depending on the state you live in). It includes things like voyeurism (e.g. peeping through windows), exhibitionism (exposing one’s genitals to non-consenting others), and rape.
Consensual sex includes many things, some of them seemingly normal e.g. missionary style sex between a man and a woman, to things less conventional, like the act of being tied up by a consenting partner.
People look at sexual imagery for a variety of reasons. Teenagers do it because puberty results in physical changes to their bodies and they become very curious. Unfortunately, they have no one to talk to to get their questions answered. So what do they do? They look online at sexual images for answers. They look to an entertainment medium for educational purposes. It’s an understandable strategy, but not a very effective one.
Some adults look at erotic images because they want to understand themselves better. Why does this thing turn me on and not that? They might also be too shy or embarrassed to disclose to a partner about a sexual turn on, so they express it through private viewing of others engaged in the behavior.
Some folks look at sexual imagery as a way to de-stress, a coping mechanism for boredom, unstructured time, loneliness, anxiety and other emotional states that are difficult to manage.
I won’t be going through a check list of acceptable and unacceptable sexual behaviors. I will be asking about consent to make sure that sex therapy is the
best intervention. If your behaviors involved non-consensual behaviors, other interventions are much more effective.
This means that my job is to help you identify where you’re feeling sexually conflicted. We utilize principles like honesty, consent, and non-exploitation to help you clarify which sexual values are important to you.
As long as what you’re doing is consensual, there is a great variety of ways in which people express themselves. My job is to help you find a way to express your sexual self in a way that is consistent with your own values. And sex therapy is a very effective way to do just that.
The formal assessment is the part of sex therapy that will help us determine if your use of sexual imagery is out of control, or problematic. I can then design an effective treatment plan for you to reach your desired outcomes.
Call or email today to book your initial appointment.