Short answer: Maybe. Longer answer: It’s not about “have to.” Couples therapy is an evolving process in which neither partner should feel obligated or coerced to surrender a boundary. That said, there are countless other factors to consider when attempting to answer the question: Do we really have to talk about sex in couples therapy?
Since intimacy (defined widely) is an essential part of every relationship, this topic will probably be introduced. Where things go from there is different for every therapist, every couple, and every session. So, with all of this in mind, perhaps we should begin by explaining why it’s important to talk about sex.
Why You May Not Talk About Sex in Couples Therapy
There are countless reasons why a couple chooses to attend counseling together. In many instances, sex can be a related factor. But, just as easily, you may be there due to financial incompatibilities, grief, or some kind of addiction. The point here is that a skilled therapist listens to your collective concerns and follows your lead. Again, you and your partner have every right to set boundaries and expect them to be respected.
There Are Many Reasons to Talk About Sex in Couples Therapy
- You want more intimacy or a different kind of intimacy, but you don’t know how to start the conversation.
- You’re in a sexless slump.
- You don’t feel attracted to your partner right now.
- You’re experiencing low libido.
- You miss that passionate honeymoon phase.
- You have so many fantasies you haven’t tried.
- Your libidos seem to be mismatched.
- Sex is complex and ever-evolving, and no one should be expected to have it all figured out.
On that last note, just think of all the potential sex-related questions you and your partner could be asking each other, e.g.:
- What really turns you on/off?
- Are you loud? Do you talk? Is laughter hot?
- What about fetishes and kinks?
- How important is your orgasm?
- What do you think about when having sex?
- How often would you ideally like to have sex?
- Do you have a favorite time of day? Position? Fantasy?
- Do you masturbate? If so, how often?
- How much foreplay do you like?
- What do you consider to be foreplay?
- How do you define “having sex?”
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you choose not to talk about sex during couples therapy, you might be missing out on learning a whole lot about each other. Ideally, your sex life is not static. It will shift as time passes. Being open and honest about sex empowers you both to be more in control of such shifts.
Talking About Sex Can Help Your Relationship
Any form of physical intimacy can be an important part of bonding. This is not to elevate one particular sex act above another—or even above hugging or hand-holding. What matters is that both of you are feeling good about your sex life. There is also so much to learn and experience. To be radically honest, this can only happen via honest, direct, frequent communication. To neglect this aspect of your connection is to risk:
- Roommate Syndrome: You live together, take care of chores and tasks, and raise the kids—but you no longer feel like lovers.
- Resentment: One of you could be feeling neglected or abandoned.
- Infidelity: There is no use for betrayal, but sexual distance is frequently the catalyst.
Let’s Talk About Talking About Sex
There is a safe, convenient way to start this process. I invite you to reach out and set up a confidential consultation. No pressure, just open discussion about the state of your relationship.