The United States is a funny place. We simultaneously glorify sexuality and shame it, especially for women. There is a paradigm in place for how we are supposed to live our lives, and it includes assumptions about our sexual, relational selves:
Go to school. Graduate. Sew your wild oats if you are a guy, look for a “good man” if you are a girl. Get a job. Meet a person of the “opposite” sex. Marry that person. Buy a house. Have children and dogs or cats. Put up a picket fence. Live happily ever after. The end.
The problem is that story isn’t the story for so many people. Some people don’t want children, or don’t want to get married. Others aren’t straight or don’t fit into a binary gender paradigm. People divorce, have illnesses, can’t work, or some other real-life thing happens that changes their story, and suddenly they feel like a failure because they didn’t meet that model or didn’t want it in the first place. Not “Living the American Dream” can lead to disillusionment, fear, sadness and a great deal of anxiety.
The pressure to conform is real, but you don’t have to live that dream to have a fulfilling life. Together we can talk about:
- Discomfort with sexual desire, fantasy, or sexual behavior
- Fears about sexual connection, disease, pregnancy, fertility or sexual health
- Discomfort with one’s body
- Heteronormativity: the assumption that “straight” is the right way to be
- Difficulty with sexual or relational language
- Gendered issues: concerns connected to ways of being a “man” or “woman” that may or may not match how you see yourself
- Gender issues: trans issues, non-binary or gender fluid identities
- Assumptions about monogamy or what “normal” relationships look like
- Kinks, fetishes, and power exchange relationships
If any of concerns resonate with you, we may be a good therapy match. We can talk about what role your sexuality and sexual relationships play in your overall life. We can talk about sex, orgasms or kink. We can talk about polyamory, infertility, or infidelity. We can talk about sexting, webcams and porn. Therapy can be a safe space to talk about a wide range of sexual and relational issues that you may not feel safe addressing anywhere else. It can give you the framework and language to start having those conversations with yourself and the people you care about.