When you are seeking sex advice for couples, there are a myriad of sources you might consult. Talking to your family or friends may be an option, but let’s face it, there are certain things that are just too personal to discuss with people you plan to see socially. And do you really want your mother to have a visual image of you and your partner in the bedroom?
Steven M Cohn, PhD, LMFT
The Portland Couples Counseling Center
1940 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
Another great source of sex advice for couples is a Relationship Specialist. You can talk without having to worry about shocking the person, as most relationship counselors have already heard many stories similar to yours. You can be confident that what you talk about with the therapist will not leave the room, so you can talk as openly as you wish.
What type of sex advice for couples are you seeking? Just a few of the topics that might be of concern are: pornography, relationships between members of different religions, and relationships between people of different ages.
For example, you may be concerned about whether or not porn can cause stress in your relationship, and it's not just women who are worried about this. Called "centerfold syndrome" when a man views porn and "appearance obsession" when a woman views porn, there is a definite effect on a couple's sex life when the porn viewer expects all members of the opposite sex to be as attractive as those displayed in popular magazines.(1)
If you and your partner have different religious beliefs, you may need sex advice for couples if you differ, for example, on the issue of birth control. A recent article in The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly journal discusses whether or not condom use is ever acceptable for a married couple.(2) One example of when a condom might be used includes if one partner is HIV positive, and the article discusses whether the condom is then a contraceptive or if it is simply a means of preventing disease transmission. Depending on how you and your partner were raised, this may indeed become a source of contention between you.
Another example of how religious beliefs can influence the need for sex advice for couples is found in Orthodox Judaism. Unmarried Jewish couples are forbidden from having sex, but are expected to have sex immediately upon completing their marriage.(3) This culture-shock after the marriage can result in problems with both expectations and performance.
Another topic on which sex advice for couples is often sought is the question of just what constitutes sex, or at least what is the appropriate way to have sex. The answer to this question may be dependent on your age. Examples of age-related differences in sexual definitions might include: Is oral sex truly sex? Is anal sex appropriate for heterosexual couples? One study found that as many as 80% of young couples have oral sex in addition to vaginal intercourse, while as many as 22% also had experienced anal sex.(4) These numbers are thought to be lower in more senior couples.
If you have questions similar to any of these, or if you need any other sex advice for couples, I encourage you to find a qualified relationship therapist with whom to discuss your concerns.
(1)Kogan, Lori R. and Kellaway, Julie A. Relationship Advice Columns from Two Popular Magazines: Implications for Therapy with Women, Men, and Heterosexual Couples. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. 19(1): 35-55, 2004.
(2)Grisez, Germain. Moral Questions on Condoms and Disease Prevention. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 8(3): 471-476, Autumn, 2008.
(3)Ribner, David S. and Rosenbaum, Talli Y. Evaluation and treatment of unconsummated marriages among Orthodox Jewish couples. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 31(4): 341-353, 2005.
(4)Kaestle, Christine Elizabeth and Halpern, Carolyn Tucker. What's Love Got to Do with It? Sexual Behaviors of Opposite-Sex Couples Through Emerging Adulthood. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 39(3): 134-140, 2007.
Steven M. Cohn, PhD is honored to have been featured on CNBC.com.
Steven Cohn is pleased to have been featured on Koin 6 Television: "Boost In The Bedroom."
Steven Cohn is pleased to have been featured on both KATU.com and KATU Channel 2 Television.