LET’s talk about sex – in particular our kinks.
Discussing them has become fashionable, with sex therapists the new stars in a raft of books, podcasts and TV shows, revealing our bedroom secrets.
For sex counsellor Lucy Rowett, hearing patients spill their deepest, secrets is all in a day’s work.[/caption]
Jodie Comer is set to star in series Big Swiss, where her character lands a job transcribing sex therapy sessions, while shows such as Sex Education, Open House and Couples Therapy are drawing in viewers.
For sex counsellor Lucy Rowett, hearing patients spill their deepest, secrets is all in a day’s work.
From dogs stealing vibrators to women getting intimate with a sponge cake, Lucy has heard it all.
She says: “Most people expect my sessions to be quite serious, but sex is fun and funny.
“But it’s also heartbreaking to hear about the struggles some people have.”
Here are some typical problems Lucy gets asked to deal with and her solutions . . .
PROBLEM: Lacking confidence and/or feeling shame
Lucy says: “Lots of women struggle with being able to accept a sexual side of themselves after being brought up in an oppressive or overly religious household.
“Not only do they feel shame and fear around sex, but often their own bodies too.
“We take time to look at pictures of vulvas together, so they can understand that their body is not only normal, but beautiful.
“Then, over zoom, with the camera turned off, I get my client to look at their own vulva in a mirror.
“For some women, this is the first time they have ever seen their own genitals, as so many of them are brought up where they would be considered sinful to have any sexual thoughts.”
PROBLEM: Worried a kink is too weird
Lucy says: “I’m never surprised by the stories I hear, but I am sometimes shocked by who they come from.
“One woman I met who was really quite shy when we started talking developed a real fetish for sploshing.
“This covers a whole range of kinks involving food play during sex — from squirty cream on a nipple to orgies in a bath of baked beans.
“This woman told me she’d had the best orgasm of her life while sitting on a cream cake.
“Although I did feel the need to remind her to make sure she had cleaned up properly after food play.
“Nobody wants a yeast infection from a Victoria sponge.
“Sometimes I encourage couples to go to conscious kink workshops where they can explore spanking, flogging and domination.
“It’s great when they come back and tell me they’ve discovered something that really works for both of them.
“Although one person did decide to tell me all about her and her husband’s bondage weekend when I bumped into her in Tesco once, which was probably interesting for anyone else doing their shopping.”
PROBLEM: Sex life fizzled out after kids.
Lucy says: “One of the most common problems I help clients deal with is their sex life hitting the skids after a couple have children.
“No matter how great your sex life was before you had kids, it will almost inevitably take a knock.
“But usually, talking to each other and understanding the other person’s needs works wonders.
“Many women I see are tied down with the mental load, feeling resentful of their partner.
“It affects their relationship in the bedroom more than you’d ever expect.
“Often, men don’t realise their partner’s sexual happiness and desire can be so rooted in them showing love in ways that are not necessarily physical.
“Taking the bins out and sorting the kids’ uniforms can be a turn-on to some women because it makes them feel loved and part of a partnership.
“Most men I speak to are really receptive to this, but they always say they had absolutely no idea!”
PROBLEM: Always faked an orgasm
Lucy says: “I get great satisfaction in my job when I solve a problem that has been affecting a couple for decades.
“One lady had been faking orgasms for more than ten years with her husband, because she didn’t want him to feel unloved.
“Sex shouldn’t feel like a duty, both partners should feel excited by it.
“I spent time with her, unpacking her feelings around sex, and asked her to take some time away to reconnect with her sexual self.
“Some meditation can really do wonders for helping women reconnect with their inner sexual self.
“That gets lost sometimes.
“They made a real effort to talk to each other about sex and started actually enjoying it.
“Now she surprises him by joining him in the shower and they both enjoy it.
“It’s incredible what putting the work in — and talking openly — can do to change the way we think about sex.”
- Lucy can be heard on her podcast The Naked Unashamed Life.