About LGBT/QIA+ Couples & Sex Counselling

What is Sex Counselling?

Gay male, and lesbian female, and diverse-gender identified & sexual orientated couples in committed relationships can experience problems in the bedroom.

But although any couple can experience sexual distress and dysfunction, it’s not any couple relationship we’re talking about… it’s yours.

When sex has become difficult, complicated, maybe impossible, the couple may be left with a significant black-hole within their relationship that they want to resolve together.

LGBT Couple Counselling aims to assist the couple in beginning to understand their sexual behaviour problems both from a practical point of view (what’s going wrong physically) and from an emotional point of view (considering if a dysfunctional sex life may be a barometer of some deeper problems). 

Working with an experienced gay couple relationship counsellor such as Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) can support the couple in beginning to discuss sex and intimacy problems in a safer environment than discussing things alone. With the couple counselling process focusing upon problems with sexual engagement, the couple can find new ways to talk about their intimate, behavioural and emotional problems together.

The purpose of couple counselling would be to learn about sex-related problems in greater detail. With new knowledge comes new inspiration and creative practical steps to repair that which had become broken.

Sex counselling for Gay Male Couples

Problem Sex Life

When we’re talking about the mechanics of sex: there is little – if any – LGBT/QIA+ orientated sex education or gay/lesbian-relationship education in schools or colleges. Chances are that every gay boy and lesbian girl had to figure sex out for themselves (often by trial and error, and sometimes resulting in failure and shame).

It’s completely understandable that many gay men and lesbian women struggle when it comes to intimate sexual relationships.

  • As a male gay couple: when he says “no” to sex does his husband hear a rejection and feel shame from opening invitation to intimacy?
  • As a lesbian couple: what “she” understands as being “sex” may not be what her partner understands as being “sex” at all. Do their disagreements result in avoiding sexual engagement?
  • When “goal orientated sex” is the only option because neither partner have heard of any other forms of sex; they didn’t know what “goal orientated” means.

When we’re talking about the emotional side: sex problems can be a barometer of emotional struggles not being discussed between the couple. The energy used to not talk can leave other expressions of energy impotent. Tackling the emotional side within counselling can shift the barometer and sexual engagement becomes easier.

At LGBTCoupleCounselling.co.uk gay and lesbian couples learn methods to unpack sexual matters that are not being spoken about, and psychological tools that can help them both talk openly with each other about intimate sex matters. Through sex therapy for gay couples they learn that they can discuss this stuff together.

You’ll both be online in safe surroundings with your counsellor for these discussions… and we’ll go at your pace.

Sex counselling for Lesbian Couples

Sexual Dysfunction – Secondary.

If we can get a little technical for a second, then we’re talking about “secondary” sexual dysfunction here.

“Secondary” refers to emotional blocks and difficulties within sexual relations.

Secondary is different to primary sexual dysfunction. Primary dysfunction refers to physical causes of sexual problems and are better treated by your GP Doctor (e.g. a prescription from a GP for Viagra may be helpful to a gay man addressing a primary sexual dysfunction. Counselling is ideal to address secondary dysfunction.

So, working with gay and lesbian sex problems in Couple Relationship Counselling can begin to address problems such as:-

  • Secondary Impotence (inability to achieve or maintain an erection – an emotional problem).
  • Premature ejaculation (where training techniques may be helpful).
  • Inexperience of same-gender sex.
  • Vaginismus.
  • Uncomfortable or impossible penetration (problems experienced by both gay men and lesbian women).
  • Difficulty/inability to orgasm.
  • “Performance” anxiety (that is – the stress of engaging sexually when emotionally difficulties are unresolved).
  • Partners having different levels of sex drive.
  • Partners have different ideas about what “good sex” really means.
  • Sex as a means of escape or avoidance (i.e. simulated intimacy).
  • Sexual fantasies not matching up to reality.
  • ‘Lesbian bed death’ (long-term emotional intimacy interferes with sexual intimacy)
  • Body dimorphism (self-worth/self-esteem issues).
… and other similar issues.

 

Unhappy LGBT Couple

Couple Counsellors vs (Psycho)Sex Therapists.

Couple counsellors ~ such as Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) have training primarily in relationship matters… and counselling sexual dysfunction is a part of that training.

Psychosexual therapists have training primarily in sexual-functioning matters… and may also have training in counselling couple-relationship matters too.

So, there is an overlap – a grey area – in between how both therapists practice.

As a gay or lesbian couple seeking relationship counselling you may wish to decide if your sexual partnership is struggling primarily with emotional/relationship intimacy problems, or is struggling primarily with a physical dysfunction. This may help navigate you towards the right kind of therapist for you both.

If you’re unsure, you’re welcome to make contact with Dean for an opening counselling session to help you both make the right decision for your needs Making an informed decision may be a helpful option for your partnership.

Unhappy Gay Male Couple

An Effective Approach to Sex.

The couple will take an active part in developing their own treatment plan along with their counsellor.

Perhaps the couple will initially look to the couple counsellor to “tell them how to fix things”, but an effective counsellor will involve the couple themselves in developing their plan (not prescribe treatments).

There will be homework to do!

The counsellor may ask questions of the couple which the couple have not thought about before. This can help the couple begin to be curious about their problems which may begins to highlight comprehension the couple hadn’t attained before. With new information comes new options and choice, possible beginning to dislodge problems with their sex life.

LGBT/QIA+ Sex Counselling at LGBTCoupleCounselling.co.uk takes the form of verbal discussion in session.  No sex (i.e. undressing etc.) will happen during the counselling sessions. Sex will (of course) become part of the discussions to be planned in the privacy of the couple’s home, but the preparations and discussions about sex (in session), whilst might be a little embarrassing in the beginning, can be a big relief once the couple get used to the discussions .

Subjects too intimate for the counselling sessions may be reserved for the safety of the couple’s own privacy… but not before the couple are ready.

LGBT Sex Counselling Specialist

When your Relationship Sucks

…but not in a good way (sorry – bad joke).

Sex counselling for LGBT Couple Relationships is a choice you and your partner can make to help address intimate sex-life problems resulting from intimacy and relationship conflicts… together.

LGBT/QIA+ Counsellor Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)

You could choose any counsellor.

But… when you consider that this is the most intimate & vulnerable you're going to be with your partner(s), you'd want to choose someone you could trust with your relationship in therapy. Someone who is British (working remotely but on the same soil) and payable in pounds. Maybe even someone who already had 13 years actual experience of working on webcam with Zoom & Skype before the National Lockdown began.

  • Someone who was sensitive and effective with you and your partner's sexuality / gender-identity and intimate ways of relating.
  • Someone, who'll you discover quickly, is an informed member of your own community.
  • Someone who demonstrates adept skills with lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, mixed sexuality and same-or-mixed gender relationships, but who avoids taking the role of an "all-knowing expert" (experts don't learn & respond, they tell!).
  • Someone who speaks plain English (and who can swear like a virtuoso, along with you both as much as you might prefer - or not at all), and works cooperatively with the relationship (doesn't sit in unnecessary silence, or just "hmms..." repeatedly).
  • Someone who is an accredited member of The National Counselling Society (accreditation originally awarded 12 years ago from another professional body, being a process that validates a counsellor's substantial experience and attention to an ethical practice) and who is a member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Union of Great Britain.
… then you'd probably like to meet with the Gay Relationship Counsellor Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) for LGBT/QIA+.

Dean focuses on LGBT/QIA+ relationships as a specialty in therapy. He works with individuals, couples and small groups. Plus, he's qualified to a postgraduate level (Chichester PG Diploma in Psychodynamic/Systemic Couple Counselling, IGA National Foundation in Group Counselling) as a private practice counsellor*. 

(*Note: not all counsellors - specifically those trained only in Individual Counselling - have such specific qualifications for working with couples nor groups, nor have experience of working therapeutically with relationships. Such counsellors try - out of perhaps misplaced goodwill - to employ ineffective "individual" techniques simply because your relationship is not part of their primary theoretical framework nor rationale. Remember always to ask a new counsellor: "what qualifies you to work with our relationship" and judge what you hear in response).

Accredited Registrant of the National Counselling Society
Member of the British Psychotherapy and Counselling Union
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The Cove Therapy Rooms, 12 West Street Havant Hampshire PO9 1PF UK
+442392987487£30-£130
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Private Relationship Counselling especially for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Mixed and Queer Couples - serving locations in and around central Havant, Petersfield to Waterlooville, Cosham to Portsmouth & Southsea, Southampton to Chichester, Fareham to Gosport, Hayling Island, Emsworth, Westbourne, Rowland's Castle, local residents anywhere in between and regularly further afield!

Got a Question? Don't Hold Back…

If you have a question about gay & lesbian couple relationship counselling in Havant and Waterlooville, or want to ask about making your first appointment, feel free to drop me a line any time…