Our sexuality is a part of us right from birth to death, and is unique to each and everyone of us. We will all experience it differently. It can be fixed or it might change over our life time.

Sadly, not all of us have been taught to feel comfortable talking openly about this part of our life, unlike other parts of our health and well-being.

So, if we experience difficulties in this area, we might be inclined to put up with it out of fear, shame or embarrassment rather than seek out the help of a professional like we might do if we had a problem say with our leg, arm or foot.

As a sexologist based at Attuned Psychology here in North Adelaide, I’d like to work with you to find ways we can alleviate your sexual concerns and I wanted to give you some tips on what WON’T happen if you come to see me.

You work in the sex industry for a living?

Sex therapists and clinical sexologists do way more than just make people giggle and squirm when it’s their turn at a dinner party to tell the guests what they do for a job.

“Wait, you do what?” “Did you have to do pass a practical exam?”

The revelation is usually followed by a barrage of questions and more than a few jokes.

To put it as simply as possible: A sexologist is someone who has extensively studied, at a University level, the field of human sexuality in all its aspects.

There are presently three fields of professional practice in sexology: research, sexual education and clinical practice. A sexologist can be adept at all three, or specialise in at least two of these areas.

I’m a sexologist. I’ve heard it ALL before!

You may be a little nervous about the thought of telling a total stranger about your sexual concerns.

That is certainly very understandable, because in general as a society, despite seeing sexualized imagery everywhere, really talking intimately about sex is often a taboo.

I’m here to clear up some common misconceptions about my job:

  1. You can keep your clothes ON. No, you will not be asked to take your clothes off and I too will NOT be naked. Nakedness is not optional. Wearing clothing is a must.
  2. I will not have sex with you. I am not a sex surrogate, sex coach or sex worker – these are very different roles. I belong to the South Australian Society of Sexologists and abide by a set of rules/values and this is one of those rules. Sex will NOT be part of our work together. However, talking about it will be.
  3. I will not touch you (or your partner) or your genitals. See number 2. However I may show you drawings, photographs, instructional DVD’s or video clips in order to assist you with some of your sexual concerns.
  4. I will not judge you. Believe me when I say sexologists and sex therapists have heard it all. We won’t laugh at you (well unless you tell me a really funny joke).
  5. I will not and cannot prescribe you pharmaceutical medication. I am not a medical doctor – I will refer you to one if you need or ask for it.

What are some of the thing a sexologist WILL do?

Talk. We are going to talk, a lot. Confidentially.

We will talk and explore your feelings and concerns about your presenting issue.

I will ask you a lot of specific questions regarding your sexual activity and sexual concerns, current and past relationships, childhood,/family beliefs about gender, sexuality etc.

This is not because I am nosey, but it helps me to get an idea of why you might be feeling be way you are.

Oh, and I will most probably give you homework too but it wont be maths.

Image: Do Not Touch by Paul Hagon via Flickr.