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Sometimes, we have trouble with sex. We might feel bad about sex or have a hard time feeling pleasure. Things like family, culture, religion and the media affect how we feel about our sexuality. Having sex concerns can lower your pleasure and sometimes make it harder to stay safe or use protection.
There can be a lot of pressure around sex and sometimes we worry that we are not normal. Movies, advertising, pornography, books, and our own experiences play a part in how we decide what is ‘normal’. In reality, there is a wide range of ‘normal’. Sex is about what works for you and the people you are involved with.
A few common sexual concerns people have include:
- Pain during sex
- Low sex drive/desire
- Erection problems
- Body image
- Sexual trauma
- Gender identity/sexual orientation
- Compulsive sex
There are a number of places to get support and help. Finding the right person or resource is important. Look for a professional that you feel comfortable with and is experienced with your kind of concern. If that is not working, try another health care provider, counsellor or therapist.
Talk with your Health Care Provider
Talking with your health care provider can be the first step towards working through a concern. Health care providers may not raise the issue, but are usually open to talking about sex. They can sort out if the concern is a medical problem or medication side effect. A health care provider can also make referrals to counsellors or therapists.
Find a Sex Therapist or Counsellor
Many people find everyday concerns such as stress, expectations and relationship issues can affect their sex lives. When you or your partners have sexual concerns, it may be worth talking to a sex counsellor or therapist. A therapist can help provide you with skills and resources to deal with your sexual concerns.
BC Counsellors – find a therapist or counsellor in BC
National Vulvodynia Association – vaginal pain
WAVAW counselling program – sexual abuse and assault counselling
Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre – sexual abuse and assault counselling
Addiction Counselling and Resources Limited – compulsive sex
Sex Addicts Anonymous Vancouver – 12-step recovery program for sex addiction in Vancouver, BC
Sexaholics Anonymous Victoria – 12-step recovery program for sex addiction in Victoria, BC
Sexaholics Anonymous British Columbia - a listing of 12-step sex addiction recovery programs across BC