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Authors Posts by Christy Haas

Christy Haas

Christy Haas
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Christy Haas MA, LPCC is professional counselor with a specialty in sex therapy and couples counseling. She is a Cincinnati-native, graduating from University of Cincinnati with a BA in Communication, and then completing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Xavier University.  Following her Masters training she completed the Sex Therapy Certificate program at University of Michigan. As a Registered Yoga Teacher, she enjoys implementing aspects of yoga (breath work, mindfulness, mind-body connection work) into her clinical practice. While she finds that working with individuals and couples in her private practices immensely rewarding, having the ability to talk sex and relationships with all of the Cincy Chic readers is an exciting and humbling opportunities. Contact her at christy@christyhaas.com. You can also visit her website: www.christyhaas.com and follow her on Facebook Christy Haas Relationship and Sex Therapy 

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Read on as our relationship columnist explains how maintaining a healthy sex life can strengthen your relationship, improve mood and increase your chances for future happiness.

 

“It’s not that I don’t want to have sex. It’s just that sex is not even on my radar,” says my client, a 30-something year old mom of two who lives with her husband of five years. These days we, as women, wear so many different hats throughout the day that sex and intimacy tend to keep getting demoted on our list of priorities. It’s really not a matter of not wanting sex, not being attracted to our partner or not being in love with our partner; by the end of the day there is truly nothing left to give.  Depletion leads to stress and stress is kryptonite to eroticism.

When sex becomes the last thing on your to-do list it’s a good indication that your relationship has taken a place on the back burner as well. The reasoning behind this is because our relationships and our sex lives have a cyclical relationship. If our relationship become resentful and negative then you don’t have sex. Not having sex causes more resentment and negativity in the relationship, and so on.

We all go through peaks and pits of frequency and quality of sex; this is normal. I work with many women who have recently had children and are breastfeeding. Nine times out of ten they tell me, “I am being pawed at all day long. And it already feels like my body doesn’t belong to me anymore…I don’t want to give my body to anyone else.” This makes sense, and is an absolutely natural and necessary part of the parenting process. Being moms also comes with a whole lot of changes. The result: body image issues. How can we enjoy sex if we can’t stop thinking about how awful we look naked? It is important to remember that we are and always will be our own harshest critic. Our partners can almost always look past any flaws we think we see.

So how do you prevent this stage from wreaking havoc on your relationship? During this time, it is important to facilitate open and honest communication with your partner so that they understand and don’t feel completely isolated and rejected. Situations like these only become problematic if they becomepermanent or if communication with your partner shuts down.

It’s hard to remember why we put ourselves through all of this, but being in a stable, happy relationship is a luxury. Oftentimes we take our partner for granted. Ask yourself, “once all of this craziness settles down, will my relationship still be in tacked? Will this all be worth it?” Hopefully the answer is yes.Beginning to distance yourself for the day-to-day chaos and look at the big picture can help you remember why prioritizing your relationship is so important.

One of the first questions I always ask my clients who are struggling with low interest in sex is, “do you want to want to have sex?” and the answer is almost always a resounding “yes!”. Women’s desire looks a whole lot Women tend to begin to experience sexual desire halfway through the sexual experience. Being open to intimacy with your partner and shifting the goal from orgasm to connection can help us relax and enjoy closeness with our partner. Also, research has shown that the more you have sex the more you want it. This doesn’t mean having sex when you don’t want to, but being open to closeness, cuddling, touch and intimacy. Human beings need physical touch- it reduces stress and increases bonding.

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a race. Putting energy and effort into our relationships (this includes our sex lives) reaps huge rewards. Set time aside, help your partner feel special and allow yourself to receive the love that is being given.

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They say the way to the heart is through the stomach, so our relationship expert shares four reasons and ways to improve your relationship one bite at a time.

Food gets a bad rap these days. So many allergies, intolerances, “bad” foods vs. “good” foods, superfoods, “too many carbs”, “too fatty”, etc. As a society, we also tend to lean towards quick and convenient vs. nourishing and intentional. We eat out way more than we used to because everyone is so busy. Rarely, will you find a family that still prepares nightly meals, sits down together and enjoys yummy food while talking to one another. There are too many work meetings, sports, practices, games, rehearsals, lessons, tutors, playdates, happy hours, or we are just plain exhausted. It’s time to re-center, reprioritize and reconnect. Here’s why:

Preparing food can be fun… and bonding

Whether you are single, dating, married or have a hundred kids running around you, food prep and cooking can be a great way to connect. Having a shared goal is a great way to build trust and communication with children. It also allows children to become more self-sufficient as they grow older. Cooking with your partner can allow for time together to gently decompress after a long day.

You will feel better

Food prepared in restaurants or dropped out of a fast food window aren’t the healthiest choices. When you select the ingredients yourself you can insure that it is fresh and nutritious. When kids are well-nourished they are happier, sleep better and can be more present. When adults eat a good, healthy meal we feel better, which makes us more likely to engage with our partners. We can take interest in their day and be more open to touch by not feel weighed down or bloated by a greasy, fried meal.

Save Money

Planning nightly meals and shopping with a grocery list can save you two to four times the amount of eating out. Based on this research (www.flannelguyroi.com), cutting four meals out every week can save you up to $11 per person per meal! That money can be better spent on a mani/pedi, a fun family outing or a romantic date for two!

Therapeutic

Cooking provides a short, attainable task with a measurable goal. This means a success in the kitchen helps to build self-esteem- and not just for kids! Additionally, when self-esteem goes up depression and anxiety symptoms go down. I know what you’re thinking: “cooking is not therapeutic when you are a terrible cook like me! Its stressful!” I hear you! I realize we are not all 5 star chefs (or even one star…), but nowadays there are so many options that help make cooking more manageable. Check out Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or Plated. Or for a fun solo activity, a great date night, or a bonding family activity try a cooking class. Jungle Jims and Sur La Table have great ones!

Get out of the fast food drive-thru line, the line in front of the hostess stand or off of the UberEats App and get yourself back to the kitchen table for some good quality food and bonding.

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Our relationship columnist has the five must-read books for a happier, healthier and more satisfied you!

 

I’ve got a confession to make. I am a total book junky. My Amazon Wishlist is inundated with countless books that caught my fancy at one time or another. Books that I crave desperately to read. The honest truth is that probably 50% of the books that I buy end up on a shelf collecting dust. I may read a chapter or two, but then get distracted with the next pretty cover or enticing title. However, there are those special books that have stood the test of time. Books that I have read and re-read over and over again. Books that I have recommended to clients and friends, alike. These books are amazing and hold a very special place in my heart.

So, without further ado, here is my list of the five best books to read for a happier, healthier, more satisfied you!

Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser

This book found me at my absolute lowest. Broken-hearted, living back at home with my parents at age 25, having a complete quarter life crisis and helping to care for my father during his battle with cancer. Life was tough. This book helped me see the light in the darkness. Elizabeth Lesser is authentic, genuine and vulnerable. She is an inspiration and her book was my life-saver.

Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski

Everyone should read this book. This book touches on self-love, body image, sexual desire, sexual abuse and owning your sexuality. Nagoski encourages readers to understand themselves entirely, we are so much more than a body or a mind. We are unique and have unique needs and desires… and that’s beautiful! She writes in an accessible way, AND has the science to back it up. Go get it now and thank me later!

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I could have filled this whole list with just books by Brene Brown! She is absolutely incredible (If you haven’t seen her TedxTalk- Do it!) This is a book about the courage that it takes to show up, be vulnerable and allow yourself to be you. This book can apply to any and all aspects of life: parenting, relationships, work, self- love, etc. She is warm and smart. This book makes you feel like you’re getting a loving hug and a gentle kick in the butt… toward your goal.

Sex Matters for Women by Sally Foley, Sally A Kope and Dennis P Sugrue

I know I am biased, having studied under Sally Foley and Dennis Sugrue at University of Michigan, but this book is absolutely incredible. Such a wonderful book to help women understand, cultivate and grow their sexuality and self-acceptance. Calling out sexual myths, answering questions we are too afraid to ask, and confronting our self-doubt. This book addresses it all: relationships, sexual orientation, hormones, anatomy, STI’s. It looks like a textbook but reads like a conversation with the most amazing, loving therapist you could ever wish for.

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

The full title of this book is Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. Need I say more? Perel is one of the most respected sex therapists in the field these days. In “Mating…”, she discusses how to create passion and eroticism in domesticated life. She is smart, sexy, funny.This book provides great, straightforward but counterintuitive advice for the modern couple.

Christy Haas MA, LPCC, CST is a relationship and sex therapist in Cincinnati for more information check out www.christyhaas.com or see my full list of book recommendations here.

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How do you balance being a “Lady Boss” with having a healthy relationship? Our guru has four tips to help you excel at both.

Our relationship expert, Christy Haas MA, LPCC, CST, shares four easy steps to having it all!

This is the age of girl power, lady bosses and the renaissance woman. Not only do we want to achieve it all, it has becoming an expectation. As women, we wear many hats: wife/girlfriend, nurturer, career woman, friend, daughter, sister and many of us moms. How in the world are we expected to manage all of these things?

Here are a few tips that make balancing ambitious career goals with maintaining a fulfilling relationship a bit more manageable:

Realize you Don’t Have to Choose

Repeat after me:

“I do not have to choose between being a career woman and being in a relationship!”

With a few adjustments and exceptions, you can achieve both. In the home, it is important to be able to delegate tasks with your partner. Decide which household tasks each of you are good at, create a chore chart together, all the while making sure that it is a fair division of labor. Or you can outsource: hire a cleaning service, employ lawn care specialists, ask for help from friends and family. It takes a village!

Boundaries, Boundaries, and more Boundaries

We may be able to do it all, but we can’t do it all, all of the time. It is important to set boundaries with your time, energy, relationships and expectations. Create a time boundary for work. For example, after 6 PM there will be no work emails, calls or tasks. During work hours, maybe you and your partner decide not to exchange texts or call one another unless it is during lunch or a short break. That way the time that is spent together is fully focused on your significant other and not spent distracted by outside tasks.

Prioritize

We are living in the multitasking age. But research actually shows us that there really is no such thing as multitasking, its doing a little of something and then a little of something else. Research also tells us that when we do this our result is much weaker than if we fully focus on one task at a time. Get organized, make a list and decide what needs to be done right now, at some point today, or by the end of this week. This goes for work life and personal life. Scheduling date nights, important conversations and, yes, even sex, are an important part of managing all of life’s offerings.

Be Gentle with Yourself

One of the most challenging AND most rewarding life skill is learning to be kind to ourselves. We all make mistakes in our work lives and in our personal lives, but beating ourselves up about these mistakes afterwards accomplishes absolutely nothing. In fact, it makes everything that much worse. Learning to accept mistakes, learn from them and move forward is success. Work on changing the negative self-talk that is on repeat in your brain. You know, the one that says: “you’re such an idiot, why did you do that?” Replace it with loving, constructive words: “I may not have made the best decision but I am learning and I did the best with what I had.” When we are kinder to ourselves we make it possible to be kinder to others at work and in our personal relationships.

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Our resident sex therapist discusses how changing our space can change our sex life. Keep reading for her four helpful tips.

 

There is nothing like trying to get in the mood and then being distracted by that glaring pile of laundry in the corner and the half empty cups on the night stand. Clutter is not a friend to intimacy- especially for women. One of the chief complaints I hear from my clients is that there are so many things that need to get done, and the to-do list is ticking away in their brains. Making an attempt to be present and receive any sort of pleasure becomes nearly impossible. Now sure, there are tricks to help reduce the noise in your head so you can enjoy intimacy, but what I want to talk about today is creating a sensual space that cultivates intimacy- A pleasure zone in your home!

Declutter
As I mentioned above, clutter is the kryptonite to relaxation. When we can’t relax we can’t be fully present in our experiences. When things appear messy outside of our body, it feels messy inside our brain. Getting into the habit of picking up after yourself throughout the day so that things don’t end up piling up. Or make sure that the clutter is contained-  closets have doors for a reason. Don’t have the time or the energy to do this (I hear ya!)? Invest in a cleaning lady. The going rate for a cleaning lady is $25/ hour. This is not a luxury if it allows you to free up your brain and decrease your anxiety. You deserve it! It doesn’t make you lazy or a failure. It makes you efficient!

Set the Tone
If you are anything like me, you have a very hard time getting any work done if you are in a noisy, stinky, chaotic place. Or, how many of you have shown up to the gym and realize you left your headphones at home. What did you do? You bailed on the workout, of course! This same rule applies for getting in the mood. Light a candle. Dim the lights. Put on some calm sensual music. Brush your teeth. Tune into each of your senses and make sure that you are pleasing all of them.

Turn off screens
Our phones are killing our sex lives. Period. Sitting in bed next to your partner while both of you are scrolling through Instagram is not intimacy. And it is definitely not foreplay. Watching Game of Thrones for an hour and then rolling over and saying, “we should probably have sex” is not hot. Work on setting limits for all screens. We do this for our kids, so why wouldn’t we give ourselves this gift of boundaries. Try going electronic free for one evening a week. See what happens. It is amazing how much time you will free up!

Leave the to-do list outside the bedroom
I am a meditator. I recommend it for everyone- especially those people that “hate it” or “can’t do it” (Sorry guys, you are the ones that need it the most!) But when I began my meditation practice I had a really hard time shutting off my to-do list. My teacher gave me the brilliant idea to right down my to do list before I began my practice so there wasn’t any anxiety around forgetting the things I had to do. This doesn’t solve the issue but it definitely can decrease some of that chatter in your noggin.

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Life is just better when you feel good about yourself. Our sexual health columnist explains how to gain freedom through accepting your body, one beautiful bit at a time.

How comfortable are you with your body? How about your naked body? Do you dread the inexplicable overhead lighting that is present in every women’s dressing room? (WHY?!?!?) There must be a reason that one of the most common nightmares reported is being in front of a crowd naked. Being naked leaves us in our most vulnerable state. Nothing to cover up with, nowhere to hide.

As we come upon the beginning of summer; pools, BBQs, daisy dukes, and bikini waxes, we are forced to confront our comfort level of being exposed, physically. After spending the winter hibernating and indulging in junk food during our Netflix binge sessions, summer can be terrifying. But what would happen if you could love and accept your body at any weight? What would happen if you could love every inch of your naked body?

Accepting our bodies and feeling confident naked can have so many positive effects on our lives.

  1. Set the tone for a great day!

Being able to look yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning can set the tone for how the rest of your day goes. If you begin the day staring at all your flaws and belittling yourself, you are most likely going to carry that around with you for the rest of the day. Being able to walk into a room with your head held high, feeling really good about yourself allows you to go through your day with a positive outlook, making day-to-day challenges easier to handle.

  1. Improve your relationships!

Research shows that those who have positive body image and self-confidence tend to surround themselves with other positive, motivating people. Having people around you that celebrate themselves and uplift you sounds a hell of a lot better than spending time with a group of people that call themselves fat and ugly all the time. Negative energy can be contagious. Remember: “You’re only as good as the company you keep” .

  1. Improve your sex life!

Whether you are in a new relationship, casually dating or have been married for 15 years, we all have that moment where we feel a little self-conscious about getting naked in front of our partner. Nothing is more of a buzz kill than being distracted by that negative self-talk reminding you of the cellulite on your thighs or that roll on your stomach. Being able to embrace and accept our bodies exactly as they are, allows us to be more present in the moment. When we are present during sex we have the ability to fully focus on all of the physical sensations that we’re experiencing and focus on the connection with our partners (and/ or ourselves!) and the pleasure we are receiving.

Try This At Home:

Find a quiet time when you will have 10 minutes without interruption.

Stand in front of a full-length mirror. The goal is to be naked during this exercise, but this may not be possible for some people. Feel free, when you’re starting out, to complete this exercise fully clothed or in your bra and underwear.

Slowly, beginning at your feet, scan your body with your eyes.

As you study your body, resist the urge to make any negative judgments.

Then identify things that you like about your body. This may be very difficult when you first try this exercise, but it will get easier with time.

*Positive thoughts about your body can be anything: your skin tone, your freckles, the curve of your back.

Use the full ten minutes if you can, taking time to express gratitude for your body and all it has done for you.

I recommend practicing this every day, but you can start out a few times a week and work your way up to daily practice.

For further information or sex, relationships or body image feel free to contact me through my website.

 

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Have a wedding in your future? No matter if it’s big or small, traditional or destination, our relationship expert talks about the one expense that’s worth the price tag.

As we enter into wedding season, we become inundated with photos of happy brides, wedding cakes and table settings. The wedding becomes an entity of its own, with needs and responsibilities. The planning of a wedding can be stressful enough to need therapy!

As a relationship therapist, one of my favorite forms of couple’s counseling is Premarital Counseling. I get to see couples at their happiest and most hopeful. However, there are times when issues arise in premarital counseling that requires some hard work to resolve before the big day. This tends to be the biggest deterrent for most couples: “What if it brings up issues that aren’t problems for us?” Well, in reality, this can be true. But let me tell you something: it’s better to bring the issues to the surface pre-wedding than to see them emerge 10 years into your marriage, surrounded with kids, a mortgage and busy lives. In my opinion, premarital counseling is the best investment you can make when planning for your big day!

Here are the ins and outs of premarital counseling:

Top 3 Benefits of premarital counseling:

1. You have a relationship with a therapist if, down the road, you need one
One of the best things that can result from premarital counseling is a healthy and trusted relationship with a therapist. Marriage has its ups and downs. Having a trusted, unbiased professional who knows you as a couple is invaluable. They will be able to see where you are coming from, prior to whatever hardship you are encountering, and help you to get back on track.

2. You and your partner get on the same page
Sex, money, extended family, family planning, communication… these are all issues that every couple deals with at one time or another. Sorting out the logistics of all of these things prior to walking down the aisle, allows you and your partner to be on the same page from the beginning.

3. Prevention
Building communication skills at the beginning of a marriage allows you to be good communicators for the long haul. The couples that I work with who come to me after 20 years of marriage are still having the same fights that they did 19 years ago. Nothing ever gets resolved. Knowing your communication styles and how to talk, and, yes, argue in a therapeutic and productive way will save you years of frustration.

Types of premarital counseling:

1. Religious
Many people who are getting married in their church or synagogue will have access to premarital counseling with their religious leader. Ask your church or synagogue if they provide this service for couples getting married there. Many religious centers offer premarital weekend workshops/ retreats. These can be a great way to pack a lot of work into a short weekend.

2. Books
Money is tight, and time is limited! Not all couples have the ability to go to a therapist for multiple sessions. If you are self-disciplined and able to carve out time for you and your partner to read a book together and discuss any issues that arise, a book can be a great help. Here are a few that I recommend: Books and Resources.

3. Premarital counselor
As a relationship therapist, I work with couples about 6 months prior to their wedding date. We meet one time per month for an hour. Each couple has unique needs so the first session is used to identify any issues and treatment goals. We always discuss sex, money, family and communication styles. For more information on my premarital counseling style click here.

For more information on premarital counseling feel free to contact me at www.christyhaas.com.

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Read on as our relationship expert explains how sex can improve your life both in and out of the bedroom!

Many of the women that I work with tell me that they could live the rest of their lives without having sex. And while this may seem bleak to some, it is reality for many women who struggle with low desire (aka hypoactive sexual desire disorder). Sometimes the motivation to have sex may not come from our own personal desire. Sometimes it comes from knowing that this is something that is good for us physically, mentally and emotionally. Sort of like going to the gym, right? Much of the time it is incredibly hard to get the motivation to get to the gym or a yoga class. But after we are finished we are overflowing with endorphins and a sense of accomplishment, making it all worthwhile. Same goes for sex!  On those days when desire is low and you need an additional push to get in the mood, remember these 10 reasons that sex is oh so good for you!

1. Decreases Depression & Increases Happiness
Research shows that sex and physical contact increases happiness and life expectancy rates. Both men and women benefit from the mood enhancing benefits of an orgasm. As endorphins are released we feel better, happier and more connected with our partner (and ourselves). Research also indicates that remaining present and engaged during sexual encounters increases pleasure and feelings of happiness. This means that sex doesn’t always have to be mind-blowing. As long as we can stay aware and mindful we can reap the happy benefits.

2.  Strengthens Your Immune System
Hello sex season, goodbye flu season! A study at Wilkes University shows that sexually active people were found to have higher levels of immunoglobin- an antibody that helps the body fend off disease, colds and the flu. Researches also discovered that people who have regular sex take fewer sick days. You know what this means, right? Save those sick days and use them for a day-long romantic rendezvous with yourself or a partner.

3. Increases Libido
The more you have sex the more you want it… and the more your sex life improves. Women report that the more sex they have the better sex feels and the more they want it. Why? Having sex can increase blood flow to the genitals, improve vaginal elasticity, and increase vaginal lubrication. Three important ingredients to sexual pleasure!

4. Improves Pelvic Floor and Core Strength
Having a healthy sex life provides a serious workout for your pelvic floor. As you orgasm you will experience small contractions in the pelvic floor muscles, which, in turn, tones and strengthens those muscles. Why do we want strong pelvic floor muscles? Helps decrease chances of incontinence (bladder control issues), can make child birth easier, helps to reduce pain during sex, and improves the quality of orgasm.

5. Lowers Blood Pressure
When we have an orgasm the hormone oxytocin is released. This hormone is directly linked to blood pressure. This means that solo sex and partnered sex can directly effect your blood pressure. In another study, it was found that sexual intercourse (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure (the first number on your blood pressure report). Now, sex can’t replace blood pressure meds or living a healthy lifestyle, but it can be a great addition!

6. Decreases Pain
There goes that headache excuse… Research shows that the endorphins that are released following an orgasm can ease any mild ache or pain. Endorphins actually have similar effects on the body as morphine. Single? Don’t you worry. It is just as effective to self-medicate with masturbation.

7. Decreases Stress and Anxiety
When we feel sexually aroused our pleasure and reward system in the brain is activated. This can help us feel more intimate and connected. Additionally, sex decreases the production of cortisol which triggers stress in the body.  During a study at the University of West Scotland, they even found that people who were having sex at least once every two weeks were more capable of handling stressful situations, like public speaking!

8. Improves Sleep
Sex and masturbation are a great self-soothing technique. After we have an orgasm our body releases prolactin, a hormone that causes relaxation and sleepiness. For women, the benefits are even greater because sex increases our estrogen levels. Increased estrogen levels enhance REM cycles, which help us to reach a deeper level of sleep.

9. Makes You Look Younger
Better than Botox! A study from Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland had a panel of judges watch subjects through a one-way mirror and guess their ages. The participants in the study who were engaging in regular sexcapades (4 times a week) were seen as 7-12 years younger than they actually were! Why? Sex releases estrogen and testosterone, which improve the appearance of skin and hair, and help the body appear more youthful.

10. Improves Intimacy and Relationships
Skin to skin contact helps to stimulate the release of oxytocin, AKA “The Love Hormone”. (This is also why OBs and nurses in the maternity ward promote skin to skin contact for parents and babies). Oxytocin helps create feelings of love, trust, bonding and generosity. Don’t have time for even a quickie? Spend 60 seconds hugging your partner, making sure your bellies are touching. You will get a smaller, but still worthwhile, dose of oxytocin to keep you feel connected and loved.

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It takes a village! Learn how to care for your sexual health with the help of these specialists.

 

Christy Haas, a psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy and couples counseling.

As a psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy and couples counseling, I am always surprised and a little disheartened at how little people know about their own sexual health. When I ask my clients about their sexual history I tend to get a very vague response. Growing up we are taught how to brush our teeth, take care of our skin, and go to the doctor, but very few of us are taught how to manage and maintain our sexual health. In fact, I find that most of the clients I see come from families where sex is a taboo subject. This lack of communication often leads people down a path of shame, isolation and creates a pattern where they forced to try to figure things out on their own.

Working with one or all of the following sexual health specialists can provide valuable knowledge that can help you maintain healthy sexuality on a physical, mental and emotional level. Below I give recommendations for local specialists, as well as descriptions of how to best utilize each specialist. The goal is to become an active participant in your sexual health.

Gynecologist

WHAT: A gynecologist is a medical doctor who specializes in women’s health and reproductive systems. Oftentimes, gynecology and obstetrics (pregnancy/ childbirth) will overlap.

WHEN: Ideally, patients see their gynecologist on a yearly basis for the annual pap smear and checkup.

WHY: Being proactive can lead to early detection of STIs or cancer, help identify issues causing irregular periods, or vaginal pain, as well as answering any questions you have about women’s health or fertility issues. Gynecologists can provide education and resources for sexual issues outside of what a primary care doctor can provide.

WHO do I recommend:

Dr. Somi Javaid & Associates (Sex Medicine)

Dr. Ted Lum, MD  (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Sex Therapist

WHAT: Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that can be helpful when addressing sexual dysfunction, low desire, sexual trauma, pain during sex, intimacy issues, lack of orgasm, or simply a need for sexual education.

WHEN: Unfortunately, many people seek out sex therapy or counseling as a last resort. While therapy can still help at these dire times, treatment is much more beneficial when clients come as they begin to see problems arising. I tend to see most of my clients on a weekly basis for a limited time. Depending on the issue, length of treatment could be between 1 session to over 20 sessions.

WHY: Because our gynecologists are the ones looking at our vulvas we tend to turn to them with all of our sex questions and issues. It is important to understand that while gynecologists have extensive training in women’s health, most have little or no training in sex. When there are underlying issues complicating our sexual health, it can be a good idea to seek out a sex therapist.

WHO do I recommend:

Christy Haas, MA, LPCC Relationship + Sex Therapy

Emma Schmidt, MA, PC, Sex Therapy

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

WHAT: I refer almost all of my clients to a pelvic floor physical therapist. The response I have gotten from 99% of them is “what’s that?” A pelvic floor physical therapist specializes in therapy and rehabilitation to treat pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic pain. They utilize biofeedback, external and internal manual therapies, trigger point release, micro-needling and at home exercises to rebuild and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

WHEN: You should see a pelvic floor PT whenever you are having any sort of pelvic floor dysfunction. Also, go after giving birth! In Europe, most women go to the Pelvic Floor PT for up to a year after giving birth- this is the standard of care.

WHY: Pelvic Floor PTs can help with issues related to bladder and bowel disorders, pain during sex (vulvodynia, vaginismus, etc.), pelvic pain, post-trauma pain, and rebuilding pelvic floor muscles and control after having a baby.

WHO do I recommend:

The Center For Pelvic Floor and Core Rehabilitation

Stacey Clarke, DPT, WCS

Certified Yoga Instructor

WHAT: I know, I know… You’re probably thinking, “what the heck does yoga have to do with my sexual health?” A lot! Yoga is a spiritual practice that combines breath work, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation and bodily postures. Different benefits can be attained depending on the class or style. Hot Power Vinyasa is an intense, calorie burning practice that will challenge your physical strength, balance and flexibility. A Restorative Yin practice allows you to stretch deeply, calming the mind and becoming deeply aware of the way your mind and body are connected.

WHEN: Everyone can benefit from the benefits of yoga at any age. Find a class, teacher and style that suit your needs.

WHY: As a certified yoga teacher I have seen the improvements that yoga can provide to people struggling with anxiety, depression, body image issues, those struggling with a mind-body connection or people with pelvic pain or pain during sex.

WHO do I recommend:

It’s Yoga

Simply Power Yoga

Elemental OM

Educating yourself and being an advocate for your own sexual health is one of the most empowering things a woman can do. Challenge yourself to be proactive and do not be afraid to ask questions. Being curious is what life is all about! If you have any further questions feel free to contact me at Christy@christyhaas.com or visit my website www.christyhaas.com.

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