Several studies have demonstrated that the link between good quality, frequent sex and happiness is stronger than the link between money and happiness. A satisfying sex life doesn't only lead to greater physical and emotional well-being with your partner, but also improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life. But does good sex make us happier or does being happier help us have more enjoyable sex? According to psychologist and sexologist Ainhoa Martínez Arroyo, sexual dysfunctions associated with anxiety problems "are not usually discussed openly but are very common and make up a large proportion of consulations". Most patients who seek help at AM Psicología are young heterosexual couples in their 20's and 30's. Many are going through major life changes, have problems at work, or have just come out of short-term relationships. When it comes to sex, their real-life experiences do not live up to their expectations. This anxiety is then manifested in erection problems, lack of desire, premature ejaculation or inadequate lubrication. Is there are solution? There certainly is! Sexologist Ainhoa Martínez explains the stages of a highly structured therapy which has yielded very high levels of success.
"First of all, I work on re-educating my patients and getting them to reconnect with their senses". In this initial stage, erotic massages and touch come into play, "not with the purpose of arousing, but so that you learn to enjoy the moment without rushing. I recommend the use of lubricants and oils". The couple are provided with support and guidance so that they learn to concentrate on the caresses and the feelings produced by each part of the body. As the therapy progresses, the second step is masturbation, "at the beginning, this is done individually to avoid triggering anxiety related to sexual intercourse". During this second stage, she recommends the use of masturbators for men and women; "depending on whether they have masturbated before or not, we should start with self-exploration and then move on, according to their needs, to the use of toys such as vibrators or suction devices".
The third stage of the treatment involves introducing the element of eroticism to the couple. Toys are put to one side and clients are encouraged to visualise their erotic fantasies and use touch to enhance sexual communication. Touching each other just for the pleasure of it. "Here, the training from the previous stages has often already borne fruit and anxiety levels have already fallen". 'Orgasmic eroticization' is the next step. "We don't recommend intercourse but instead, we encourage clients to reach orgasm without penetration. This poses a big challenge for most men”. Sexologist Ainhoa Martinez explains that "although there is a tendency to think that we should always finish with intercourse, in reality — this by no means essential. There are many other ways to experience sexuality." Once the previous stages have been completed and a good degree of sexual arousal has been achieved; intercourse is, for those who wish, the final stage of the therapy.
Not being afraid to ask for help and turning to professionals is the key to overcoming the pitfalls that can hamper your sex life — both alone and as a couple. Most dysfunctions are psychological in origin (if they are biological, they require alternative types of assistance) As the sexologist Ainhoa Martínez points out, "four out of five treatments end in success". Sounds like an encouraging statistic, doesn't it? So, never be deprived of the happiness that a fulfilling sex life can bring.