People often ask me questions about how to find the right therapist, and I usually get a follow-up question about how to find someone who is open and affirming of sexual expression.

Fearing judgment is a totally normal response to the thought of talking about our sexuality with a stranger. It can take a lot of resolve to talk openly about some of the thoughts, feelings, fantasies and desires we have, things we have possibly never shared with anyone.

Being able to talk about sexuality with our therapist is super important, and a good way to help understand a therapist’s approach to sexuality is by the way each therapist describes their style. I am a sex-positive therapist. The term sex-positive ultimately signals a safe and affirming place, but it means a few things in particular:

  1. A commitment to being well-educated about sexual health and providing accurate and non-judgmental information

  2. Consensual sexual expression is treated as a positive, healthy part of life, in the many diverse preferences people have, and seeking and finding pleasure is encouraged

  3. Inclusive acceptance, respect, and an embracing of the multitude of amazing relationship expressions that feel good for each individual

  4. Affirming of all sexual, gender, body and relationship identities, expressions and experiences

  5. A deep respect for each individual’s ability to chose

  6. Ability to talk about and embrace porn, sexual fluidity, non-monogamy, sex work, masturbation, kink, BDSM, sex toys, etc without pathologizing

  7. An acknowledgment of the impact of oppressive sex-shaming, sex-phobic culture and ability to provide a perspective outside of the typical male, cis, hetero point of view

  8. Goes beyond body positivity - exploration of body liberation, body neutrality

  9. Encourages sexual exploration and curiosity as beautiful and valuable part of life!

If you are experiencing any judgment or fear when it comes to your sexual expression, I’d encourage you to embrace your desires with love and curiosity, and to connect with sex-positive resources as it feels right.

I’m always here for you for support, or if you have any questions.

laura federico