LITTLE KNOWN TRUTH: Desire in relationships ebbs and flows naturally over time- really, this is totally natural.
Yet even though most of us know this is true- sexual mismatch, low libido, decreased desire, and passion fatigue are a huge pressure point in many relationships.
Over the last ten years, I've helped hundreds of couples reignite desire, boost sexual chemistry, and communicate about their sexual needs.
You might feel you've tried everything on your own, and you probably feel stuck.
Many of you reading this have already starting to take this very personally, feeling rejected, shut-down, or hopeless.
Others feel pressured or trapped always letting their partner down.
Often I see couples who say every other part of their relationship is working great- but they can’t seem to get in the same page about sex.
Let me help you see things in a new way.
I'm here to help.
I get lots of great feedback from clients- even those who dread coming to couples sessions. Not too long ago I received the following text from a client,
Let me help you create the sexual connection you want.
DON’T BE SHY.
Lots of folks feel nervous about talking with a stranger about sex. I know it can be really intimidating, but I assure you I have heard it all and hold no judgment about my clients' sexual expressions.
Unlike talking to a friend, I have professional expertise and training to help you move through your challenges. And unlike talking to your friends, I keep things confidential. Your information is safe with me.
And while friends are helpful, they don’t have years of training and expertise in human sexuality. I’m here to share accurate information- not just advice from Cosmo and personal stories.
Here are a couple podcast episodes we did about desire fatigue in long-term relationships:
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Here's a favorite video on passion and desire in marriage and long-term relationships from my mentor, Esther Perel:
I've been blogging about desire and sex in relationships for a long time. Check out some of my articles about lasting desire in relationships:
WHAT I DON'T DO
Add shame or judgment to your experience (there's already too much of that in the world)
Treat mental illness (so you won't receive a diagnosis, assessment or treatment for mental health conditions)
Treat substance abuse issues, but I can refer you to several great folks who do
Support couples who are actively violent with one another- your safety needs to come first, then our work together can begin
WHAT I DO
Create a plan (with you) to change the way you do relationships
Help you listen and communicate effectively
Focus on and enhance your strengths
Find possibility where you feel really stuck
Create a judgment-free space for you to identify your needs clearly
Listen and empathize with what's really going on for you
Keep momentum and hope alive- even when you can't see it
How is sex therapy different from regular couples therapy?
Sex therapy or sexual counseling focuses specifically on the sexual aspects of the relationship. So if you’re having difficulties in that area this will give you specialized attention and expertise.
Sex therapy tends to focus on four areas:
Sexual behaviors, techniques and tools
Sexual health, sex education, mindfulness, and physiological responses
Sexual chemistry, connection, and sexual communication
Sexual mindset, personal history, and the largest sex organ in the body: your brain
Many folks I see work with a therapist while seeing me for this specialized work. I’m happy to consult with them if you sign a release.
Do we have to talk about sex?
Well... kind of. I mean it's going to be hard for me to help you with your sexual connection if you don't want to talk about it. BUT you are the one who decides how much to share with me and your partner and when/if you feel safe to do so.
When we start our work together I'll be working with you to create the boundaries you need to feel safe in our work.
Is anything off-limits?
The more honest our conversation can be the better. I guarantee you a judgment-free space to talk about your sex life and trust me, in ten years I’ve heard IT ALL (kink, fetishes, swinging, BDSM, group sex, affairs, furries, sex toys, threesomes, 24/7, role playing, flings, and so very much more). You won’t shock or surprise me.
If you are engaging in sexual behavior that impacts other people without consent, I will help you learn to get consent or find different ways to get your needs met without impacting others negatively.
Do we have to break up or open our relationship to get our needs met?
Lots of couples ask this and it's important you know, I don't believe there are a lot of "have tos" in relationship work. We will explore together if staying together, breaking up, or finding some other kind of arrangement is the best next path for you.
Most of the folks I work with want to prioritize working on their shared desire and don’t want to sleep with other people or want to focus on themselves before expanding to share with other lovers and if that’s your focus that’s where we’ll stay.
How is coaching different from counseling?
You’ve tried therapy and stuck to it… but it’s time to apply the skills learned. Counseling is important reflective healing work, but my clients come to me hoping to take action for change. That's where coaching comes in.
Counseling (the "assessment and treatment of mental health disorders") is about asking why something is happening. Coaching doesn't assess or treat these disorders- my clients are healthy. Instead we ask what you want to do differently. How do you want to change?
What are your sexual desires?
I have plenty of my own desires but I will keep our sessions focused on your desires and needs because these sessions are all about helping you.
Will you demonstrate _____________ sexual act?
In order to keep the session focused on your relationship, and as a way to keep our professional relationship very clear, I don't touch my clients or share my own sexual intimacy, desires, fantasies, or needs with them.
I can always refer you to many groups and educators in the area and online who can give you great demonstrations or tell you stories from their lives if that's your interest.
Got more questions? ASK ME ANYTHING HERE
Or schedule a free consultation to get your questions answered directly.
Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD, CPC is a certified relationship coach, retreat leader, speaker, and author specializing in human connection, intimacy, authenticity, shame-resilience, and alternative relationships. For over twelve years she has supported hundreds of clients creating fulfilling integrity-based relationships according to their own rules.
She earned her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2010 from Saybrook University. She received her Bachelor degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 and a Masters of Science in Education with a minor in Human Sexuality from Indiana University in 2004. In 2019 she completed her PhD in Spiritual Studies and Pastoral Counseling.
Gina was named Portland’s Best Life Coach in 2019 by Portland Business Recognition and has taught psychology courses, communication workshops, couples intimacy retreats, and guest lectured on alternative relationships and sex-positive therapy at universities across the US. Students love her no nonsense “real talk” presentation style.
Gina knows with better relationship and sex education we’d build a more compassionate, creative, confident, and fulfilled society. She believes we are entitled to desire and we all need meaningfully connected relationships to thrive. She knows all relationships need a tune-up from time to time and has been praised by clients for her friendly non-judgmental approach to couples work.
She understands first-hand the struggles non-traditional couples and “alternative relationships” face as they navigate the abundant joys and challenges that come with a less traveled path. Her clients span the globe and a full spectrum of relationship possibilities.
When she’s not teaching, coaching or consulting you can find her in her gorgeous urban garden, hiking Door County with her tiny dog, cooking lavish dinners, playing with her two sweet kids, or traveling the world with her partner, Rae.
A NOTE FROM GINA:
Whether you’re facing communication issues, starting a project together, rethinking your future, or struggling with intimacy, I’m here to help you gain the tools you need to move forward with confidence.
I love love in all it's forms. Non-traditional relationships have been my specialty for over a decade. There’s no judgment here.
I've been coaching couples all over the world leading retreats and guiding clients to deeper, more authentic connection with themselves and each other. Most recently I’ve been supporting couples who are co-founders, creatives, and entrepreneurs with world-changing dreams create life balance and maintain connection amid busy lives.