“What do you want to do when you get older?”
“Well, I’m actually studying to be a sex therapist.”
Then comes the awkward silence, nervous laughing and the outright, "What the hell?"
I am sure most of you have been wondering why I write this column, especially since I’m a business student. For those of you who don’t already know, I hope to study sex for the rest of my life.
Essentially, I plan on going to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in human sexuality and hopefully will start practicing therapy with clients.
Many websites define sex therapy as the treatment of sexual dysfunction, such as non-consummation, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low libido, unwanted sexual fetishes, sexual addiction, painful sex or a lack of sexual confidence.
With that being said, I actually hate the definition.
The stigma that is associated with sexual “problems” comes from using words like “dysfunction.” Sex therapy should not be considered strange. When you have a headache, you go to the doctor. Similarly, when you have things holding you back from having sex, you should go to the doctor.
Sex therapists work with individuals and couples to improve their sex lives and solve the problems they may be having between the sheets.
While this sounds like a light topic, many of the clients sex therapists see have terrible emotional and physical pain from sex-related issues.
Like many other people, I want to do something where I can help others. I want to do something where I have face-to-face interaction with people. I want to get paid well, grow in my career and work for myself.
After realizing what I find most interesting (anatomy, human sexuality, human development), I realized that business just wasn’t going to cut it for me. I have spent the past few summers reading books about the sexual behavior of humans and have realized that there is room in the field for improvement and good sex therapists.
Ideally, I would love to work in the field for a few years and get some experience under my belt. After that, I would ideally write for some sort of magazine where I can voice my opinion that sex should not be a taboo subject. I would love to write books, continue to see clients and talk about sex in a public forum.
So then the question becomes, what do my parents have to say about this not-so-standard career choice?
When I told them that I had decided to pursue a career in sex therapy, their initial reaction was hysterical laughter.
But since that day, my dad, an avid entrepreneur, has been calling me with ideas on how to make money with sex therapy. My mom supported me from the beginning and reads every article I write.
I am so excited to continue exploring my career path in sex therapy. I hope to further my knowledge of this field so I can continue sharing how to be safe and have fun.