sex therapy exercises

3 Best Sex Therapy Exercises You Can Try at Home

Takeaway: If you and your partner are struggling with your sexual intimacy, it might feel like things will never improve or change. I’m here to tell you that’s (thankfully) not the case. These sex therapy exercises for couples will help you and your partner feel closer and more connected than ever.

If you’re looking for ways to nourish intimacy in your relationship, sex therapy can be a game-changer. Know that if your sex life is lacking lately, that’s normal and you’re not alone. The great news is that many couples have faced and overcome this relationship challenge through therapeutic sex exercises.

When couples learn the tools and techniques of sex therapy and apply them to daily life, profound transformation happens. From communication to sensory exploration, the sex therapy exercises/intimacy exercises you’ll find below can strengthen your relationship bond and rekindle the passion that you’ve been craving.

Understanding sex therapy

Are you curious about sex therapy? Is it right for you? How does it work? What are sex therapy homework exercises and who are they for? It’s okay to have these questions – many people don’t fully understand what sex therapy involves. First things first, understand that sex therapy is not a magic cure or a one-size-fits-all approach. It is a customized, guided process for couples to explore their challenges, needs, goals, and desires in a supportive environment. 

In sex therapy, you and your partner work with a professional and certified sex therapist such as myself to tackle issues and challenges in your intimate life. Such issues may include:

  • Interpersonal communication challenges around desires and boundaries
  • Discrepancies in sexual desire, mismatched libido
  • Emotional and physical distance
  • Negotiating boundaries and exploring sexual dynamics
  • Rebuilding trust after infidelity or broken trust
  • Cultural/religious differences leading to conflict around sexuality
  • Navigating questions or changes around sexual orientation and identity
  • Dealing with pain during penetrative sex
  • One partner doesn’t feel pleasure or enjoy sex anymore
  • Navigating physical or mental health issues in one or both partners
  • Challenges in sex life after becoming parents
  • Couples experiencing sexual dysfunction or performance issues
  • Navigating and healing from trauma related to your sexual life

A common misconception is that sex therapy is only for couples in crisis, or for those whose marriage or partnership has ‘failed’ in some way. This is not the case. Sex therapy is for anyone who wants to improve the quality of their intimate life, improve sexual well-being, and strengthen not just the physical but also the emotional bond in the relationship. 

couples sex therapy exercises

3 couples sex therapy exercises to do at home

When people ask me ‘Does sex therapy work?’, I always tell them ‘Yes, it works when we work!’ Effective therapy requires a collaborative effort from all involved. You will learn several evidence-based tools and techniques for intimacy and bonding in therapy sessions, but you’ll apply some of what you’ve learned outside of the office. Your therapist will teach you about transformative exercises to try in the comfort of your own home. It’s a bit like homework, but much more enjoyable.

So, whether you want to inspire a new connection in your relationship, rekindle the flame, or improve communication around sex and intimacy, sex therapy can be your roadmap. The following are just some of the many effective sex therapy homework exercises that help couples overcome their intimacy challenges:

1. Communication exercises:

Communication exercises focus on intentionality and openness in communication so that partners can speak and feel heard in a supported, non-judgmental way. They are usually the first homework assignment of therapy because they establish an important foundation for the rest of therapy.

Sex therapy technique 1:

Dedicate 15 minutes each day for a week to connect mutually. The point is to focus on open communication about your desires and concerns in your intimate life. Practice active listening with your partner. Consider questions such as:

‘What do I do that makes you feel loved?’

‘When do you feel sexiest?’

‘How can I better support you in talking about desires and intimacy?’

2. Sensate Focus Exercises:

Sex therapists help couples improve communication and explore physical intimacy through sensate focus exercises. These exercises serve to help you and your partner rediscover and explore each other’s bodies in a structured, non-goal-oriented way. The point of these evidence-based exercises is to bring mindful attention to the sensation of touch. When we practice sensate focus, we foster greater physical awareness and deeper emotional connection.

Sensate focus exercises progress through stages. Early stages focus on non-sexual touch, which means avoiding genitalia, breasts, and other erogenous zones is not permitted just yet. Gradually, exercises incorporate more intimate areas, where touching genitals becomes part of the process. The power of these exercises lies in mindful exploration, gradual progression, authentic communication, and trust.

Sensate focus is a really powerful technique that can transform not just your sex life but also your emotional bond. Working with a certified sex therapist is an opportunity to learn more about this idea and receive professional guidance tailored to your unique needs.

Sex therapy technique 2:

Practice non-sexual touching exercises as learned in sessions. Incorporate mindful breathing and look into your partner’s eyes. Share feedback on sensations and emotions.

3. Fantasy Sharing:

Sometimes we don’t share our fantasies and desires because we fear judgment or hold shame. Sex therapists encourage clients to be vulnerable and share deeper fantasies and desires openly. When guided and supported in a safe way, this sharing can feel incredibly liberating. Equipped with non-judgmental active listening, partners can develop a deeper understanding of each other’s desires and each other in general.

Sex therapy technique 3:

Having established a safe space and set boundaries in sessions with the guidance of a sex therapist, find time to share fantasies or ideas with each other. The point is to encourage your partner’s exploration and practice non-judgment, but remember your boundaries, too.

sex therapy for couples exercises

Benefits of trying sex therapy exercises for couples

As a certified sex therapist with decades of experience, I’ve seen how sex therapy homework exercises can lead to profound, life-changing transformations in individuals and couples. The benefits of sex therapy vary widely because they stem from your unique needs and challenges, but some of the most common benefits I see clients enjoy include:

  • Improved communication and self-expression between partners
  • Enhanced emotional intimacy and confidence around vulnerability
  • Increased sexual satisfaction and richer sexual experience
  • Stronger partner bond through shared experience
  • Profound self-discovery and growth

On your journey into sex therapy, you’ll find that the benefits extend far beyond the bedroom. Sex therapy supports individual and partner growth by teaching not only the fundamentals of healthy sex but also by encouraging self-discovery, mutual understanding, and intentionality. You can read about the benefits, but you’ll truly understand them through experience.

sex therapy exercises intimacy

Get support from a professional sex therapist

I’m Julie, your certified Cincinnati sex and couples therapist. I’m dedicated to helping couples and individuals rediscover the satisfaction and fulfillment in their relationships. In my therapy practice I focus on compassion and understanding – I’ve seen a diverse range of clients and I know that relationships can be incredibly complicated sometimes! I’m here to help you navigate challenges in a safe environment, where your individual needs and preferences guide the process. 

So, whether it’s communication, frustration, dysfunction, or any other intimacy-related concern that’s on your mind, my goal is to help you overcome it with professionalism and care.

If you’re curious about sex therapy or need some support as soon as possible, I invite you to reach out for a free phone consultation. We’ll explore your goals regarding sex therapy and lay the groundwork for a great therapeutic relationship. Reach out as soon as you’re ready!

Frequently Asked Questions about Sex Therapy

How is sex therapy different to couples therapy?

Sex therapy is similar to couples therapy in that both aim to enhance the quality of the relationship and both partners’ well-being. However, the main point of focus in sex therapy is the couple’s intimate life. That includes their sexual experiences but also looks at how other aspects of the relationship influence the sexual connection. Sessions involve learning techniques and tools to increase intimacy, address underlying issues, and improve your relationship to your partner’s body (and your own body, too!) When we embrace sex therapy exercises in a mindful way, that’s just the beginning of a transformative relationship to sex and your intimate life.

sex therapy exercises for couples

How can sex therapy help with intrusive thoughts?

Anxiety is a common challenge to our intimate lives. Worries, fears, and intrusive thoughts can show up unexpectedly, and sometimes it happens during our intimate moments. Can sex therapy help you overcome intrusive thoughts and reduce anxiety? Yes, when the approach is tailored to your needs. We don’t learn to just ignore negative or intrusive thoughts, but instead practice coming back to the present moment with mindful breathing and grounding exercises. Partners learn to support each other in coming back to the present.

Is a digital sex therapy app worth it?

A digital sex therapy app can definitely be helpful. These apps give you quick access to advice and the main points behind sex therapy. It’s a bit like reaching out to a sexuality educator or expert advisor when you need a quick answer! Still, I don’t believe a digital sex therapy can replace the compassion and support you receive from in-person therapy. Use an app to complement sex therapy, not replace it.