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Online sex therapy can be an effective therapy option. The best programs have certifications, specialties, efficient communication, and reasonable costs. That’s why Talkspace, BetterHelp, and ReGain made our list.
- Best overall: Talkspace | Skip to review
- Best for individuals: BetterHelp | Skip to review
- Best for couples: ReGain | Skip to review
- Best for therapy intensives: Couples Therapy Inc. | Skip to review
- Best for premarital counseling: Couples Learn | Skip to review
Movies and media have created unrealistic expectations surrounding sex. In reality, sex doesn’t go smoothly all the time, and that’s OK! But if you’re experiencing speedbumps during sex more often than not, you may be considering seeking the help of a psychotherapist who specializes in sex therapy.
You may have difficulty experiencing orgasms, worry about how often you and your partner engage in sexual activities, feel insecure about your performance during sex, or encounter other sexual challenges.
If you have fears of sex or frustrations about sex, it may be helpful to look into sex therapy or telehealth options, such as online sex therapy.
Here are the best online sex therapy programs you can access from the comfort of your own bedroom.
|Service||Price||Individual or couple||Can you choose a therapist?|
|TalkspaceA,V,T||$69–$109 per week||both||yes|
|BetterHelpA,V,T||$60–$90 per week||individual||no|
|ReGainA,V,T||$60–$90 per week||both||no|
|Couples Therapy Inc.A,V||from $3,500||both||yes|
|Couples LearnV||$175–$450 per session||both||yes|
A= audio available V=video available T=text and chat available
To select the best online sex therapy programs, we considered various factors, like:
- an affordable price or insurance eligibility
- a commitment to privacy
- good customer reviews
- useful communication methods
We recommend only products from companies we stand behind as being credible and ethical. You can learn more about our vetting process.
We chose services that offer online therapy by licensed therapists. However, not all therapists may be trained to offer assistance with sexual health — we recommend making sure that your assigned mental health professional is equipped with the proper skills by asking them about their experience, certifications, and affiliations.
Sex therapy is a type of talk therapy that addresses concerns related to sexual function, satisfaction, and intimacy in individual or couples counseling. It’s a specialized type of psychotherapy. Sex therapy can be effective for people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations.
Like other forms of psychotherapy, sex therapy involves sharing your feelings about your sexual life.
Online sex therapy is a type of telehealth service that can be accessed from home. Telehealth is more accessible and often more affordable than traditional in-person therapy, so online sex therapy is an option for people who have limited access to or prefer it to face-to-face sessions.
What is a sex therapist?
A sex therapist is a qualified professional who has expert-level knowledge in sex therapy and mental health. They can be any of the following:
- a doctor
- clinical social worker
Not all therapists undergo sex therapy training. Sex therapists are specialists who have expertise in sexual health and have been certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), which requires specialized and rigorous training.
A sex therapist can help with various sexual-related problems, such as:
Since sex therapy is a type of talk therapy, you can expect to do a lot of talking during your session. A lot of talk therapy revolves around the goal of shifting your thinking toward a particular thing, and in this case, that’s sex.
A licensed mental health counselor who’s trained in sex therapy will start by getting to know you and your sexual problems. This involves back-and-forth conversations. They may ask you questions, and you may have questions for them.
It can be difficult to open up about something you may consider private, but your sex therapist will never judge you for how you’re feeling. Through conversation, they will learn more about your experiences and challenges and may share some advice to help you reframe your way of thinking about sex.
Conversations during sex therapy may involve talking about your feelings toward sex and intimacy in general or focus on a specific memory or experience. You may discuss a repeated experience you find challenging, such as performance anxiety or difficulty having an orgasm.
Talking through these issues with a sex therapist can help remove the stigma, guilt, and shame you may feel around these challenges.
A sex therapist will never ask you to remove your clothes or engage in sexual behaviors with them, yourself, or your partner. Performing sexual acts during your appointment is never part of sex therapy.
But your sex therapist might give you prompts to explore later on and discuss during a future visit. They may give you ideas on how to think or act during sex to relieve some of the negative feelings you have.
- Qualifications: Make sure the professional you’re paired with is certified in sex therapy (look for AASECT certification) or at least has further training in human sexuality than a general therapist.
- Weigh your options: It’s OK to shop around! You can totally try out a few therapists before you find one that’s the perfect fit for you and any partners.
- Insurance or cost: Most therapy apps do not take insurance, but if that’s something that’s important to you, do a little research to find out if they accept yours. If they don’t, consider the out-of-pocket cost that’s right for your budget.
- What they cover: A good sex therapist addresses sexual issues, but a great one takes into account physiological experiences, too. They may also explore how your mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health impacts your symptoms.
- Specialties: You can seek out sex therapists that specialize in attributes specific to your sex life:
Remember that no one should require you to take your clothes off or perform sexual acts during sex therapy. Sex surrogacy is used to help people who have issues with sexual function via demonstration, touching, and engaging in sex acts. But it’s not the same as sex therapy.
Occasional sexual dysfunction or anxiety around sex can be a natural part of life. However, if you find that you’re unable to have a fulfilling sex life or your sexual problems are especially distressing or interfering with your relationships, it may be time to consider seeing a sex therapist.
You may also benefit from a sex therapist if you’re experiencing roadblocks when getting intimate with your partner.
Seeing a sex therapist does not just mean you have to be experiencing issues with your partners, though. If you generally have anxiety surrounding sexual performance, you may benefit from talking with a sex therapist.
Is sex therapy right for me?
If you experience sexual challenges or sexual dysfunction or if you have frustrations related to sex, you may benefit from sex therapy. There are many reasons to see a sex therapist.
For individuals, sex therapy can be helpful if you’re:
For couples, sex therapy can be helpful if you have mismatched desires or fetishes, difficulties communicating, or interest in opening up your relationship.
Online sex therapy may be right for you if you’re comfortable with online communication and if you’re more comfortable doing therapy from your own home.
Online therapy also gives you more options compared with limited local options. Depending on your needs and expectations, telehealth services may be a better option.
Can you do sex therapy on your own?
Yes. Some platforms like BetterHelp and ReGain offer individual sessions rather than ones for couples. Check with the platform you’re interested in to learn more.
How do you do sex therapy at home?
Any of our recommended services offer sex therapy that is done via an internet connection or over the phone in the privacy of your own home. However, some also offer “homework” or online courses that can be done at home and on your own time, like Couples Learn and Lasting’s therapist-endorsed courses.
Does Talkspace offer sex therapy?
Not by name, but Talkspace does offer a wide range of clinicians with various specialties. You may choose a licensed sex therapist or one who specializes in relationships or LGBTQIA+ experiences.
Who can I talk with about sex online?
If you’re looking to just talk, not receive therapy, some services simply offer chats with counselors or coaches. Try Lasting to meet with a counselor instead of a sex therapist.
How is online sex therapy structured?
Online sex therapy is structured using telehealth. Since online sex therapy can be for individuals or couples, you may attend with a partner.
Using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you’ll connect to a secure video chat, where you can privately and comfortably speak with your therapist. This requires an internet connection.
Sexual acts don’t occur during online sex therapy. You, your partner, and your therapist do not engage in sexual intercourse or romance. You won’t be asked to disrobe, nor will your sex therapist disrobe in front of you.
Your sex therapist may assign homework for you or for you and your partner to do on your own time and speak about during later sessions.
What does online sex therapy usually cost?
The cost of online sex therapy can cover a wide range. It can cost as little as $55 or more than $195 per session. This depends on:
- the telehealth service you use
- if you have health insurance
- if your health insurance covers sex therapy
- the therapist, where you live
Couples counseling tends to cost more than individual counseling. Sex therapy is typically more expensive than traditional therapy since it’s a more specialized therapy service. However, online sex therapy is usually more affordable than traditional in-person therapy.
Is online sex therapy secure?
It depends on the service. You can check with your provider to see if any security measures are in place to keep your sessions private.
Do I have to attend sex therapy with a partner?
No. It’s common to attend sex therapy with a partner for concerns that affect both parties in a relationship, but you may also attend solo for issues that affect only you.
Is sex therapy the same as marriage counseling or couples therapy?
Yes and no. Marriage counseling or couples therapy may cover sex and intimacy, but sex therapy focuses specifically on sex and doesn’t require you to be married or in a relationship.
Sex therapy is a specialized service and can be a form of couples counseling, but marriage and couples counseling is not sex therapy.
Is sex therapy covered by insurance?
Because sex therapy is designed around evidence-based techniques that have been proven effective, some insurance companies will cover the service.
If you receive a diagnosis based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (such as ED or female orgasmic disorder) that has a diagnosis code, insurance will most likely cover the treatment.
Whether it’s covered will also depend on which service provider you use; some companies don’t take insurance directly.
If you want to use your health insurance for sex therapy, check with the therapy service to see if you’re covered and which insurance companies are in the network.
A healthy sex life can be a fulfilling and natural part of life. For many, having a sexual connection with their partner has emotional and physical benefits. However, fears and frustrations surrounding sex can lead to sexual dysfunction and other challenges.
Online sex therapy is one way to talk through your feelings and experiences related to sex and worked toward increased sexual satisfaction. Seeing a sex therapist can help individuals and couples achieve healthier sex lives.