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If you feel like you may have a problem in the bedroom, it can be difficult to talk about, even with people you trust. That’s where sex therapy comes in. See how online sex therapy can help.

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 speed bumps 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 sexual issues, 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.

ServicePriceIndividual or coupleChoose your therapistCommunication
Talkspace$69 to $109 per weekbothyesaudio, video text, and messaging
BetterHelp$65 to $95 per weekindividualnoaudio, video, text, and messaging
Regain$65 to $95 per weekbothnoaudio, video, text, and messaging
Couples Therapy Inc.$150 to $275 per sessionbothyesaudio, video, and in-person
Couples Learn$150 to $480 per sessionbothyesvideo

To select the best online sex therapy programs, we considered various factors, such as:

  • an affordable price or insurance eligibility
  • a commitment to privacy
  • good customer reviews
  • useful communication methods
  • accessibility

We recommend only products from companies we stand behind as being credible and ethical. You can learn more about our vetting process.

We chose therapy companies 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 that involves sharing your feelings about sexual issues and your sex life in general. Sex therapy can be effective for people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations.

“It’s a time to kick back and have a good old heart to heart with no judgment, just a safe space for you to share what’s on your mind,” explained Goody Howard, a Dallas-based certified sexologist and sex educator.

“Whether you’re dealing with performance issues, communication breakdowns, past traumas, or just want to spice things up, a sex therapist can lend an ear and offer some guidance,” Howard said.

In a 2020 study, 45.7% of women and 33.4% of men reported they experienced sexual problems, including pain and issues with orgasm and arousal, in the past year. Talking about past sexual experiences and concerns with a sex therapist can help develop sex positivity and address some of these problems.

Online sex therapy is a type of telehealth service that can be accessed from home or other preferred space via online video, audio, or chat. Telehealth is more accessible and often more affordable than traditional in-person therapy. Online sex therapy is an option for people who have limited access to therapy or who prefer online to face-to-face sessions.

What does sex therapy involve?

A licensed mental health professional who’s trained in sex therapy will start by getting to know you and your sexual concerns. This involves back-and-forth conversations. They may ask you questions, and you may have questions for them. Therapy formats may vary.

It can be difficult to open up about something you may consider private, but your sex therapist provides a safe space so you can discuss how you’re feeling freely. 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 and develop sex positivity.

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 is a qualified professional who has expert-level knowledge in sex therapy and mental health. They can be any of the following:

  • a doctor
  • therapist
  • counselor
  • clinical social worker

Not all therapists undergo sex therapy training. Sex therapists are specialists who have expertise in sexual health. Many have been certified by the AASECT, which requires specialized and rigorous training.

A sex therapist can help with various sexual-related problems, such as lack of libido, or no sex drive; unwanted sexual thoughts; inability or difficulty reaching orgasm; trouble with intimacy; erectile dysfunction; painful intercourse; and more.

Does a sex therapist touch you?

In general, no. They may hug you or shake hands, but 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.

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.

  • 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 right fit for you and any partners.
  • Insurance or cost: Most therapy apps don’t take insurance, but if 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 therapy 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. Their therapy services may help you explore how your mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health affect your symptoms.
  • Specialties: You can seek out sex therapists who specialize in attributes specific to your sex life:

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.

Seeing a sex therapist doesn’t always mean you’re experiencing issues with your partners, though. If you generally have anxiety surrounding sexual performance, you may benefit from talking with a sex therapist.

“Some sex therapy is also trauma-informed,” explained Dr. Abigail Lev, a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in couples therapy and sex therapy at the Bay Area CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] Center in San Francisco.

“For people who have experienced sexual abuse, rape, trauma, or any type of sexual molestation or assault, sex therapy will also help them reconsolidate and process trauma memories so that these past experiences don’t impact their current sex life,” Lev said.

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 sex therapy options. Depending on your needs and expectations, telehealth services may be a better option.

Yes. Some platforms like BetterHelp and Regain offer individual sessions rather than ones for couples therapy. Check with the platform you’re interested in to learn more.

Any of our recommended services offer sex therapy that’s 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.

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 don’t 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.

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.

The cost of online sex therapy covers a wide range. It can cost as little as $55 or more than $195 per session. Couples counseling tends to cost more than individual counseling. Online sex therapy cost varies depending on:

  • the telehealth service you use
  • if you have health insurance
  • if your health insurance covers sex therapy
  • the therapist
  • where you live

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.

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 isn’t sex therapy.

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 work toward increased sexual satisfaction and good sexual health. Seeing a sex therapist can help individuals and couples achieve healthier sex lives.