Nancy Pentz

Individual & Couples Therapy

1875 I (Eye) Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC  20006

Sex Therapy

How do you know if sex therapy is right for you?

Without sex, our species would not survive. Our sexual preferences, fantasies, desires, and gender identities form a core part of who we are. Yet the taboo of talking about sex is so great that little positive guidance is given to us in our formative years. In our culture, our knowledge, values, and/or religious beliefs frequently interfere with spontaneous, honest, clear sexual expression. We are bombarded with seductive, negative, inaccurate, and confusing messages about sex every day. It is easy to become inhibited, confused, or aggressive in response to these mixed messages. Here are some typical concerns men, women, transgendered individuals, and couples bring to a sex therapist:

  • Have you or your partner or both experienced a loss of or change in sexual desire?
  • Do you and your partner have difficulty communicating about pleasure or sex? Do you fight about irrelevant issues or withdraw from each other?
  • Do you have sexual desires or behaviors that your partner does not share and concerns about how to cope?
  • Are you having difficulty getting or maintaining arousal?
  • Do you confuse sexual arousal with other sensations (e.g., affection, hunger, anger, fear, disconnection…)?
  • Do you climax too soon, too late, or not at all?
  • Is sexual intercourse difficult, painful, or unsatisfying?
  • Do you feel guilty or ashamed about your sexual feelings or behavior?
  • Are you confused about whether you are attracted to same or other sex partners or both? Or, are you sure about your attraction, but fear “coming out” to your family, friends, acquaintances?
  • Are you afraid or unsure how to seek like-minded partners?
  • Do you feel like you are trapped in a body of the wrong gender? Do you wonder what steps to take to be more congruent in your life?
  • Are you preoccupied with intrusive sexual thoughts or behaviors?
  • Has your sexual conduct become compulsive or created legal, financial, career, or personal conflicts?
  • Were you emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as a child or adult?
  • Do you wonder how to talk to your child about sex?
  • Do you have concerns or issues regarding pregnancy: preventing or terminating a pregnancy, or opting for adoption?
  • Are you having difficulty becoming pregnant and need help coping with this situation or sorting out options for infertility?
  • Do you need information about sexually transmitted diseases, including avoiding or coping with one?

A Word About Sex Therapy:

Many people find talking about sexual matters embarrassing or uncomfortable.

My therapy office is a confidential, non-judgmental, permissive environment where you can discuss your sexual questions and concerns. To help get the conversation started, I will ask you questions about your sexual behaviors and history in order to understand your concerns. While I encourage you to be open and forthright, I also accept that it may take time to let your story unfold. You will never be asked to do anything against your will, disrobe, perform sexual acts, view photographs, or watch videos of sexual acts in a therapist’s office. I may recommend exercises that you or you and your partner can do in the privacy of your home; again, this is voluntary. I do not recommend the use of sexual surrogate services.

Modalities Used in Sex Therapy:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Jungian therapies
  • Sensual exercises (done at home)
  • Books, imagery, expressive arts
  • Consultation with traditional and alternative medical practitioners
  • 12 Step support groups for compulsive behaviors
  • Mindfulness
  • Various mind/body therapies (acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, neuro- and biofeedback) for recovery from trauma

For information on scheduling your first appointment, click below.