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Sex & Relationship Therapist / Contributing Editor jooi
Like you, we value knowledge and expertise!
That’s why at Jooi we have teamed up with Sexpert Miranda Christophers to curate a range of high quality, body safe, pleasure products chosen for their style and functionality. Miranda also provides valuable insight into sexual wellness and pleasure on a regular basis as Contributing Editor of the site.
Miranda is a Sex and Relationship Therapist who promotes a sex positive attitude with a philosophy that sex is the most natural source of pleasure which should be enjoyed healthily by all no matter gender, age or relationship status. Miranda believes that everyone should be able to embrace who they are, their sexuality and enjoy the sex life they would like – both alone and with others. She maintains that there is no ‘normal’ we should try to fit into when it comes to sex and desire, and that peoples’ make-up of preferences are as unique as the people themselves. Her clinical work has highlighted the many gaps in sex education over the decades, the impact of societal and cultural beliefs and the difficulties many people experience around sex. Her work has also identified the many benefits of a happy, healthy and fulfilling sex life – whatever that may look like to the individual – and the changes in mindset and approach that can revolutionise this.
Sex Ed – You can never know enough!
Let’s rethink sex education – In truth, all of us (including sexologists, researchers and all of us having it!) can never really know it all as, like most things in life, it evolves, and interests and practices change.
So, at Jooi we are hosting weekly Q & A’s to answer your questions around sex, sexuality, sexual wellness and lifestyle. Each week we will address a topic sent in to us via our contact form so please get in touch if you have something you would like us to share our thoughts on.
Q & A
Can you tell us a bit about your work as a psychotherapist? What people typically come to therapy – is it generally couples in their 40’s and 50’s?
There is no one kind of person that reached out for sex and relationship therapy. I see people age 16-75+, any gender, any sexuality, any ethnicity etc and from all over the UK and the world. The only typical thing about it, is that people want to understand, explore or seek change. I work with couples and individuals and can say there is about a 50/50 balance as there is also between how many come to discuss issues around sex versus issues around relationships
What are the most common issues that you generally deal with in therapy?
The most common issues include:
Difficulties with sexual function such as performance anxiety related E.D., premature ejaculation, Vaginismus (vaginal pain when attempting penetration), difficulty achieving orgasm.
Issues around mismatched sexual desire in couples and rekindling desire.
Relationship difficulties including working through differences, communication issues, relationship breakdown and infidelity.
Understanding sexuality including preferences and fetishes.
Sex and Relationship Education.
Compulsivity around Porn and Sex (AKA sex/porn addictions).
Building sexual and relational self-confidence
How do you work with individuals/couples in therapy?
Sex and Relationship is a talking therapy where we explore the causes of the issues and use a variety of approaches and techniques to work on overcoming the difficulties. Different therapists have different approaches. I use an integrative approach meaning that I draw upon a number of different theories and approaches in order to tailor the therapy to each individual or couple depending on what they are seeking to achieve and what works most effectively for them. Some people want to talk and receive reassurance and empathy while they find their own answers, others are looking for guidance, while others want solutions. Some people come to therapy for 6-8 sessions while others come longer term as they feel it helps them in various areas of their life.
What is the biggest impact on relationships that you have seen due to the Covid-19 lockdowns?
The biggest impact I have seen of the lockdown on relationships is that sex lives may have become a little sluggish. It has certainly been trickier to keep the chemistry alive with being in the same place as partners 24 hours a day. However, I have seen that a lot of people are keen to work on any sexual issues they have had during this time.
What appealed about working with jooi?
I feel it is important that a sex-positive ethos is promoted to all and have often felt that there are a lack of online sites selling sex toys/aids where everyone can feel welcome and comfortable browsing and purchasing. I like that it is inclusive, informative and entirely non-threatening. It’s great to be part of a website that doesn’t need to use flesh to sell and doesn’t use wording that can be uncomfortable or feel embarrassing for some. To be honest, it just kind of says, ‘Sex is normal and healthy, make what you want of it and enjoy it, whoever you are’.
What would you most like to change about the Sexual Wellness industry?
I would like to see the industry progress at a quicker speed but that’s really because I think it’s important and there is still so much awkwardness for people around sex, particularly around older generations and of course, they are the parents and the grandparents so they influence the younger generations too! Even in people my own age, I notice such an awkwardness – when I mention I’m a sex therapist, some people blush, especially as I can’t talk about it enough! I think there are many people doing amazing things right now. Apps being developed and launched and experts and researchers doing their best to share facts and findings with us so I just hope that in a few years talking about sexual wellness will be as comfortable as talking about diet and exercise.
What is the biggest challenge the industry faces?
I think the biggest challenge is probably being held back by social constructs around sex. We need to get past this awkwardness and one-way vision. Sex is not dirty, we don’t need to shy away from it. Search engines and social media don’t need to sensor healthy conversations and promotion of it, and consumers need access to facts, support and promotion of sexual wellness.
What current trend is the most exciting for you?
The most exciting trend which I hope will remain, grow and become truly equal is the growing focus on female pleasure. Many of us have had sexual experiences which have focused on the male orgasming, thankfully that’s hopefully a thing of the past and gender will become irrelevant in who instigates, how sex goes, and who orgasms.
What is your hope for JOOI and the Sexual Wellness Industry?
I hope it grows in a sex-positive direction that is fully inclusive. There is a place for procreational, erotic, sensual, romantic, filthy, and straight-up sex however it at the moment the industry skips the normalising of it as part of a happy, healthy life. I hear it’s a nightmare to get a bank account for a shop selling sex toys/aids. That says it all really… Why is something that is as normal as eating so stigmatised? I hope that JOOI and all the other sex-positive forward-thinkers in the Sexual Wellness industry will change this and shake off the out-dated views that hold people back.
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