Nicole was experiencing decreased libido, sexual pain from ongoing Candida (thrush) and interrupting thoughts during sexual activity. She also had a multitude of health problems, which affected her sexuality and feelings of self-esteem; she suffered from polycystic ovaries, endometriosis and Crohn’s disease. Ben had begun to anticipate Nicole’s pain during sex and realised that it was not enjoyable for her. This led to erectile dysfunction. Desire had decreased and sometimes it was difficult for Ben to orgasm. The conversation around sex was awkward and both partners felt they were stuck and unsatisfied.
Reducing emotional blockage for both partners and restoring communication. It became apparent that there had been a cycle of reactions to sex, with Nicole feeling guilty about certain aspects of her sexuality. Both partners were frustrated and their intimate time together needed pleasure and enjoyment introduced.
Chantelle provided psychosexual education, which allowed both partners to understand the psychological, biological, interpersonal and sociocultural aspects of their sexuality. During their sessions Chantelle explored issues that were specific to Ben and Nicole’s relationship. This included health concerns, taboos around sex, the anticipation of pregnancy, grief that pregnancy had not occurred, focusing on sex as a ‘journey’ as opposed to a ‘destination’ of penetration and orgasm.
Nicole was taught mindfulness techniques to help her become fully aware of her thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in a non-judgmental way. This helped Nicole stop ‘fighting’ with her negative thoughts and emotions associated with sex, but allow her to acknowledge, explore and accept them. An added benefit was a natural reduction of stress levels in her day-to-day life.
It was important that both partners enjoyed themselves in the bedroom and were able to make sex fun again. Instead of routine sex with the purpose of baby making, Chantelle helped the couple create cognitive interventions, which were used to identify the reasons for difficult emotions. These emotions were then evaluated for their accuracy and modified in a more useful and positive way. The couple was able to create a language for discussing sex, with the therapy room providing a space where they could openly discuss their sex life, concerns and achievements.
Ben and Nicole’s approach to sex change dramatically. It became exciting, instead of routine and taboo. Nicole’s anxieties about sex were reduced and she began to feel in tune with her personal arousal and desires. Ben’s erections were restored, alongside his ability to ejaculate. The couple’s sex life has become much more fun, positive and regular.
My wife and I went to see Chantelle as a happy couple who just happen to have a sex life that was unfortunately a little less active then most. It was something that we had both come to accept, and since we had a great connection in every other domain of our relationship was not something I had ever considered seeking help for. We were referred to see Chantelle as we were trying to get pregnant and were advised that this could help.
Our first interaction with Chantelle was over the phone with my wife, who can often be quite timid and can feel socially uncomfortable. In a very short conversation with Chantelle all awkwardness had melted away and she was left feeling comfortable and very welcomed.
This would go on to set the tone of our entire experience with Chantelle. In meeting individually, I was made to feel encouraged about things I never thought I would talk about, and I was allowed to accept my own thoughts and feelings in a way I never had before. In meeting as a couple our lives were discussed in a very delicate, professional and respectful manner. All concerns landed on empathetic ears and no issues left the room unaddressed.
I can honestly say I am very grateful to Chantelle for what allowed us to add to our relationship. We walked in as a happy couple with a lacking sex life, and left with not only an amazing sex life filled with intimacy and connection, but more importantly my wife and I now have an understanding of each other that has brought us closer than ever before.