One of the primary benefits of sex therapy—whether the immediate goal is learning to have orgasms with partners, overcoming premature ejaculation, or solving almost any other problem—is that partners participating together in the treatment often develop more effective communication skills. This quotation from our files illustrates how important communication can be in solving sexual difficulties:

He would say he was sorry he was so fast, and that maybe it would get better with time. Finally, I asked him to come to class with me the day you showed the film demonstrating the technique. Once we really talked openly things began to work well. He showed me how he liked to be stimulated, things he had never told me before. He became much more aware of my needs and what I needed to be satisfied. We really started getting into a lot of variety in our lovemaking, instead of just kissing and intercourse. By the way, the technique did work in slowing him down, but I think the biggest benefit has been breaking down the communication barriers. (Authors’ files)

We encourage you to review the communication strategies in Chapter 7 to help improve your communication.

It can be particularly valuable for partners to communicate with each other about what kind of touching they find arousing by showing each other how they masturbate. This activity is often a part of sex therapy for women learning to experience orgasm with a partner and for resolving premature ejaculation and erectile difficulties. Mastur­bation is also a way to accommodate a potentially problematic difference in sex drive in a couple. The partner who wants sexual release more often than the other can mastur­bate while the other partner kisses and caresses him or her without needing to become aroused or experience orgasm.