What does a sexual therapist actually do?
Julia Henchen is a sexual therapist and educator and has just published her first book. In this interview, she talks about how to reach even better solo sex, why the hymen is a myth, she and gives us specific instructions.
Nele Tüch: You are a couples and sex therapist, as well as a sex educator. How did you end up on this career path?
Julia Henchen: I have always been interested in relationships. Why do we fall in love? I always had questions and wanted to understand myself better. That's how I got into the profession of being a therapist and the topic of sex is just a part of it.
NT: You just published your first book. What is it about?
JH: Solo sex – how can we enjoy it, how can it help us to accept ourselves better, feeling good in our bodies and what does it take to understand our own sexuality? I clear up myths and misconceptions and show my stance on the subject.
NT: What would you like your readers to take with them from your book?
JH: Sex is great but it doesn't define your life! It can feel great but it's also okay if we are not in the mood.
NT: Your book contains very specific instructions and exercises. Can you tell us about an exercise?
JH: Sure! It's about perceiving the vulva as part of the body – for this you can feel your vulva with your hand, rest it on it and just see how it feels. What are you thinking and feeling about while doing it? First of all, it's not about having solo sex rather than identifying with your body and perceiving the vulva being a part of it.
NT: "Lustfaktor" is all about figuring out what you want for yourself - whether it's sex with your partner or solo pleasure. How did you figure that out for yourself?
JH: By taking myself, my wishes and needs seriously. This wasn't and isn't always easy because it can be challenging to question your past and your own ideas - but it's worth it. Very much so!
Photo Credit: Kim Hoss
NT: With your work on social media you want to educate and break taboos. What taboos still have to be broken today?
JH: Unfortunately there are still a lot: From the myth of the hymen to the myth that we only life a healthy life, when sex is included. We constantly compare ourselves and put pressure on each other – but sex should just feel good.
NT: We live in a sexually enlightened bubble and are certain that we are well educated in the basics of sex. What are things that are still and often done wrong?
JH: "Done wrong" is "learned wrong" and there is a lot, especially everything that relates to bonding and feelings. Of course also topics like anatomy. But we all learn new things all the time.
NT: You work as a couples therapist, among other things, what are the problems that keep coming up and how can they be solved?
JH: Sexual reluctance, orgasmic difficulties, affairs, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation. The solutions are very individual.
NT: Toys and accessories, such as lubricants, can enrich sex lifes. How do you integrate them into your therapy or counseling?
JH: They are always an issue when it comes to changing or dealing with solo sex.
NT: Lastly, I'd like to know what your last big discovery was.
JH: That writing a book is damn hard
Learn more about sexual myths: For example, about the myth of on ever-wet vulva. Why hardly anyone goes to an expert for vaginal dryness and what we can do about the problem. Read here!