While there may be a rare few, special considerations for the LGBT clients I have served in my 40-year Seattle sex therapy practice, the similarities of sex therapy for LGBT people far outweigh the differences when compared with heterosexuals. I have to smile when I think of John Gray trumpeting the differences between the sexes as “Men being from Mars,” and “Women from Venus.” Thankfully, my LGBT clients reside on planet Earth. Let’s bypass the metaphors and stereotypes. I find more convergence than divergence among LGBT patients to the inter-planetary casting of traditional relationships and sexual problems.
Gay, lesbian and transsexual people, as human beings, have problems with communication and expectations. These problems are best dealt without straining to find areas where LGBT clients are vastly different from heterosexual clients. If a client is not having orgasm, or not desiring sex, it does not matter if that client is female, male, heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual. They need to see a board certified sex therapist who knows how to solve these problems regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Sexually speaking, there are some pinpoint issues for LGBT individuals and couples, but basic problems of an emotional bond, clear and sensitive communication of desires and preferences, and the lack of sexual satisfaction are obvious for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
Basic health habits, more meaningful communication, and the formation and expression of cogent, rational thoughts, rather than distorted or negative thoughts, are of the utmost relevance to solving any sexual or relationship problem.
In my practice, I have often see a gay or lesbian couple or an individual who had previously sought out a gay or lesbian therapist because they believed that the therapist had to be like them to be able to solve their problems. What they found after working with me is that, overwhelmingly, it is the training and experience of the therapist that affects thoroughly solving a given relationship or sexual problem, not the sexual orientation.
As a specialist, I would contrast my approach with those general therapists, marriage and couples counselors who do not have the training and experience to solve sexual intimacy issues. “What it all comes down to,” (to quote Alanis Morissette), is not whether they are gay or straight. What matters is whether they are prepared to develop and execute an effective treatment plan based on superb credentials and experience as a bona fide sex and relationship therapist.
I see plenty of gay and lesbian individuals and couples, and some transsexuals. I also see plenty of heterosexual individuals and couples. I do not make a distinction as to whether my clients are heterosexual or not, or whether they are women or men. Yes, Virginia, the similarities in gay sex are greater than the differences!