According to renowned sex therapist Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, a man’s sexuality informs everything he does—how he approaches his work and recreation, how he meets or avoids challenges, how he relates to others, and how he feels about himself. But many times, raising the topic of sexuality causes men to get uncomfortable or defensive.

In the following video clip with Networker Editor Rich Simon, Perel explains how you can interweave questions and observations about sexuality throughout a session to expand your male client’s understanding of its significance in all aspects of his life.

Talking about sex with your male clients doesn’t have to be a difficult experience, Perel contends. “If I’m talking about identity and gender, I will talk about sexuality,” she says. “If I’m talking about relationships, I will talk about sexuality. I have a sense of what sexuality can mean and where it can fit in the various aspects of a person’s life, and then I make the link.”

In her Networker article, Perel writes that too much of us grow up in “sexual silence.” Often, she explains, we grow up to associate pleasure with guilt and shame. “As a therapist,” she says, “I provide a language and even a kind of aesthetic tone to counter the sense of degradation that’s often part of people’s experience of sex.”

Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.

Esther Perel

Psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered more than 40 million views and her international bestseller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into more than 30 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity (HarperCollins). She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an AASECT certified sex therapist, a member of the American Family Therapy Academy and of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research. Esther is also the host of the hit podcast “Where Should We Begin?” which is available on Apple Podcasts. Her latest project is “Where Should We Begin – A Game of Stories with Esther Perel.” Learn more at