Interview with Bima Loxley, Trainee Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist, on Desire Discrepancy

Bima: I am currently studying Clinical Sexology which will enable me to become a sex and relationship therapist in just under a years time. I have also just recently begun my psychosexual placement, which means I have real live clients who I can help. I am also a soon to be accredited RSE educator. All of these things are my vocations and Instagram is giving me a platform on which I can help people with their sex and relationship needs whilst I am still studying. I love this field and my passion and drive to succeed in it hopefully shows in my creations, which are thought of and made with love.

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What is desire discrepancy?

For an individual DD is the difference between what one’s desire/libido is vs what they want it to be. For people in sexual relationships, DD is where the desire/libido of each individual isn’t the same as the other person(s). One person will usually always want more sex than the other(s). It is also known as sexual incompatibility.

What are some common ’causes’ of desire discrepancy among partners?

Lack of communication. Inadequate knowledge of one’s own body or partner’s body. Stressors in life and/or in the relationship. Medical issues. Sex has gotten into a never-changing pattern. Past trauma. Major life change. One partner may be asexual. They’re just not that into you. And the worst “cause” is that society says we must be having way more sex than realistically plausible, the pressure from others out of our relationships is unbelievable.

What are some thoughts or feelings that pop up most in situations of desire discrepancy?

What is wrong with me? Am I good enough? Am I attractive? Is there something else wrong in our relationship? How do I fix this? Anger. Disappointment. Paranoia. Guilt. Shame.

Is desire discrepancy common?

Yes! It is probably one of the top 3 reasons as to why people go to sex and relationship therapy. You are not alone!

What are some coping mechanisms that do not help desire discrepancy?

Assuming the reason why DD has occurred. Keeping silent. Trying to push through and trying to have loads more sex. Cheating.

What can partners do to help alleviate issues arising from desire discrepancy?

Communicate! Work out what your “normal” frequency is and do not compare to others. Masturbate! Soothe the other person, say it’s not a big deal if it is not. Schedule intimacy/sex. Learn what each other needs in order to be turned on. Take your time!

What advice would you give to people who are worried about desire discrepancy in their relationship?

Do not over think it! DD is normal and extremely common. Question if you have ever actually met people (IRL) in a relationship where their desire was at the exact same level. The answer is probably that 1: you don’t know anyone who are 100% the same or 2: people lie and are most probably just as worried as you are. Do not believe everything you see in porn/the movies. Have a sex/penetration ban and focus on other sexual activities – remove the pressure.

Any recommended reading/watching/following/listening in relation to desire discrepancy?

I love any David Schnarch book, especially Passionate Marriage. Barry and Emily McCarthy with Rekindling Desire. Emily Nagoski with Come As You Are. Dr Karen Gurney with Mind the Gap. The one podcast that got me into this field and love was Sex with Emily. Hannah Witton’s Youtube videos are also amazing.

Grace Alice Sex And Relationships Educator

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Disclaimer

This service is fully limited to Sexuality Education. All advice is given in an honest manner and as guidance only. By using this service, you agree that you make your own decisions, relying solely on your discretion; any use you make of such answers, advice or services is at your own risk and ‘Grace Alice Sexuality Educator’ cannot be held responsible or be liable for any damages or losses resulting from your reliance on such answers or advice.

What is a peer-to-peer support session?

Firstly, let us start with what the session is not! I am not a practicing sex therapist, sexologist, medical professional, psychotherapist, psychologist, counsellor, or mental health professional. Therefore, I do not provide medical advice (although I may recommend that you seek guidance from a medical professional if appropriate) or a therapy service.

Sex & Relationships Education is a separate field to these professions, and I employ my own unique approach based on my qualifications, training, and experience. I hold an undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy and a Masters degree in Health Promotion. I have over six years experience working as a Sex & Relationships Educator and have undergone continuous professional development and training. I also studied empathy education as a UNESCO scholar, which informs my approach. Details of my qualifications and training are available on my LinkedIn page – please see the ‘About’ page also!

Within a session, I offer a confidential and safe space for discussion of various issues relating to relationships and sexuality. I strive for a relaxed, informal vibe, where you can chat about something that you have been struggling with. I can offer a friendly and non-judgemental listening ear, suggestions on how you can approach your own personal situation, general information on the related topic(s) and details of relevant professionals, support services and organisations (usually in a follow-up email). I can accommodate sessions relating to many topics relating to relationships and sexuality – including but not limited to body image, sexual communication, consent and boundaries, protection, anatomy, vaginismus, porn, STIs and STI stigma, healthy and unhealthy relationships, gender and sexuality, pleasure, arousal, desire, infidelity, break-ups, dating, and more.  I want my clients to feel relaxed, comfortable, and free to talk without fear or shame, like they would with a very close friend!

How does a Booking work?

In a nutshell, you can contact me via the booking page on this site and request a booking. If I decide that a session with me would be a good fit for you, I will contact you and arrange a time and date!

Here is the pricing for sessions;

ServiceDurationCost
Standard Session1 hour€50
Student* Standard Session1 hour€40
   
*A valid student I.D. must be presented.  

Please note that the session must be paid for in full at least 24 hours prior to the session, using the payment method and details I will provide to you in an email. If you do not have PayPal, we can arrange another form of payment (Revolut or bank transfer – please factor in the extra time it will take you to set up an account if needed or the possible delay in bank transfers, this may slightly affect the scheduling of your session).

Due to the nature of this service, I cannot offer any refunds for any reason during or after a session.

However, if you have paid and can no longer attend the scheduled session, I can offer you a full refund if you notify me of the cancellation at least 48 hours beforehand. If you wish to reschedule, please notify me at least 48 hours before the time of the scheduled session, and we can work something out!

Am I guaranteed to have a session?

Imay choose not to do a session with you if I feel that I am unable to offer support or education relating to your situation. I will contact you to let you know if I have decided that my service is not a good fit for you, and I will offer some suggestions regarding more suitable professionals/organisations/services to contact.

Although we may chat about lots of different things during a session, if someone has clearly not been truthful in the booking form about the topic area that want to discuss and appear to have an ulterior motive in booking the session, I may choose to end the session. The same rule applies to a situation where someone is clearly not who they have stated they are in the booking form. 

I cannot offer sessions to anyone under the age of 18 years. I may choose to ask you to present a copy of a valid form of I.D. if I feel that confirmation of age is needed. Requesting to book a session indicates that you are aged 18 years or over, and that you are being truthful in disclosing your age.

If I feel that someone is being disrespectful, offensive, or inappropriate, and I feel uncomfortable, I may choose to end the session. I may also end the session if I believe that it is being recorded.

Is it all confidential?

Y

es! Confidentiality is essential to a service like this and I will do everything in my power on my end to protect it.

Here is what I will do on my end; I will abide by GDPR guidelines and make every effort to keep all personal information relating to sessions safe. Booking requests and emails with a form attached/included will be retained for no more than 1 year. The form may be printed, and I may take notes before, during and after the session either by hand or typed. Forms, notes, and USB key will all be stored in a locked file safe in my home office. All forms and notes (hard and soft copies) will be deleted and/or destroyed after one year.  I will send you a Zoom Meeting ID and password before the session using the email address you have given me. I will use headphones and will be alone in a private space during all sessions. All  records of calls and video calls will be deleted after one year.

Please be mindful of what you choose to share within the session. I have an obligation to break confidentiality and report to Tusla and/or the Gardaí any disclosures of child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and other crimes.

Here is what you must do on your end! You must not screenshot, record and/or distribute any part of your session. It is also your responsibility to protect your privacy as much as you like on your end. This may include keeping your phone password-protected, using a non-identifiable email address that does not include your name, deleting correspondence, making sure you have a private space for your session where you will not be interrupted or overheard, etc.

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