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Online sex therapy is a type of talking therapy available to individuals, couples, and polyamorous partners. Sexual issues may affect a person’s mental and emotional well-being, but therapists specializing in these areas can offer coping strategies and techniques.

A quick look at the best online sex therapy services

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sexual health is integral to the overall health and well-being of an individual and those with whom they have a close, intimate relationship.

If a person is having difficulties in this area, they may wish to consider online sex therapy.

Sex therapists are qualified counselors or healthcare professionals who help people with sexual difficulties.

They can help individuals experiencing various challenges, such as a lack of desire, difficulty having orgasms, pain during sex, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or any other issue related to sex.

Sex therapy sessions usually involve talking therapy, during which a person will discuss their sexual experiences, feelings, and therapy goals.

Sexual difficulties may affect a person’s mental health and lead to conditions such as depression and anxiety. According to the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), sex is an important part of a person’s physical and emotional health.

The ASHA also states that sexual health covers many areas, including:

  • pleasure
  • satisfaction
  • intimacy
  • communication

Medical News Today looks at some of the following criteria when deciding on reputable and well-received services:

  • Health claims: MNT includes companies that make no questionable health claims.
  • Trust: MNT includes companies that operate with transparency in regard to their products, services, and leadership. Also, where relevant, chosen companies have certifications from reputable, third party organizations.
  • Business standards: MNT chooses companies that follow safe and ethical business and marketing practices.
  • Reputation: MNT highlights companies that have positive standings with the Better Business Bureau and neither warnings from governing bodies nor unresolved lawsuits.

It can be difficult to choose from the many online sex therapy options. A suitable starting point may be the online directories from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and the Society for Sex Therapy & Research (SSTAR).

Below, we look at some online sex therapy options to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these services. All information is purely research-based and correct at the time of publishing.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for text therapy: Talkspace

  • Price: $69–109 per week
  • Specializes in: anyone in need of mental health support
  • Communication method: live video, video and audio messaging, phone call, and live online text chat
  • Accepts insurance: yes

Talkspace is an online therapy platform that offers a range of support options, including relationship and sex-related therapy. The sessions can be for individuals or couples.

Once a person registers, they can browse licensed therapist profiles to search for someone with the appropriate specialty in sex and relationships. People can also switch therapists at any time at no extra cost.

A person who registers as part of a couple can still have individual therapy sessions once treatment starts and upon a therapist’s recommendations. The sessions are available via video chat, messaging, or telephone.

This is a subscription service, with prices ranging from $69 to $109 per week. The cost depends on the service a person or couple chooses and whether they opt for an individual or couple’s membership.

Talkspace reportedly works with a variety of health insurance plans. A person can contact their health insurance provider or their employer’s human resources department for confirmation of coverage.

Pros

  • The company accepts insurance coverage.
  • It allows people to choose from three different plans.
  • Therapy sessions can take place via video, text, or telephone.
  • A person can message their therapist at any time of the day.
  • The company employs psychiatrists who can prescribe medications.

Cons

  • Video sessions are only available in certain plans.
  • Remote sessions may not suit people who nare in a life threatening situation.
  • Trustpilot reviews are mostly negative.

Best for couples: ReGain

  • Price: $60–90 per week
  • Specializes in: couples seeking therapy
  • Communication method: live video, text messaging, phone call, and live online text chat
  • Accepts insurance: no

ReGain specializes in relationship therapy and claims to be the world’s largest couples therapy service. However, it also offers individual counseling. The service deals with a range of relationship issues, including intimacy and sex.

ReGain’s service is 100% online, and a person can choose whether they would prefer to use messaging, video, or phone calls. Individuals can also message their therapist at any time and arrange a live session whenever it suits them.

All therapists have licenses and accreditation in their fields and specialize in a range of topics. Once a person registers on the website, they can choose the area of their relationship they wish to discuss. Individuals may also select “improve sex and intimacy,” for which ReGain will assign them a suitable therapist.

The prices start from about $60 to $90 per week, depending on location, a person’s needs, and therapist availability. A person can cancel their membership at any time.

Pros

  • It is possible to sign up as a couple or an individual.
  • A person can message their therapist at any time of the day.
  • Sessions can take place by phone, video chat, or instant message.

Cons

  • The service matches people with therapists through an algorithm rather than allowing them to make their own selection.
  • There is an exclusive focus on relationship problems.
  • A person may be unable to claim back the costs through their insurance plan.

Best for individuals: BetterHelp

  • Price: $60–90 per weekh
  • Specializes in: anyone in need of mental health support
  • Communication method: live video call, phone call, and live online text chat
  • Accepts insurance: no

BetterHelp offers a wide range of licensed therapists, some of whom specialize in intimacy issues.

A person can message their assigned therapist at any time. Sessions can take place via live video call, phone call, or live chat. Weekly online group seminars are also available for individuals to attend if they wish.

The cost ranges from about $60 to $90, depending on location, therapist availability, and individual preference. A person can use the therapy service for as long as they need and cancel their membership at any time.

Pros

  • The company offers therapy sessions for individuals, couples, and teens.
  • The therapists can hold sessions through video chat.
  • A person can join group sessions if they wish to do so.

Cons

  • A person cannot use their health insurance to cover the costs.
  • No psychiatrists are available, so people cannot receive prescriptions.
  • Billing occurs regardless of whether a person has scheduled any sessions.

Best for the LGBTQIA+ community: Pride Counseling

  • Price: $60–90 per week
  • Specializes in: LGBTQIA+ support
  • Communication method: live video, phone call, and live online text chat
  • Accepts insurance: no

Pride Counseling provides counseling for members of LGBTQIA+ communities. A person can register and discuss any issue with their assigned LGBTQIA+ specialized therapist.

Although the company does not specifically say that it offers sex therapy, all of its therapists are licensed, experienced, and trained in many different areas, including sexuality and other LGBTQIA+ matters. Pride Counseling assigns a therapist to a person depending on their preferences and needs, but clients can change therapists if they choose.

This service may be the preferred choice of individuals looking for a site tailored toward LGBTQIA+ issues, which may include sexual issues.

Currently, Pride Counseling only offers individual counseling options. A person can communicate with their therapist via messaging, live messaging, live video chat, and phone calls.

The price ranges from about $60 to $90 per week, depending on therapist availability and a person’s location and needs.

Pros

  • The therapists specialize in LGBTQIA+ identities and relationships.
  • A person can message their therapist at any time of the day.
  • Therapy sessions can take place via live messaging, video chat, and phone calls.

Cons

  • The company currently offers only individual counseling.
  • It does not accept health insurance coverage.
  • There are no psychiatrists available, so people cannot receive prescriptions.

The following table compares the services in this article.

PriceSpecializes inWays to communicate with a therapistAccepts insurance?
Talkspace$69–109 per weekanyone in need of mental health supportlive video
video and audio messaging
phone call
live online text chat
yes
ReGain$60–90 per weekcouples seeking therapylive video
text messaging
phone call
live online text chat
no
BetterHelp$60–90 per weekanyone in need of mental health supportlive video call
phone call
live online text chat
no
Pride Counseling$60–90 per weekLGBTQIA+ supportlive video
phone call
live online text chat
no

Our picks for the best online platforms offer similar services at comparable prices. The best online sex therapy service for a person may depend on their relationship status and personal identifiers, such as whether they identify as belonging to an LGBTQIA+ community and whether they have any partners. Some services specialize in specific focus areas or communities.

A person’s preferred means of communication with a therapist may also affect their decision. The services in this article offer a mix of live messaging, video calls, phone calls, and online group sessions.

Once a person has found a sex therapist, they need to first decide whether they will attend sessions by themselves or with their partners, if applicable. The length of a session will depend on the individual’s needs.

Sex therapists know that some people may feel awkward talking about sex, so they should try to make their clients feel more comfortable. Sex therapists are likely to start the first session by asking questions about someone’s background, history, sex education, and any specific sexual concerns.

Sex therapists may also assign tasks, or homework, for people to do between sessions. The tasks are likely to vary from person to person but may include practicing communication and educating themselves on their and their partner’s anatomy.

It is important to note that sex therapy does not involve sexual activity or physical contact between the client and therapist. People need to also be aware that if they feel uncomfortable with any aspect of the therapy, they can discuss this with the therapist, change therapists, or report the therapist to their licensing board as appropriate.

A person can use directories that list local and licensed sex therapists. Examples include AASECT and SSTAR.

People can filter AASECT results by country or by state. The directory advises those currently residing in the United States to search by state.

Individuals can also search the SSTAR website by a therapist’s name or location. Each therapist lists their address, email, website, and areas of specialization.

A person should speak with a doctor if their sexual problems are:

  • lasting longer than a few months
  • affecting their relationships
  • reducing their physical well-being
  • affecting their emotional well-being

Individuals who experience erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation can also speak with a doctor, as medications are available that could alleviate the symptoms.

It is always important to make a doctor aware of any current medications in case these could be affecting sexual health.

Below we look at some of the most frequently asked questions relating to sex therapy.

Is sex therapy right for me?

If a person has concerns about their sexual intimacy or finds that sexual issues are affecting their emotional well-being, they may benefit from sex therapy.

Sexual health conditions, such as erectile dysfunction, can also affect a person’s mental health, so individuals experiencing these health issues may benefit from contacting a therapist.

How is online sex therapy structured?

Online therapy involves counseling via secure video chat or other virtual methods. Similar to face-to-face counseling, a person will talk with their counselor, who will ask questions and may offer techniques and strategies that could ease difficulties.

A therapist will never ask a person to participate in sexual activity during their sessions — the sessions are talking-based only.

Individuals can search for online sex therapists through directories from AASECT and SSTAR.

What does online sex therapy usually cost?

Online sex therapy costs depend on the company and therapist. The options in this article range between $60 and $109 per week. The therapy may cost more than regular counseling, as it focuses on a specialized area of health and well-being.

Couples counseling may also cost more than individual counseling.

Can you do sex therapy by yourself?

A person can educate themselves on anatomy, sexual activity, and sexual health by themselves without speaking with a therapist. There are various free resources, including books, videos, and podcasts, that can provide sex education.

However, licensed sex therapists can help people get to the root of any concerns and provide tools to help them address sex in a healthier and more positive way.

Additionally, it is unnecessary for a person to bring their partner to a therapy session. People can attend sessions as an individual.

Do I need a sex therapist for sex therapy?

Sex therapists specialize in addressing concerns and issues that may negatively affect a person’s sexual activity and intimate relationships.

However, if someone wishes to address a number of concerns, including intimate relationships, they may prefer to find a therapist specializing in these other areas.

Sexual health is important for an individual’s or couple’s overall well-being. If a person has sexual difficulties, this could affect their mental health and their relationship with their partner or partners.

Online sex therapy, a type of talking therapy, is available to individuals and couples. People can discuss any sexual or relationship issues with a therapist typically specializing in these areas.

Many online therapy services involve a subscription fee, but a person can cancel this at any time.