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Best Online Sex Therapy Programs For 2024

Medically Reviewed and Edited by 
Olga Kyrychenko, Psychologist

Sexuality is an essential aspect of human life, but sexual health is very often overlooked. More than half of Americans report sexual difficulties. However, only 16% of them talk with healthcare professionals about it. Acknowledging and addressing challenges in this area doesn’t just improve sexual satisfaction; but it’s also essential for overall mental, emotional, and physical health.

Sexual health and mental health are, in fact, profoundly intertwined. Psychological issues contribute to sexual dysfunctions, but the reverse is also true: experiencing sexual difficulties can lead to mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. An effective solution to prevent mental and sexual health problems to affect and perpetuate each other is sex therapy.

Online sex therapy can help you overcome or manage any sexual difficulties you may be experiencing and improve the physical intimacy between you and your partner. Because it’s conducted virtually, it offers a convenient and flexible way to access therapy from the comfort of your home.

Since in many states sex therapy services are not legally protected and potentially anyone can profess to be a sexuality expert, it’s very important to find providers with the right credentials. For this reason, we’ve curated a list of the best online sex therapy programs, which include therapists who have AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) certification or a postgraduate sex therapy certification.

Top 4 Online Sex Therapy Services Compared

Our #1 Ranked Online Therapy Site
Betterhelp review
Editorial Rating
98.0%
Pricing

$60-$90 Per Week

Promo

20% Off First Month

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Pros
  • Safe, Trustworthy Company
  • Excellent customer service and easy to use platform
  • Affordable price and financial aid programs
Cons
  • Only one pricing plan
  • Doesn’t work with insurance, Medicare or Medicaid
Best For Couples Therapy
ReGain review
Editorial Rating
92.3%
Pricing

$60- $80 Per Week

Promo

10% off for the first month

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Pros
  • Safe to use, operated by Betterhelp
  • Therapists are always available on chat and reply often
  • Only one person has to sign up
  • Best prices for couples therapy
Cons
  • No option for 3-way live sessions, you have to be in the same room with your partner
  • No way to text the therapists without your partner reading it
Best With Insurance
talkspace review
Editorial Rating
87.2%
Pricing

$69 - $109 Per Week

Promo

$80 discount on the first month

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Pros
  • Guaranteed response time 5 days a week
  • Affordable price and insurance accepted
  • Excellent customer service
  • One week free trial
Cons
  • Getting matched with a therapist can take a few days
  • No live sessions included in the basic plan
Weekend Couples Therapy Retreat
Couples Therapy Inc. Review
Editorial Rating
73.1%
Pricing

$150 Per Meeting

Promo

Free Consultation Meeting

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Pros
  • First Consultation Meeting is 100% Free
  • One of very few places that has therapists who focus on the Gottman method
  • Provides intensive couples weekend retreats + online therapy
  • Can Choose Your Own Therapist
Cons
  • Much more expensive than other couples therapy sites
  • No mobile app

How We Choose

In our search for the best online sex therapy services, we based our choices on these key features:

  • Qualifications: All the platforms listed provide licensed sex therapists with AASECT certification or specific training in human sexuality.
  • Therapists availability: it’s essential to build a strong connection with the therapist. That’s why we selected platforms that allow you to choose your own and make it easy to change them if they’re not a good fit for you.
  • Accessibility: Online therapy is all about flexibility and convenience. Our chosen platforms offer different communication methods, from video and phone live calls to chat-based sessions.
  • Insurance and cost: we picked services that accept insurance or offer affordable out-of-pocket subscription plans. We also considered the transparency of prices to allow you to make informed financial decisions.

BetterHelp

BetterHelp is another widely recognized online therapy platform that offers sex therapy services through weekly video, phone, or live texting sessions. Although it offers only counseling for individuals, it has a large network of experienced therapists trained in intimacy issues. 

You can choose to conveniently get matched with a therapist by the system, or you can select your own. BetterHelp also offers the feature of messaging your therapist between live sessions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t accept insurance directly, but with a monthly subscription cost of $260–$360, it’s an affordable out-of-pocket option compared to competitors.

BetterHelp Pros:
BetterHelp Cons:
  • Large network of therapists with at least 3 years of experience
  • You can choose your own therapist by viewing their profile
  • Easy to switch between therapists
  • Affordable subscription plans
  • You can cancel your subscription at any time

 

  • Only individual therapy
  • Doesn’t accept insurance

ReGain

ReGain is an online relationship platform specifically designed for couples therapy, providing a dedicated space for partners to address relationship and intimacy issues. Therapy is available through scheduled live video or phone sessions. Alternatively, the platform provides a secure and discreet chat room, open 24/7, that allows you and your partner to send unlimited messages to the therapist. 

Subscription cost will depend on where you’re located and the availability of licensed therapists in your state, but you can expect a price range of $240 to $360 per month. ReGain doesn’t accept insurance, but you may talk to your provider to see if you might be eligible for reimbursements.

ReGain Pros:
ReGain Cons:
  • Three-way phone or video sessions
  • 24/7, unlimited messages
  • A subscription plan can be canceled at any time
  • Doesn’t accept insurance
  • It can take up to a few days to get matched with a therapist

Talkspace

Talkspace is a subscription-based online therapy platform that extends its services to specialized sex therapy. It offers both individual and couple sex therapy, and its services are particularly beneficial for people dealing with sex or intimacy addiction, people exploring sexual identity or orientation, or couples facing intimacy challenges. 

After a quick assessment, the platform lets you choose your own therapist based on your needs and preferences. Depending on the plan you choose, with the cheapest starting at $69 per week, you can access therapy through text, video, and audio messaging, as well as live video sessions. Talkspace accepts the most insurance plans.

Talkspace Pros:
Talkspace Cons:
  • Extensive therapy modalities, from live chat to asynchronous text to audio messaging
  • You can choose your own therapist
  • It’s easy and free to switch therapists
  • You can terminate your subscription whenever you wish
  • Accepts insurance
  • Limited number of therapists that offer sex therapy
  • The cheapest plan offers only text-based therapy.

Couples Therapy Inc.

Couples Therapy, Inc. distinguishes itself as a platform specializing in intensive couple therapy. It has more than 30 therapists, all of whom are certified and highly trained in ”The Gottman Method,” a science-based therapy that holds high success rates in addressing relationship and sexual concerns. 

Aside from providing short-term therapy lasting 3 months through live video sessions, it also offers the possibility of going on intensive in-person retreats, specifically designed to enhance sexual connections between partners. However, the dedicated sex therapists you’re matched with are only available in specific locations. The price per session ranges from $159 to $250, while for intensives it is $238–$438. If you’re interested in all-inclusive weekend retreats, the cost is $2,500–$8,500. The platform also offers a few free online self-help courses. It doesn’t accept insurance.

Couples Therapy Inc Pros:
Couples Therapy Inc Cons:
  • Licensed and certified sex therapists
  • Free consultation to choose your therapist
  • Offers short-term sex therapy
  • Offers free therapy courses
  • Doesn’t accept insurance
  • No subscription plans or financial aid are offered
  • Not as affordable as other platforms

What is Online Sex Therapy?

Sex therapy programs are a form of talk therapy that provide support for individuals and couples dealing with problems related to their sexuality. These issues are very likely to generate personal discomfort or dysfunctional couple dynamics. Because sex therapy is a form of psychotherapy, it’s generally covered by insurance.

Online sex therapy shares the same principles as face-to-face counseling, but it’s conducted virtually, typically via video calls or chat-based sessions.

It is normal to experience anxiety and embarrassment when you turn to a sex therapist, especially if it is the first time. Furthermore, having to talk about it with a stranger can appear to be a significant obstacle. However, keep in mind that sex therapists, with their level of preparation and expertise, are trained to listen to all aspects of sexuality without judgment, manage embarrassment, and make patients feel comfortable sharing intimate details.

Sex therapists can help you with sex dysfunctions, including:

  • Lack of arousal of desire
  • Inability to reach orgasm (anorgasmia)
  • Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation
  • Pain during sex (dyspareunia)
  • Low or excessive libido
  • Lack of response to sexual stimulus

They can also assist you in navigating difficulties like:

  • Performance anxiety or a feeling of fear or shame related to sex
  • Issues related to gender identity and/or sexual orientation
  • Improving the dialog about sexual and intimate matters with your partner.
  • Low confidence
  • Lack of response to sexual stimulus
  • Distressing sexual thoughts or fetishes

Sex therapy programs, on the other hand, can prove especially helpful in addressing issues related to sex addiction and intimacy addiction.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction, also known as hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior, is a condition under which an individual engages excessively and uncontrollably in sexual activities. People with sex addiction often find themselves unable to control their sexual impulses, having no power over their desires; they will persistently pursue the need for satisfaction despite negative consequences. This unhealthy behavior can manifest in different forms, like excessive pornography consumption, multiple sexual partners, or engaging in risky sexual activities.

If left untreated, sex addiction can pose serious risks to both the individual and those around them, resulting in relationship breakdowns, loss of employment, or even legal issues. Also, mental health might be affected, causing feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem.

Sex therapy seeks to uncover the origins and triggers of compulsive behaviors and equips people with coping mechanisms and healthier ways to deal with their sexuality. Through a combination of cognitive-behavioral techniques, psychoeducation, and open communication, sex therapy helps individuals identify potential trauma or emotional issues, break the cycle of addiction, and create a balance in their sexual lives.

Intimacy Issues

Intimacy issues refer to a range of difficulties that individuals may face in establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships. Intimacy issues are a form of relationship anxiety and they can manifest in various disorders, like intimacy avoidance, attachment disorders, trust issues, or even intimacy addiction.

People with intimacy disorders tend to self-sabotage their relationship, be unable to share feelings or express emotion or have an insatiable sexual desire. All these behaviors are rooted from deep fear or anxiety associated with physical or emotional closeness to someone.

Failing to address intimacy issues can significantly impact an individual’s life and mental health, leading to feelings of isolation and frustration, a perpetual sense of unfulfillment in relationships and, over time, even to depression.

Sex therapy can help individuals explore and understand the underlying reasons and emotional factors that prevent them from engaging in authentic and genuine relationships. Therapists work together with their clients to explore past experiences, and detect possible traumas.

This includes helping people become aware of themselves by employing different therapeutic approaches, like psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral strategies, or relational therapy. Through this process, people learn to overcome barriers to intimacy and to create healthier lasting connections.

Is Online Sex Therapy Effective?

Although sex therapy is a relatively new field, numerous case reports and controlled studies have shown promising results about its effectiveness. For instance, a randomized controlled study conducted in 2019 examined the effectiveness of an Internet-based psychological treatment program for female sexual dysfunction. The results demonstrated that women who completed the online program reported improved sexual and relationship functioning, both short- and long-term.

Another example is a meta-analysis of research conducted in 2017 that showed how mindfulness-based sex therapy is an effective approach in the treatment of female sexual arousal disorders and the management of situational ED in men. The participants reported significant improvements in sexual desire, sexual function, and sex-related distress.

How Does Online Sex Therapy Work?

Sex therapy programs are generally short and focused interventions. The duration is on average 6–9 months, but as with any therapy, it’s sensitive to the nature of the sexual problem, your personal motivation, and the frequency of meetings. A session is typically an hour long and is held on a weekly basis.

In your first session, the therapist will explore the reasons you’re seeking therapy, your desired life changes, and the specific goals you hope to accomplish. You will also be asked about your mental health history and any personal details that will help the therapist get to know you.

Like any other form of therapy, a good relationship between patient and therapist is vital. Make sure to use your first session to understand whether the therapist is the right fit for you. If you don’t feel a strong connection or if you don’t feel in a safe place with them, don’t hesitate to look for another provider.

Since sex therapy is a type of talk therapy, it involves talking through issues. You can expect to discuss thoughts, emotions, experiences, or challenges revolving around your intimacy. Based on the specific issue treated and their personal approach, sex therapists may employ a variety of evidence-based treatments. The most commonly used are:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a goal-oriented therapeutic method that is centered on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. In sex therapy, CBT is applied to address cognitive distortions related to sexual experiences and sex perception, helping individuals or couples develop healthier attitudes and behaviors.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT combines cognitive and behavioral techniques to promote acceptance and change. It’s often used to help individuals manage intense emotions and improve interpersonal relationships, and in sex therapy, it assists in addressing emotional dysregulation or interpersonal challenges that impact sexual well-being.

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT)

EFT is an evidence-based approach that centers on understanding and managing emotions to improve relationships. In sex therapy, EFT aims to explore and transform emotional dynamics within intimate connections, promoting a more secure and satisfying sexual relationship between partners.

Somatic Sex Therapy

Somatic sex therapy involves integrating the body and mind to address sexual concerns. Therapists may incorporate body-focused techniques, mindfulness, and physical exercises to help individuals or couples connect with their bodies, overcome trauma, and enhance overall sexual well-being.

One of the peculiarities of sex therapy, however, is the assignment of tasks. These are practical activities that patients must perform at home, alone or with their partner, according to the specific indications provided by the therapist. These homework may include psychoeducation, experimentation, communication strategies, and mindfulness exercises, like sensate focus, an effective technique that aims to reduce sexual anxiety by increasing the sense of intimacy and trust in the couple.

Who is it Meant For?

If you feel that your quality of life and your emotional or psychological health are significantly affected by intimacy issues or sexual challenges with your partner, sex therapy could be the right choice. In particular, people who most benefit from this form of therapy are:

Individuals Experiencing Sexual Dysfunction

Sex therapy is particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or anorgasmia. Therapists employ a range of techniques to address these issues, combining psychological and behavioral approaches to enhance sexual function.

However, in cases where medical conditions exclusively contribute to sexual dysfunction, individuals may need concurrent medical interventions. Sex therapy is most effective when integrated with a holistic approach that may involve collaboration with healthcare professionals.

Individuals Dealing With Sexual Trauma or Abuse

Sex therapists work delicately to help survivors navigate the emotional aftermath, rebuild trust, and establish healthy sexual boundaries. However, in cases where the trauma is recent or acute, you may initially require trauma-focused therapy before transitioning to sex therapy. Safety and emotional well-being take precedence in these situations.

For more information, you can also read our guide for trauma and PTSD therapy online.

People Exploring Sexual Identity or Orientation

Sex therapy offers a supportive environment for individuals navigating questions of sexual identity or orientation. Therapists assist in the exploration process, encouraging self-acceptance and understanding.

Couples Facing Intimacy Challenges

Whether it’s communication breakdowns, desire disparities, or navigating issues related to infidelity, sex therapists guide couples to promote healthier connections and improve overall relationship satisfaction. However, it’s important to note that if relationship challenges extend beyond the scope of sexual intimacy and involve severe relational distress or abuse, couples may require additional therapeutic interventions, such as couples counseling or individual therapy.

Couples Seeking Relationship Enhancement

Couples looking to improve their overall relationship satisfaction and communication skills can benefit from sex therapy. The focus extends beyond addressing issues to proactively improving the quality of the relationship.

If couples, however, are not seeking to address specific concerns related to sexual health or intimacy but are primarily interested in general relationship counseling, they may explore alternative therapeutic approaches.

Online Sex Therapy vs. Couples Therapy and Relationship Counseling

All 3 therapy methods share the common goal of improving the overall quality of relationships. But while couples therapy and relationship counseling may touch upon intimacy and sexual issues, their primary emphasis lies in the overall health of the relationship, focusing more on its dynamics, communication patterns, and interpersonal challenges. Couple and relationship counselors usually take an action-oriented approach by providing education and practical techniques that are more effective for short-term results.

On the other hand, online sex therapy is specifically tailored to address concerns related to sexual function, expression, and satisfaction, not necessarily within the context of a relationship. Sex therapists use psychotherapy, and they are trained to deploy specific techniques and strategies with a specialized approach that allows individuals or couples to receive targeted guidance and achieve long-term results.

Online Sex Therapy - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if online sex therapy is right for me?

Online sex therapy can be beneficial if you are dealing with sex or intimacy addiction, experiencing sexual dysfunctions, facing challenges in intimacy, exploring sexual identity, or seeking relationship enhancement. If issues related to your sexual life are affecting your emotional or psychological well-being, online sex therapy may provide the support and tools you need.

Is online sex therapy as effective as in-person therapy?

Research has shown positive outcomes in areas such as sexual dysfunction and relationship functioning. Numerous studies suggest that online therapy, including online sex therapy, can be as effective as in-person sessions. In some cases, virtual settings might even make therapy more successful, as it makes it easier for patients to talk about intimate issues.

Does online sex therapy involve actual sex?

Absolutely no. Sex therapists are highly qualified and certified professionals who assist you through talk therapy. Sex therapy must not be confused with sex surrogate therapy, which is an uncommon practice completely separate from sex therapy.

Is sex therapy the same as couples therapy or relationship counseling?

No. While couples therapy and relationship counseling have a broader focus on relationship dynamics, sex therapy is specifically designed to treat issues related to sexual health and intimacy, providing a more targeted approach for individuals or couples facing challenges in this specific area.

Do we have to attend sex therapy as a couple?

Not necessarily. Although in some cases, in which your concern affects both parties, joining sex therapy as a couple might be more effective, you can seek therapy independently, especially for personal concerns, sexual dysfunctions, or if you’re exploring aspects of your sexual health and identity.

Do sex therapists prescribe medications?

No, sex therapists are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe any medication. If medications are needed, sex therapists may refer the client to a physician.

How much does online sex therapy cost?

The cost of online sex therapy varies among platforms. Some platforms offer subscription-based services, with a starting price of $260 a month. Others offer payment per session for a cost that ranges from $159 to $250.

Is sex therapy covered by insurance?

Yes, most online platforms are covered by insurance for sexual counseling online. Be sure to check if your provider is within the insurance network of the platform.

Is Online Sex Therapy Right For Me?

Occasional sexual dysfunction can be a natural part of someone’s life. Most people will experience them at least once in their lifetime. These dysfunctions may take different forms, like sex or intimacy addiction, a lack of interest in sex, an inability to become aroused or reach orgasm, low confidence, or sexual performance anxiety. Whatever the reason for interfering with a fulfilling sexual life and your relationship, online sex therapy can offer the support you need.

As a specialized form of psychotherapy, sex therapy programs will help you work through your issues, uncovering the root causes and psychological factors behind your difficulties and offering effective tools and strategies to make you move towards a fulfilling sex life.

Finding licensed sex therapists, however, can be difficult and might be limited by your location. Sexual counseling online, on the other hand, makes it easier. Providing a convenient and flexible way to access the care you need at your own pace allows you to talk with a therapist via video call or chat-based sessions from the comfort of your home.