Wellness Community Member: Lucy Snider, Psychosexual and Relationship Psychotherapist

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Let me introduce myself:  I’m Lucy Snider, a Psychosexual and Relationship Psychotherapist and Sexual Health Educator. I’m originally from Edinburgh, Scotland but spent 11 years living in London, England and moved to Kelowna, BC earlier this year. I’ve been working in the field of mental health for about 10 years and the field of sexual health for 8 years
This is what wellness means to me: Wellness for me is a sense of overall balance and well-being in your life. It’s about being in tune with your body and mind, recognizing what your needs are and taking steps to getting your needs met. Of course this is easier said than done and unfortunately society can still often stigmatize “self-care” as “selfish” and it takes practice, but we’re so much more able to feel capable in all areas of our lives when we’re able to address our own needs
I contribute to the wellness community by: Back in London I was working in a sexual health clinic as a sexual health adviser and psychosexual therapist, providing support, information and education around all aspects of sexual health as well as support and treatment for sexual dysfunctions. I also worked as a psychosexual and relationship therapist for a charity providing therapy for a wide range of clients. Since moving to Kelowna I have started my own practice, BC Sexual Wellness, where I offer specialist psychotherapy for individuals and couples experiencing sexual and relationship issues. I also volunteer at Options for Sexual Health, a BC sexual health charity
One item I can’t live without: Blankets! I love being warm and cosy!
My favourite self care practice:  Yoga and exercise are important to me, but so is remembering to keep a balance and resting when I need to. I love taking long, hot, bubble baths to relax
How I keep my wellness simplified: I like to try to remember that acts of self care don’t have to be big, small acts are just as important. I try to manage a few small acts every day, such as having a hot drink or spending time looking at nature
This is what motivates me:  My clients are huge motivator for me. I’m inspired every day by the strength I see in my clients. People speaking openly about their struggles reminds me we’re all human and we all have a story. It helps me to maintain empathy for myself and others and I’m always grateful for that
Learn more about me at:
Check out my website at www.bcsexualwellness.com
Twitter: _sexualwellness
Instagram: sexualwellness
Linked In: lucysnider
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5 Myths About Sex & Relationships

Five Myths About Sex & Relationships by Lucy Snider, Psychosexual and Relationship Psychotherapist and Sexual Health Educator

1) Sexual Desire is Always Spontaneous
Desire can be spontaneous i.e. you feel sexual desire randomly without anything specifically triggering it, but it is much more likely to be responsive. Responsive sexual desire is when we are exposed to something stimulating (such as sensual touch, kissing, fantasy or erotica) and by engaging with the stimulus we begin to feel sexually aroused and then desire may kick in later (or it may not). If one partner complains that they always initiate sex it may be that they experience spontaneous desire but the other does not. There is nothing wrong with either partner, they are just different.

2) Most Women Can Orgasm from Penetrative Sex
Most women (roughly 80%) cannot achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. This is because the clitoris has thousands of nerve endings and plays a big role in orgasm. Most positions that accommodate vaginal penetration don’t provide adequate clitoral stimulation. Even if a woman can achieve orgasm from penetrative sex, it is likely that it occurs in a position which allows for clitoral stimulation. If you struggle with achieving orgasm, experiment with different types (speeds, pressures, instruments such as finger, palm, tongue, toys) of clitoral stimulation to find out what works for you. And remember the lube! If you don’t feel you’re naturally lubricating enough it doesn’t mean you’re not “into it”, lots of things can affect natural lubrication, but adequate lubrication is really important otherwise sex is likely to be painful and no fun at all! I recommend the following range of organic lubricants: http://www.yesyesyes.org.

3) If We Argue Then the Relationship is Over
All couples argue! Conflict is enviable as we are all individuals with unique personalities and there will always be things we see differently from others. So it is not the absence of conflict but rather how you manage conflict that is important. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to manage conflict. If you feel things getting heated, take a time out. It is much better to come back to something once you have both had the opportunity to calm down. Stick to “I” statements rather than “you” statements and frame feedback factually i.e. “I feel hurt when I see you on your phone” rather than “you are always on your phone, you’re so selfish”

4) If We Have to Schedule Sex the Romance Has Gone
Real life means we are all busy with a to-do-list as long as your arm. It is very common that sex gets pushed further and further down the list until we forget about it completely. Making a commitment to dedicate specific, protected time to being intimate with your partner means you acknowledge that it is an important part of the relationship that needs to be nurtured. Scheduling can help both of you maintain it as a priority. It might feel weird at first but you can still mix it up, take turns initiating on the days you choose to schedule sex or deciding what activity to choose. Ironically, the more time you dedicate to intimacy the more likely it is that those spontaneous moments might occur!

5) Sex Has to Include Penetration and Orgasm
“Sex” can mean anything you want it to mean! Any kind of intimate contact that you feel is sexual is sex. And it doesn’t have to include orgasm. The more we “try” to make something happen, the less likely it is to happen, and the more likely you are to get stuck in a negative cycle of worrying you won’t come, focusing on trying to, not coming, then being upset/disappointed. Then you probably won’t want to engage in sexual contact the next time there’s an opportunity because “what’s the point”. Instead, try experimenting with different kinds of touch and really focusing on the experience without thinking about “the destination” (of course, easier said than done, but the more you practice, the easier it gets). This can be especially helpful for new mums who feel nervous about having sex again after baby is born. You don’t need to jump in at the deep end, start slowly, and above all, communicate with your partner.

Lucy Snider is a Psychosexual and Relationship Psychotherapist and Sexual Health Educator based in Kelowna, BC. For more information you can contact her via her website at www.bcsexualwellness.com or find her on social media – Twitter: _sexualwellness and Instagram: @sexualwellness 

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