The Relationship Blog

Intimacy – Dr. Bruce Derman, Sex Therapist, Los Angeles

In my book, “We’d Have a Great Relationship if it Weren’t for You”  I mention a couple in which a woman, whom I was counseling as a sex therapist, was struggling and feeling obligatory  was struggling with feeling obligatory about sex. She was feeling like something was wrong with her. I helped her to celebrate her obligatory sex and to bring that to him consciously and openly, and not as a problem. Overall you need to keep in mind that my approach is not problem oriented, nor do I make judgments about good and bad.

How Do You Approach Someone Regarding An Obligation To Sex?

In the case of this client, she went to her husband and stated to him. “I’m running up a debt to you. I don’t want to keep running up a debt. What I have to offer you is obligatory sex, and I’m going to do that.” I told her that he would probably resist it because no one performs obligatory sex up front. There is a lot of obligatory sex that goes on in America, but no one does it openly. Typically you have to be sneaky to pull it off. But I encouraged her to be up front about it, and even when he would start to complain about it, to not listen to his complaints. Just to keep going on, and passionately get into it. After a while he got into the passion rather than focusing on the fact the original motivation was obligatory. And in the end he said that it was the best sex he had ever had with her. Passion is the key, but we limit ourselves in that we only accept passion if it occurs in certain forms. I support it in many forms, even if you come to bed bored. I support my people in celebrating their boredom. I suggest they share  with their partner how bored they are, but to do it passionately and It will transform the entire bed.

Between the sheets my sexual approach is a bed of acceptance, which is supported by my new definitions that sex is any energy and that orgasm is 100% of anything, I accept everything that goes on in the bed. This even includes impotency, since I don’t consider impotency a problem; I consider it an expression of your humanity.

Author: Bruce Derman Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and sex therapist in Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, and Santa Monica, California who specializes in working with people in all stages of relationships. You may reach Dr. Derman by calling (818) 375-7194.

For more information on sex therapy in Los Angeles, contact Dr. Bruce Derman PH.D. at

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