Sex hypnotherapy: “You are feeling very horny…”

Can hypnotherapy save your sex life? Hypnotherapist Georgia Foster says it can, by re-educating the unconscious part of the mind that may be trying to avoid intimacy. By Celia Dodd

If you’ve ever thought you would like more sex and can’t put your finger on what’s holding you back, the answer could lie deep within your mind. It doesn’t matter how determined you are to get your sex life back on track; if your unconscious is reluctant you don’t stand much of a chance, because it will always win the internal argument.

That is the view of clinical hypnotherapist Georgia Foster, who uses hypnosis to improve her clients’ sex lives. “Sex starts in the mind,” she says. “If your mind isn’t turned on, the experience won’t be positive and it won’t be something you’ll be keen to go back to.

“If memories of negative sexual experiences keep coming back, the unconscious mind, which manages your emotional life, will try to avoid intimacy at all costs, because it always protects you from vulnerability – or what it mistakenly perceives as vulnerability. Hypnosis educates that deeper part of the mind to understand that it is safe to be a sexual person.”

Hypnosis may sound like a desperate measure. But one option is to work through Foster’s book, The 4 Secrets of Amazing Sex (from GeorgiaFoster.com), and listen to the self-hypnosis tracks at home. This feels less drastic than, say, sex therapy, which involves couples first acknowledging to each other that there is a problem.

With hypnotherapy one partner can work on building their sexual self-esteem alone, even without the other knowing. So in some ways it feels more accessible, particularly if people are shy or embarrassed, perhaps because they’re out of practice.

And it can be a crucial first step for couples who have stopped talking about sex. We are endlessly told by sexperts that it is vital to communicate, but that’s not much help – indeed it’s downright counterproductive – if you have reached the stage where you can’t even begin to broach the subject. It often feels like too much of a risk to try to instigate change and it’s easier to avoid the subject altogether.

But ultimately this can seriously threaten your relationship. The longer you don’t have sex the harder it is to get back into it, and without that intimate connection partners often start to mistrust and misinterpret what the other says or does.

“The problem is that when you start to avoid intimacy it becomes the elephant in the room, and you may get quite anxious about sex,” says Foster. “It’s almost like a phobic situation, where the more you avoid it the stronger the anxiety becomes.

“If the communication between you is not that great, you first have to become confident enough to know in your own mind what you really want and feel comfortable within your own body. Hypnotherapy gives you an opportunity to think about what you really want. Then you’ll feel more able to communicate that to your partner.”

Of course hypnotherapy can’t bypass the need for trust and patience, and perhaps even sheer hard work, which couples need to make lasting changes. But it can make it easier to break the vicious circle of virtual abstinence. What matters most is that both partners ultimately want the same thing: to be intimate with each other.