According to renowned sex therapist Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, a man’s sexuality informs everything he does—how he approaches his work and recreation, how he meets or avoids challenges, how he relates to others, and how he feels about himself. But many times, raising the topic of sexuality causes men to get uncomfortable or defensive.

In the following video clip with Networker Editor Rich Simon, Perel explains how you can interweave questions and observations about sexuality throughout a session to expand your male client’s understanding of its significance in all aspects of his life.

Talking about sex with your male clients doesn’t have to be a difficult experience, Perel contends. “If I’m talking about identity and gender, I will talk about sexuality,” she says. “If I’m talking about relationships, I will talk about sexuality. I have a sense of what sexuality can mean and where it can fit in the various aspects of a person’s life, and then I make the link.”

In her Networker article, Perel writes that too much of us grow up in “sexual silence.” Often, she explains, we grow up to associate pleasure with guilt and shame. “As a therapist,” she says, “I provide a language and even a kind of aesthetic tone to counter the sense of degradation that’s often part of people’s experience of sex.”

Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day. 

Esther Perel

Longtime contributor and speaker at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, Esther Perel, MA, LMFT, is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative voices on personal and professional relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. She is the best-selling author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (translated into 25 languages) and producer of the online training continuation, Rekindling Desire. Fluent in nine languages, the Belgian native is a practicing psychotherapist, celebrated speaker and organization consultant to Fortune 500 companies. The New York Times, in a cover story, named her the most important game changer on sexuality and relationships since Dr. Ruth. Her critically acclaimed viral TED Talks have collectively reached over 14 million viewers. For more information about her educational programs and resources, please visit