The 5 Best Online Sex Therapy Programs of 2021

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When you are experiencing problems in the bedroom, sex therapy can help. Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that relies on a number of techniques, including homework, to improve your sex life. Sex therapy does not involve touch. 

Sex therapists are trained to help individuals and couples improve their sexual satisfaction and sexual interactions. Not every therapist is helpful at addressing sexual issues, as sex therapy is not part of most standard social work or psychology training programs. 

Although a number of online therapy sites list sex therapy as one of their offerings, very few of them allow individuals to search specifically for sex therapists. Therefore, if you are specifically seeking a sex therapist, it will be important to ask any person you are matched with about their relevant training. Sex therapy does not necessarily require additional certification or licensure, but any reputable sex therapist should be licensed in a relevant field (e.g. social work, marriage, and family therapy, psychology) and working within their scope of practice. Florida is currently the only state to license and regulate the practice of sex therapy. However, there are also professional organizations that certify therapists as having sufficient training to do this specialized form of work. The two most prominent such organizations are the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the American College of Sexologists. Both of these organizations offer lists of certified sex therapists, some of whom practice online. 

Note: Depending on the nature of your sexual concerns, therapists may also recommend that you see a medical doctor to rule out underlying health problems. This is particularly true if you are seeking help for specific types of sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction or pain during sex. These problems may be medical in nature and require medical treatment in addition to, or instead of, sex therapy.

The 5 Best Online Sex Therapy Programs of 2021

The 5 Best Online Sex Therapy Programs of 2021
The 5 Best Online Sex Therapy Programs of 2021

Best All Around : Talkspace


Talkspace

 Talkspace

Why we chose it: Talkspace has a wide range of therapists with various specializations, good educational content about sexual health, and may be covered by insurance or your Employee Assistance Program.

Pros
  • Lots of therapists with various specializations

  • May be covered by your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or insurance

  • Both couples and individuals options available

Cons
  • Not all providers offer live sessions

  • Can’t easily search for a person who specializes in sex therapy

  • May be slightly more expensive than other options

Where possible, sex therapy is often best pursued as couples therapy. Still, not everyone experiencing sexual difficulties is part of a couple. That’s what makes Talkspace a good option. Unlike many of the other online therapy websites, TalkSpace offers both individual and couples therapy options. Talkspace also has both accurate and affirming educational content about sexual health and the role of therapists in helping with sexual problems. Talkspace therapists are all licensed and verified. Additionally, a number of employers and health plans will cover the cost of using the service. 

Talkspace is one of the largest and best-known online therapy sites. One of the advantages? The matching process. After answering the consultation questions, their algorithm will match you to someone who can meet your needs. That means the system can pair you with providers experienced in sex therapy as well as in working with your specific concerns. Another advantage of Talkspace is that they have so many therapists that it may be possible to find a provider who has expertise in your specific concern, or in some area that’s important to you. For example, you might be most concerned about finding a therapist who is understanding about your gender identity, or who knows a lot about sexual trauma. Talkspace also offers both asynchronous and live sessions

Talkspace is a subscription-based site that costs vary depending on the plan and level of service you choose. Some plans come with live video sessions, and live sessions can also be added on at an additional cost. However, not all therapists offer live sessions as an option. Couples therapy is more expensive than individual therapy, but costs vary depending on your plan. However, some employers provide access to Talkspace through their employee assistance programs (EAP). Talkspace may also be covered by insurance.

Best Relationship Therapy Site : ReGain


Regain

 Regain

Why we chose it: ReGain is one of the only online therapy site that focuses explicitly on couples therapy. Couples therapy is generally the best option for individuals seeking sex therapy in the context of a relationship.

Pros
  • One of the only options for online couples therapy

  • Text, video, and phone sessions options are available

  • Although designed for couples therapy, individuals can have private, live sessions with their therapist

Cons
  • Couples must be in the same place for live sessions

  • Site does not accept insurance

  • No private messaging between individuals and the therapist, only live sessions can be private

ReGain is one of a very few sites that specialize in relationship and intimacy therapy. It is specifically designed to allow both members of a couple to interact clearly and transparently with a therapist. All written messages are visible to both members of the couple. Individuals also have the option of having private, live sessions with their therapist. This combination of openness and privacy is well suited for sex therapy. It allows the couple to work on issues specific to their sexual and romantic interactions while providing individuals’ space to address any underlying issues. 

When signing up for therapy at ReGain, you have the opportunity to state your preferences for a counselor during the matching questionnaire. Although all counselors on the site are licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, or professional counselors, some couples may be more comfortable working with a therapist who is male or female, older or younger. If you don't like who you are matched with, you can request a new counselor. In general, sessions on Regain do not happen in real-time. Text-based messaging is used to communicate back and forth at the convenience of the individual and the therapist. Real-time video or phone sessions can be scheduled as well. However, for couples to both be part of a real-time session, they must be in the same place. 

ReGain costs between $60-80 per week and subscriptions are billed monthly.

Best for Live Chat : BetterHelp


BetterHelp

 BetterHelp

Why we chose it: A robust live chat option and affordable monthly fee make BetterHelp a great option for therapy, particularly in combination with their excellent therapist matching system.

Pros
  • Both live chat and messaging options are available

  • Therapists with various specialties and focus areas including LGBT

  • Very gender affirming intake process

Cons
  • Live sessions require scheduling in advance

  • Can’t specifically request a person who specializes in sex therapy

Like Talkspace, BetterHelp is one of the larger and more established online therapy sites. They have thousands of experienced counselors with specialties in a variety of issues. ReGain.us is actually their sister site of BetterHelp that focuses on couples counseling. Even though it's more focused on individuals and less on couples you can still get couples counseling through BetterHelp if you want to. As with most of the larger online therapy sites, BetterHelp offers both messaging options and live sessions. Live sessions require you to pre-schedule with your therapist and can be set up as text based chat, phone calls, or video sessions. 

The site costs $60-90 per week, billed monthly. Because of their large roster of therapists, it’s often possible to find someone who specializes in areas or interests that are important to you. The site offers access to LGBT-focused therapists and is one of the few sites that is specifically gender affirming—asking about pronouns as part of the intake process. The intake process also allows you to identify “intimacy issues” as a specific reason you are seeking therapy.

Best for LGBTQIA+ Individuals : Pride Counseling


Pride Counseling

 Pride Counseling

Why we chose it: Sexual and gender minority individuals may find that it’s more important to have an LGBTQIA+ competent clinician than a trained sex therapist. Pride Counseling makes it less likely that LGBTQIA+ individuals will need to teach their therapists the basics.

Pros
  • LGBTQIA+ focused site means sexual and gender minority individuals may feel safer accessing care

  • All providers are both licensed and specialize in working with LGBTQIA people

  • Live chat options are available as well as asynchronous chat

Cons
  • No way to search for a provider with a sex therapy specialization

  • Billed on a monthly basis

  • No couples option available

Pride Counseling doesn’t offer sex therapy, perse. However, for some LGBTQIA+ individuals experiencing sexual or relationship difficulties, it may be more important to have an LGBTQ competent therapist than a therapist with specific experience in sex. All of the counselors at Pride Counseling are not only licensed in their specific field, they are also specialists in the LGBTQ community. 

There are a number of different ways to interact with your Pride Counseling therapist. You can exchange messages in your own time. You can also live chat - either by text, phone, or video. Depending on your needs and schedule, you can figure out what works best for you, and you can change it up as needed. Pride Counseling fees range from $60-90/week and are billed monthly. 

At this time, Pride Counseling only offers individual counseling, not couples counseling.

Best for Religious Christians : MyCounselor Online


My Counselor Online

 My Counselor Online

Why we chose it: Religious Christians often need to contextualize their sexual problems, and sex therapy, in the context of their faith. This site connects people to Christian Sex Therapists who are well trained in both religion and sexuality.

Pros
  • Designed to meet the needs of religious clients

  • Will submit to insurance for out-of-network coverage

  • One of the only sites where you can search specifically for a sex therapist

Cons
  • Not LGBTQ affirming

  • One of the more expensive options for people who need long-term therapy

  • Faith-based therapy is not appropriate for all individuals

MyCounselor.Online is a small, specialty website that provides Christian Faith-Based therapy both online and in-person (in Colorado, Missouri, and Texas).  As of July 2021, the site offers a connection to one of 29 professional counselors. One of the founders of the site is a certified sex therapist, and the company supervises its therapists to ensure quality care. 

As part of its focus on faith-based therapy, MyCounselor.Online has a strong focus on relationship health. In addition, they are is one of the only counseling websites that offers sex therapy as a specialty area. Specifically, the site offers referrals to Christian sex therapists, sex therapists who work from a context of religious faith. As religion and spirituality may play a role in many couple’s sexual difficulties, it can be enormously helpful to work with a licensed sex therapist who understands their faith. The site offers counseling worldwide and in-person sex therapy for people who live in Colorado, Missouri, and Texas. 

In order to access care, individuals select the experience level of the therapist they are interested in working with. Then they schedule an appointment with the site receptionist in order to identify the therapist who will best fit their needs. Unlike many counseling sites, hours are restricted. Sessions are only offered live (online, but ) between the hours of 9 AM and 9 PM. Costs range from $110-195 per session, based on the experience level of the therapist. Scholarships for therapy are also available which reduces the cost to $55/session. 

Warning


This site is one of very few to offer sex therapy as a separate mode of therapy; however, practitioners may not be affirming same-sex relationships or gender-diverse individuals. The site previously had a policy explicitly stating that their therapists believed both same-sex relationships and gender diversity were spiritually harmful. Although that policy is no longer present, LGBTQ Christians should proceed with caution before accessing care on this site.

Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations

The author of this guide is a certified sexuality educator and is working on certification as a sex therapist. She is a licensed, independent clinical social worker with a focus on gender and sexual health. All recommended sites use licensed, accredited therapists. 

Compare The Best Online Sex Therapy

Website Price Individual or Couple  Connection Options Notes:
Talkspace Best All Around Make an account to see prices Both Text messaging Live sessions (not all therapists) May be covered by insurance or EAP
ReGain Best Relationship Therapy Site $60-80/week, billed monthly Both, but couples focused Live sessions (text, phone, video) Text messaging Live sessions must be scheduled in advance
BetterHelp Best for Live Chat $60-90/week, billed monthly Both Live sessions (text, phone, video) Text messaging Live sessions must be scheduled in advance
PrideCounseling Best for LGBTQIA+ Individuals $60-90/week, billed monthly Individual Live sessions (text, phone, video) Text messaging LGBTQIA+ focused Live sessions must be scheduled in advance
MyCounselor Online Best for Religious Christians $110-195/session Scholarships available Both Live sessions both online & in person (CO, MO, TX only) Christian counselors

Frequently Asked Questions

What is sex therapy with sensate focus? 

How is erectile dysfunction treated?

What are the possible causes of pain during sex? 

What you need to know about relationship counseling

Finding a Local Sex Therapist

If you are looking for a local sex therapist who can see you either in person or online, the best way to find a reputable therapist is to visit one of the two organizations that certify sex therapist. Both the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the American College of Sexologists offer lists of certified sex therapists, some of whom practice online. 

Today, many therapists have transitioned part or all of their practice online. Therefore, local sex therapists may well be able to see you virtually. Individual costs will vary, but many individual sex therapists take insurance. This may make this type of therapy more affordable than online sex therapy, depending on your coverage. 

As certified sex therapists are licensed professionals, reimbursement may also be possible for individuals who have out of network behavioral health coverage. However, it is important to check with your insurer about your coverage before starting to work with a new therapist. They may only cover certain types of therapy, or a single-therapist if you are also seeing a therapist for other reasons.

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Article Sources
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