Baylor Urologist Mohit Khera, M.D., and Psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini Unveil a Couple’s 4-Step Guide to Greater Intimacy and Better Sex

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As many as 80% of couples who suffer from a sexual problem— be it lack of desire, erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness or an inability to orgasm—just learn to live with it. They don’t seek help, nor do they know help is available. Further, it is normal for people to not understand all of their body parts or functions.

“People are immobilized by the prospect of talking to a health care professional,” says Mary Jo Rapini, a licensed psychotherapist and co-author of newly published, Re-Coupling: A Couple’s 4-step Guide to Greater Intimacy and Better Sex. “They’re fearful, embarrassed, uncomfortable or ashamed to discuss it.” Rapini and her colleagueMohit Khera, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Urology, and Director of the Laboratory for Andrology Research at Baylor College of Medicine with whom she shares patients suffering with sexual dysfunction, say “we have worked with young couples, older couples, and even couples struggling with serious illnesses like cancer. Issues about sex don’t happen in a vacuum. Sexual dysfunction is a couple’s disease and equally affects both partners.”

To avoid feelings of embarrassment by their lack of understanding, Dr. Khera provides simple explanations for male and female sexual response, for example, “the penis is a very cleverly engineered system whereas the female sexual response is a dynamic process influenced by biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors.”

Rapini and Khera deliver interactive lists, questionnaires and checklists people take with them to their doctor and can answer in the comfort of their own home. The best workout for your relationship and the quickest way to feel connected and encouraged in your relationship is to have sex. Not only that, every cell in your body responds in a positive way when you have sex in a committed, healthy relationship. Couples who have sex are healthier, more connected, and less depressed.

The 4-step approach to repairing a sexual relationship includes:

Step 1: Improve communication skills inside and outside the bedroom. Couples drift apart for many reasons, and the first step in avoiding this is to work on communication skills. “When sex is going well, it is 10% of the relationship,” Rapini says. “However, when sex isn’t going well, it can become 90% of the relationship. Once couples have improved their communication skills, identified the barriers to a satisfying sex life, and re-energized romance and intimacy, they can work on improving their sexual technique so both are satisfied.”

Step 2: Get ready. “Identify the physical issues that contribute to sexual function and dysfunction and learn about the vast solutions and treatments available,” according to Khera. For example, by restoring, repairing and rejuvenating the endothelium, and stimulating nitric oxide production my patients report having more energy, they are excited about exercise, they sleep better, their circulation improves, and their sex lives benefit.

Step 3: Re-establish intimacy and contact. Lack of desire can have a physical cause that can be treated medically or an emotional cause that can be addressed with a counselor. But sometimes, even when these problems have been addressed, couples are unable to enjoy a satisfactory sex life. “Anger, resentment, shame, and jealousy are some of the underlying issues that cause decreased desire for sex in a relationship and need to be resolved,” says Rapini.

Step 4: Go for better sex. Understand the Big “O” and the health benefits it brings. Orgasms help heal the body–from pain relief, cardio health, lowering blood pressure and protecting us from strokes due to the release of stress during climax. Additionally, orgasms aid in fighting aging and preventing vaginal atrophy. Women report feeling younger and looking younger.

Having sex is the most intimate experience a person can have with another human being. Many things hold couples together, and Rapini and Khera believe that good sex is one of them.