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Conquering sexual anxiety

In our column and podcast series, Professor Sarah Niblock, CEO of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, explores challenges that affect us all. This month, we look at sexual anxiety, the stigmas around it, how to overcome it and enjoy a healthy sexuality

Have you heard the adage that sex between the ears is far more important than what happens further down? There’s nothing more lust-draining than the thoughts that can flicker through our brains and, let’s face it, we’ve never been under so much ‘performance pressure’. We live in times where sexualised imagery is ubiquitous and not behind firewalls; from the explicitness of music videos to the scrutiny of bodies in popular magazines; from the ‘sex sells’ mantra of advertising to the unflinching focus on sex acts in TV and cinema. Integral to popular culture, sexual desire is commodified and pornified, and the media leads the way.

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