The 4 Best Online Sex Therapy Programs in 2022
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Most Qualified Online Sex Therapy
Couples Therapy Inc.
- Highly trained clinicians certified in sex therapy
- Free meet-and-greet sessions available
Most Convenient Online Sex Therapy
- Offers convenient chat-based therapy
- Partners share a joint account
Best Online Sex Therapy for the LGBTQ+ Community
- All therapists are members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community
- Free 30-minute introductory phone consultation
Best Sex-Positive Online Sex Therapy
The Center for Mental and Sexual Health
- Therapists are sex-positive and kink-friendly
- Free 15-minute introductory consultation
Are you looking for help managing sexual issues but prefer a virtual option? Online sex therapy may be able to help. Sex therapy is a specialized type of therapy that can help you navigate many sexual concerns:
- Performance insecurity
- Intimacy issues
- Sexual incompatibility
- Difficulty experiencing orgasm
- Compulsive sexual behavior
Seeking a therapist who specializes in sex therapy to address these concerns, or any issues you may have relating to sex, can help promote sexual health. It’s generally quick and easy to schedule an online sex therapy session, and you may also feel more comfortable talking about intimate issues with your phone or laptop as a buffer. Although research into the efficacy of online sex therapy is limited, an opinion statement published in April 2020 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine says that online treatment interventions can be a good way to improve overall sexual health.
Top Picks for Online Sex Therapy Platforms in 2022
- Most Qualified Online Sex Therapy: Couples Therapy Inc.
- Most Convenient Online Sex Therapy: ReGain
- Best Online Sex Therapy for the LGBTQ+ Community: Modern Intimacy
- Best Online Sex-Positive Therapy: The Center for Mental
Why You Can Trust Us
We independently investigate and recommend products we believe enrich the lives of our readers and meet their specific needs. We’ve spent many hours carrying out in-depth research on online therapy providers. You can trust our review because we did the legwork for you in these specific ways:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Contacted brands’ customer service teams to ask questions and gauge responsiveness
- Became customers of online sex therapy providers ourselves
- Reviewed academic research into the efficacy of online therapy versus in-person therapy
- Read verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
Learn more about how we researched and evaluated the best online therapy brands via the methodology page.
Most Qualified Online Sex Therapy: Couples Therapy Inc.
- Price Begins at $159 per 55-minute session
- Pros Certified sex therapists; resources that include a free online course for self-guided relationship help and e-books available for immediate download
- Cons High price; limited number of certified sex therapists
- Insurance Not accepted
- Session format Video
- Therapy type Individual and couples
- Counselor certification Licensed and accredited psychologists and psychiatrists, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed clinical social workers who specialize in sex therapy; AASECT-certified sex therapists on staff
Couples Therapy Inc. is a small team of more than two dozen highly trained clinicians, including marriage and family therapists, clinical psychologists, and two certified sex therapists. Therapy is conducted via a privacy-compliant platform to ensure confidentiality. While the company as a whole is committed to healing intimate relationships, its sex therapy services are specifically designed to help couples and individuals identify and understand sexual health issues and develop a treatment plan with appropriate goals and solutions.
The greatest benefit of online sex therapy at Couples Therapy Inc. is the experience and qualifications of its sex therapists. In most states, anybody can say they’re a sex therapist without being certified in sex therapy. To offer sex therapy, therapists must still be licensed mental health professionals (such as a psychologist, social worker, or marriage and family counselor), but they don’t need a specific sex therapy certification. That’s why it’s important to note that Couples Therapy Inc. sex therapists are certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), which is the gold standard in sex therapy certification. And all Couples Therapy Inc. therapists have training in discernment counseling, a mode of therapy that aims to give people more clarity when considering the future of their relationship, according to the Family Institute at Northwestern University and The Gottman Institute.
Another benefit is the ability to request a no-obligation, virtual meet-and-greet session before formally beginning therapy. This gives you a chance to discuss the services you’re seeking.
On the downside, having only two certified sex therapists on staff could lead to scheduling issues. And since mental health providers need to be licensed in each client’s place of residence, you won’t be able to use a Couples Therapy Inc. sex therapist unless you live where they’re licensed: Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Most Convenient Online Sex Therapy: ReGain
- Price $40 to $120 per week, based on subscription and billing frequency
- Pros Licensed marriage and family therapists; convenient scheduling; partners can participate at no extra cost
- Cons No certified sex therapists on staff; three-way live sessions by phone or video aren’t currently supported
- Insurance Not accepted
- Session format Chatroom, phone, and video
- Therapy type Individuals and couples
- Counselor certification Licensed and accredited psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional therapists who specialize in sex therapy; no AASECT-certified sex therapists on staff
ReGain is a straightforward online platform that connects individuals or couples with licensed therapists. The focus is on couples therapy, with both partners sharing a joint account so they can communicate with their counselor. But ReGain doesn’t offer dedicated sex therapy and has no AASECT-certified sex therapists on staff. However, in most states, therapists can offer sex therapy without being a certified sex therapist.
Technically, ReGain is a relationship therapy platform, but it can be a good fit for an individual or couple looking to address sexual and romantic concerns. In fact, the platform reports that “improving our sex and intimacy” is the second-most common reason that users sign up with ReGain, behind only “improving our communication,” according to a questionnaire ReGain sent its users. Also, ReGain offers lower prices than any other provider on this list. So although there are no certified sex therapists on staff, you can still address sexual and romantic issues with a therapist who specializes in sex therapy (but is not formally certified) for a lower price than working with a certified sex therapist.
To begin, you — with or without your partner — will answer a few questions that will match you with the right therapist. You’ll also choose a nickname that will identify you in the system, making this a more confidential, discreet service than other providers on this list. The questionnaire includes an option for inviting your partner, but you can also invite them later after you’ve matched with a therapist. This matching process is completed by a computer and can take anywhere from a few hours up to a few days, depending on therapist availability. Your subscription will begin once you’ve been matched and includes unlimited messaging. Live sessions are conducted over the phone or through video.
You and your partner will have a dedicated online space to write about yourself, your relationship, and the sexual health issues for which you’ve sought counseling. This kind of messaging is at your convenience, and you’ll be notified when your therapist has responded. The convenient on-demand chat option is why we named ReGain the most convenient online sex therapy — you get to communicate with your therapist when it’s easy for you.
You also have the option of scheduling live sessions with your therapist via video or phone, but keep in mind that you’ll need to share a computer or smartphone with your partner for this option.
ReGain doesn’t take insurance, but it’s still a good idea to check with your provider about the possibility of reimbursements for online counseling.
Best Online Sex Therapy for the LGBTQ+ Community: Modern Intimacy
- Price $150 to $400 per 50-minute session
- Pros Therapists are members of the LGBTQ+ community or allies; free 30-minute consultation; certified sex therapist on staff
- Cons High price and low availability; teletherapy is limited to California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Vermont, but the practice will offer vetted recommendations in other states
- Insurance Not accepted
- Session format Video
- Therapy type Individuals and couples
- Counselor certification Licensed and accredited psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors who specialize in sex therapy; AASECT-certified sex therapist on staff
Modern Intimacy is a Los Angeles–based practice offering a range of relationship counseling, including online sex therapy. Its team of certified therapists (with at least one certified sex therapist on staff) has specialized training to help people navigate a variety of concerns relating to sexual issues, sexual function, and healthy sexual contact. The practice is dedicated to inclusivity, with all its therapists identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community or allies, which is why we named Modern Intimacy the best online sex therapy for the LGBTQ+ population.
To get started, you’ll schedule a free, 30-minute phone consultation to discuss your goals and any questions you may have about the service. The practice will match you with an appropriate therapist, and you’ll be able to schedule weekly or biweekly sessions, which are conducted through privacy-compliant video conferencing.
While Modern Intimacy is able to offer sex therapy only to people in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Vermont, the practice offers coaching programs and online courses that may be a good option for people elsewhere. The platform can also offer recommendations for vetted sex therapists in other states if you contact them by phone or email and let them know whether you prefer a male or female therapist.
Best Sex-Positive Online Sex Therapy: The Center for Mental and Sexual Health
- Price $150 per session
- Pros LGBTQ+ friendly; free consultation; certified sex therapist on staff
- Cons Small team; teletherapy is limited to Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, and Washington
- Insurance Accepted in some instances
- Session format Video
- Therapy type Individuals and couples
- Counselor certification Mental health therapists, licensed clinical professional counselors, licensed professional counselors who specialize in sex therapy and sexual trauma; AASECT-certified sex therapist on staff
The Center for Mental and Sexual Health (CMSH) offers telehealth services with an emphasis on sexual health and sex therapy. Its small team takes a sex-positive approach to help couples and individuals have honest, candid conversations about sexual issues. Plus, the practice is proud to offer a safe space to anyone who needs help and includes one certified sex therapist on staff, although all counselors specialize in sex therapy. The practice welcomes members of the LGBTQ+ community, and all therapists are kink-friendly.
After scheduling a session, you’ll be matched with the best therapist for your needs. You’ll also have an opportunity for a complimentary 15-minute session to decide whether a given therapist is a good fit. Note that, with only five therapists on the team, there may be scheduling issues. Like Modern Intimacy, CMSH is also limited in the states in which it can offer counseling: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, and Washington. However, a customer service representative we chatted with said that they’ll gladly reach out to their contact network to offer recommendations for licensed therapists in other states.
|Cost||Pros||Cons||Insurance||Session Format/Therapy Type||Counselor Certification|
|Couples Therapy Inc.||$159 per 55-minute session||Certified sex therapists on staff; free resources||Cost; limited number of certified sex therapists||Not accepted||Video; individuals and couples||Varies; AASECT-certified|
|ReGain||$40 to $120 per week, depending on subscription||Licensed marriage and family therapists; convenient; partners can participate at no extra cost||No certified sex therapists on staff; three-way live sessions by phone or video not currently supported||Not accepted||Chatroom, phone, and video; individuals and couples||Varies; not AASECT-certified|
|Modern Intimacy||$150 to $400 per session||Certified sex therapist on staff||High cost; limited to six states||Not accepted||Video; individuals and couples||Varies; AASECT-certified|
|The Center for Mental and Sexual Health||$150 per session||Mental health therapists with specialties in sexuality and sexual trauma||Small team; limited to seven states||Accepted in some instances||Video; individuals and couples||Varies; AASECT-certified|
What Is Online Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy that focuses on sexual health. The online version of sex therapy offers the same services as in-person sex therapy, but sessions are conducted over video calls or chat.
You can expect to discuss how you feel about your sex life, including any issues that motivated you to seek help. There is no sexual or physical contact in sex therapy, online or otherwise.
What Issues Does Online Sex Therapy Treat?
Sex therapy can address concerns relating to all aspects of sexual health. These may include sexual feelings and intimacy; concerns about desire, arousal, or sexual orientation; compulsive sexual behavior; sexual dysfunction; and more.
Is Online Sex Therapy Actually Effective?
There is a lack of definitive research to suggest that online sex therapy is effective. However, research has found that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for treating people with depression, anxiety, and trauma, according to the National Center for Health Research. Online sex therapy platforms facilitate communication with trained sex therapists, so you can access the same help and support you would if you were face-to-face. It’s also beneficial for people who may feel more comfortable talking about intimate issues through a screen.
Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family counselor in Connecticut who specializes in sexual trauma and owns her own practice, Wisdom Within Counseling, offers sex therapy online and believes it is effective. “Sex therapy over video is very effective,” says Ziskind. “You can work with your therapist to understand body pleasure, your own sexuality, your anatomy, what feels good for you during sex, and how to create more positive sex in your life. You can better understand the meaning behind sex to you and what pleasures you individually and with a partner. This can all be done over video.”
Although research is limited, an April 2020 opinion statement from the European Society for Sexual Medicine notes that that online treatment interventions may help the general population improve their sexual health. And since it is virtual, it provides access to people in remote locations who may not have access to traditional face-to-face therapy sessions.
How Does Online Sex Therapy Work?
Your experience with sex therapy will vary depending on the platform you use. In general, you can expect to complete a short assessment to clarify your preferences and identify your therapy goals. Your sessions may take place through video or phone calls, or messaging, depending on the platform. Except for written messages in a private online chatroom, the sessions are similar to what you’d experience in person at a therapist’s office.
How Much Does Online Sex Therapy Cost?
Costs for online sex therapy vary. The platforms we recommend here cost between $40 to $120 per week or between $150 to $400 per session. But one of the benefits of online therapy is that, if you plan on paying out of pocket, it can be cheaper than in-person therapy sessions, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). However, if you plan on using your health insurance, you may find that online therapy is more expensive, since many insurance companies only cover in-person psychotherapy. You may also find that online sex therapy platforms offer a sliding pay scale if you qualify for financial assistance.
Who Is Online Sex Therapy Meant For?
Online sex therapy is designed to assist individuals and couples in resolving sexual issues that may stem from psychological or physiological issues. If you’ve seen a medical doctor and ruled out medical causes of sexual health issues, a sex therapist is a good option. Plus, online sex therapy has the added benefit of scheduling flexibility, which makes it ideal for couples with busy schedules. But Ziskind cautions that online sex therapy — or just sex therapy in general — is not for everybody. “Someone who has a trauma background or a history of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] may not be an appropriate fit for sex therapy alone. If a person with PTSD wants to do sex therapy, it is advised to also be in PTSD therapy with mind-body strategies like meditation, yoga, painting, art therapy, etc., for releasing triggers,” says Ziskind. “Sometimes, sex therapy can be re-triggering for someone who has had a history of sexual trauma.”
Is Online Sex Therapy Right for My Partner and Me?
It could be. Online sex therapy may offer more convenience and accessibility than in-person sex therapy. Some people are also more comfortable discussing their sexual issues online rather than in person. It all depends on your specific circumstances, issues, and goals.
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sex Therapist
If you’re looking for online sex therapy, make a point of asking potential therapists about their experience and certifications. A license in a relevant field, such as marriage and family therapy, is often a good sign. But remember that in most states, therapists who offer sex therapy don’t need to be certified in sex therapy.
Meagan Turner, a licensed and practicing national certified counselor in Atlanta with a certification in Christian sex therapy, believes that working with a certified sex therapist is ideal but not always necessary. “The main benefit of going to a certified sex therapist is peace of mind that they have been adequately trained and uphold more stringent professional guidelines and ethics that the certification body puts in place. A therapist without a [sex] certification still operates under ethics put in place by their licensing board,” says Turner. “However, finding a certified sex therapist, as with any certification, may be difficult if they don’t accept your insurance or have a waiting list, or there are simply not enough of them in your state offering online counseling. While certified sex therapists are required to have more training, someone who isn’t certified may also be trained but decided not to pay all the fees involved in joining a certification body.”
Both the AASECT and American College of Sexologists maintain lists of certified sex therapists, some of whom offer online therapy, so their websites can be a good place to start. Keep in mind that some sexual concerns, particularly those relating to symptoms of sexual dysfunction, may also be addressed by a medical provider if there is an underlying medical cause.
Communication and trust are important in any client and therapist relationship. You may need to speak to more than one therapist before you find one who’s well-suited for your needs.
Should I Attend Online Sex Therapy Alone or With My Partner?
This is something you can discuss with your therapist during your initial appointment. The goal of online sex therapy is to talk through your experiences and concerns, and then work on developing coping strategies to help you develop a healthier sex life. Your therapist can advise you on whether this will be best accomplished solo or with your partner.
What to Expect at Your First Online Sex Therapy Appointment
Your first online sex therapy appointment could be a short consultation or a full session. Either way, plan to share personal details about the issues for which you’re seeking help. In most cases, you can expect your therapist to gently ask for specifics about what’s bothering you and what you hope therapy will accomplish.
One other thing worth mentioning is that sex therapy, whether it’s online or in your provider’s office, does not involve nudity or sexual activity of any kind. Instead, the purpose is to discuss your sex life frankly and find solutions to any issues you’re experiencing.
Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Online Sex Therapy Programs
Before selecting our top picks for sex therapy programs, we researched as many online therapy platforms as possible. We spoke to intake specialists at the top therapy platforms to get a better sense of the treatment experiences, and after poring over verified reviews, we feel confident these are the best online sex therapy options available. We also used the following criteria to make our picks:
- Accreditation and training of therapists
- Size and depth of therapist network
- Methods of communication, such as phone, video, and chat
- Whether the provider offers live video sessions
- Extent of locations where services are provided
- Ease of sign-up and onboarding
- Range of payment plans and options offered
- Responsiveness and effectiveness of customer service teams
The Bottom Line
Sexual health is an important part of your overall health and wellness, and a qualified sex therapist can help you address any number of problems related to sex and intimacy. If you’re looking for the most highly qualified online sex therapy, we recommend Couples Therapy Inc If you’re looking for convenient sex therapy, ReGain may be a good fit. If you’re seeking sex therapy from an LGBTQ+ or sex-positive perspective, we recommend Modern Intimacy and the Center for Mental and Sexual Health, respectively.
With online sex therapy, you’ll enjoy more flexibility and convenience than with in-person therapy, and you may find it easier to discuss your sex life through a digital platform. The key is finding a therapist who has the qualifications to help. Don’t rush the process of finding the best online therapy for you. You have options, and it’s worth being patient as you explore them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- Kirana PS, Gudeloglu A, Sansone A, et al. E-Sexual Health: A Position Statement of the European Society for Sexual Medicine. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. July 2020.
- Hardy N, Morgan J. Discernment Counseling: Treating Couples Unsure About Continuing Their Marriage [PDF]. The Family Institute at Northwestern University.
- The Gottman Method. The Gottman Institute.
- What Are Sex Therapists? What Do They Do? How Does One Choose a Sex Therapist? International Society for Sexual Medicine.
- CE Corner: Sex Therapy for the 21st Century: Five Emerging Directions. American Psychological Association. February 2019.
- Does Online Therapy Work? National Center for Health Research.