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Q&A with Sexologist and Relationship Psychotherapist Dr. Carlen Costa

The Everything To Do With Sex Show is mere days away, and we’re getting tingly in all the right places. There are MANY reasons to attend this weekend, including an opportunity to meet Dr. Carlen Costa and get schooled on the art of oral sex; I bet we can all learn a tip or two from one of Canada’s most sought-after Sexologists & Relationship Experts. We had a chance to chat with Dr. Carlen this week.

SDTC: Can you tell us a little about what you do? How does a Sexologist & Relationship Psychotherapist differ from a Relationship Therapist?

CC: A Sexologist & Relationship Psychotherapist supports individuals and couples in achieving their intimate and relationship goals with themselves or their partners. The semantics are all in the name – I am a Relationship Therapist, but I specialize in sex-related concerns as I had the privilege of specialized training. I am a registered Clinical Sexologist (in Canada and the US) and a registered Psychotherapist (in Canada).

When people come to my office and sit on my couch, we can discuss anything from premature ejaculation, to how to reconnect with your spouse intimately after years of not having sex, to how to handle conflicts relationships, self-esteem and confidence-building strategies, to how to have sex again after having a baby, and gender dysphoria or “coming out to your family” support.

What’s the biggest misconception about your job?

The biggest misconception, other than the fact that people think I actually have sex with them (that’s not my job and it’s illegal), is that all I do is talk about sex. Sexual health is a big part of how I support people, but most sessions with my clients begin with building lifestyle strategies that impact their ability to have healthy relationships with themselves and their partners. Only after we uncover those influential factors do we move on to sexually empowering your intimate life choices that support your goals to achieving pleasure.

What excites you most about your career? 

The innovative technologies emerging in the associated industries! The new ways to experience pleasure, the research, the studies and the opportunities to have happy, healthy conversations from a sex-positive lens about our relationships and the sex we truly want and deserve. I love seeing people from all walks of life share innovative technology and products, programs, services and conversations that discuss sex from a holistic level – mind, body and spirit – which is something I strive to incorporate into my work.

What should we all do more of in between the sheets?

Communicate. When something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it! Then compliment your lover with a direction to how it can feel better. It’s not a criticism – intimacy is a shared experience, and we shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about having the healthy, happy and delicious sex that we really want to experience.

What should we all do less of in between the sheets?

What we should do less of is feed our shame, guilt and fears. People too often carry shame about their own bodies, guilt about wanting to have great sex, and fear talking to their life partners about it. We need to feed that ego monster less, and feed the love monster more! There is so much great information out there as to how you can have safer sex, how to negotiate consent, and how to have mind-blowing orgasms and connections with people.

Just saw a stat on your Insta that 40% of people masturbate at work. Why do you think that is?

Sexual release can be one of the most effective ways to relieve pressure and energy. Sex is an effective anxiety and stress reliever, and where often do we feel that the most? At work. I have a lawyer friend who masturbates before every trial they walk into. Sometimes it can be good to relieve the jitters or angst you may feel before a big pitch, and sometimes self-relief can be the fuel that pushes you through an event (like a boxer who isn’t allowed to have sexual release before a big fight). Either way, it’s all in how you process the build-up of emotions inside of you. What works for some people may not be the best for others.

What, in your opinion, is the key to a happy and healthy sex life?

Have fun! Don’t take it so seriously! Be honest about what feels good, be kind to your lovers, be directive in what your boundaries and desires are, but most of all, don’t forget to laugh and have fun, especially when the weird sex noises happen (because those always happen). If you’re too serious about sex, then you’re not doing it right!

What can we expect from you at The Everything To Do With Sex Show this weekend?

You can expect me to talk to the audience about Better, Hotter Tips To Have Oral Sex that you can give and receive from your lovers. You’ll be learning the “Dr. Carlen 1,2,3 move,” some of my favourite sex positions to have oral sex in and more! I encourage everyone to come and visit my booth to get their picture taken, ask questions via Facebook Live, sign up for my newsletter, and enter to win a prize pack sponsored by The Love Shop. And, in true Dr. Carlen fashion, we are going to have A LOT of fun!

The Everything To Do With Sex Show runs October 21st-23rd at the Enercare Centre. Tix are priced at $19.99 for a single day or $24.99 for a weekend pass. You can purchase them online or at the door.

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