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Sex therapy is a type of talk therapy designed to help you address concerns about your relationship with sex, whether that be internal feelings or intimacy-related issues with your partner. This form of therapy is more than addressing the act itself; it’s about exploring all things related to intimacy, including low libido, sexual behavior, gender identity, sexuality, sexual function, and sexual satisfaction or dissatisfaction. You can attend sex therapy as an individual or together with a partner to overcome sexual difficulties, improve intimacy during sex, and cultivate a sex-positive relationship.
Online sex therapy is a great option for people with a busy lifestyle who have difficulty attending face-to-face sessions or are unable to access a local, qualified sex therapist. The best online sex therapists have a postgraduate sex therapy education and are certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). If you are interested in exploring sex therapy, but don’t know where to start, we’ve curated a list of the best online sex therapy options based on accessibility, affordability, and availability, including offering a private platform for messaging and live virtual discussions.
Best Online Sex Therapy of 2023
- Best Overall: Modern Intimacy
- Best for Couples: ReGain
- Best for LGBTQ: Talkspace
- Best for Engaged Couples: Couples Learn
- Most Affordable: Thriveworks
- Best for Couples Retreats: Couples Therapy Inc.
- Best for Individuals: The Center for Mental and Sexual Health (CMSH)
Best Overall : Modern Intimacy
- Price: $150-$400 per 50-minute session
- Insurance Accepted?: No
- Platforms: Video
Modern Intimacy specializes in a wide range of sex therapy with a team of diverse and certified sex therapists. Services are inclusive, LGBTQIA+ friendly, and sex-positive.
Free 30-minute consultation
Staff includes Certified Sex Therapists (CSTs) and Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSATs)
Culturally diverse therapists
Psychological assessments and evaluations available
Does not accept insurance
In-office only available in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York
Modern Intimacy specializes in all types of sex therapy, such as sexual dysfunction, sex addiction, porn addiction, body disorders, trauma, LGBTQIA+ affirmative therapy, and more. It caters to individuals, couples, the LGBTQIA+ community, and those healing from trauma, providing a safe and inclusive space. It also provides education on sexually sensitive topics, such as healing toxic relationships and redefining a healthy relationship with sex.
Its providers are licensed psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and certified life coaches. Many also have additional qualifications in sex therapy, sex addiction therapy, and holistic living.
Modern Intimacy’s sex therapy services are available online nationwide and in-person in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Even though the company serves fewer states than others on this list, we still feel it offers the overall best sex therapy because of its diverse therapists serving a wide range of sex-related issues. Plus, it offers additional resources, such as local group therapy, online workshops, e-books, articles, and videos to help you find the information you need. For example, online education courses cover topics like redefining a healthy relationship with sex, why women should care about porn, and healing from trauma.
Sessions at Modern Intimacy range from $150 to $350 per 50-minute session, dependent on the therapists' credentials, which can range from pre-licensed and supervised to doctorate degrees. If you cannot afford those rates, sliding scale pricing is available. Unfortunately, the company’s providers do not accept health insurance. However, if your plan covers out-of-network care, you can request a superbill and see if your health insurance provider will reimburse part of the cost for therapy. A free 30-minute consultation is available to new patients.
Best for Couples : ReGain
- Price: $60-$90 per week
- Insurance Accepted?: No
- Platforms: Messaging, phone calls, live video sessions
Although ReGain doesn’t specifically offer sex therapy, it is an online relationship therapy platform specializing in couples therapy. The easy-to-use platform allows couples to share an account at no extra cost.
Licensed marriage, family, and couples therapists
Partners can participate at no extra cost
24/7 access to your counselor with unlimited messaging
Insurance not accepted
Not clear if any staff have sex therapy qualifications
Three-way phone calls or video sessions are not currently available
ReGain offers couples and relationship therapy, as well as individual therapy. Although it doesn’t specialize in sex therapy, the company provides convenient, discreet, and affordable access to therapy in which both partners can partake. ReGain’s user-friendly platform gives you and your partner a secure online “room” to communicate with your therapist. The room is open 24/7 and allows for unlimited messaging from any Internet-connected device.
ReGain offers experienced practitioner psychologists and accredited counselors. They specialize in improving conflict resolution and communication skills, resolving intimacy issues, and setting boundaries in relationships.
We surveyed 105 users at ReGain this year and their experience is good overall, especially for couples therapy. Seventy-two percent of users said they are likely, or very likely, to recommend ReGain to a friend or someone like them and 84% said they felt the service was better than other therapy companies they have used in the past.
Users report that therapists reply promptly, usually within 24 hours or less. Eighty-seven percent of users found the sign-up process easy to navigate. Eighty-three percent of surveyed users said that Regain was helpful at connecting them with a therapist. Additionally, 80% of users surveyed said Regain’s therapists met all or most of their needs, with 88% stating the therapist's qualifications are good, very good, or excellent.
Membership plans range from $60 to $90 per week based on your location, preferences, and therapist availability. Like its parent company BetterHelp, ReGain uses surge pricing to determine what rate you’ll pay for your therapy subscription.
Insurance is not accepted, nor are there free consultations or assessments.
Best for LGBTQ : Talkspace
- Price: $396 per month
- Insurance Accepted?: Yes
- Platforms: Audio, chat, messaging, and video
Talkspace states that it actively supports LGBTQIA+ members by offering a diverse and experienced network of providers. Many therapists either identify as LGBTQIA+ or have worked with LGBTQIA+ clients, and you can switch therapists for free if you’re not happy.
Accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid
Available in all 50 states
Several plans and pricing options available
Group and family therapy not available
Cheapest plan is text-based only
Talkspace has dedicated certified sex therapists and actively supports LGBTQIA+ members. Founded in 2012, it is a well-known and established online therapy company. As well as individual and couples therapy, Talkspace offers teen counseling, therapy for veterans, psychiatry, and medication management. Sex therapists specialize in techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, emotion-focused therapy, somatic sex therapy, and many other therapy types. The platform is easy to use and switching therapists is easy if you decide the one you are matched with is not for you.
Plans vary, with the cheapest starting at $99 per week with a three-month commitment or $109 per week paid monthly. You can access your therapy sessions through a web portal on the website or via the app. It is HIPAA compliant and encrypts user data, but there have been alleged issues regarding its data privacy practices in the past, so you might want to consider how your data is used.
When we surveyed 105 Talkspace users, 90% said their overall experience with the platform was good, very good, or excellent. Compared to other platforms, Talkspace came out top regarding the ease of navigating the website. Reviews on therapist response times are mixed, but therapist diversity is highly rated, with 90% of users stating it’s good to excellent. Additionally, 97% of surveyed users said they would recommend Talkspace to a friend or someone like them.
Talkspace couples therapy plan cost $396 a month, which includes one 30-minute live therapy session a week and unlimited messaging. Talkspace does take most forms of insurance, as well as FSA/HSA cards. During the sign-up process, there is a step to enter your insurance provider/employer to check for coverage. There are also some free online basic mental health tests.
Best for Engaged Couples : Couples Learn
- Price: $175-$450 per session
- Insurance Accepted?: No
- Platforms: Video
Similar to ReGain, Couples Learn does not specifically offer sex therapy, but it does specialize in treating couples. It also offers premarital counseling, a type of counseling where various issues—including intimacy, sex, or sexual needs—can be discussed before you walk down the aisle.
Specializes in premarital counseling
Free 30-minute consultation
Three-way video chat available
No dedicated sex therapists
Small number of therapists available
Does not accept insurance
Founded by licensed clinical psychologist Sarah Schewitz, PsyD, Couples Learn focuses on couples therapy, premarital counseling, and marriage counseling. Various courses are offered throughout the year, such as an online course in codependency. The courses range in price from $50 to $300, but are sometimes discounted down to around $20. There’s also a free, 82-question couples questionnaire on the website designed to be a “fun and easy way to reconnect with your partner.”
Currently, only four therapists are available, but the team is expanding. Unfortunately, this means you don’t get the immediate availability that you do with larger online therapy platforms. However, those therapists specialize in the Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Imago Relationship Therapy, or Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Other specializations include Imago therapy, attachment-focused EMDR Therapy, narcissistic abuse recovery, and trauma resilience. Appointments are available online via a secure encrypted video chat, and Couples Learn is HIPAA compliant. Sessions can include all partners, but individual therapy is also available.
Session range from $175 to $450 each, depending on the chosen therapist and session length. Sarah Schewitz's fees are $300 for 50-minute sessions and $450 for 80-min sessions. The company is not in-network with any insurance providers but may be considered out-of-network, so you’ll want to check with your provider for details on coverage. A free 30-minute consultation can be scheduled before making any commitment.
Most Affordable : Thriveworks
- Price: $0-$130 per session
- Insurance Accepted?: Yes, but varies by location and provider
- Platforms: Audio, video
Thriveworks has affordable rates with or without insurance coverage. With a large staff of providers across 43 states, you have the option of in-office or online therapy. Dedicated sex therapists are available at many locations.
Affordable and works with many insurance plans
Both online and in-office services offered
Dedicated sex therapists available
Not available in all states
Not guaranteed to be matched with a qualified sex therapist
Therapist availability varies across locations
Thriveworks is designed to be affordable, accessible, and flexible. The company accept hundreds of insurance plans, meaning your sessions may be free. Thriveworks states that on average, most people have a copay around $20 a session, but it ultimately depends on your insurance coverage. If you don’t have insurance, session fees start are $99. There are locations across the country with flexible cancellation policies.
Thriveworks claims only to hire the top 4% of counselors and psychiatrists and provides access to licensed psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and sex therapists. Thriveworks offers couples therapy; marriage counseling; pre-marital counseling; depression counseling; family, teen, and children’s therapy; grief counseling; and career counseling.
When we surveyed 105 Thriveworks users, 90% said their overall experience with the platform was good, very good, or excellent. Seventy-eight percent said they would recommend Thriveworks to friends and loved ones.
You pay a per-session fee that, depending on your insurance plan, will range from $0 to $130. Most major insurance companies are accepted including Blue Cross, Anthem, Optum, United, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and many others. Most Thriveworks providers do not accept Medicaid, but a select few at certain locations do. Thriveworks advises you to call them to find out. You can also search for your local office online and view each provider’s insurance information. No free consultations or assessments are available.
Best for Couples Retreats : Couples Therapy Inc.
- Price: $159-$250 per session; $238-$438 for intensives; $2,500-$8,500 for all-inclusive weekend retreats
- Insurance Accepted?: No
- Platforms: Video, in-person
Couples Therapy Inc. offers short-term therapy with high success rates. The retreats and intensive sessions provide an in-depth, immersive approach to couples counseling.
Offers intensive couples therapy
You can choose your therapist
Therapists are trained in sex, intimacy, and relationship issues
Expensive, especially if choosing a weekend retreat
Insurance not accepted
No payment plans or financial aid offered
If you are looking for intensive sex therapy, Couples Therapy Inc. is the place to go. Services include couples therapy retreats, sexuality retreats, premarital counseling, affair recovery, discernment counseling, coaching, and hopeful spouse support. The website also offers a few free self-help courses online.
Couples Therapy Inc. has over 20 therapists on staff. Some are sex therapists certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). In addition, all Couples Therapy Inc. therapists have training in discernment (divorce) counseling.
Sex therapy retreats are run by board-certified sex therapists and sexologists who are all licensed psychologists, counselors, or social workers. However, dedicated sex therapists are only available in specific locations (Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.) Marriage and couples retreats are held online and in person in 34 locations across the U.S., including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska, as well as in Canada and Australia.
Eighty-three percent of the users we surveyed that had tried Couples Therapy Inc. said they would recommend the service to others and 87% of respondents felt the service offered by Couples Therapy Inc. was better than other therapy services they have used in the past.
The biggest drawback to Couples Therapy Inc. is the cost. However, if you are looking for intensive couples therapy, this is their specialty.
Each 50-minute session ranges from $159 to $250, depending on the therapist's qualifications. Two-hour intensives range from $238 to $438. Weekend retreats range from $2,500 to $8,500. No insurance is accepted; however, there is a free 20-minute assessment call with the client support team followed by a no-obligation 15-minute phone call with the therapist of your choice if appropriate.
Best for Individuals : The Center for Mental and Sexual Health (CMSH)
- Price: $0-$155 per session
- Insurance Accepted?: Yes
- Platforms: Video
The Center for Mental and Sexual Health (CMSH) offers dedicated sex-positive therapy, is kink-friendly, and is supportive of the LGBQIA+ community.
Certified sex therapists on staff
Only available in Colorado, Florida, and Washington
Small team, so availability can be limited
Few insurance plans accepted
The Center for Mental and Sexual Health (CMSH) has a strong emphasis on sex therapy, sexuality, and sexual health. Although the team is small, providers are well-trained and sex-positive. There is a mix of therapists, including licensed clinical professional counselors, some of which specialize in sex therapy and sexual trauma; all are LGBTQIA+ affirming.
The CMSH states that it welcomes members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and all therapists are kink-friendly. Although only available in Colorado, Washington, and Florida, appointments can be conducted in person or online. However, with a limited number of therapists, availability can be a problem.
Sex therapy is the main focus at the CMSH, so if you are in one of its three states and sex therapy is what you are looking for, it’s an excellent practice to explore. Although sex therapy is the specialty, the CMSH also offers therapy for young adults, anxiety and depression treatment, therapy for domestic violence survivors, marriage counseling, infidelity counseling, and relationship counseling.
Intake appointments are $200 (after a free, 15-minute consultation with a coordinator), and a 50-minute individual session is $155 ($30 per additional 30-minute block). A couples session is $180 for 50 minutes and $210 for 90 minutes. Some insurance plans are accepted in Colorado and Washington, including Aetna, Cigna, Oscar Health, Oxford, and UnitedHealthcare.
There aren’t a lot of practices that specialize in dedicated sex therapy with certified sex therapists. Modern Intimacy does, and it also offers online courses and a wealth of resources on its website, including a regularly updated blog. It offers a range of sex therapies from experienced and qualified sex therapists. It’s also an inclusive practice and all therapists are members or allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. Modern Intimacy is a great option for sex therapy if you live in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, or New York.
A more affordable alternative available in most states is Thriveworks, which also has certified sex therapists on staff and can treat you and your partner individually as well as prescribe medication if needed.
Guide to Choosing the Best Online Sex Therapy
What Is Online Sex Therapy?
Online sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy (talk therapy) conducted virtually through technology like your phone, computer, or tablet. It is designed to help individuals or couples with sexual health issues such as sexual function, sexuality, gender identity, relationships, intimacy, pleasure, and more.
“Sex therapy and couples or relationship therapy are not the same thing,” explains Hannah Owens, LMSW, a subject matter expert we worked with while evaluating these companies. “While couples counseling may touch upon or explore sexuality, sex therapy is specifically focused on the couple’s or relational unit’s relationship with sex, both individually and together.”
What Types of Online Sex Therapy Are Offered?
There are a variety of online sex therapy options. These include:
- Sex coaching: Sex coaches help you and your partner work through concerns, such as low libido, infidelity, and sexual dysfunction, and help couples rekindle and improve intimacy.
- Somatic sex therapy: Somatic literally means “of the body.” This type of sex therapy helps couples focus on what they are feeling both physically and emotionally, and be better tuned to each other by using breathwork, touch, and movement.
- Couples therapy: This type of counseling addresses communication issues and helps couples learn to resolve conflicts, which can lead to enhanced intimacy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This form of therapy helps you and your partner recognize negative thoughts and change them.
- Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR): This form of therapy goes to the heart of PTSD and helps to alleviate its symptoms.
- Emotionally focused therapy (EFT): This type of talk therapy is one of the most researched and effective approaches to changing distressed marital relationships.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): DBT has a mindful psychotherapy focus designed to help you better understand your emotions.
How to Choose a Sex Therapist
Finding a therapist that you feel comfortable with is an essential part of sex therapy. You need to be able to communicate with them and so does your partner. You’ll also want to find a therapist that provides the type of therapy you and your partner need, such as somatic sex therapy, EFT, or DBT.
Licensed mental health professionals don’t need a specific certification to provide sex therapy. So although they may offer the service, they may not have any additional qualifications or experience in it. If you want to work with someone who truly specializes in sex therapy, look for a certified therapist. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) is considered the gold standard in sex therapy certification.
Affordability is often a major consideration, since you will want to ensure you can continue therapy as long as necessary to rectify the issues between you and your partner.
You may not always gel with your therapist the first time, and that’s OK. Don’t be afraid to say it’s not working and seek a new therapist. Before seeking sex therapy, think about what you want therapy for and what you want to achieve. That will help you and your therapist determine the right type of counseling for you. Again, not every type of counseling works for everyone. If you are not feeling any benefit from therapy, or feel like you are not progressing, then speak to your therapist about alternative options.
Comparing Online Sex Therapy Providers
There are a variety of factors to consider when comparing the best online sex therapist for your needs. These include:
- Price: Price will usually be a deciding factor. Consider whether you can use insurance coverage, afford out of pocket sessions, or want to take the plunge and go for an all-inclusive weekend retreat to help you and your partner reconnect.
- Topic: Not only should you have an idea of the issues you want to address, it’s important that your therapist is trained and able to address your issues in a professional manner.
- Scheduling: One of the best aspects to online therapy is the ability to work it into your schedule. Many online providers offer night and weekend options, so you won’t have to juggle your schedule with your partner’s or hire a babysitter.
- Location: It’s also important to consider if online therapy or in-person therapy is the best option for you. For example, if you live in different locations, an online option could be a great way for you both to attend sessions with a sex therapist.
- Method of counseling: Intimacy is a delicate topic for some. Choose the communication channels that are most comfortable for you and your partner. Would it be easier to open up over a text or live chat session, or would you prefer to have the connection of live video chats? Or would a simple phone call be best?
- Ease of switching therapists: Many services will match you with a therapist, which isn’t always the best option. Be sure to read the fine print on how you can switch therapists if the first one is not a great fit. You may also prefer to go with a company that allows you to choose your own therapist based on reviewing multiple bios.
Who Is Online Sex Therapy Best For?
Sex therapy can be beneficial if you are having issues with:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pain during and after sex
- Communication during sex
- Enjoying sex with your partner or difficulty having an orgasm
- Past sexual or relationship trauma
- Compulsive sexual behavior
- Performance insecurities
- Sex drive changes
“Having therapy focusing on sex in particular can be useful for those experiencing any of these issues,” notes Owens. “In the same way that therapy focused on anxiety is useful for those experiencing anxiety symptoms, identifying the problem and tackling it head-on is intrinsically better than talking around the issue or only touching upon it tangentially.”
What If I'm Having Thoughts of Harming Myself?
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of personal harm, feels suicidal, or is in emotional distress, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential and toll-free, and you’ll be put through to your nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network.
Call or text 988 or chat online at 988lifeline.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Online Sex Counselors Accept Insurance?
This depends on the therapy company or therapist you choose. Some accept insurance, but others don’t. Always check with your therapy provider before committing to any sessions if you need to be able to use your insurance to help with the cost. Most therapy companies answer this question on their website.
What Do Online Sex Therapists Do?
Sex therapy is predominately a form of talk therapy where you (with or without a partner) can discuss any sexual health concerns with a mental health professional. Your therapist will help identify and work through the sexual health problems you are experiencing.
Does Online Sex Therapy Work?
As with every type of therapy, many factors play a role whether online sex therapy works. These include finding a therapist you feel comfortable with, finding the type of therapy you respond to, having an open mind, and being able to attend therapy sessions. Online sex therapy is very successful for many people and is especially useful for people who find it difficult to get to sessions in person.
Is Online Sex Therapy Worth It?
If physical or emotional sexual health issues are affecting your life, then online sex therapy can be an incredibly effective means to help you work through these issues. However, you need to be willing to work with your therapist and be open about what is going on for it to work.
Is Online Sex Therapy LGBTQIA+ Friendly?
Several therapy companies are LGBTQIA+ friendly. We have highlighted Modern Intimacy, Talkspace, and the Center for Mental and Sexual Health in this review. Read through the background of any company or therapist you are considering to ensure they are LGBTQIA+ friendly and used to working with the LGBTQIA+ community.
To evaluate online sex therapy providers, we evaluated 55 traditional online therapy companies by surveying 105 users at each. We also considered dozens of sex therapy-specific companies and independent practices. This mix of qualitative and quantitative data allowed us to assess each company. In particular, each company was evaluated on how easy the website was to navigate, the sign-up process, therapist diversity, qualifications, and availability, whether the company is LGBTQIA+ friendly, types of sex and relationship therapy offered, platform and communication options, cost and value for money, insurance coverage, ease of changing therapists, overall user satisfaction, the likelihood clients would recommend them, and the locations available to clients.
Johnson SM, Hunsley J, Greenberg L, Schindler D. Emotionally focused couples therapy: Status and challenges. Clin Psychol Sci Pract. 1999;6(1):67-79. doi:10.1093/clipsy.6.1.67