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Sex downsides

The sex we have (or don’t have) can be a way of coping with issues or situations; either recent ones or those going back to our childhood and family relationships. Our sexual behaviour can reflect what’s going on in our head, often in a way we might not realise until someone else helps us see it. That’s one of the benefits of talking to someone, whether it’s a professional counsellor or therapist, or just a friend.

Getting help with sex problems

Over a quarter (28%) of people have seen a counsellor and a survey found 94% of people find it acceptable to have counselling.

There are a number of places that you can get counselling or see a therapist.


You can ask your GP for a referral to a free NHS sex therapist. If you don’t want to involve your doctor ask about sex therapists at your genito urinary medicine (GUM, sexual health) clinic or HIV clinic.

Terrence Higgins Trust

Free sex and relationship counselling is available at some Terrence Higgins Trust centres around the country. Call THT Direct Helpline on 0808 802 1221 for details of what’s available locally. If you live in London you can also call 020 7812 1777.

Local projects

Your local gay men’s health project will have information on local services.


GMFA is a London-based gay men’s health organisation. Can also help finding sexual health services throughout the UK.

Telephone: 020 7738 6872

Email: [email protected]


If you want to be seen quicker and can afford it, private therapists are available. Check out the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists or for gay therapists try Pink Therapy.

Want to know more?

To find the answers to common questions people have about talking to a professional, see the website of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

* British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 2014

Last review: 10/09/2018
Next review: 10/09/2021