Marriage Builders®
Posted By: aussiedad123 Questions about Sexual aversion therapy - 06/17/21 02:21 AM
Hi, we've been reading this great article on the Marriage Builders site ( and it's been reallyhelpful.

A few questions though:

1. Approx how long would you imagine each step to take? (I know it's not an exact science)...but as a ballpark? days, weeks, months, years?
2. Where the article says " if any aspect of lovemaking is unpleasant to you, figure out a way of making it enjoyable"...any more clarification on how or what it means to 'figure out a way'?

Thanks in advance smile
Welcome to MB.

1. I should think that this would depend on a number of variables, such as the depth and nature of the aversion, whether the steps are taken consistently (or whether there is backsliding), and whether the marriage is being worked on more generally.

2. Figuring out a way would involve discovering in what way a particular aspect of lovemaking is unpleasant, and talking through solutions.
I seem to do this all the time these days, but I would add that you'll get a proper answer directly from Dr Harley. He is the therapist that has worked with thousands of couples, and who devised his strategies based on trial and error with them. He will have worked with a variety of couples with this issue, and can give you a better sense than any of us of how long each stage can take.

Many of us have not had to use a specific therapy such as overcoming sexual aversion, and even if we have, we'd only have our own individual experience to give you. Dr Harley has the results of many couples that have worked with him.
Thanks for that SugarCane....I understand that everyone is different, I guess I was hoping that in the hundreds of couples that might have been doing sexual aversion therapy there might be even JUST an spit-ball average of how long each stage most commonly is.

Assuming the steps are consistant, and the restof the marriage is generally good and being worked on.

would the AVERAGE be 5 years for each step? 1 week for each step? etc

Any thoughts?

Also, with the step 4 of the prgram it says:

"Eventually, you should describe as many sexual situations to your husband as you can think of. You may want to refer to your journal to help you remember what some of them were. Whenever you talk about them, try to remain completely relaxed, and you will eventually find that even your most disturbing sexual memories will no longer elicit a tense or anxious response."

What exactly is the person descibing to thier husband? Are they recalling past sexual situations that they've been in together (ie, i remember the time we were in mexico, I liked it that time when we did XYZ)...or are they rattling off random sexual situations that are possible (missionary position, morning sex on a holiday, oral, etc)?

Thanks for your advice everyone. smile
I would write to Dr. Harley and ask these very good questions.

Email your questions to Joyce Harley at When your email question is chosen to be answered on the radio show, you will be notified by email directing you to listen to the broadcast. If you would like to consider being a caller, include your telephone number. You will be called by the Harleys to explain the procedure to you. Every caller will receive a complementary book by Dr. Harley that addresses their question.
I may be able to shed some light on the duration.
Because of the process of brain plasticity, the process will take months, maybe several weeks in easy cases. Neural pathways will have to form and others will have to get disused. Imagine when you have a pathway through the woods. You can hack out a new path, but it will take time for the old path to be overgrown into not being used.
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