Where to get help for sexual problems
A quick guide
These days, South Africans are becoming increasingly willing to seek professional help for sexual issues or problems. Yet finding out where to seek help is not always easy, so we’ve developed this quick guide. While we encourage people to seek professional help from the relevant practitioner, at the end of this section we also provide online resources for ease of access.
GP (general practitioner)
If you have a good relationship with your GP, this could be a good place to start, especially if you have a physical ailment such as a sexually transmitted infection. It’s best to be frank about the problem rather than beating about the bush – your doctor has probably seen and heard almost every embarrassing ailment there is. If your GP isn’t particularly helpful or sympathetic about sex difficulties, try another GP. Alternatively, ask for a referral to the relevant professional.
Community Health Clinics
These government clinics provide free health care and are available in all municipalities. Most offer a free family planning service plus HIV/Aids counselling and testing. The clinics are listed in telephone directories (in the blue pages at the back – under Local Government/City Health/Community Health Clinics). Check first to find out on which particular day they hold the relevant clinic and what hours they operate.
A sexologist is a professional who may come from a multidisciplinary background but has specialised training in sexology. They focus on sex problems and treat clients for sex pathologies, disorders and dysfunctions. They treat rape and sexual abuse survivors, as well as the abusers. They counsel people on issues such as sexual identity and sexual orientation, and offer counselling for individuals and couples on relationships.
Sexual health counselling practices in South Africa - sexologists
|Pretoria: Dr Johann Lemmer – 012 9988675 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Johannesburg: Dr Elna MacIntosh – email@example.com
Cape Town: Dr Esther Sapire – 021 4806342
Cape Town: Dr Marlene Wasserman – 021 4394004
Sex therapists are professionals who are trained in wholistic, practical sex therapy. They treat individuals and couples experiencing difficulties with sexual function and expression. The kinds of issues they deal with include arousal problems such as impotence (men) and frigidity (women), orgasm difficulties (inability to orgasm, inability to control ejaculation), pain during intercourse, couples’ differences in desire for sex, sexual inhibition, undesirable sexual habits, sexual identity problems, or sexual difficulties caused by physical disabilities, illness, surgery, ageing or alcohol abuse. To find one locally, ask your GP or another medical practitioner such as your gynaecologist or urologist, or your spiritual leader, to refer you to one. Contact SSASSERT (Sub Saharan Africa Society of Sexual Health Advisors/Educators/Researchers/Therapists) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for details of a sex therapist in your area.
They counsel individuals and educate communities on issues of sexual health and wellbeing, and perform crisis counselling and trauma debriefing.
Gynaecologists and urologists
If a sex problem is essentially physical, women seek may help from their gynaecologist and men from a local urologist. They are listed in the medical section at the back of local phone directories, or ask your GP for a referral.
Psychologists / social workers / marital councillors
Depending on the nature of your sexual problem, it may be more appropriate to seek relationship, family or personal counselling from a professional. Ask your GP to refer you, or check with the relevant professional body in your area.
SASHA (The Southern African Sexual Health Association)
This is a non-profit association dedicated to improving South Africans’ sexual wellbeing. Phone their helpline – 0860 100262, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website.
SSASSERT (Sub Saharan Africa Society of Sexual Health Advisors / Educators / Researchers / Therapists)
via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for details of a sex therapist in your area.
Note: If you would like us to display details of your organisation or resources, or if you are aware of a particularly helpful online resource, please email us the details at email@example.com.