In her successful blog LVSTPRINZIP and her eponymous podcast, German sex counsellor Theresa Lachner writes about all things pleasure, sex, and self-acceptance while speaking out against outdated, patriarchal structures. Both a sex counsellor and author, Lachner’s expertise lets her tastefully balance humour and gravity as she explores topics of sex, love, and everything pertaining to it. She has one aim: to show that we are all “normal”, just as we are. Her storytelling is so authentic and true-to-life, that her readers and listeners will certainly identify one or two parallels between the stories and their own lives.
Besides being an author, podcaster and journalist, you are also a systemic sexual counsellor. What does that mean exactly?
Working as a systemic sexual counsellor means that the client is considered the expert on the issue at hand and together we look into its origins, which attempts to solve the problem have already been made, and which might be more effective. Handling couples, I consider their joint problem(s) to be the “client” – the partners act as loudspeakers of sorts. Together we work out strategies to dissolve the source of that problem, so that it cannot longer exist.
What do you particularly like about your job?
I love the “aha” moment that occurs when perspectives change. That is true of my counselling, as well as of my articles and my podcast, and applies both to my clients, readers and listeners, as well as for myself. I have been writing about sex since 2009, and I still learn something completely new at least once a week.
What hurdles or difficulties do you face?
The difficulties that I face are many: censorship and disinformation (especially regarding psychology topics) on social media, dubious, poorly trained coaches, organisations causing additional damage to already vulnerable people, society’s lack of understanding, certain topics becoming more and more taboo although they would urgently need to be broken, and the fear of of trying new things among clients.
Every now and then, you specialise in couples therapy. What are the most common issues or relationship problems your clients bring up during sessions?
The most common issue must be that one or neither of them are in the mood for sex any longer: they get lost in everyday life, they have other roles to fulfil besides simply being lovers, there is no room for sex any more.
What approach do you use during therapy sessions with couples?
During my sessions, I use the systemic sexual and couples therapy theoretical frameworks established by Clement, Schnarch, et al.
Your favourite tip to help our readers work on their relationship without having to go to therapy?
Give yourself and the relationship space and time to actually be able to talk openly with each other. Really listen to your partner. Give loving, sincere compliments and recognition.
What questions do your clients most often have about sex?
Is this normal? Am I normal?
As we know, a fulfilling sex life also includes a (more or less) stable mental state. What is the connection between psyche and sex?
Pleasure needs a clear head – and comes much more easily when we feel comfortable with ourselves and our surroundings. The WHO’s 2002 definition of sexual health is: “… a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
The WHO further writes: “Sexual health, when viewed affirmatively, requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. If sexual health is to be achieved and maintained, the sexual rights of all people must be recognised, protected and respected.” (Wikipedia, WHO)
It is all interconnected.
What exactly is libido and what influences it?
Libido is the sex drive that animates us to experience and find sexual satisfaction. External factors such as stress, discrimination, everyday problems but also depression, grief, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma and other psychological problems can reduce our libido. To put it simply: a relaxed, satisfied person also has more desire for sex.
How can meditation or audio erotica specifically influence the libido?
Meditations and audio erotica give us the opportunity to escape our everyday life for a moment, and recenter ourselves. We create space to ourselves and our pleasure.
What difference do you see between the two methods?
Meditation is calming, inspiring, and makes you think, while audio erotica is of course clearly stimulating.
How do you think erotic audio and meditation can enhance and support therapy?
Clients who have little space for themselves and their own pleasure in their everyday life can benefit from these little time-outs. Those who may have not explored their own pleasure yet can find audio erotica inspiring, and through it discover what they actually like. People who otherwise may have no access to masturbation may also be more likely to find one this way.
Which exercises would you recommend to those new to audio erotica and meditation?
Just scroll through CHEEX and see what appeals to you!
Would you recommend erotic audios or meditation to your clients as a method?
Depending on the client’s problem – why not?
CHEEX now has a diverse selection of erotic audios, wellness audios and soundscapes. How did you come to CHEEX and what does your collaboration look like?
You wrote the Lovebooster series. How exactly did you go about writing, what thoughts were decisive in your writing and/or what concept did you follow?
The contents of the episodes are based on classic theoretical foundations of systemic sex therapy. In its implementation, it was particularly important for me to think about as many sexual orientations, gender identities, and forms of relationships as possible.
One last question: Why do you like CHEEX?
CHEEX is a safe space to explore your own sexuality, that is awesome!