A BACP member spoke on a national BBC radio breakfast show about how talking to a therapist about sex can help couples.

Armele Philpotts was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live by presenter Nicky Campbell about new research which found nearly a third of men and women have not had sex in the past month.

Less than half of men and women in Britain aged 16 to 44 have sex at least once a week, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal.

The researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found a general decline in sexual frequency in Britain between 2001 and 2012.

Armele told the show: “Sex is a way that we connect with our partner in a really deep and different way.”

Speaking about the reasons couples may be having less sex, she said: “From my experience there are lots of reasons. There’s no simple answer here. I know the article gave some suggestions.

“I think the two things that came out for me were the idea of technology and the idea of maybe different life stages being points at which sometimes our sex lives can go off track. Young couples who are in the sandwich generation, who are squeezed looking after their kids and parents. And also there’s a lot about stress.”

She also spoke about young people’s view of sex, and the influence of porn.

“What I’m seeing is there’s a younger generation who have a really different idea of sex. They’re not learning about sex from their parents or trusted adults. It’s from porn. We have to remember that porn is a performance. It’s geared towards money.”

 

Researchers found a general decline in sexual frequency in Britain between 2001 and 2012.

Radio presenter Nicky Campbell asked Armele what she would say if he and his partner came to see her, having not had sex for a year.

“First of all I’d say it’s great - you’ve come to talk,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s really difficult to talk about sex. There’s a real stigma.

“But you’d be talking about sex with someone who was comfortable with supporting you; talking about your needs are, what your wants are, and how they may have changed. What works for us when we get together, isn’t going to work for us 40 years later.”

The researchers analysed data from more than 34,000 men and women aged 16 to 44, who completed the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) in either 1991, 2001 or 2012.

The research’s lead author Kaye Wellings said: “Several factors are likely to explain the declines, but one may be the sheer pace of modern life. It is interesting that those most affected are in mid-life, the group often referred to as the ‘u-bend’ or ‘sandwich’ generation. These are the cohorts of men and women who, having started their families at older ages than previous generations, are often juggling childcare, work and responsibilities to parents who are getting older.”

Listen to Armele on BBC Radio 5 Live. The interview was on 8:25 am.

BACP members are currently featuring on a new television series which follows real-life couples as they bring their sexual and emotional issues to a specially-created sex and relationship clinic.

Lahoni Noor and Silva Neves are among four sexual therapists who support couples as they try to solve their problematic sex lives in the six-part BBC3 series Sex on the Couch, which started two weeks ago.

To find a BACP counsellor or psychotherapist near you visit our Find a Therapist directory.