Rosara Torrisi, 2015 Best Sex Therapist on Long Island, was recently invited and presented to a group of high school students in Jericho for the second year in a row. All of the students were eager to ask sexologist, Rosara Torrisi about her work as a therapist, her work as a sex therapist, and some education about healthy sexuality. Here are some of the questions and answers.
Question: What types of clients do you work with most often?
Answer: Interestingly, for the whole time I’ve been in practice, half of my clients are couples and half of them are individuals. About half identify as female and half identify as male, with trans men and trans women included. Many of my clients are exploring gender identity as well as sexual orientation. The majority of the couples I’m working with fall in to three general categories: couples 55+ who have decided to call it quits on their dull or nonexistent sex lives, couples who are around the time of having their first children and are experiencing new sexual difficulties, and couples who are struggling together through a chronic illness such as Multiple Sclerosis or Breast Cancer and are seeking to maintain their intimate connections. The majority of individuals I work with are struggling with low sexual desire, sexual pain, sexual compulsivity, and erectile dysfunction.
Question: What’s your favorite type of client?
Answer: I honestly enjoy working with all of my clients. As a therapist in private practice, I have the ability to work with a vast array of clients on many different issues, so I never get bored. As a social worker, one of my favorite therapeutic skills is integrating health care services for my clients, so I happily spend the extra time working with clients who require the coordination with other professionals such as gynecologists, oncologists, acupuncturists, physical therapists, pelvic physical therapists, urologists, nutritionists, health coaches, primary physicians, couples therapists, individual therapists, psychiatrists, chiropractors, attorneys, etc. (pointer: my Long Island favorites in their respective fields can be found on my website).
Question: Why do some people like to be hurt during sex?
Answer: If you think of sex as the adult version of the playground, then you can start to see that sex can be fun, it can be freeing, it can be bonding, and it can be playful. Within the realm of a playground, anything is allowed to happen so long as it is safe, sane and consensual. If someone wants to be the alligator in the moat while others are knights attempting to break in to the castle, then go for it! Play is how we learn the boundaries of ourselves and each other, it is where we can transcend into other realms in a safe way. There are tremendous avenues for both physical and emotional pain that isn’t safe, sane or consensual which is why communication is essential. As a sex therapist, I am always assisting clients in enhancing their communication of their thoughts, feelings, wants and needs in order to improve both their physical and emotional intimacy.
Question: If I’m being intimate with someone and I’m okay with what’s happening and then we keep going and I don’t want to go anymore, am I allowed to say no?
Answer: Absolutely, positively, without a doubt—Yes! No, for real, means NO! This latest post using the example of tea explains it all—to the T.
Question: If a girl has sex with more than 5 people, does that make her a slut?
Answer: As a professor in my PhD program at Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies has said, a slut is someone who has sex with one more person than the person doing the judging. No one is a slut. If you find empowerment in using the word slut to define your sexuality, then use it. If you aren’t fond of the word slut, then don’t ever allow someone’s ill-understood words to tarnish your self-worth! Your sexuality is yours—as is your sexual pleasure.