In short the inventors of sex therapy assume that people with sexual
disorders or problems don't easily submit to sexual feelings and thoughts
and don't take much pleasure in it. They are more occupied by their own
sexual behavior and give less attention to their sexual feelings. This is
called spectator behavior or 'spectatoring' (like looking at yourself from
a distance). People get into the 'spectator role' when they worry about all
kinds of things related to making love: 'If only she enjoys it', 'last time
she didn't come either' etc. These thoughts are not very arousing. Sex
therapy tries to control these thoughts. In the case of vaginismus, pain
while making love and erection disorders, the coitus stop is normally used.
This means that intercourse is not allowed and that the genitals can't be
touched. Only other parts of the body may be caressed. In the case of
people with a paraphilia, techniques are used to get more control over
feelings and behavior.
The final goal of the therapy is to teach the person to enjoy making love
without negative thoughts.
Sex therapy, however, doesn't always work. Specific causes need a
specific therapy, relational conflicts that cause the reduced interest
are treated with relation therapy. The goal of sex therapy is to reduce
the pressure on making love, making love in a less competitive way and
getting to know one's own body and the body of the other person.