According to Matty Silver, “the brain is our largest sex organ.”
It is the brain, she says, which creates performance anxiety in many young men and unrealistic expectations of sex in the minds of many women.
“For many couples the first year of their sex life is great, but after that they have to work at it,” says Silver.
“It is not spontaneous for many people and they have to be patient and work at it, and where I help them is in getting them to open up and talk about it together.”
In a 12 year career as a relationship counsellor and sex therapist, Silver has seen around 4000 clients and says it is “the best job I’ve ever had.”
“I am Dutch after all, and we love talking about sex,” she jokes.
Silver moved into counselling after a diverse career led her to volunteer at Lifeline as a telephone counsellor, a job she loved.
From there she moved into sex counselling at Impotence Australia, and added to her knowledge and qualifications by completing a Masters of Sexual Health at the University of Sydney.
Silver wrote a longstanding column in the Sydney Morning Herald and has written a book called Sex Downunder, which has a foreword and endorsement from former High Court Judge Michael Kirby.
She is also President of the Australian Society of Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists.
But while much of her work is sex therapy, and she believes that a good sex life generally means a good relationship, Matty Silver is also a general relationship counsellor.
“I focus on solutions,” she says.
“That might not be such a great business model, because it means that people’s issues are largely solved, but it’s the best way to approach counselling.”
Recently, for example, one couple were arguing over the issue of tidiness. One was furious with their partner because their clothes were always kept so messily in their shared wardrobe.
They had a large house with an empty upstairs bedroom, so when Silver suggested that the messy one put their clothes up there and keep them separate, it was a simple solution but also problem solved.
“Other people just go on complaining about each other all the time, telling me what they don’t like about each other,” she says.
“They don’t know to stop it, and many have never considered that it’s a good idea just to let it all go, and I help them along that journey to understand that maybe they don’t need to have it all their own way.”
And the couple with the messiness issue? What happened to them when they moved to separate wardrobes?
“They are much happier now,” says Silver.
“But they come back each week because they just love talking with me.”
Matty Silver. Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor is at 202/54 Foveaux Street Surry Hills. Ph 0411 131619 www.mattysilver.com.au