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Sarah Melancon Ph.D

BY Ian

At age 4, I was diagnosed with severe social phobia and a communication disorder called selective mutism, sometimes described as a phobia of speaking. My anxiety and social issues profoundly affected my sexuality and relationships in ways I'd rarely read or heard about elsewhere. Ultimately, these difficulties led me to the field of sexology, where integrating research and therapeutic approaches in neurobiology, trauma, and attachment helped me to finally understand and begin to heal both my sexuality and social issues.

My research and counseling approach is influenced by Polyvagal Theory and somatic therapies, centered on the intersection between attachment, trauma, and the autonomic nervous system, which shapes our sexual fantasies, behaviors, and relationships. My interests include the origins of fantasies, fetishes, and kinks; the ways early attachment experiences shape adult sexual function and behavior; the relationship between sexuality and spirituality; and psychedelic and somatic therapies for sexual issues. I am also interested in similar theoretical and therapeutic approaches for selective mutism, a poorly-understood condition with few established treatments.

As a result of my experiences, I feel a deep compassion for the sexual struggles of others. I previously worked in telehealth, creating patient education programs, training practitioners, and working one-on-one with patients struggling with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, and other sexual issues. In 2021, I published the first Polyvagal-informed approach to understanding birth trauma, which has a negative impact on women’s sexuality, partnered sexual relationships, and infant development.

In my work with SexToyCollective.com, I have been quoted in over 200 articles on sexuality and relationships for dozens of outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Self, Bustle, Tinder, High Times, AskMen, Men’s Health, Wedding Wire, Scary Mommy, Good Housekeeping, Lifehacker, Mashable, Insider, MindBodyGreen, Livestrong, Healthline, Health.com, Reader’s Digest Best Health, Community Psychiatry, and Psych Central.

Check out some of my favorite articles:

The Advent of Psychedelic Therapy for Low-Libido Women https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/psychedelic-therapy-low-libido-mindcure

What Are Emotional Aphrodisiacs, and How Can They Help Your Sex Life? https://www.insidehook.com/article/sex-and-dating/emotional-aphrodisiacs-help-sex-life

It’s Been 14 Years Since My Assault & I Still Struggle With Sober Sex https://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/2234693/sex-recovery-after-sexual-assault/

A Sexpert’s Guide to Figuring Out If You’re ‘Good in Bed’ https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/relationships/sex/a-sexperts-guide-to-figuring-out-if-youre-good-in-bed/news-story/2ceccf4d66b725b6bd4e1623747a6357

Stealthing is a Sex Crime

Is It Safe to Use CBD While Pregnant?

The Difference Between Sexual Urge and Physical Arousal https://www.thebody.com/article/difference-sexual-urge-physical-arousal

5 Ways to Make Sex Less Painful, According to a Sex Therapist https://bestlifeonline.com/make-sex-less-painful-news/

Exercise May Be as Beneficial as Drugs in Treating Premature Ejaculation, Study Finds

Your Nervous System is to Blame For How You Argue With Your Partner https://lifehacker.com/your-nervous-system-is-to-blame-for-how-you-argue-with-1849056649

What Does an Orgasm Feel Like?