Meet Selina Nguyen, Your Go-To Love Guru

Selina Nguyen, a Sydney-based relationship and sex therapist

Meet Selina Nguyen, a Sydney-based relationship and sex therapist. Her secret sauce? Creating a safe, judgment-free zone where clients can toss out the rulebook on sex, shred the "should’s", and rediscover their pleasure-filled selves.


Name: Selina Nguyen

Pronouns: she/they

Day job: Relationship and Sex Therapist

Location: Sydney/Gadigal Land


Describe your work in one sentence.

Sitting with folks as we learn how to be better romantic and sexual partners.


What are the top 3 things people come to you for?

It’s easily a lack of sexual desire, anxiety around sex, and relationship conflict around intimacy. So much of it is supporting folks to learn more about our bodies, our pleasure and sexuality in a way that’s judgement-free and open-ended, rewriting our sex ‘mis-education’ and leaving behind all the “should’s” … there’s nothing sexy about “should’s”.


Why did you decide to specialise in queer relationships?

If I’m honest, it’s more fun. Queerness, to me, isn’t just who you’re sleeping with. Queerness means celebrating who you are and existing outside of the binaries in which we’ve been raised. Not to say that hetero relationships can’t feel like this, but the sense of queer community is visceral and having that representation in the field of therapy also feels important to me as a queer Asian.


What’s the most rewarding part?

I’ve really been savouring “sitting in the mud” with people. It’s the moment when we shift from answering with our brains and logic and instead with our hearts and our bodies. We can sit in the mess, we’re not rushing to fix what’s going on and because of that, we can see and witness each other. It’s a privilege to be let in and never gets old.


What are 5 tips for better communication with partners?

Dropping into the ‘why’ and the feelings behind the needs or boundaries is useful. It’s important so that we can learn more about our sexual selves – and so that partners can get a fuller picture of what’s going on. When we dig into the ‘why’, we can put the needs and boundaries into context because sex is never just about sex. So, when we’re communicating about wanting a certain type of sex or a certain amount of frequency, we’re almost always asking for something else, too.


How best navigate mismatched libidos or preferences?

One skill I often share is normalising saying and/or receiving nos. Some folks struggle to say no because they feel like a terrible partner, and others struggle to hear no because they feel like a terrible partner. That’s part of how we get stuck in the cycle of partners having obligatory sex and resentment. Turning each other down can suck, but it doesn’t have to feel devastating. When we avoid saying/hearing no, we don’t get the opportunity to learn that ‘no’ can be value-neutral.


What are some misconceptions about sex in queer relationships?

The most insidious misconception is that penetrative penis-in-vagina sex is “real sex” and everything else is just foreplay. We have penetrative sex on such a ridiculous pedestal when for many folks, particularly women and AFAB folks, it’s one of their least favourite parts about sex. The most glorious part about sex is that you can choose your own adventure and that you can define sex however you like.


What impact do societal norms have on queer sexual relationships?

It leaks out in many ways through various expectations and pressures we put on ourselves. Some examples of this are through gender roles, queerness being over-sexualised or queer imposter syndrome. During all this, we’re also having to unlearn heteronormative scripts about how to have sex or how to date while simultaneously not really having a script for what else is possible. I don’t know if it’s a question of how to resist them because it’s part of the cultural water we swim in, but we can acknowledge that it’s there and act accordingly.


How do we need to change the language around for all?

The language is slowly changing around period care and reproductive rights. I love seeing “folks who menstruate”, “menstruators”, and period care rather than “feminine hygiene” or non-birthing parents and birthing parents. These adjustments in language seem small, but they have the power to open important conversations about inclusivity and it’s accessible across various levels of change - the individual level but also structural and organisational levels.


How do we best discuss menstrual health while respecting gender identities?

Everyone has a different relationship to menstrual health regardless of gender identity - even cis men. A good starting point is what I call ‘following the thread’, where we pick a particular topic like menstrual health and follow the thread throughout our lives. How did you learn about it growing up? What were the conversations like around you? Were they non-existent or were they informative and non-judgemental? Are there moments that stand out? How did it shape how you feel about it today? It’s more about learning the context we all bring into the conversation, which sets us up for respectful and intentional relationships.


What about menstrual health products and gender identity?

Historically we know they’ve been designed with only cis women in mind, but the products and brands now are starting to evolve for the better. It’s wonderful to see that when it comes to choices like design, advertising, and even colour choices. When discussing inclusivity, I’d like to see more of the intersection between disability and products that cater to various body types and abilities.


What does your period wellness routine look like?

For the most part, it means listening to my body and treating it well. Whether it’s with nourishing food, rest, or movement, I’m continually learning how to honour and enjoy her. My body runs the show; I’m just along for the ride.


Do you feel in tune with your menstrual cycle?

With the contraceptive implant, my cycle can feel all over the place at times so I track what I can. This really helps inform my schedule and planning ahead because I can then make the most of my productivity and my up-days, and then take it easy on my down-days.


What’s one misconception about periods that needs to be addressed?

I feel we have a long way to go in truly understanding menstrual health as an important part of health and it needs to be treated as such. Especially when I think of medical conditions like endometriosis, our reproductive rights and period poverty, there is still a lot that is swept under the rug, minimised or seen as ‘optional’.



  • My period in 3-words: Tender. Slow. Unpredictable.
  • Flow / Length: Irregular/medium, 4 days.
  • Period self-care toolkit: Vibrator, massage, snacks and iron supplements.
  • Best period hack: Orgasms for period cramps.
  • Contraception of choice: Contraceptive implant.
  • On day 1 you can find me: In bed with chocolate and a good fantasy romance book.
  • Your Scarlet pick: Scarlet Period Boyshort. Gender joy all the way.

Read more on Sel via Visit her at