SOMATIC SEX EDUCATION
I am a Somatic Sex Educator and Certified Sexological Bodyworker.
I work with clients to expand their erotic self knowledge through the use of mindfulness practices, which leads to experiential, body-based learning. These practices can include coaching (in boundary setting, movement, breath work, sound, touch, sensate focus, communication, and trance states), Taoist Erotic Massage, pelvic release work, scar tissue remediation, as well as other somatic learning practices.
Because every body is different and each of our experiences are unique, all of my sessions are client-centred. In my practice, client-centred means each session is co-created with the client, based on their intentions, desire and experiential capacity. Somatic sex education is designed to invite people into gentle, relaxed body states, which then help them arrive at new levels of feeling, sensing, and arousal. In these states, there exists the opportunity to feel pleasure but also observe and process any grief, shame, guilt or other unwanted aspects of sexuality, should such feelings arise. The outcome for such transformative work is access to deeper states of arousal and greater erotic confidence.
Underlying each session is a foundation of respect. Each client is empowered and invited to arrive at a place of understanding and learning that matches their physical and mental comfort level. In my seven years as a Somatic Sex Educator, I have found time and time again that when people gain confidence and understanding in their sensual, sexual experience, they are transformed in many areas of life. Bringing wholeness and growth to our erotic core brings forth a full-life evolution.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Many of us were raised with insufficient positive information about pleasure, intimacy, and sex. We were raised in a culture of silence and fear.
Our sex education was about shame, abstinence, STI’s and unwanted pregnancies. For many of us, our religious, cultural, and familial taboos were aimed to thwart our biological desires; while our culture was telling us “no!” our bodies were telling us, “go!”
When we are subjected to that kind of powerful polarity, especially during puberty and early adulthood (when our nervous systems are forming along with our new found sense of self and sexuality) it builds guilt, shame, and secrecy onto our erotic blueprint. For some it is even more extreme, where we have learned that to “behave” is to have no interest in our own body or pleasure at all. This often leads to physical numbness and a sense of detachment from erotic feelings. Somatic Sex Education can rewrite the blueprint and reconnect people to their ability to access pleasure.
In my practice, I find many people reach mid life with a nagging suspicion that something isn’t quite right about their sexuality, or at least, their sexual experience is not what they want it to be. The ways they express themselves erotically don’t nurture or satisfy any more. Perhaps habits, rather than engagement, have taken over. Maybe these habits exist because of guilt, shame or denial. These are common negative emotions that people often experience, which inhibit their personal erotic exploration, and acceptance of their own sexual desires.
Sexuality is as much biological as it is sensory, as much nature’s imperative to survive as the human love of pleasure. Our own personal expression of sex is where these biological and human urges collide with society’s repression of those very urges. While sex brings people together, deepens relationships, builds families, communities, and populates the planet, that energy is also culturally reviled, mistrusted, and tightly controlled. Such negativity brings with it the shadow aspects of sexuality: guilt, shame, and denial of healthy sexual desires. Sexuality explored through shadow often develops into limiting beliefs, habits, and patterns. These unwanted attributes can weave together to become what is “normal” for us when it comes to sex. It didn’t happen all at once, it happened over many years and experiences, and it’s not until some event or stimulus challenges our norms that we are invited to ask ourselves why we do what we do.
That question, which turns our learned norms on their head, is enormous. What if our education had been focused on self respect and respect for others? What if boundary setting had been taught as a loving act? What if we had been permitted the freedom to discover pleasure in our own bodies? What if we were always able to wholeheartedly say yes, no, or maybe? This is consent. Such a different experience would have helped us to more fully embody our sexuality, enrich our lives, and heighten our ability to relate. I believe that this is the work of a lifetime; knowing ourselves, loving wholeheartedly, and the practice of consent.
Foundational to my practice is the belief that when people are supported in cultivating a healthy eroticism, healing happens. It is grounding and wholesome.
I see many clients deepen their self understanding through simple explorations and conscious touch to unwind harmful patterns. It is my life’s work to support my clients as they learn to slow down their pathway to arousal, start to recognize where the negative feelings and coping responses take them out of the moment and prevent them from truly being present.
COMPLIMENTARY SKYPE CALL
Somatic Sex Education and the use of touch for healing and wellness is intimate and vulnerable, yet powerful and potentially life changing. You may be reading this and feeling curious, excited, nervous or scared.
I invite anyone, in any body, who feels moved to learn more about themselves, to schedule a complimentary 30 minute call. This call is an opportunity to ask questions, to meet me and to feel in your body whether Somatic Sex Education is right for you at this time. We may be exactly the right fit, or you may have many questions and be undecided, or, I may not be the right practitioner for you. I am happy to answer questions and happy to refer you on to other colleagues perhaps more able to help you on your path.
**Example Skype call exercise**
Take three slow, deep breaths and allow yourself to feel what is happening in your body. What are the sensations, emotions, you feel? What about the temperature? Do you have an image or memory in your mind? Where do you feel tightness? Where is there a feeling of openness and relaxation? There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel. Feeling, and truly being in the body is a skill. It is not always easy to develop this skill, but there is great value in learning it. When we listen to the body rather than the mind, it can help us to discover our truth.
ETHICS AND BOUNDARIES
The Somatic Sex Educators Pledge
1) The practitioner’s chief focus and primary ethical responsibility is on their client’s wellbeing.
2) The practitioner works to support the client in the experience of embodiment and empowered, enthusiastic consent.
3) When touch is included in Somatic Sex Education it is for the purpose of the client’s learning & growth.
4) During the session the practitioner is fully and consistently at the service of the client’s personal growth and learning.
5) The practitioner commits to their own professional development and ongoing self care.
6) The practitioner is aware of the potential for attraction within the client-practitioner relationship and ensures the focus is always on the client’s growth & learning.
7) The practitioner practices in a way that is free of narcissistic focus on power, admiration, or sexual gratification.
8) Entering into a client-practitioner relationship involves an intake process in which limits and boundaries are clearly set out and agreed to.
You can learn more about Somatic Sex Education at the Somatic Sex Education website, here.
Certified Sexological Bodyworkers ethical pledge
5. Regarding Sexual Contact and/or Conduct with Students
a. We acknowledge the importance of maintaining appropriate boundaries, including asking permission to touch and stopping touch when our students request it.
b. We are conscious and make our students conscious that while we share authentic intimacy, Sexological Bodywork sessions will neither fulfill CSBs, nor their students desire for sexual connection.
c. In group or individual sessions we remain clothed when touching our students and touching is unidirectional. We request that our students bring their partners when they wish to learn interpersonal erotic skills or invite them to share and learn with other students when appropriate.
d. CSBs understand the inherent power we hold in our role of teacher and will not use this power for sexual exploitation of our students.
6. CSBs acknowledge the importance of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. To protect the health of both student and professional, CSBs recognize the need for risk-reduction and professional protocol in all individual and group somatic sex education. CSBs take steps to minimize any physical or emotional harm, in active collaboration with all students. Professional protocol includes the use of medical-grade examination gloves and quality water-based lubricants. All group classes shall include education about group hygiene protocol, with sufficient facilities/supplies provided to students to maintain appropriate hygiene.
7. CSBs will refrain from providing bodywork, training sessions and/or presenting any instructional material while either the Sexological Bodyworker or the client/student is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Find out more about The Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers Ethical Code here.
YOUR OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
I believe that good health is holistic, and I am happy to work with clients in tandem with other health providers, such as doctors, therapists, councilors, coaches to ensure that we are all working in harmony towards your highest potential.