As a practitioner of Tantra, a real life sex educator (basically this means I pull NO punches on the facts and am a realist) and the mother of six children, I have experienced my fair share of interesting events in the sex and relationship world and that is not even taking into account the time frame I spent dating 10 gentlemen all in unison or the 17 year marriage that I had the pleasure of learning from. All providing me with an authentic, loving eye to the BIG world of sex and relationship and how taboo it is for us as a society to speak of these intimate and empowering or dis-empowering moments in our lives. I have come to see how hard it can be for many single’ and couple’s to open up to a therapist or teacher and even how much more courage it takes to become vulnerable with their lover(s) and self. Below are 10 things that you may have not known about sex therapy/coaching/educating that will help you to evaluate the practice as the healing modality that it is, hopefully releasing some of the preconceived notions and taboo’s of it as well.
So what do sex coaches do (or don’t do), what issues can they help solve, what happens inside their office or sacred space (even a coffee shop)?
1. Your Sexual Confidence Overflow’s Into Your Daily Life – Sex Coaching Can Help Empower You in Both
I hear a lot of the time from people that they don’t need sex coaching because they have a good sex life, no hangups or trauma but what they do need is a life coach or a coach that will help them with an issue that has nothing to do with the bedroom. One of the biggest issues that we have in society today is our need to compartmentalize everything, not embracing the fact that everything is interconnected.
“What people don’t expect from sex therapy is how strong, confident and assertive they become in every area of their lives,” says Marne Wine, a licensed professional counselor and AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) certified sex therapist in Westminster, Colorado. “Sex therapy is just life playing itself out in the bedroom. Are you willing to be OK with yourself because you don’t know everything or have all the answers? Are you willing to put yourself out there and risk ridicule and failure? Once you learn to do that in the bedroom—naked—you can do it anywhere.”
When you are feeling connected and are able to receive as well as give properly, in love and sexually, you feel like you can do anything. Our fulfillment in our intimate relationships, both emotionally and sexually transfer out into all other areas of our lives. Our intimate relationship are a reflection and a stage on which we can choreograph our full life expression: weather that is showing up in our love life, our work life, with our purpose, our children, friends or in our health. When things are not aligned and harmonious in your sexual relationship(s), it drags all the other parts of your life down with it.
2. Being Naked With Your Sex Coach Does Not Involve Nudity
Through the years what I have found to be one of the biggest hurdle’s for people to get over is their own predetermined thoughts of what they “think” sex therapy or coaching even Tantric work is. Most of the time, clients are either one of two things: fearful that the therapy/coaching might involve physically intimate situations or hopeful that they will. To set the standard straight, traditional sex therapy/coaching (talk therapy) is just that, talk therapy and DOES NOT entail any sort of physical nudity. When coaches refer to being naked in this sense they are speaking of the emotional/physiological vulnerability of be naked, letting down your guards and fulling being authentic with your coach.
When you move into the world of Tantric practices and teaching you do open up the gateways of more vulnerability and nudity. Often Tantric work is a pseudo label for bodywork that deals with the genitals. This sort of ancient practice is along the same belief systems as acupressure, acupuncture, reiki, and massage. For centuries it has been known that the human body stores stress, trauma, and even memories in the cellular tissue of our muscles yet in modern times we are told that it is wrong to treat the genital areas of men and women as though we would treat their backs, necks, legs or feet. Tantra teaches that we must heal the entire body and not ignore or separate one aspect of ourselves from another but instead embrace and heal all parts in order to unite them and restore harmony to the whole-being. This being said, each Tantric Coach is an individual and practices are as unique as the teachers themselves. It is best before stepping foot down the Tantric path to fully explore what the style of the teacher is that you are pursuing and make certain that you are comfortable and in alignment with how they practice.
There are other types of people who work in the sex therapy world as well, such as sex surrogates, but there are very few legal certified surrogates in the United States at this point.
3. Authenticity and Healing the Sexual Self is Taboo, but NOT in Your Coaches Presence
I have worked with individuals and couple’s alike who face their shadow’s on a daily routine in my care. Everything from repressed memories, sexual hangups and fantasies or issues of abuse that frightens them to talk about, there is truly no subject too taboo for a sex therapist/coach. We have heard it all and many of us have been through our own shadow lands and know how hard and painful these things can be to vocalize. The truth in the therapy is that when you become vulnerable enough and find the courage to lay it all out on the table to your coach or therapist; you have finally stepped into releasing the shame, trauma and suffering in the victim-hood and have made way for empowerment and healing.
Often I hear from my coaching clients, “I feel so comfortable with you. I don’t normally share like this and especially about these sort of things.” This safe container that is made between the client and the coach is there because we sex coaches and therapists have experienced ourselves and with our clients so much that we have learned the valuable lesson of holding space free from judgement and criticism. It is in everyone’s best interest that the container be safe and full of unconditional love.
4. Finding the Right Sex Coach/Therapist or Tantra Teacher Is The Foundation Of Your Healing
Are you considering a sex therapist because they have a license? Are you wanting a sex coach because they have a certification from some institution or center somewhere? Are you wanting a Tantra teacher that claims to be trained by such and such leading tantra school?
Certifications, licenses, and other formal schooling are all powerful resources and I believe that they do help in the client healing process. But they are not the foundation of what makes a good healer, coach, therapist or educator. A truly good coach will be one who has the moral standards that align with what their clients needs and desires are. They are individuals who know that they do not hold all the answers but know how to hold the space needed for their clients to discover the right answers for themselves. They speak not just from the formal education and intellectual understanding that they have gained through their certifications but also from their life experiences and personal healing journey.
To ensure that you are with the right coach/teacher/therapist for you:
- Explore your coaches background.
- Get testimonies and references.
- Meet your coach/therapist for a consult in person prior to any therapy work.
- If your practitioner does any group events/talks/seminars, attend at least one prior to working one on one with them so that you can get a feel for how they relate to people and what people think of them.
- Get your questions and concerns answered and BE direct in what you are wanting or not wanting in your experience.
- And if, after the first appointment, you don’t feel comfortable with the coach/therapist, find another one—or ask for a referral. A good coach will keep your best interests at heart—not there ego.
5. Sex and Relationship Coaching is Not Just For Crappy Lovers or Traumatized Individuals
But we already have a GREAT sex life and deep intimacy, so what can you do for us?
“Most people believe that something has to be broken, or that they do, in order to seek sex therapy. What I do is more about sexual and emotional enhancement, making things better, than it is about Slot A and Prong B. The most frequent therapeutic outcome of any sex therapy is the relief that comes with being able to talk about sexual feelings, thoughts and fantasies, just putting them out there to be examined.” according to Isadora Alman, a marriage and family therapist, and a board-certified sexologist in San Francisco and I would have to agree with her 100%. Many of the couple’s that I have worked with have come to me to have support and learn new skills in their sex and emotional relating with their partner, others have come in hopes of healing an issue or misunderstanding even a desire for saving their relationship, but I would say about 40% of my couple’s clients are coming to me for enhancement not fixing. These couple’s want to go deeper in their already dynamic relationships. They want to feel more, love more and they want to explore their partners hearts, souls and bodies with more passion, understanding and empathy.
6. Your Marriage May Not Be Lost After All
Sex is the backbone to the marriage or intimate relationship(s). When we loose respect, connection, empathy and desire for our partners during our sexing it takes a major toll on our whole relationship. When a couple is having troubles with their sex life, a traditional marriage counselor might say, ‘You need to make time for you two to connect’ when it’s way more than just connecting for sex. If desire is no longer on the table and trust has been broken in the relationship or one party has experienced something traumatic or the couple is just feeling blah toward each other any false forced attempt to revive the sex or relationship will just fall prey to the wolves of the issues that are there already or possible even cause further damage.
This sort of advice often leaves couple’s wanting more or feeling misunderstood and lost. A sex coach or therapist can exceed the normal harnesses of coaching and therapy that a traditional coach has to abide by providing the clients with an ‘outside of the box’ approach to possibly heal their relationship issues and their marriage.
Instead of waiting till you have tried all other paths of healing and therapy to save your relationship look at sex coaching or therapy work among your first and get the advice you really desire.
7. Sexual Positions to Physical Dysfunctions and More Can Be Solved
In my many years of practice I have worked with many issues from men with broken penises (literally broken from rough sex) who no longer knew how to properly penetrate their lover to women who with no ability to orgasm and couple’s who wanted to swing but keep one party monogamous at the same time. These issues as well as to low or high libido, sexual difficulties and dysfunctions, sexual issues from cancer treatment and surgical procedures, ED, premature ejaculation, inability to orgasm (men and women alike), intimacy issues, dating issues, rape and abuse victims, virgins, couple’s who have not had sex for months or even years, kink fetishes and other adventurers as well as so many more. And then there are the one’s who just want to learn a new skill or position. 🙂 Yes, what can sex coaching help you with? I don’t know, but if your alive it most likely can assist you in living a better one.
8. Communication Equals Intimacy and Better Life Skills
Sex coaching is NOT all about sex acts and functions. Many of the people who come into sex coaching walk away with an improved ability to communicate and learn how to respect themselves and others through authentic communication skills taught in a session. So if you are fearful of confrontation or want to dive right into the fires, sex coaching can help you learn loving communication that can share your desires, needs and boundaries as well as skills of how to empathetically listen to everyone in your life not just the one you sleep with.
Ask yourself this: Was my last verbal exchange something like this, “Bring me the remote” or “Grab those bags of groceries for me, hun.” Remember that the keys to a gourmet relationship and sexing start with gourmet communication.
9. Back To School You Go
Most people believe that they know all they need to know about their bodies parts and their lovers bodies parts but in reality most people have not a clue what is between their legs or how to treat it, let alone their lovers. Science is in the beginning stages of unearthing the mystery of the clitoris and the research on that one small piece of a woman’s body is just a little over 15 years of study so far.
I do art therapy classes, both group and individual with many of my clients to help them reconnect to their sexual selves. In these classes we explore sensations and draw or paint how we may need to express them during a class. In other instances I work with clients and have them take a mirror into a bathroom or private spot and look at themselves. One of my softer approaches is to use stand alone models of these parts of the body and teach what each area is as I discuss deeper issues with a client.
In my practice as a sex coach I offer what I call Show N’ Tell Sex Ed Classes to people where they get hard core education blended with live model demonstrations. The value of knowing your body and being comfortable in it is one of the most important steps to regaining confidence and releasing trauma as well as stepping back into an intimate relationship.
10. Brings Back The Honeymoon Phase
There is nothing like a first kiss or first glance and especially nothing like the first time you have sex with a new lover that is floating your boat, but over time the NRE (New Relationship Energy) fades and we take our partners and relationship, including the sex for granted. We stop courting each other and slowly the desire leaves or is masked bythe day to day grind of life. Well, sex coaching can help with all of that! Sex coaching can help couple’s reignite those flames and make room for snuggling and making out, getting frisky in the car and even planning out sex dates. Sex coaching can help couple’s go from friendly pecks call a kiss to passionate first date kissing.
When you enter into a coaching therapy with a practitioner you must be prepared to invest time and energy into yourself in all ways. As you can see, sex coaching takes into account lot’s of things not just sex. Often one of the issues experienced is a lack of commitment from the client. Coaches (no matter the field) are here to help YOU, the client find your own way to healing, NOT give you all the answers. There are no set guidelines or times that can be stated for your transformation or healing to occur. There are no guarantee’s that you will be healed or that your assumed expectations will come about. What is for sure is that anyone who truly wants the guidance, support and education can have it but must be willing to expect homework, which might include writing exercises, communication exercises, intimacy and, of course, sex. And must be willing to step out of the box that has been holding them back for all this time.
*Some quotes found on google from glamour.com articles