So what exactly is Somatic Sex Education?
Sexological Bodywork and its first cousin Somatic Sex Education are both relatively new modalities developed to help people become more embodied in sex and to become more mindful in sexual relationships. Here is a good description from the Somatic Sex Educator Association’s webpage:
Somatic sex educators teach through body experiences designed to nurture, deepen or awaken the sensual self. These experiences can include coaching in breath, movement, body awareness, boundary-setting, communication, anatomy, sensate focus, massage, erotic trance and other body-based teaching about sex. Uniquely in the professions, we are trained to do genital and anal touch for education, healing and pleasure. We touch in ways that assist students in developing presence within the body, opening interior awareness, and learning how the body can feel more and more alive.
What happens during a session is entirely up to the client, depending on what the client desires to achieve with the help of a practitioner. Whatever the goals of the client, the relationship with the practitioner always begins with talking about those goals and setting a plan of action to achieve them. It may be something as simple as, “I sometimes feel like I’m not really engaged when I have sex. I’d like to experience fully-embodied pleasure when I’m with my partner.” Or, “I’ve lost interest in sex and I’d like to reignite the fire.” Or, “I’m always giving when it comes to sex, I’m always expected to be the one ‘in charge’. I want to explore the possibility of being more vulnerable sexually, of being more open.”
These are common feelings, especially among men and regardless of sexual orientation. The somatic sex educator has the tools to help a client confront these and other concerns in ways that are body-based and we approach these issues with gentleness and compassion. Everything begins with breath and you can expect to learn how breath can bring more life, excitement and energy to your experience of sex. You can also expect to explore the meaning of touch…not just sexual touch, but even daily social touch. What is the meaning of touch? Who is this touch for? Who is the giver of touch in this instance, and who is the receiver?
We somatic sex educators believe in the spirituality of sex, that great sex is an experience of the whole person, including not just the body but the spirit: our feelings, our beliefs, our deepest sensations, the sometimes inexpressible. Helping someone explore that aspect of their life brings the deepest joy and satisfaction to a somatic sex educator.