While the title of this burgeoning profession might conjure up the sense of a sterile sort of sex education, or maybe something like surrogacy partner therapy, I assure you it is neither.
Those of us who hold the certification of Somatic Sex Educator are often met with blank stares, or a barrage of questions. “What does ‘somatic’ mean? Do you work with trauma? Are you a sex therapist? What does a Somatic Sex Educator actually do?”
All such welcome questions and all completely normal! For a profession that is still in its infancy, I recognize more and more the importance, or rather the necessity of these difficult conversations.
To attempt to explain in my own way, the subversive, yet complete allegiance to the innate authentic self, intimate and profoundly wholing work I do, has felt like a monumental challenge, because Somatic Sex Education is not an exact science.
But make no mistake, I enjoy my work immensely. Line the clients up and I feel my particular brilliance is only too happy to assist.
I’ve witnessed clients discover pleasure amidst “dysfunction.” Sex drives rediscovered far more than the spurt of teen and early adult years. Trauma ever so delicately unwrapped and then undone even more so. Relational communication rewired. Sexual confidence in one’s body ignited. Desires and longing spoken and negotiated in partnerships.
I’ve watched vulnerable humans take risks to heal PTSD from wars long ago just by connecting to their sexuality as a force of good. Kinks saved from the gutters of shame and stepped into with power and pleasure. Insomnia replaced with restorative sleep. But most of all, real people finding real joy and empowerment in their own eroticism - their sense of aliveness.
There is a unique experience that unfolds for each client, each session - even in the groups I've led. It has been one of the most stunning things I’ve ever seen.
In this practice, we are challenged to put aside perfectionism for authenticity. To stay open. To let go of getting it “right.”
To me, this is what Somatic Sex Education is all about. It is a chance to explorea struggle, intimately with inquiry, perhaps connected to your sexuality, or simply related to the way you are moving through life itself.
Somatic Sex Educators are trauma informed and trained to keep watch over the small seedling of your fullness emerging.
We are not providers of sex therapy in the traditional sense that we will discuss your sex life or trauma in great detail week after week. Rather, we offer clients body-based exercises and experiencesthat assist in rewiring conditioned responses and habits that show up in myriad ways, which hold us back from our fullest sexual, sensual self-expression and our own sweet wildness.
From our Somatic Sex Educator’s Association, of which I am member of and certified by:
“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…assist students in developing presence within the body, opening interior awareness, and learning how the body can feel more and more alive.”
“Somatic” comes from the word “sōma” meaning “of the body.” So while I can and do offer education, the most exciting kernel to me (and usually to the client/student) is when their physicality begins to educate them. Their awareness begins to open to the body - each one a unique navigation system - that unfortunately, most of us aren’t listening to.
To attend to the body and live from there....cultivating a new relationship with self, sexuality and our individual life - through internal knowing - this is what Somatic Sex Education is to me.
We invite and cultivate communication with our physicalness in a way that some sex therapists may not be. The body is a dynamic puzzle piece - and to be fair, it is absolutely necessary to our transformation.
We cannot evolve erotically or otherwise if attention is not given to our body. Compared to traditional sex therapy, I see Somatic Sex Education as an intimate exploration where the student/client unearths their own particular genius, with the body as teacher and steward to the practice.
As a Somatic Sex and Intimacy Coach, I act as a guide - into and within the interior terrain of my clients’ journey with their body. Noticing the body’s language - sensation - perhaps for the first time, many “ahas” can and will surface.
Letting the body lead, pleasure and freedom with self and others is possible. More space and ease in living is restored, as well as a sense of aliveness, profound and pure, as a sensual, sexual being is unearthed.
P.S. Hit reply and tell me (or post in the comments) what your own understanding of Somatic Sex Education is?
P.P.S. If you are curious to learn more about how I can support you, consider a complimentary consult with me. This is a conversation to see what’s possible, to get to know each other and to answer any questions you might have. You can request your consult here.