What I do – what is Sexological Bodywork?
Sexological Bodywork is somatic sex education – a form of sex coaching which offers the option of using embodied practice, including touch.
A brief history
The name 'Sexological Bodywork' dates from 2003, though many of the teachings within it date from far further back. The founders put together this form of erotic education after many years of experiential work, including creating safer sex practices as a response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. It combines techniques derived from many disciplines, such as mindfulness, tantra and yoga, as well as educational coaching.
Sexological Bodywork was first established in the state of California, and there are now trainings in UK/Ireland, Australia/NZ, Canada, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Brazil.
An opportunity to explore your sexual self in a held space
I offer you a space to re-learn what you may have lost (due to transition, health issues, life change or simply the passage of time), or to welcome what you feel you never had. Masturbation aside, many people have only ever explored their sexual selves with a partner. For obvious reasons this can be a loaded and pressurising experience, putting us into a place of great vulnerability.
Coming for a Sexological Bodywork session is an opportunity to bring your hopes and fears to a practitioner who can offer you a neutral space in which to explore. There is always homework to do, so that you can take the practices into your daily life.
Here's a selection of what I offer:
Exploring your Core Erotic Theme (fundamental sexual drive)
Teaching about consent and boundaries
Learning how to ask for what you want, and how to touch
Learning how to receive touch
Masturbation coaching (in the room or at home)
Coming back to sensual enjoyment of your body (whatever that means for you)
Mapping – exploration of your genital or anal landscape, using names for parts/areas that are specified by you
Exploring alternatives to:
PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex
Escalator sex (stuck in the same pattern, culturally conditioned)
Genital sex altogether
Becoming more orgasmic (whatever that means for you)
In Sexological Bodywork, after discussion and careful explanation of boundaries and consent, we have touch available to us in session. This could be simple movement and boundary exercises, directed self touch, and intimate touch.
I, the practitioner, remain clothed at all times, and any touch we negotiate is one way only, from practitioner to client.
Why is the touch one way?
One way touch gives you the freedom to ask for what you want without any pressure on you to do or be anything, and without the practitioner being drawn into what we call 'partner engagement' which could detract from the learning. It also creates a clear boundary - very often our sexual histories contain times when boundaries were not clear.
Important note, for clarity:
Sexological Bodywork is an educational practice during which we both decide what course of action is most beneficial for you. So this isn't what you might call 'menu work' – in other words, I don't take requests for specific practices or experiences outside the context of a negotiated working relationship.
Negotiating the Western mind/body split
Everywhere I go, one thing crops up over and over: people's capacity to value the mind over the body, and to keep them apart. Even when people do not consciously wish this to be the case they struggle, often fruitlessly. I've lost count of the number of workshops I've been to where people have sadly described themselves as 'heads on sticks' – myself included.
We perform intellectual manoeuvres in our attempts to prove that the mind and the body are somehow separate entities. (Of course, it isn't actually possible to do this, as many trauma survivors will tell you.) And the resistance is strong. Even simple practices like dancing, singing or even breathing – let alone practices like tantra with the potential for sexual connection – may be mocked as 'woo-woo' which, while sometimes justified, is often no more than a classic western defence against personal growth via the body.
One of the more toxic effects of this is that our bodies end up being the repository of anything that our minds cannot consciously tolerate. Those who do work with bodies may be sectioned away as hippies, weirdos or non-professionals. Those who work with bodies and sex together are presumed immoral, and either abusers or victims.
It is a courageous person who tries to become truly embodied, and who invites the mind and body to work – and play – together. This is my invitation to you.