So for the month of April, I have decided to dedicate my blog to my journey of studying to be a Somatic Sex Educator. This is something I get asked about often, and I still find it difficult to explain exactly what I do.
For a start, this field, as a profession, is relatively new. The importance of somatic or bodywork training in conjunction with traditional sex therapy or coaching has only recently begun to be explored. As well, the idea that sex therapy could be something positive, something other than the old paradigm of ‘sexual dysfunctions’ and ‘problems’ is a modern idea. What if we just want to explore our own unique desire map? Or how to feel more pleasure with our partners. What if we want the connection to our own body before we are ready to connect physically with others? Where do these questions fit in our model of Sex therapy?
These and other questions floated in my head as I eagerly enrolled in the first Somatic Sex Educator training course. I was excited to get started learning and experiencing more about a topic that has become a passion for me.
Our first assignment was an exploration of gender. Not just a scholarly discussion or paper on the gender spectrum we are seeing more and more in society today. Not even a study of other people’s experience of gender dysphoria or whether we should be able to come to terms with our own bodies or not. No, the exercise was experiential. We had to explore our own relationship to gender, in our own body!
Now, to be honest, I have never really questioned my gender, never had a huge problem with being in a female body. Sure, I’ve been told I have a strong male energy, but that’s a good thing right? Makes me strong? I get on with guys well, I excel at martial arts. But overall, I’m happy with being a woman.
Doing this training makes you question all your preconceived notions of yourself, and of our society. What does it feel like to be a man? What would it be like to explore different sexualities? Could I be intimate with a woman, a man, something in between or different altogether? Could I see them as a human being, without those labels? Am I a bad person if I fall into a stereotype, am I a bad person if I don’t?
So many questions!
I did the exercise.
Played with different items of clothing that represented male or female to me.
Played with parts of my body and felt how I related to that.
I imagined myself as free from all the constraints we put on each other and ourselves around gender and sexuality and played with letting that all go.
And there was the lesson for me. The play! The freedom to just be me in a physical body, unique and beautiful. The ability to explore without assuming anything. How amazing that we rarely, if ever, give ourselves the opportunity to just be.
Just be curious.
Just be sexy.
Just be turned on.
It was fun! And I knew then, that I wanted to help other people have this feeling. My first assignment was a success, I am on the right path.
Offering other hu-people the opportunity to feel safe enough to explore who they really are as sexual beings.
I was excited to begin and now am excited to continue this revolutionary training! Stay tuned next week for my next insights.