6 ways Somatic Sex Coaching can help a couple. I have had a small but significant influx of couples recently, and many other enquiries are from individuals who are part of a couple, wanting help with something that’s gone quiet or bumpy between them.
The issues range from;
– Loss of sexual and sensual connection
– Low libido, loss of interest in sex, boredom.
– Sex after childbirth.
– Partners feeling unable to satisfy each other.
– One partner going through a life change, illness, or gender transition.
– Differences in sex drive, sexual style or erotic interests.
– Wanting to learn new sexual skills and gain confidence.
Often clients share with me things that are going on in their lives and relationships that have had an impact; someone had an affair, someone came out as bisexual or a cross dresser, bereavements, life stress such as moving, having babies, etc. All of these can create stress, tension and conflict within a relationship. If a partnership was in a really bad way, I would encourage the couple to seek out some counselling first and stabilise things. Sex educators are not relationship therapists (well, some have dual roles, but would keep them separate). We can help a couple when they are able to take care of each other in a good enough way and are keen to move into new sensual or sexual territory together.
I am also mindful of relationship diversity. Many of my clients may be in relationships where both clients identify as the same gender. Some of my clients are couples where one or both are trans, and may be going through social or medical transition which may or may not present an issue for the couple’s intimate life. Some of my clients might identify as polyamorous or be in ‘open’ relationships, so in theory this blog could be called ‘ways to work with triads or polycules’! And I also happily work with people who identify as kinky and incorporate BDSM and kink into their relationship.
Somatic Sex Coaching can help a couple
As many people are new to Sexological Bodywork, it might be hard to imagine how we might support a couple to get their sex life back online. Here are 5 key ways.
1. Stay out of the way!
As a professional we may be there in the room, or on the screen on skype, but we can work with a couple without necessarily doing any touch on the clients. We are there to hold a contained space where the pair can set a learning objective and practice (see link about creating your own practice space) in a setting which is clearly a learning environment, so the pressure is off to perform. My role is to support and facilitate. It’s not a threesome!
2. Giving permission to go back to basics
A couple where a lot of water has passed under the sexual bridge may be at a loss about how to even start rekindling intimacy and passion. It is no surprise that a key focus for us is Communication! Sometimes, becoming conscious and careful about our interactions, creating space for listening and voicing needs and desires can be transformative. Simple no-touch exercises like asking for experiences you want and hearing your partner respond with their authentic yes and no can be revealing. When we get surprises about our partner, it helps us see them as separate and mysterious beings, like when we met them. This is very good for sexual desire. See this TED talk; (https://www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_the_secret_to_desire_in_a_long_term_relationship/)
3. Valuing and prioritising pleasure
In our busy, stressful lives, with families and work and responsibilities, sex can slip right down to the bottom of the priority list. Sessions with a sex bod can represent a precious gift to each other, a dedicated space for the couple to reconnect and experience each other with no distractions. And of course, the encouragement is there to continue this prioritising, with home-work or ‘home-play’ to do in between sessions.
4. Working at the pace of the slower partner
Feeling safe in your nervous system and ready for touch or sensation is vital for any erotic practices to be of benefit, particularly for a partner who is feeling unsafe for any reason (history of sexual violence, difficult childbirth, poor previous sexual experiences). In a situation where one partner feels much more at ease than the other, we will always honour the pace and boundaries of the slower partner. This models what will help outside the session as well. Slowing down, and becoming open to (slow, luxuriating) ‘warm sex’ rather than the (hard, fast) ‘hot sex’ we used to have or that torments us from the TV screens and porn can be a huge relief for many couples.
5. Going back to school (well, the erotic education school we never had!)
I can offer demo and teaching of some great exercises for exchanging intimacy, mostly using one-way touch so that each partner can fully experience what they are feeling in their bodies and how they respond. It’s also incredibly exciting when a couple want one to one ‘lessons’ in massage, erotic and genital touch, anal massage etc. They can learn how to incorporate these techniques and practices into their intimate lives. They are great standalone skills to learn, but imagine how much a 30 min slow, sensuous vulva or anal massage can improve penetrative sex (if that’s what you’re aiming for)!
6. Homework or let’s call it erotic home-play!
Yes, you are going to get homework, to do together or separately. The reason for this is that it takes repetitions of doing a new thing to create new mind-body connections that last. Especially when we are in habits and patterns that might have started in childhood. The reason my practice is called Body Curious is because I ask you to be curious about what is in your body and how it feels. You are attending to it in a different way and cultivating curiosity about your partner’s body and pleasure too. There is not a goal usually, except to be curious.
Sex isn’t the most important thing in a relationship, but it sure can cause some heartache and feelings of loss when it seems to go wrong. There are options, such as Tantra workshops, couple retreats and relationship therapy. My hope is that people consider visiting a Sexological Bodyworker or Somatic Sex Coach as a fantastic option!
If you would like more information about how Sexological Bodywork can benefit individuals or couples (or any relationship group), contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading,