Article By: Alison Pilling
Why is it often so difficult to talk about the most important things? Relationships and Intimacy can be minefields of conversation so we avoid them or worse get disappointed or cross with our partners and ourselves. As humans, love and sensuality and connection makes us happy when we have it and unhappy when we don’t. So we can all appreciate nurturing affectionate and sexy connections in our lives. And we may long for them when they’re absent or try to convince ourselves that part of our lives is over. The thing is that often we don’t have the skills or words or experiences to know what we like or how to ask for it so we can’t raise our conversations or our beliefs that we might be able to have this satisfying aspect our lives. Reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer I was moved by modern day writer and thinker Neil Gaiman’s words ‘If you can’t imagine it, you can’t ask for it’ Looking back in time, to an earlier thinker Rousseau, he said that sex was natural. It wasn’t something we needed to learn, like language, or manners, or poetry. All we had to do was cast off our conditioning, and off we go. The problem is, if there’s nothing to learn, and yet sex isn’t working for us, it stands to reason that we might believe there must be something in us which is broken. So we might put our trust in doctors. Except, almost always, they’ll say there’s nothing they can do, because it’s ‘psychological’. They might prescribe Viagra or HRT yet they don’t have time to listen to out history or hopes. So we go to see a therapist. But they tend not to have a clue about sexuality, or they want us to go back to our childhood issues. And for good reasons they can’t touch us either. Initially, talking about sex can actually be very useful to understand ourselves and hear new perspectives, yet the quickest way to change a numb, wary or frightened body is through that body experiencing something different, something pleasurable. Enter, stage left, the sex coach. But what is a sex coach? A good sex coach will do two things. Firstly, they will show you that good sex is something you can learn. Not in a technical, Auto Weekly kind of way, but something that you can learn with all of you: your heart, your mind, your relatedness, your desire for connection and intimacy: everything. And second, they can show you that good sex is primarily reliant upon you being confident, expressive and -most of all- embodied. And helping you with the words and connection to feeling so you can learn what’s important and pleasurable for you in any given moment. And to work with issues like trauma or shame or porn addiction or performance anxiety. And they can do this because, unlike therapists, they can touch you, and elicit aliveness and pleasure from your body, teach you about your breath and your energy and because unlike doctors, they’re collaborative and have time for you. You’ll clarify together where you want to go, and work out a way of you getting there. And also, they’re not like escorts. A sex coach is not going to have sex with you, or to “do stuff” to you or let you “do things” to them, because the aim is your exploration and expansion, not repetition of what you already know. A sex coaching session is about you, not the coach. The professional name name for them is sexological body workers or somatic sex educators and its a pioneering new movement. Working with your issues and body they’ll help you understand your needs and your body and build sexual self confidence and experience and bring meaning and pleasure and acceptance.
The first stage will be to have a conversation with you, identify the issues and where you might like to go, and see if you both feel that you can work collaboratively with each other. If you both feel that, you’ll agree a series of sessions, with a general direction of travel – to be more confident for example, or feel more sensation, or learn how to ask for what you want, and then for each session, you’ll both agree the content of that session, so there’s a safety and clarity of boundaries for you and them. It’s not a quick fix but in time you’ll see the benefits in many aspects of your life in and outside the bedroom. If you think that sex coaching might benefit you, please get in touch with me, Alison Pilling.