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Our last blog introduced how finding your “Hottest Sexual Movie” is a crucial element of exploring your own desire and inviting others to do the same. Whether you need to hone in on your movie of choice or facilitate this conversation with others, we want to share the most common sexual movie genre’s we have heard clients describe. This will give you a sense of how to start the journey with yourself and guide the conversation with clients.

It may seem cliche, but we have to start with romance. As women we were fed romantic movies throughout our entire lives, so it should not be a shock that many women, and a good portion of men, find themselves craving romance in action. Even our female clients who have passionate and/or dominant as their primary fantasies often want some kind of romance in the mix. Likewise, many men find that romantic scenarios play into their fantasy life. Unless you are watching arthouse european films, romantic flicks rarely include any graphic erotic scenes. It may take some creativity and fantasizing to fully realize how romance translates into a more erotic interaction.

In Somatica we focus on identifying core desires and, at its core, the romance movie is about being deeply loved and cared for by someone who you have a special connection with that is not easily explained. Some folks are embarrassed to admit that they are seeking a soul mate connection, and we know that certain aspects of this fantasy are unrealistic. At the same time, there is no use in repressing your romantic desires, because they likely will not go away. By allowing romance to be a fantasy, we give ourselves and our clients permission to experience the pleasure of playing out the romantic movie in the moment instead of focusing on the disappointment of it not being forever. In this way, you can still experience the longing and pleasure of romance, which is about holding each other as eternally precious and uniquely important. We want to empower you and your future clients to embrace the desire to feel swept up in a meaningful and all-consuming connection.

Four essential elements define each movie – energy, touch, words, and gestures:

Romantic Energy: When we talk about feeling something in our hearts this is often romantic energy, but it can also engage us all over. It is often what people are talking about when they refer to the feeling of falling in love.

Romantic Touch: The most romantic touch is an exercise restraint. Light caresses awaken the nerve endings and make the body feel alive. Romantic touch can be a great way start to an encounter, even if you move away from romance later on.

Romantic Words: Romantic language ranges from expressing a partner’s beauty or preciousness to musing about a fulfillment of dreams and eternal connections. Think “I’ve ever seen anyone as stunning” or “You are the man of my dreams.” To the non-romantic ear these may sound insincere or over the top but for others these kinds of declarations are exactly what they long to hear. Check in with yourself and see how these words feel for you.

Romantic Gestures: You can bring romance into all elements of life, not just the bedroom. Romantic gestures include sending letters, cards, emails, or texts with romantic messages and giving classic gifts like flowers, a tie, chocolate, or a ring. Some romantic gestures can be a way to show that you pay attention by commemorating special days like birthdays, anniversaries or better yet, first times (like the first day you kissed or the first time you met). Booking a reservation at their favorite restaurant, going dancing, or having a moonlight picnic can all be ways to cultivate romance through action. What these gestures express is that you are on your partner’s’ mind no matter what else is happening in life.

A Romantic Fantasy: In Our Client’s Words

We could make endless lists giving examples of romantic energy, touch, words, and gestures, but often our clients say it best when they share their ultimate fantasies. We want to offer you one client’s description of her romantic Hottest Sexual Movie that was so beautiful it made us cry:

We both get dressed up – you’re in some tight jeans that show the shape of your ass and that black coat I bought you, and I’m in an elegant dress. We go out to a restaurant together and you open and close the car door and the restaurant door for me. While we’re at the restaurant, we touch each other across the table and you tell me how beautiful I look to you. When we leave, you put on my coat for me. At home you light some candles, turn on some of that music that has no lyrics, and invite me to dance. We start to sway together as you look into my eyes. You lean in and touch your lips to mine, barely kissing me, and then you whisper in my ear how much you love me. You move behind me and hold me close around the waist. Still dancing and swaying, I can feel your breath as you gently kiss my neck and ear. You unzip my dress and slowly take it off of me, caressing my body as it falls to the floor. You’re surprised at my lacy white bra and underwear and you admire my body…..
Anyways…You get the picture. We will leave the rest to your imagination as we continue to guide you in discovering your own hottest sexual movie and helping your clients do the same
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Before you sign on and decide you are definitely a romantic and heart, stay tuned for the other popular genres that might ignite your fantasy life. Next up, find out about Passionate Fantasies…and if you want to hear more about how using Hottest Sexual Movies can help individuals and couples express their desires, check out what we offer in our Somatica Core Training!

In this series we introduce how finding the genre of your “Hottest Sexual Movie” is an important tool for self-discovery, for you and your clients. Having this vocabulary is a means to communicate desires to a partner in a way that is playful, non-judgemental and future-focused. Previously, we broke down the details of “The Romantic Movie” and what core desires it addresses. Whereas the romantic movie is about feeling deeply loved, the passionate story is about intense, insatiable desire. Rather than appealing to our very human need to feel seen and understood, the passionate story is about allowing unexplained, uncontrollable animalistic desire taking hold. In our Somatica Trainings we offer a journey of self-discovery where you have permission to explore all kinds of fantasies while learning the tools you will need to allow others to explore and share.

The passionate hottest sexual movie is about a connection that is a bit out of control. In modern western society, we spend years socializing our children out of animal-like behavior in order for them to behave. When the self-conscious part of your brain that tells you that you must behave can be silenced, then passion begins. There it was all along, the sensory part of you that wants to bite, grab, growl, and satisfy all of your needs. In our sexually repressed culture, many people fantasize about having passion overtake them and their lovers. The passionate sexual movie is a very common fantasy because it allows you to go beyond the constraints of being nice and compliant which, in turn, allows you to feel truly alive in your body.

Whether or not this appeals to you in theory, giving yourself permission to have experiences that are sensory and uninhibited can feel liberating. Allowing clients to explore this side of themselves can be profoundly healing and we have helped many couples try out passionate fantasies starting with something as simple as a kiss.
No action captures the essence of the passionate story more than a passionate kiss. When done right, it can express an overwhelming amount of desire and promise. We have helped many clients reignite passion on multiple levels just by nailing this one important experience.

Here are the basics of delivering a killer, Passionate Kiss:
The Look: It is important to begin with a passionate look, letting all of the animalistic desire come into your eyes and holding it.

The Build Up: Waiting before jumping into a kiss builds tension and lets you sit in the uncertainty of whether or not all the passion will be met. If you go too quickly to the kiss, you don’t allow tension and excitement to build. By waiting, you allow yourself and your lover to build to a frenzy of desire where you can’t rip each other’s clothes off fast enough.

The Delivery: Don’t be afraid to grab hair, a collar, or the back of their head and really let yourself express your passion with your mouth and tongue but also with your entire body pressed against theirs. If you feel like giving a little lip nibble- got for it.

We promise you won’t regret where this kiss can lead. Here is a story one of our male clients told us about his girlfriend’s passionate approach to sex:

Usually my girlfriend seems to be more into romance, but every once in awhile it’s like she’s possessed. It sometimes happens on vacation or when something really great happens in her life. I know it’s happening because she gets this look in her eye like I’m just a piece of meat. I know women might not like feeling like a piece of meat and, to be honest, the first time I saw it I was a little surprised, but I definitely don’t mind feeling like a piece of meat. This one time, she walked in the door wearing this really tight, sexy dress and she had that look in her eyes. Before she even got to me, she started taking her clothes off, and she just pushed me down on the bed. She started kissing me and grabbing me and taking my clothes off. She took my hands and started moving them all over her body, encouraging me to grab her ass and her nipples really hard. I could feel her grinding on me…

You get the picture. As you start to see what genre most appeals to you, don’t forget that you can always incorporate various elements of each into your special mix and encourage others to do the same. Romance and passion often go hand and hand and we give you a template for how to seamlessly integrate multiple fantasy types into your sexual encounters and to help clients do the same. Find out more about what you will learn in the Somatica Core Training here!. Stay tuned for our next post on the “Dominant/submissive” movie that uses energy, gestures and words to play with power and its relinquishment.

While Dominant/Submissive fantasies are still pretty marginalized in mainstream circles and representations, they are slowly becoming more accepted and less stigmatized. Still, people who have dominant/submissive Hottest Sexual Movies and fantasies often feel like they can’t share them for fear of being judged or rejected which can lead to negative relationship patterns and a lack of sex drive. Maybe you have already thoroughly explored your BDSM/Kink and power-related fantasies or maybe you have never felt safe enough to utter those desires. After seeing hundreds of clients, we can confirm that many people’s core sexual needs are about power in some way or another. As you begin to identify your “Hottest Sexual Movie” and find that it does have something to do with power, it is important to consider what side of the power dynamic excites you. This will help you engage in your own sex life, and with clients, with more empathy and presence. You may want to feel like you have complete power, feel powerless, or play around on both sides.

Many submissives desire to feel restrained or contained in some way that makes them feel safe. This can be achieved many ways. You may want to feel like you don’t have to take any responsibility, as if it is all just happening to you. You also may want to feel punished or coerced. If you are dominant, you may want to feel powerful and in command. You may like the feeling of coercing your partner to do something and then having them realize they like it. You may want to be judgmental, scolding, or punishing. You may find that at times you like to be dominant and at other times you like to be submissive. This is commonly referred to as being a “switch” and the act as “switching.”

Achieving the right balance of communication and play to make dominance and submission pleasurable is not simple. Even when someone states they want to be dominated, they may remain a bit ambivalent. Whenever you are playing with power differences, it is important to be aware that this kind of play can provoke strong emotions. Not everyone is ready to play with dominance, and some need to feel a romantic or passionate connection before they are willing to explore it. Some people like light dominance but nothing heavy, and some never want to play this way.

Many women have been told that they can’t be both feminist and act on their submissive desires, which is such a misunderstanding of what women deserve which is choices about how we want to experience our bodies. People often fear that a dominant/submissive power dynamic might in the bedroom will not be contained to that space. The truth is there are power differences in relationships, and dominance and submission can be one way to openly explore these differences. This is why we also recommend switching roles and seeing what it feels like for each of you to be on the other side of the equation. If you are working with clients who want to explore these power dynamics in session make sure that those instances have clear boundaries and are differentiated from the client/practitioner relationship. This way you can still hold the space necessary for their growth while offering them a place to explore without judgment.

Dominant women and submissive men remain less common, and even less commonly articulated in our society, in part, because we are all impacted by heterosexual gender roles growing up. This added level of marginalization can cause challenges for some submissive men and dominant women, as they may feel ashamed of being in the minority or judge of their partner for falling outside gender norms. Another challenge is when two dominants or two submissives get together. In the extremes, you can end up in deadlocked power struggles, or with no one taking any initiative at all (Read: Starfish party).

This is why it is so important to bring an open, non-judgmental attitude to your Hottest Sexual Movie conversations. There is nothing either of you can do to change your partner’s desires. You can, however, accept them without feeling responsible for fulfilling them. Guiding clients in these conversations can be a challenge and it is important to constantly remind them that their partner’s desire is not an insult to them.
Even when dominant/submissive desires align, we caution clients that they need to have realistic expectations. it is very rare to get the dominant/submissive movie right the first time. Both partners need to be prepared to have a number of “takes” in order to find out what words and actions turn the two of you on the most. With regard to words, remember that tone and attitude are important, not just the words themselves. If your partner tells you something turns them on (for example, “I really like it when you tell me to get on my knees and then you grab my hair”), ask what turns them on about it. When you begin to get some insight into why particular actions are a turn-on, you can add others that are similar thematically.

They may say, for example, “I like it because I feel like you’re in control of the experience and I have to do exactly what you say.” On the other hand, they might say, “I like it because it feels like you’re using me for your pleasure.” These are two very different themes that would lead to different kinds of sexual experiences. The first could include pleasing both parties, while the second would mean that, the dominant would focus more on taking their own pleasure and if they focus too much on their partner’s pleasure, they might get turned off. We also tell clients to avoid bringing in “real life” conflicts (even as innocuous as chores or charged as infidelity) unless you have some practice. These can break the scene and also lead to continued conflict instead of easing it.

Once people find some words, gestures, and experiences that turn them on, we still make sure they continue to communicate their needs and desires and give feedback. This will add variety and keep explorations fresh and interesting. After all, there are only so many times a teacher can punish an unruly student before some creativity is in order.

Using the Somatica Method we have seen many of our students and clients integrate Dominant/Submissive role play into their relationships and practices in ways that are safe, exciting, and dynamic. Find out more about what you will learn in the Somatica Core Training!

We take growth very seriously and, at the same time, growth does not have to be heavy. It is possible to create a fun, free and playful environment where a person can bloom into who they were always meant to be. As an experiential sex and relationship coach, one of the most wonderful ways to create this with your clients and bring out their best selves is to flirt with them. At Somatica, we believe that people can best learn how to be connected and true to themselves in an authentic relationship and flirting is a great way to make the invitation for your clients to enter into that learning relationship with you. Flirting let’s your client know that you are open to connecting with them and that the idea of that connection gives you pleasure.

To be sure, this is not about faking it, so it is important to find your authentic flirtatious self. Since we live in a very serious culture, where play and pleasure are thought of as trivial as opposed to essential human needs, it can be hard to find this flirtatious energy and even harder to bring out wholeheartedly. In Somatica, part of the training is getting in touch with this energy inside of you and learning how to lovingly share it.

To begin to cultivate your flirting energy start with these 4 attitudes:

1. You are Always a Sexual Being – Part of the trivialization of sex and pleasure teaches us that we are only sexual when we are having sex, yet our sexuality is a part of us in every moment of our lives. Because men feel like they have excessive desire and women are slut-shamed, many women and men shut down their sexuality everywhere but during masturbation or sex with a partner. Shutting down your sexuality will likely have dire consequences for your long-term sexual connections, and it also robs you of the inspiration and power your erotic energy can provide in every moment. Attempts to shut your sexuality down can also lead to depression and/or creepiness (where repressed sexuality leaks out because of lack of self-awareness or self-acceptance). As you are walking around in your day-to-day life, see what it feels like to be on the street or in your car or at work, and just acknowledge to yourself “I am a sexual being right now.” See how that changes your demeanor, your energy, and your sense of self. No matter where you are you can feel your sexual energy and feel your own enjoyment of it. If you are in a place where there are receptive people (who are not your employees), you can share this energy with a flirt.

2. It is ok to Enjoy Yourself – Because we have all grown up in a society that has a work ethic as opposed to an ethic of pleasure, you may feel like it is not ok to enjoy yourself. Also, helping professions can often be problem-focused, meaning that we tend to look for negative “issues” to “work on”. In fact, many of our clients come into session and say, “I tried to think of what to work on today, but I couldn’t think of any problems.” When they have worked with me us a while, they are more likely to say, “I’m ready to have fun today!” Sometimes, we enjoy ourselves so much in our sessions, our clients actually tease us saying, “I can’t believe you get paid for this.” This statement alone reveals how much our society believes in the idea that work that you get paid for is not supposed to also give you a great deal of joy and pleasure. When you embrace the idea that your work can be fun and playful and that more growth will actually happen when you and your client don’t take things so seriously (that, in fact, part of growth is not taking things so seriously), then you are ready to bring in flirting as a coaching modality.

3. Flirting is Just Flirting. When we talk about flirting as a coaching modality, there are always students who say, “But what if I am not attracted to the client?” We think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to flirt. To us, flirting means sharing playful, sexual energy to increase the enjoyment of an interaction with someone. It might lead to something more than flirting, it might not. It can be extremely freeing to realize that flirting does not require anything more than flirting.*

4. There is Something Beautiful and Enjoyable in Everyone. Once you have let yourself experience the freedom of flirting for the sake of flirting and interpersonal enjoyment, you are ready to sit in front of your client and take them in. When your client is in front of you, take a moment to really see the person who you are sitting across from and ask yourself what you find attractive, inviting, beautiful, or compelling about them. You might find there is something about their physicality, as the shape of their lips or their hands or their smile. You might like the sound of their voice or the heartiness of their laugh. You might like the way they hold their body or cross their legs when they sit across from you. You might find their intelligence sexy or their kindness or even their nervousness or shyness. Whatever it is – something in their looks, personality, intellect, etc. – focus your attention towards that and use it as a bridge to bring your erotic energy and playfulness into connection with them. Most often we find that, as we flirt with our clients, their sexy sides start to show up and they become more attractive. It is also possible that flirting with them invites them to bring out a flirting style that does not appeal to us or is unlikely to appeal to anyone. This is when you want to help them better learn how to flirt with you so you can keep the energy going.

*If you are with a client with whom you are able to flirt but don’t feel a sense of attraction that would make you want to engage with them physically, it is your job as a practitioner to help them learn how to bring their erotic energy, touch, and words in ways that ignite your arousal and attraction.

Once you have cultivated some flirt-positive attitudes, the next step is to actually engage in flirting. This means not only knowing what flirting is, but finding your own flirting style. One fun way to look at flirting is to think of it as walking around the world having your own sexy party – feeling the ways that colors, sunshine, majestic views or beautiful architecture make you feel aroused – and then, when you engage with another human being, simply inviting them to join that party. It’s like saying, “Hey, over here, there’s a sexy party going on, wanna share in it?” The languages you use to make the invitation might be energetic, bodily or verbal. An energetic flirt can start with feeling your connection with your own sexual desire and then letting it exude out of your eyes, your heart and your pelvis. An embodied flirt might be a wiggle of your shoulders, a naughty smile or a wink and a verbal flirt could be a slight change in tone when you say, “mmmmm, it does feel a little warm in here, doesn’t it?”

Engaging in joyful, sexy, flirtatious interactions with your clients not only helps them feel more open and accepted, it also helps them clarify how they want their erotic and emotional connections to be. As we love to say: There are a thousand paths to enlightenment, might as well take the one that’s more pleasurable. If you want to learn how to make your life and work more flirtatious, come to a Somatic Intro Day or check out the Somatica Core Training.

More often than you might think, couples get in long-term relationships who have very different sexual desires. This is one of the many reasons that sex can cool down after the honeymoon period and, when couples have very different desires, it can lead to hurt, misunderstanding and a sexless marriage or relationship. When we work with couples, we always encourage them to have a Hottest Sexual Movie conversation. These conversations have some very specific rules to follow and you can help your clients navigate through them. Before talking about the rules, we want to make an important distinction between Hottest Sexual Movies and fantasies.

A Hottest Sexual Movie consists of the experiences people actually want to have. In addition to this, they may have a set of fantasies that they use to increase their arousal during sex or masturbation but that they don’t actually want to enact in the world. For example, a person can fantasize about group sex but have no interest in actually experiencing it. Fantasies that people want to think about but not experience may exist totally outside of their sexual relationship or they might express these fantasies to a partner in hopes of sharing this part of themselves and gaining acceptance and mutual arousal. For example, if your clients are playing with dominant/submissive dynamics they may want their partner to punish them for having this fantasy. Conversely, they may just want to use it for their own arousal and not share it. When you invite your clients into a Hottest Sexual Movie conversation, you will want to make the distinction between fantasies they might have that they don’t want to enact and those they do. Then, invite them to share both of these categories if they’d like.

You will need to let your clients know that sharing and teaching their hottest sexual movie will take self-awareness, conscious communication and non-judgmental acceptance. It will also require the ability to know and share boundaries and be willing to learn instead of feeling like they already need to know. Finally, it takes a whole lot of creativity. One word of caution, when it comes to sharing past experiences they’ve had with other lovers, be aware that this could trigger hurt. Help them be especially careful not to compare their partner to someone else with whom they’ve had amazing sex. Trust us, they will never forget this.

To help them describe their movies, ask them to picture the character(s), the action, the setting, and especially what they want to feel. While it is a beautiful gift to really dive into the role of guest star in a partner’s movie, let your clients know that they also have a right to decide which parts they are ready to try now, which parts they might want to add later, and which parts they may never do at all. Let them know that they might have more than one movie or might want to begin in one and move into another one. For example, a romantic seduction scenario may be what gets them started but when it comes to actually getting them off, more passionate, animalistic sex fits the bill. Sometimes the process of articulating these desires can open up new avenues of play and seduction.

Let your clients know that whatever they decide to share in as a result of these conversations is not set in stone. Negotiating sexual and relationship choices is an ongoing conversation that partners can always revisit and amend. In our book, Making Love Real, we go into greater depth as to how the process of discovering, sharing and finally acting out a hottest sexual movie can change relationships in lasting and amazing ways. If you’d like to find out more about how to coach your clients into fantastic sex and satisfying relationships you might want to check out the Somatica Core Training or attend a Free Intro to Somatica.

As you might imagine, people often come into our offices with a desire to improve themselves and perhaps you have this desire as well. You might want to be a better lover, figure out a way to stop making the same relationship mistakes, find ways to last longer, etc. Most people look at themselves as lacking or failing in some way and they want “advice” on how to change.

As coaches, it is our job to help our clients understand the difference between personal growth and self-improvement. In our minds, self-improvement is an external approach to change, one where people try to strategize about how to fix a problem or enforce a new regime on themselves. One of the biggest self-improvement industries is dieting. Recent research shows that dieting doesn’t work; in fact, the opposite result often comes from an attempt at dieting to lose weight. Those who diet generally gain weight in the long-run—more weight than those who did not ever diet, to begin with. While the research shows that diets don’t work, they usually do not talk about why.

Externally enforced programs can create a painful loop

In our experience working with clients around transformation and growth, we have found that those who try to self-improve with some sort of externally enforced program generally go through a painful loop. There is initial energy and excitement as though succeeding in this particular goal (whatever it is) is the answer to changing their life. They start off with a bang—counting calories, running 7 days a week, going out to try to meet people. Pretty quickly, both the enthusiasm and the new regime go out the window; the client eventually goes back to their habitual behavior. The worst part of this self-improvement cycle is the next step, shame. Shame arises when people feel like they have failed and that they will never achieve their self-improvement goals.

The shame cycle

The shame cycle can lead to critical thoughts such as, “I’m so lazy” or “I’m pathetic! I can’t do anything”. It can also lead to self-abuse/self-soothing. We put self-abuse and self-soothing in the same category because they are often just the same behaviors with different attitudes. For example, someone might smoke or get drunk thinking, “I don’t deserve to live. I hope this fucking kills me” or they might do it with the attitude, “Nothing is going to work, but at least I can temporarily feel better.” Being stuck in a shame cycle is perhaps the least motivated, inspired, or transformative place a person can be. It is a place of frozenness, where people hide away, disconnect, and don’t want to move or be seen.

Conflict around acceptance

Another reason why self-improvement approaches don’t work is that they hit a core conflict around acceptance. When people try to follow external programs, they often end up feeling that they need to be some way other than the way they are in order to be loved. Since people’s deepest relationships need is to be loved for who they are, self-improvement crusades are generally not sustainable. The desire for acceptance eventually wins out.

As coaches, we want to help you and our clients see that they are not the problem. The attempt to force yourself to do something without looking at any underlying feelings, needs, fears, and motives is not very likely to result in change. We are creatures of habit out of necessity. Habits help us move through day-to-day life without having to question every action or decision so that we have enough bandwidth to face uncertainties and challenges when they arise. Habits can be slow to change and are sometimes intractable. At the very least, change is generally incremental (as opposed to immediate) and we are lovable even in the midst of the fact that we all have habits that challenge our ability to experience intimacy and erotic connection.

A gentler approach

Personal growth is a much different and gentler approach to change than self-improvement. In guiding people in their personal growth, we must keep in mind that the reason most people want to change is that they think it will get them something that they want, like love, sex, or success. As coaches, we start with the premise that NO ONE IS PERFECT, so it stands to reason that imperfect people experience loving connection, sexual fulfillment, and success all the time. We help people get off the hamster wheel of self-improvement by beginning with self-acceptance and the acceptance of others. Many people fear that if they accept themselves in their “currently-flawed condition”, it will demotivate them to make positive improvements in their life.

We have found that the truth is quite the opposite. The more a client feels loved and accepted, the more we can help them laugh at the ridiculously unmeetable requirements parents, society, and their projections of other’s perfection put on them; the more we vulnerably share our own challenges and struggles; and the more they come to love and accept themselves as a result, the less time they spend frozen in shame cycles. In addition to helping them accept themselves, we also help people accept that change is often slow and incremental.

Celebrating incremental change

As we teach people how to know what they need, how to listen, and how to share boundaries, we celebrate each incremental change heartily. For example, we might work with a client who, when triggered by their partner, reacts by attacking and yelling mean things. We can help by teaching self-soothing tools such as breathing or holding their inner child. The next time the client feels triggered and is able to react differently when as their blood is boiling, we, as coaches are giving them a high-five festival, a “you-didn’t-just-follow-your-first-reactive-response!” party, complete with hugs and party hats. As they grow, we continue to share how incremental and slow our own changes have been, and we love our clients even (wait, no, especially) when they fuck up. We help them remember that change is not a direct arrow upwards. It comes in fits and starts— two steps forward and one step back. We laugh and cry with them, and we share our humanness so that they can accept their own. Offering unconditional love, acceptance, and honesty is the job of a coach who wants to truly help their client grow. If you’d like to see how the Somatica Method can help you and your clients on a journey of personal growth, join us for a Free Somatica Intro Day or check out the Core Training.

Many sex coaches or relationship coaches don’t have any formal training or certification. Often they have prepared themselves for their practice by attending some classes and have also learned by working in the field for a while and many of them are doing some wonderful work. If you are a coach who wants to help your clients experience transformation the most efficiently and effectively, you need a grounded methodology and systematic approach. There are so many different approaches that claim they have the path to sexual fulfillment and emotional growth, yet very few are based on a sociological and developmental understanding of how we are shaped and what makes us tick. Having a well-informed methodology and well-organized approach is essential to helping people transform their lives for the better.

What is a Grounded Methodology?

For a methodology to be systematic and effective, it should be informed by research and take a well-rounded perspective. There are four methodological approaches you need to be able to understand and apply to be the best sex and relationship coach you can be and Somatica’s method is grounded in these four approaches.

A Development Approach
First, you must understand how a person’s developmental history shapes their current belief systems and approaches to intimacy. While most psychologically-minded people already realize that we are shaped by our childhood and personal history (as well as our biology and chemistry), understanding the ways people are shaped and how their experiences and their protective responses to those experiences show up in their present day habits can be less obvious.

There are so many needs a child has and even the most wonderful parents cannot meet all of them. The experiences we missed out on in our childhood or the ways that we were treated teaches us about what we can expect from intimacy and connection in our adult relationships and sometimes these teachings are very inaccurate. For example, if a child had a parent who was depressed, alcohol-dependent or workaholic, the parent might not have been available when the child needed connection. An adult with this history is likely to assume no one will ever be able to be there for them, when the truth is that some people can be there for you. On the other hand, children with highly anxious parents who hovered over them all the time may believe, as adults, that they don’t have any right to their own space or boundaries. The incorrect beliefs that arise from missing out on care or autonomy affect people’s ability to fully engage in and enjoy all of the gifts of emotional and erotic intimacy.

Additionally, if you want to help people with their sex lives, it is extremely essential to understand how a person’s developmental history affects their sexual desires and attractions. As children, we soothe our unmet needs with healing fantasies and these fantasies are the foundations of our routes to arousal. Many coaches and therapists feel that just helping people communicate better will naturally help them fall into a positive sexual connection, however, if a couple is not able to share, gain acceptance and, hopefully, participate in what really turns them on, sex will generally become stale often stopping completely. You will have to help them with more than just good communication, you will need to help them gain awareness about their desires as well as teach them experientially (more on this soon!).

A Sociological Perspective
To be a great sex and relationships coach, you also need to know how socialization around gender, race, class and sexual identity play into people’s sexual and emotional lives. We are not born in a vacuum. In addition to the ways that our parents shape our sense of self, the world around us and the expectations of what it means to be a man, a woman, a successful person, etc. are shaped by our social environment. When people are identifying their needs, feelings and challenges, all of them are filtered through these social expectations.

For example, it is much less socially acceptable for a man to need more emotional support than a woman in a relationship, just as it is much more taboo for a woman to be more sexual or horny than her partner. Likewise, people who would rather have multiple partners, be alone or skip having children may experience a lot of judgment. All of these social pressures create shame and make it much more difficult for people to really know, accept and communicate what they want.

Messages about gender and other forms of socialization also color and shape what turns us on. Knowing, for example, that women’s shame about being sluts makes them want to be “taken” (so they don’t have to admit sexual desire), while men’s shame about their “excessive” desire makes them shut their sexuality down for fear of being “creepy” will make you a much better coach. Ideas of what is sexy are proliferated in the media, creating expectations about what counts as romance (flowers, eternity, soulmates) or passion (giving up everything for a partner; hurried intense, partially-clothed, simultaneous orgasm sex). As a coach working with clients, knowing how socialization affects people can really help you uncover shame, create realistic expectations, normalize the wide range of desires, and help people feel more free and self-accepting. You can also help partners understand and accept one another.

An Experiential Approach
In addition to what you can learn from academia, there is also so much to be learned from experiential teachings around sexual and emotional transformation. While we can talk to our clients until we are blue in the face about all the ways they have been shaped by their childhood and their community, at some point everyone needs to have real-time experiences of learning and practice shifting habits. While traditional couples therapy sometimes helps people communicate in real-time, sometimes people come in by themselves and need to practice emotional communication. This is why we engage in an authentic, two-way relationship with our clients, opening up with them and sharing our own feelings about them as well as really listening to how they feel about us.

As a coach who helps clients learn experientially how to have hot erotic exchanges, it is rare and essential to offer the combination of clear boundaries and practical teaching with tons of support and feedback, that your clients can take out into your regular dating or relationship lives. We have said it a million times, but it can never be said enough, when it comes to embodied experiences like sex, the only way to really coach effectively is through experiential practices. Teaching your client how to touch, look, talk and share erotic energy with you, as you help them every step of the way is extremely effective. We have found that combining experiential methodology with academically-grounded theory has been the most helpful to our clients.

Real-World Practice
Finally, to be the best possible coach, it is essential to have real-world, face-to-face experiences with clients and get feedback for you work. If you want training that will truly help you with your clients, the training must have a practical component, where you give and receive sessions, have supervised sessions, and get feedback and suggestions for improvement from your fellow students and teachers. Somatica combines a sociological and developmental perspective with an experiential approach and real world practice.

What is a Systematic Approach?

In addition to a grounded methodology, having a systematic approach to change can keep your work with your clients on course. Having a systematic approach means that you will be able to consistently lead your clients to where they want to go instead of shooting in the dark hoping that something will help. If you want to truly help your clients experience deep and lasting personal growth, it is extremely helpful to be able to offer them a clear roadmap that they can follow.

Somatica’s Systematic Approach

In Somatica, we have a 4-phase system we take people through to help them overcome challenges in their sex lives and relationships and have hotter, more emotionally connected lives. These phases are not always dealt with sequentially as different needs may be more pressing than others depending on the individual or the couple. Your clients may also need more help in some of these areas in less than others.

The phases are as follows:

Self-Transformation: This phase is self-oriented and includes self-acceptance, embodiment and personal empowerment. In the self-transformation phase, you help your clients get in touch with their emotional and embodied wisdom and it’s relationship to their intellectual wisdom. This helps them re-balance if they have skewed towards one or the other. You guide them to reconnect (or connect for the first time) with their body as a source of information and pleasure. You help them identify and shed light on places of shame and hurt that hold them back from fully expressing their feelings, needs and boundaries and to reclaim their right to an erotic life.

Emotional Relationship Transformation: This phase is relationship-oriented and can be done with a partner or with the coach as a practice partner (or both). In this phase you help your client identify about their interpersonal triggers and fears, as well as the intimacy-blocking protective habits they use when triggered. You support them in learning to accept and lovingly share their own needs, feelings, and boundaries with a partner. You also help learn how to hear, empathize with and accept their partner’s needs, feelings and boundaries. They learn how to vote for connection instead of protection in moments of relationship tension and to repair relationship hurts instead of imagining they or their partner will be able to do it perfectly every time.

Sexual Relationship Transformation: This phase is also relationship-oriented and can be done with a partner or with the coach as practice partner (or both). You help your clients understand and share their hottest sexual movies. You support couples in sharing their movie with their partner without judgment or obligation to provide everything their partner’s wants. Next, you see what parts of the movie are overlapping and thus more easy to incorporate and what parts of the movie will need to be negotiated then taught and learned. In this phase, we explore boundaries and generosity to see what’s possible and then we help each person teach the other what they need in an experiential way with lots patience, support and feedback.

You help people in the dating world see sex as one important aspect of decision-making about who will be a good partner. You also help them learn how to identify whether their movie is showing up in their dating experiences and how to teach it to partners if it is not.

Relationship Agreements and Sexual Choices: Our culture holds the very strong opinion that people should be in relationships and that those relationships must be monogamous. Some people try to succeed at this default and fail, experiencing tons of shame and frustration, while other people try to negotiate or live out different options. Because there is no societal roadmap about how to do this (though there have been some recent books and articles published on the topics of choosing the single life or non-monogamy, for example), there are few non-judgemental places people can go to explore their options. In addition to having very strong ideas about how relationships should be structured, our society also has very strong rules about who you should have sex with, how often, how many, and what kind of sex you should have.

As a coach, you can help your clients see the ways that all of their social conditioning around relationships can cause them to forgo the life they want when the truth is that different people need different things and there is no right one-size-fits-all solution to how to live a life. While that may seem obvious to some, unfortunately, it is not obvious to everyone. You can our clients as shame-free an environment as humanly possible so they can choose and create the relationship and erotic lives they want.

When people take the Somatica Training, they say things like:

“When a client walks through the door of my new practice, after listening to their story, I have a good idea of where to start, where I want to lead them and a full set of tools to help them get there. I can’t believe how much I’ve gotten out of this one training!”

and

“While I’ve had a healthy self-confidence around my practitioner skills in the work I’m established in, adding Somatica to the mix is giving me exponentially more to draw from, to establish even deeper trust with clients, to show up in service to them.”

If you really want to support your clients effectively, having a systematic template of change that is grounded in theory and experiential practices makes all the difference.

Want to learn more? Check out the Somatica Core Training.

When we started out to create Somatica we were both just finishing our sexuality degree programs in higher education. We met in a Sexological Bodywork training and each went out in the world and began to practice as sex coaches with the emphasis we learned in sexological bodywork to help people get fully into their bodies, move beyond personal shame into self-acceptance and explore what gave them pleasure. As we moved into ongoing work with our clients we noticed many of them were going out into the world and doing this crazy thing called “relationship” 🙂 We noticed that, no matter how personally fortified someone felt in their own body and pleasure, things got way more complicated once they tried to practice all of their learning within the context of a relationship (or in connection with another person or people). And, it is within the context of some kind of relationship that almost everyone is negotiating what they need emotionally and sexually; sex does not happening in a vacuum! Helping people get their erotic and emotional needs met in a healthy and satisfying way was our inspiration to create the Somatica Method and we can’t emphasize it enough: if you are considering a coaching training or an experience of personal growth that is most likely to give you maximum tools and transformation, make sure that it doesn’t only address sex but also emotional connection and the complexity of relationship dynamics.

Think about it, even if two strangers are having sex, they need to be able to relate to each other in some way in order for the sex to happen. A sexual connection may last an hour or a lifetime, it may be part of a paid agreement or given freely, but it still requires relating. And, the lion’s share of sex happens in the context of short-term or long-term relationships. Thus, if you work with people on sexual healing and expansion, you need to get training around both sex AND relationships.

Unfortunately, most sex coaching, sex therapy and surrogate partner therapy focuses on functionality and does not address relationship issues. Sex coaches work to help their clients last longer, become orgasmic, get over performance anxiety, or overcome pelvic pain. So often people will approach us wanting individual work and say that the problem is all theirs – they are the one who can’t get it up or they were full of desire before but now their desire has dropped to undetectable levels.

Whenever we hear this, we say that we are happy to work with them individually on their issue and, if they have a partner, it may also be helpful to bring their partner in for some couple’s work. This is because issues that people deal with are very rarely only functional. And, while they are strongly influenced by individual psychological make-up, if a relationship is involved, there is almost always a relationship dynamic that is as affecting the situation as well.

Let’s take the example of erectile dysfunction (ED). Many men call us and say that they have experience ED when they are starting to date a new person. This makes sense – they are trying to impress a potential partner, so their level of anxiety goes up. Already, you can see that the performance is impacted by the relationship. So many of these men say something like, “I had a past girlfriend and when I told her she said it was no big deal. She was happy to have sex in different ways and didn’t mind it when I couldn’t get it up. Pretty quickly, it only happened once in awhile and she never seemed to get upset. The problem is, with my current girlfriend, she gets really hurt or angry when I can’t get it up. She feels like I’m not really attracted to her and keeps asking me if I’m gay. With her, I can barely get it up at all – I feel like a complete failure.” You can see how the relationship has a great deal of influence, with both partner’s being triggered around insecurities, her feeling that she is unattractive and his feeling that he is incapable are in a negative spiral that we call a relationship vortex. In this case, if you are only addressing the functional issue and not the pressure chamber that the relationship is creating, you will be very unlikely to see any change.

It is a similar situation when we look at low desire, which is the most common female sexual complaint. While many women cannot understand why they are not longer feeling hot and excited by their partner, for us it is usually no big surprise and, most of the time it is not a functional or hormonal issue. Often, it has more to do with a lack of emotional connection or of sexual communication and learning between the woman and her partner. In other words, the fix has much more to do with working on the relationship dynamic than trying to get the woman to find her sexual desire again in a vacuum.

As we hope you can see by these examples, whenever you are helping an individual or a couple through a sexual problem, it is extremely important to understand how relationship dynamics may play into sexual function and desire. To be an excellent sex coach it is essential to have training as a relationship coach too! Find out more about the Somatica Sex and Relationship Coaching Training or join us for a Free Intro Day!