What is a sex coach?
A sex coach is a trained professional who helps people with sexual issues. If you are interested in sex coaching or relationship coaching as a profession, it is important to know the field. Many different kinds of practices fall under the umbrella of sex and relationship coaching. Depending on your personality, your interests and your boundaries, you may be drawn to a particular approach. Here’s an in-depth description of all of the sub-categories of sex and relationship coaching so that you can decide what suits you best.
Why work with a sex coach?
Society tells us that we are supposed to naturally know how to have sex. The desire to have sex is natural, but the skills to be a great lover or to engage fully in sex aren’t. The truth is that people need to learn how to have great sex. Social animals (including humans) learn skills through modeling and explicit instruction.
Since sex is something that is shamed in our culture, talking about it or giving explicit instruction still remains rare. Young adults have very few good ways to learn how to have satisfying sex. A few will be lucky enough to have a partner teach them.
Unfortunately, most people don’t give good feedback, so many people end up not knowing what makes for great sex. This is where working with a good sex coach can be very helpful. Sex is learnable and teachable. The best way to learn about it is to get feedback from an experienced, non-judgmental and cheer-leading person. It’s most helpful if they also understand both the physiology and the psychology of sex.
What kinds of sex coaching are there?
There are two main types of sex coaching: talk and experiential.
During talk coaching sessions, a sex coach will ask you about your challenges and goals. They will then give you suggestions for improvement, as well as book and video recommendations. The other type of sex coaching is experiential sex coaching. In experiential sex coaching, your sex coach will teach you how to be a better lover through talking as well as hands-on practices. Experiential practices might include breath, touch, how to emit and share sexual energy, and how to verbally seduce a partner.
What is it like to work with a talk-based sex coach?
Similar to life coaching, in talk-based sex coaching the client comes to the practitioner with a problem. The coach then helps them figure out what steps they can take to solve their problem. The coach may ask the client to fill out an intake form. Then they will meet in-person, over the phone, or on Skype for an initial session. During this time, the client and coach work together to define the problem. The coach develops a coaching plan with steps to address the issue. At each subsequent meeting, the client talks with their coach about which parts of the plan they’ve accomplished and where they feel stuck. The coach helps you keep your commitment to continue the plan.
Talk sex coaching can cover many topics including dating, sexual identity, sexual abuse, sex addiction, sex and aging, open relationships, communication skills, gender identity, sex in long-term relationships, and sexual dysfunction. Talk coaches will sometimes offer homework to do outside of the session with partners or potential partners. For example, a talk sex coach may encourage a client who is interested in dating to talk to five people they are interested in. They may offer suggestions to couples such as watching a video and practicing the kinds of sensual touch they see in it.
Sometimes sex coaches help clients accept themselves or help them speak to family, friends, or loved ones about who they truly are. Talk coaches do not typically have physical contact beyond hugs or handshakes. A coach may offer emotional support by placing a hand on their client’s back or arm when needed, but this is usually the extent of touch in a talk coaching session.
A talk sex coach will help you:
- Identify your sex coaching goals
- Talk through potential approaches
- Create a sex coaching plan
- Offer you emotional support, suggestions, and homework
- Help keep you motivated around your goals
What is it like to work with an experiential or hands-on sex coach?
Experiential, hands-on sex coaching is where the sex coach takes a more interactive approach, guiding their client through exercises to help them feel more comfortable with their body, their sexuality, and intimacy. It begins the same way as talk-based sex coaching, where the coach gets a good idea of the client’s goals and includes talking about their issues and strategies for improvement.
At the same time, experiential sex coaches point out that just talking is often not enough to learn new skills around sex and intimacy. In the same way that one can’t learn piano, dance, or baseball from a book. Experiential sex coaches teach their clients better touch by touching and being touched by them. They give them feedback about how to touch and connect in a more sexy and sensual way. Somatic (or body-based) approaches to coaching and therapy are becoming much more prevalent as research continues to show their higher effectiveness. Somatica is an example of this kind of coaching.
A hands-on sex coach will help you:
- Identify your goals around your sex coaching goals
- Talk through potential approaches to resolve your challenges
- Create a sex coaching plan with practical steps for implementation
- Offer you emotional support and suggestions
- Offer you new tools and skills to expand on your current skillset
- Give you opportunities for hands-on practice of new techniques and offer real-time feedback
- Help keep you motivated around your goals
What is the difference between a sex coach and a sex therapist?
To be a sex therapist, one needs to have a degree in psychotherapy, theology, social work, or medicine. Each of these foundational trainings will include only a small amount of training around sexuality. A sex therapist may augment this training with additional sexuality training. Sex therapy can often be a longer process where you dive into the childhood underpinnings of your emotional challenges around sex. It is often particularly helpful to those who have unresolved trauma or higher levels of dysfunction. Like sex coaches, a sex therapist may give their client homework and ask them to report on it in the next session.
What is the best approach for me?
Deciding which of these approaches feels right for you is a personal decision. Perhaps, in reading these different descriptions, one of them seems like it is the most helpful, comfortable, or in alignment with your personality. It is important to make this decision with more than just your brain. For example, imagine talking with your client, then giving them homework. Now imagine giving and receiving sensual touch with your client. Which of these makes you feel most inspired? That is always the best way to make a choice!
We can teach you how to become the best sex coach you can be. We are taking applications for the 2019 Somatica Training! Schedule a free 30-minute call with us to have your questions answered and see if the Somatica training is a good fit for you.