Tag: Get Trained in Sex Coaching

We did not come to this work because we had all the answers, we created Somatica based on what we felt was missing out there. We started a never-ending journey of asking all of our questions about sex and relationships and eventually gathering those of our clients so we could confront the negative patterns that plagued our own and our client’s intimate lives. By allowing ourselves to ask these questions and to be real with ourselves and our clients we continue to find a way to come out the other side intact and with more love and empathy for ourselves and others.

Show us your Dark Side
The Somatica training is unique from other educational experiences in that we ask you bring all of yourself – the good, the bad, the ugly, the weird, the vulnerable etc. We want you to bring your issues to light, work on transforming them and use them to help others. Your unique gift is based on all of your experiences and these will make you an even better practitioner.Your personal story, no matter how hard, can be the reason you can have a lucrative, fulfilling career where you get to live your authentic life through your work. We want you here because of, not in spite of, all of your hardships, and deep, dark and twisty feelings. Having the strength, courage, and vulnerability to do this work is not possible if you gloss over the surface of the jagged complexities and deep scars that make us who we are sexually and in relationships.

What is a Wounded Healer?
The concept of the wounded healer has become more accepted in psychology and other counseling fields because it acknowledges that nobody goes through being a human without experiencing major challenges of some form or another. However, many coaches feel they have more pressure to truly have all the answers and personify the success they are trying to help their clients achieve. For sex and relationship coaches this can mean pressure to have a long-term relationship, a purely pleasurable relationship to sex, or a jealousy-free polyamorous lifestyle. We want to invite you to let yourselves off the hook and know that the criteria for helping others is not your manifested perfection, but your presence, honesty, and capacity for empathy.

Perfection is a Disservice to Your Clients
We believe that presenting to clients as perfect is actually a disservice to everyone involved. If you uphold the myth that perfection is attainable, this will be their goal, setting you both up for failure and disappointment. This is where the Somatica approach is so radical and unique. We lead with our vulnerability and with our imperfection. In this way we help our clients accept themselves for who they are and this is where real, sustainable healing begins.

Somatica isn’t for Everyone
Somatica is for people who are brave enough to admit that they aren’t perfect. It is for those of you who can look at yourselves and see where you can still grow, and learn how to be gentle with yourself. We know that this isn’t the social standard, the social standard is to hide your faults and pretend you have it all together. In this training, we want to know all of you, and you must be willing to take the risk to fully and vulnerably show up with all parts of yourself!

We are all about sex and relationships over here which means we focus a lot on dating and coupledom. For your New Year’s Resolution this year we want to focus on YOU! First of all, we want to acknowledge that being human is intense. The very fact of self-awareness, that which sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, means we can’t seem to just go about our business, unselfconsciously living in the present moment. Instead, we rehash the past, worry about the future, and obsess over our many quirky obsessions. This New Years, we want to share our secrets to having more ease and pleasure in our lives so you can be more present have more ease and pleasure too! We teach all of them in our Somatica Core Training – so feel free to join us for our next Free Intro and make your New Year’s Resolutions come true!!!

Our Top 5 Secrets

Connect to Your Body: Being more deeply connected with your bodies is a huge resource to keep you feeling a sense of ease and pleasure. It turns out that sensations only exist in the present moment so, by feeling the sensations in your body and especially by focusing on the pleasurable ones, you can come more into the present moment and feel and enjoy your life. Try it right now. Take a deep breath and focus on a part of your body that feels good or a sensation in your body you like, like warmth or softness. Keep breathing and let the sensation build and be enhanced by your breath. You might notice that looking around the room with this focus on pleasure makes everything around you more bright and vivid.

Be Gentle on Yourself: Think of how much time you spend saying mean things to yourself about how you are screwing up. This voice creates so much tension and stress for you and it really doesn’t help with anything. It’s a vestige of past hurts that you carry with you now and you no longer need it. What you really need, and what we want you to cultivate is a counter-voice to that voice (which will hopefully replace it altogether one day). This fabulous, magnanimous counter-voice can be like a santa’s magic elf or a solstice unicorn (what, it’s the holidays, we can’t help it!) Every time you say something mean to yourself, this voice pops up and says the opposite. Your inner critic says “You’re so stupid, you never do this right,” your cheerful elf says, “You’re so smart, you do all sorts of things right all the time!” Your mean, little voice says, “You don’t need anyone, anyway, so screw them,” and your confident unicorn says, “Of course you need people, everyone does, and it’s ok to express your needs.” It’s always good to remember you are doing your best, celebrate your accomplishments, and forgive yourself for mistakes.

Attend to Your Sensitivities: We have noticed that the more we try to power through and get over things instead of attending to our sensitivities, the more our lives are full of irritations and explosions. If you spend a lot of time telling yourself you should be over things by now, you shouldn’t be so sensitive, or you can make it through one more day, it’s time to try something much more pleasant and efficient. You might think that attending to your sensitivities is wasting time, but you really waste time having to clean up all of the tensions and misunderstandings that come from not attending to your feelings. The more you honor, attend to, and communicate your sensitivities in non-blaming ways, the more time you feel relaxed, safe, and peaceful.

Employ Your Tools: If you are like us, you have gathered many tools over your life that you know it would be helpful to use, but you don’t. The reason most people don’t use the tools they’ve gathered is that it is very difficult to make new habits. When you first start, it is like slogging through a thick swamp. Everything in your body wants to take the same old familiar path even though you know it won’t go well. Little changes go a long way. Let’s take active listening for example. Most of you have probably learned that it is really helpful to listen to what someone else is telling you and really make sure you’ve gotten it right by saying it back and making sure you’ve got it. That being said, how many times have you actually don’t this in the middle of a fight? Believe us, we get it, it took us years of employing the same old defensive, yucky strategies before we made the switch and, even now, we don’t do it perfectly, but we do it! And, you know what, it is amazing how much more quickly we resolve painful or challenging arguments. Think of some tools that you’ve learned that you really want to start using, focus on one at a time and see if you can make yourself a new, yummier habit!

Learn About and Embrace Your Turn-Ons: If you’ve spent your life not knowing what really gives you pleasure physically or what turns you on psychologically, now is the time to get to know yourself in this realm. Sex and masturbation can create more ease and pleasure in so many ways. Sexual arousal and release are amazing tension-relievers. Sex lowers anxiety, it makes you feel seen and loved for who you are, it’s a natural hormone-balancer and anti-depressant, and it helps you feel more connected and committed to your partner. You can learn about your turn-ons by trying different kinds of masturbation, reading sexy stories and watching sexy movies, or letting your fantasies run wild. Notices what sensations you like the best and, no matter what it is that turns you on, see if you can bring loving acceptance to it. Your desires are an essential part of you and, whether or not you can get them met, they are beautiful!

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.