While sexology is the study of sex, somatic sexology is one branch that uses a more embodied approach. Somatic literally means “of the body” and somatic sexology attempts to bridge the mind-body split to help people have more fulfilling sex lives.
What is the Mind-Body Split?
In modern culture – and especially in industrialized nations – so much of the way we work and interact is mental as opposed to physical. Modern society places a high value on the ability to think and reason, and often looks down on emotions. We are taught to control and overcome the desires of the body. All of this results in a separation, and sometimes even a tense relationship, between one’s mind and body.
To have meaningful sex and a more holistic life, it’s very important to be in touch with your emotions and body’s sensations. Somatic sexology – and all other somatic practices – attempts to understand this divide and bring the mind and body into connection, communication, and harmony.
The Methods of Somatic Sexology
Somatic sexology is a diverse field that includes practitioners schooled in multiple types of modalities. Practitioners may have training in somatic approaches to sex coaching, psychology, education, and counseling. They may also be trained as massage therapists, sexual surrogates, or energy workers.
The goal of somatic sexology is to help people feel their sex lives more fully and profoundly. A somatic sexologist uses many different methods to achieve this goal of healing the mind-body division – breathwork, movement, and touch.
Touch modalities include practices of emotional connection and intimacy, sexological bodywork, and surrogate partner therapy. The Somatica Method of sex and relationship coaching is also a form of somatic sexology that focuses on emotional connection and intimacy. Methods of somatic sexology can also include energetic work such as tantra, shamanism, or Taoist approaches.
In the same way another practitioner will use talk therapy, somatic sexologists such as Somatica coaches sometimes incorporate a talk-based approach in their method. Thus they use a combination of talk and touch to connect with the body. They first verbally guide their clients to bring more awareness to their bodily sensations and emotions. Then they proceed by helping the mind acknowledge, attend to, and integrate what is happening in the body.
Somatic Sexology vs Somatic Therapy vs Sexological Bodywork
While somatic sexology is the study of sex as it pertains to the body, somatic therapy is any type of therapy that guides the client to pay attention to their body. Somatics in therapy has become much more common. Research has shown that interventions such as meditation and biofeedback have been helpful in lowering anxiety and gaining more awareness around emotional reactivity.
Since somatic therapists are generally licensed therapists such as LCSWs or LMFTs, most do not use touch in their somatic practices for legal reasons. Instead, they use approaches such as talk, movement, dance, or play to help the client become more self-aware, release trauma, or better understand their needs and boundaries.
Somatica coaches are similar to somatic therapists in this way. They use a combination of touch and talk to help people have more embodied, empowered, sexually and emotionally fulfilling lives and relationships.
Somatic sexological bodywork is another body-based modality. It incorporates approaches such as breathwork, Taoist erotic massage, erotic yoga, expanded self-pleasuring, and bodywork. The bodywork can help with reintegrating sexual parts of the body that have gone numb or feel disconnected, as well as address challenges like genital scar tissue.
How to Find a Somatic Sexologist Near You
If you’re someone looking to work directly to help solve some of your mind-body issues, it’s time to look for a somatic sexologist near you.
In choosing a practitioner with this specific skill, you want to make sure your pick is a good fit. The best way is actually to listen to your body and your inner voice. Take some time and read through the different practitioners’ bios. Notice how you feel in your body when you look at them and read the words they’ve written about themselves. See if you feel excited, motivated, and attracted to who they are, and what they are saying. Note if you can find the one that gives you the biggest feeling of inspiration and aliveness. That will likely be the best coach for you.
You need to also figure out if you prefer to work with someone near you, so you can travel to them for an in-person intensive. You may want to note if they specialize in a specific topic you care about or a community you are part of (LGBTQIA, BIPOC, etc). If you want to work in person, start by sorting the coaches by location and then follow the embodied decision-making process above.
How To Get Your Somatic Sexologist Training & Certification
If you’re drawn to the field as a practitioner, you should consider getting somatic sexologist training. It will enable you to launch a career helping others while making an amazing living.
You can also get a somatic sexologist certification by taking the Somatica Training. This training and certification is approved by the American College of Sexologists and fully prepares you for a successful career in the field. The Somatica Method is applied somatic sexology, as opposed to the research side of the method. In other words – you will be using somatic interventions in your practice because these are simply the most effective methods for profound personal change.
Learn more about the Somatica Training and its certification track right here.