So you’re interested to learn and grow more in sex. And you’re past the legal age so you can begin your endeavors without an adult’s approval.
Below is a list of non-medically trained people who might be personal growth resources for you.
These recommendations are supplementary to OBGYNs (for people with vaginas) and urologists (for people with penises).
When working with personal growth specialists, consider getting informed. This means research before meeting them, or directly ask them when you first meet them, questions such as:
- What method are they using?
- What is their professional background? (specific certifications are essential; diplomas or places—websites, or institutions—to get confirmation about them)
- What are their credentials? (public testimonials from other clients, students, collaborators, trainers, etc.)
- How they go about their work/sessions?
- How do they actively ensure their clients a safe space?
- Do they follow a specific code of conduct and ethics? Can they indicate where you can read it?
1. A therapist ideally specialized in sexuality or somatic work.
This one is fundamental. We’ve had so much collective and trans-generational negative talk around sexuality that we need a therapist as much as we need showers.
Beliefs, fears, judgments, unhealed or unattended wounds from our parents, and previous generations can run deep. To the trained eye, they come up as sources of upset, distress, conflict with other people, anger at how others are living or expressing themselves sexually, anger at injustice around sexuality, gender and orientation, and so on.
Sometimes, the need for personal therapy work may show up in the form of feeling unfit. We may not feel like we belong in our society. We may feel out of sorts concerning the unwritten rules and building blocks, or we may find ourselves incompatible with them. Those are signs that we might need personal therapy.
Lastly, we should also consider the fact that it takes a long time to do therapeutical work; it is not overnight or short-term.
2. Boundaries & Consent facilitators.
In many advanced communities around sexuality (whether Tantra, Sexological Bodywork, or BDSM), consent workshops are vital. Any specialists who respect themselves and their work take such workshops for their professional expertise and refined detail orientation.
Equally important, or even more so, anyone interested in taking a personal growth path in sexuality may benefit from such workshops. It may equip them with strategic knowledge to avoid mishaps or pitfalls in their search for exploration partners, guides & facilitators, events, and communities to join.
One leading figure in teaching consent is Betty Martin, a Certified Sexological Bodyworker™ who has brought the world of sexuality professionals the notion of consent and wheel of consent. In this video, you may witness her level of detail surrounding consent and get a very grounded sense of why such a specialist should be in your path.
3. Counselors or Coaches
A strategic approach to your sexual growth might also be to obtain a sense of where you are, individually, and also where you, with your particularities, might want to grow towards.
As such, at least one visit to a sexuality counselor or coach can be of help.
The emerging field here is that of somatic coaching, in our case personalized to sexuality. This is different from the usual life coaching, centered around presenting specific mental and intellectual beliefs and affirmations of ways of talking, as well as daily routines and disciplines. Somatic coaching addresses the embodiment of change, the transformation from the actual experience in one’s body and one’s emotional experience.
A side note for women: pelvic floor specialists might also be a strategic person to approach for individual growth. Many obstacles around feminine sexuality rely on the relationship to our genitalia, emotions regarding this part of our bodies, experiencing painful penetration, dryness, muscle rigidity, or side-effects from childbirth or other medical interventions. Midwives and pelvic floor trainers are two types of professionals included in this category.
4. Community leaders and event facilitators
Any growth path should include a form of interaction with other people with the same search.
Conscious sexuality events and communities may have a plethora of particularities: Tantra, BDSM, Taoist approaches to sexuality, or Sexological Bodywork (this is a very new field, compared to others enumerated here, that applies somatic coaching principles to sexuality).
Although some claims are being made about indigenous sexuality traditions that could be taught to non-indigenous people, not enough evidence supports these claims.
Communities oriented on femininity or masculinity approach the topic of sexuality. It is worth noting that these approaches are contested by some personal growth professionals. More precisely, these concepts taught around “feminine” and “masculine” can be potentially judgemental if they ascribe certain behaviors or character traits as appropriate to only one sex, but not the other. People are more complex than those two notions and the values ascribed underneath each one.
When joining such events or communities, it is ideal to remember that individual behaviors have multiple influences such as culture, social norms, age, maturity, gender, personal interests, innate qualities & capacities, and significant life events.
When considering any of these resources, always mind for personal safety and clarity.
Also, consider this material with further links to other trainers and communities. Please use your judgment and do your research before accessing any of them.
In the sexDOJO™ for women, I offer support and hold space. Women work on their pleasure, do practices, and take care of their sexual wiring. Together with me, women build and embody their vision for their sex life.