What is Sexological Bodywork?
Written by Caffyn Jesse, CSB - Someone I am proud to call a colleague in this field of work.
Sexological Bodyworkers are Somatic Sex Educators. We teach through body experiences designed to nurture, deepen or awaken the sensual self. These experiences can include coaching in breath, movement, body awareness, boundary-setting, communication, anatomy, sensate focus, massage, erotic trance and other body-based teachings about sex. Uniquely in the professions, we are trained to do genital and anal touch for education, healing, and pleasure. We touch in ways that assist students in developing presence within the body, opening interior awareness, and learning how the body can feel more and more alive.
The experiential learning opportunities available through Sexological Bodywork can help you engage in a respectful dialogue with the autonomic nervous system, so that physical and emotional processes that usually happen to us can be held in mindful awareness, and transformed. Love and fear, excitement and relaxation, arousal and happiness, reverence and bliss all have biochemical and physiological components that can be regulated, with training and conscious practice over time.
Sexological Bodywork is a wonderful way to address all kinds of sexual problems, ranging from premature ejaculation to not being able to orgasm readily. Couples can learn to navigate sexual differences and explore new erotic possibilities with body-based learning and guided practice.
We all set limits on the quantity and quality of pleasure we can embody. Limits to pleasure are ubiquitous in a culture that shames sexuality and fails to teach us how to honor and celebrate erotic energy. Sexual wounding becomes embedded in the body’s tissues and responses. Sexological Bodywork can assist us in expanding the pleasure that is possible. This expansion has physical, emotional, mental and spiritual components.
When we experience nervousness or anxiety around sexual experience, we endure a cascade of stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones act on all the body’s functions and tissues. We breathe more quickly and shallowly. Our heart rate increases. Our gut clenches. Blood leaves the genital tissues so we are better able to “fight or flee,” and we lose our capacity for feeling fully. Sexological Bodyworkers coach students to open up their bodies with breath and deep relaxation. With slow, careful and skillful touch, given in a very safe situation completely controlled by the client’s needs, you can learn what is possible. Scar tissue can present another limit to pleasure, and Sexological Bodyworkers are trained in scar tissue remediation techniques. The body often produces a cascade of powerful endorphins during Sexological Bodywork sessions. Endorphins are hormones like chemicals that suppress anxiety and pain and build a feeling of bliss.
We expand our emotional range in an environment of loving kindness and complete acceptance. Sexological Bodywork practitioners are trained to offer this environment to all clients, whatever their unique erotic identities, their challenges, wounds, and joys. Opening up emotionally has biochemical components. Caring, conscious touch activates hormones including oxytocin. Many studies show a correlation of oxytocin levels with greater stress tolerance, increases in bonding and trust, and decreases in fear. In addition, Sexological Bodywork sessions can teach us to become emotionally empowered in our sexual relationships. We can learn how to direct sexual touch, experience, and express body boundaries, and encounter and release trauma imprints.
As individuals and as a culture we lack erotic knowledge. Sexological Bodyworkers teach genital anatomy, the physiology of multiple orgasms, how to touch, how to negotiate desires, and many other things about sex. The somatic practices of Sexological Bodywork assist students in developing increased capacities for mindfulness. With coaching in the conscious placement of attention, we can learn to bring more focus and presence to sexual exchanges. This work invites us to recognize the habits and patterns that are limiting our pleasure. Sexological Bodyworkers are trained to help students who want to address “pornography addiction” or transform unwanted fantasies. Building a bridge between conscious and unconscious responses opens possibilities for making new choices about our pathways to pleasure.
Pleasure helps us connect with the divine within and around us. Sexological bodywork can teach us how to consciously access profound ecstatic and erotic states. We can learn to tune in to sexual energy, to move it and to amplify it. We can learn to give your sexuality focused attention, and go deeply into its beauty and mystery. Sexual energy can be experienced as transformative spirit, an aspect of the sacred, a way to dance in union with all that is. Interacting with love and mindfulness while making a deep connection from this core part of the self, we can experience a sacred presence in others and in ourselves.
In the sexual matrix of body, mind, spirit, and emotion, we can learn to expand our capacity for joy, experiencing more and more deeply what it is to be fully alive.