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What is Somatic Sexology?

Practical sex-education with a focus on pleasure.

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Often when I tell people I’m a Somatic Sexologist I’m met with somewhat of a blank face, which, is fair enough as it’s still a relatively niche profession but one that’s gaining interest and momentum. Read on to learn more about what this profession is and who might benefit from it.

So, what is Somatic Sexology?

Somatic sexology, also known as sexological bodywork or somatic sex education, brings together the practice of embodiment (developing body based awareness) with sexology (the study of human sexuality). Somatic sexologists or sexological bodyworkers are trained to provide educational support to clients to help them learn about and understand their bodies primarily in the context of sex and pleasure. Essentially, it’s practical sex education with a focus on pleasure.

Who is it for?

We work with individuals and couples of all genders, sexual orientations and relationship styles. Sexological Bodyworkers offer a non-judgemental space where you can talk openly about your life, sex, relationships and sexual history. You don’t have to have a specific sexual or relational concern to see a sexological bodyworker. You might just be curious to learn more about your body and want to enrich your sex life and relationships.

What are some of the things Somatic Sexologists can help with?

Some of the more specific reasons you might seek somatic sexology include:

  • Feeling numb and disconnected from your body

  • Your relationship with porn

  • Difficulty reaching orgasm

  • Ejaculation choice

  • Painful sex

  • Postpartum support

  • Releasing sexual shame

  • Body acceptance

  • Learn how to self-pleasure / masturbate

  • Communicating desires

  • Establishing boundaries and consent

Some people are simply curious about expanding their erotic potential and are interested in exploring things like:

  • Different types of orgasms

  • Learning different styles of erotic touch

  • Mindful masturbation

  • Different relationship styles

  • G-spot / prostate pleasure

  • Anal pleasure

How does it differ from sex therapy?

Somatic Sexology is less of a therapy and more of an educational space that supports people to feel more connected to their bodies, sex and sexuality. Sessions are client-led and structured around a specific learning objective. So while you may experience therapeutic benefits from sessions, the intention is to facilitate learning through practice and experience.

Somatic Sexology applies the principles of embodied learning - meaning you learn by doing. Unlike traditional sex therapies, somatic sexology takes a more practical and collaborative approach to working with clients. We use a variety of mindfulness practices and embodiment tools such as breath, movement, touch, sound and placement of awareness to support the clients learning and intentions.

Why is it important to practise this discipline today?

Chances are you didn’t receive a great sex education growing up; at least not one that taught you anything about the playfulness and pleasure side of sex. We’re also the first generation of people to grow up in a world where porn is so readily available which has played a huge role in how we relate to our bodies and intimately connect with others.

Somatic Sexology is one of the only professions that creates a safe, non-judgemental space for people to learn about their bodies and sexuality through embodied practice. This work is incredibly valuable not just for your relationship to sex, but for life in general. We teach you how to listen to your body, regulate your nervous system to reduce stress and anxiety, and ultimately invite more pleasure, playfulness and curiosity into your life and relationships.

What happens in a session?

Each somatic sexology session is unique and informed by the clients personal intentions and history. The practitioner will suggest various practices based on your needs and intentions, which could range from breath work to guided body scans to genital touch. It’s important to note that all sessions are client-led and co-created meaning we will only ever work within the agreed boundaries of the session. Somatic Sexologists also work under a strict code of practice which is centred around the safety and wellbeing of clients.

A typical session is 90 minutes and may look like:

  1. We get into the body - I always start with a short embodiment practice, such as conscious breathing or a body scan to get you grounded in your body.

  2. We talk - about your intentions, history and what you’d like to learn and how we might work together.

  3. Set agreements - we discuss some relevant practices based on your intentions and you get to choose which feels most useful.

  4. Set boundaries - we mutually agree to the boundaries of the session. This is particularly important if there is any touch involved during a session.

  5. We do the practice - this is the practical part of the session where we explore, get curious, experiment and ‘embrace the clunkiness’ of learning something new.

  6. Integrate - just like savasana in yoga, there is a period of stillness at the end of the practice to allow the experience to install. This is a key part of the embodied learning process.

  7. Reflect - reflection is another important part of the learning process. We talk about what you learned, experienced and noticed and how we might build on your learning.

  8. Homework - We co-create some home practices to continue your learning between sessions. Learning happens through repetition so this is an important piece!

You can find more information about Sexological Bodywork and find a practitioner in your area on the SSEAA website, or book a session with me below.


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