NO ONE EVER TOLD ME THAT SEX WAS ABOUT PLEASURE.
Connection, yes. Making babies, got it. But pleasure? Fun? A way to express the many sides of myself, learn more about myself, a portal into altered states of consciousness? All of that was whitewashed away in ignorance fear, embarrassment, misunderstandings, and shame.
I'm not blaming anyone in particular for this; it is systemic, the water we swim in.
The journey to where I stand now, a Certified Sexological Bodyworker and Somatic Sex Educator, was a winding and meandering one. Undergraduate studies in college lead to a degree in journalism, taught me to think for myself, and revealed that most of the questions I was interested in asking would not be answered – perhaps could not even be asked – in the ivy covered halls of academia.
Twenty-two years spent in gymnastics facilities, as both athlete and coach, taught me much about the body, its mechanics, its beauty and grace. I learned of sacrifice and devotion, pain and frustration, triumph and failure, friendship and betrayal. I learned what humans need to relax into and trust another to catch them as they hurl their bodies through the air, while refining a capacity to look deeply into complexity and find and name the simple adjustment that can change everything.
Deep dives into the relational practice of Circling, Zen Meditation, and Women’s Culture and Community, along with medicine journeys and soul work, slowly peeled back layers to reveal the truth that had perhaps existed all along: Sex is my work.
As a kid and teenager, my sexual education consisted of, “wait until you’re married,” followed up with alarming information about STIs and the basics of reproduction. Nothing about pleasure or the complexities of intimate relationships. I felt profoundly alone when it came to sex and relationships, and totally mystified. I’d explored my own body enough to know what felt good, and I’d had a few lovers that had opened doors to new sexual pleasure for me, but I had a feeling more was possible if only I knew where to look – or touch.
Three years ago, a dear friend and mentor of mine began putting together a group of women – The Women’s Temple – to explore erotic arts together. We gathered monthly to not only talk about our sexuality, but to work hands on with one another, to witness one another, and to be in our pleasure together. The combination of information, community, and guidance transformed my sexuality, and my entire life.
I came out of that two-year experience deeply rooted in my body, connected to my pleasure, sensuality, and sexuality, able to communicate about sex with partners in new ways, and with some key resources and practices that continue to expand my sexuality to this day. I also came away with a deep capacity to meet the intensity of my life head on, to tend to my needs and desires, to metabolize grief, anger, and suffering, and with an unshakable trust in the world and my place in it.
Sex is my work, but it's about way more than that. It's about sex and pleasure as a doorway into knowing ourselves and the world. It's about bringing our sex out into the light and sharing it in safe and thoughtful ways in service of understanding, expanding, and healing all sides of it.
More than sex, my work is about seeing and being seen. It's about going into the dark, hidden, secret places in people's hearts, minds, and bodies, and bringing love, compassion, and care. I create space for people to welcome and experience all of themselves. To move into the grief and the pleasure, the heartbreak and the joy without hesitation.