Good question! Most people don’t know the difference between what a sex therapist does and what a sex coach does. They usually guess that a sex therapist talks you through a therapy process and a sex coach coaches you through a sex process, but is that right?
Sort of but there’s a lot more to it than that. First of all, let’s look at the cost. Your GP may be able to refer you to a sex therapist, such as a psychosexual therapist. That will work out cheaper for you so if that is an option, then by all means try a sex therapist first.
What do Psychosexual Therapists Do?
Psychosexual therapists predominantly use traditional talk therapy techniques, but some good psychosexual therapists also use some somatic (body-based) tools in the session. Somatic therapy techniques use the body, not just the mind. However, unlike sex coaches, a psychosexual therapist are very limited in the somatic therapy techniques that they are allowed to use. A psychosexual therapy session does not involve any intimate touch, and nudity or arousal in the session is not allowed. Sex therapists will give you somatic techniques to try as homework, but unfortunately you can’t try them out beforehand in the session to receive feedback and guidance on. Despite their limited use of somatic techniques, there are a number of issues that can be easily solved by seeing a psychosexual therapist.
What do Sex Coaches Do?
There are two categories of Sex coaches:
- The standard sex coach who offers the a predominantly talk-based session, and possibly also uses somatic tools.
- Body-based sex coaches like myself, who have the standard sex coaching training as well as additional training to administer and teach intimate touch in the session.
When is Sex Coaching better than Sex Therapy?
Let me give you some examples here of where body-based sex coaching may have advantages over sex therapy.
Say, you are a heterosexual couple in London. You love each other, and sex used to be good for a few years after you got married. Your children are now 2 and 5 years old, and you are both in high powered jobs that you love. You are just too tired to make love on weekday nights, and are busy on weekends, so the last time you had sex was 2 years ago. Neither of you are happy with this, and if it weren’t for the children you’d feel like ships passing at night. You both miss the intimacy you used to have, but it’s kind of awkward to start being sexual again after such a long time.
In this situation, both a sex therapist and a sex coach would be likely to set you the same homework task: planning physical dates with each other that contain sensate focus exercises. In my experience, those physical dates are much more likely to happen if there is an incentive. A body-based sex coaching session can provide that extra incentive because you and your partner can actually try out some exercises in the session. You can learn to communicate with each other about pleasure, learn intimate strokes and try them out right away, so that you remember them for your date. A body-based sex coach can give you instant feedback to make things good for both of you, for example, which position to is most comfortable when giving your partner intimate touch.
A sex coaching session will produce in you an expectation that your date night will be fun and pleasure, instead of a chore to save your marriage, and therefore you’ll be much more likely to actually make it happen.
A number of my couples’ sex coaching sessions are also talk based with somatic tools, depending on what you need to explore. It’s coaching, so you decide the contents, and the pace. Within my own boundaries, I’m at your service (I would remain fully clothed, of course). I make suggestions, and you both decide what works best for you.
Never had an Orgasm
You are a pre-orgasmic woman in London, happy with your life, busy, and not currently in a relationship. Past relationships may have been somewhat traumatic, however, you came to terms with what happened by having psychotherapy. You want to find a partner, but feel awkward about not being able to orgasm. You feel sexual shame, or fear to get close, and just don’t feel up for engaging with yourself sexually. You have tried in the past, but just never got anywhere with it.
This is where body-based sex coaching can help you best. We use somatic tools to get you into a state of relaxation. You can decide your own pace, and our journey together may at some point involve one-way intimate touch, but doesn’t have to. I can most likely help you to feel more comfortable with your own body and sexuality, and we may be able to reconnect you with your own pleasure, so that you have more of an incentive to carry on practicing at home.
A sex therapist would most likely tell you to get a set of dilators, which are dildo-like tools of different width to insert into your vagina. As a body-based sex coach, I have a good track record of supporting you to get to know your body and genitals better during arousal. G-spot arousal is especially useful for a vagina to relax for intercourse, and I can help you find the arousal structures that work for you in the session. I use nitrile gloves and high quality lube for any intimate touch, and can also recommend suitable sex toys for you to continue at home.
Body Image Issues
Any hang-ups about how your genitals are shaped? Often, a single session is enough to re-assure you that you are, and look, perfectly acceptable, and beautiful. The best antidote against shame is to talk about it, and actually be seen. These body-based sex coaching sessions are usually very effective, and may help you love yourself better. You deserve it.
Back to Sex after Birth or Prostate Surgery
Apart from being very busy as a new mother, vaginal births can leave scars, and your body may have completely different requirements for pleasure and arousal. In body-based sex coaching sessions, we can rediscover your body and your genitals for pleasure. I am also trained in scar reduction massage techniques.
After prostate surgery, your body may need some guidance to how to re-discover yourself as a sexual being, and to find your way back to pleasure. While the NHS offers talking options and advice, in body-based sex coaching we can actually try out what works for you in terms of pleasure and arousal, which can be an enormous boost for your confidence as a man, and a real investment into your wellbeing, and your relationship.
More Reasons to See a Body-Based Sex Coach
These abovementioned issues are only the most obvious reasons to see a body-based sex coach rather than a sex therapist, however, I see clients with other issues as well, and any gender or sexual orientation is welcome.
Stella, with Love.
Contact me to arrange a complimentary, up to 20 minute phone, skype or zoom consultation.