Intimacy Coaching

bw therapyFor people grappling with relationship issues — how to meet people, how to grow love, how to deal with conflict, how to sustain a sexual partnership over time — there would seem to be no end of books, videos, and workshops offering helpful advice. But sometimes addressing relationship problems is like seeking technical support for a computer crisis: no manual or online database seems to address the particulars of your situation. Those are times when you’ve got to talk to an actual person to get the help you need.

Some of the work of bringing intimacy into your life has to do with practicing consent: learning to say yes and learning to say no. People who were subjected to sexual abuse in childhood or adolescence frequently carry into adulthood a sense of confusion around consent. Equally destructive to one’s healthy development is sexual neglect or sexual shaming. If your “Yes” is taken away (because you’re told sex is dirty or being gay is sinful), then frequently your “No” is taken away at the same time, leaving you vulnerable to coercion or compulsive behavior. These issues can be addressed in Sex and Intimacy Coaching. Naming desires in an inhabited, emotionally authentic way can increase your ability to tolerate desire — partly by postponing the need to act on erotic impulses right away or to attach identity to sexual feelings or behavior, and partly by giving you permission to contact your erotic experience directly rather than in reaction to someone else’s.

Whether you are building a relationship or have some history under your belt, most couples inevitably experience conflicts and misunderstandings around sex and intimacy, which calls for a refresher course on communication skills. Intimacy coaching can offer practical guidance in respectful speaking and listening, clear negotiation, and being honest about what you want and don’t want in a sexual partnership.

Couples may also want coaching in expanding the ways they share touch and erotic pleasure, healing sexual dysfunctions, and experimenting with kink. I am also available to consult about, conceive, plan, and/or facilitate rituals to observe the landmarks in an intimate relationship, including ceremonies of commitment, anniversaries, mourning, birthdays, transitions, and separations.