Somatic S*x Education – Part 1
Written by Barry Carl, Certified Somatic S*x Educator
I hope this blog surprises and delights you. It may also shock you if you’re the shockable type, but my hope is that the information presented here resonates in you and piques enough interest for you to delve further.
We’re going to talk about s*x. More accurately, we’ll be looking at eroticism and its important and vital role in healing us and making us whole. Don’t worry – I am happy to forego the typical retrospective maundering about our Puritan heritage and how it lives and breathes through our laws, mores, attitudes, and cultural norms. I’d much rather put my energy into liberating people from the heavy, destructive yoke of that noxious heritage, and creating happier, healthier, more deeply fulfilled individuals that will in turn create a happier, healthier environment for all of us.
So what am I talking about exactly? I’m talking about Somatic S*x Education, and I am talking about it because I am a Certified Somatic S*x Educator (CSSE). Yes, it’s a thing and I’m not making it up so you’ll hit on me. I’m not going to go into SSE in depth right now – that will come in later installments. Right now I just want you to know a bit of background in order to get you up to speed on the topic.
1. Feelings are to the body what thoughts are to the mind. Feelings live in the body. To work successfully with feelings – those slow, unruly, inconvenient things – one must work with the body. Even though the basics of this work were known and used 2500 years ago, one of Freud’s most notable disciples figured this out all over again early in the last century, and his work birthed a whole genre of therapeutic modalities we refer to as somatic (Greek for ‘of the body’) therapies. Overall, somatic therapies have proven to be more effective and work more quickly than traditional ‘talk therapy’ in healing trauma and other body-based emotional issues. The current leading authority on body-based healing of trauma, Dr. David Berceli, states clearly that trauma, which lives in the body, must be resolved through working with the body.
2. Although we all suffer to some degree from the various stigma that affect our self-esteem and wellbeing, female-gendered people have the heaviest load to bear. In our myopic, patriarchal society women are screamed at, both figuratively and literally, for their entire lives about how they should look, act, and feel. As if this isn’t traumatic and disempowering enough, they are taught to deny their sexuality, that their sexuality is less important than their mates’, that they must be ceaseless givers and caretakers, and that it is a virtue to deny one’s self and remain subservient, frustrated, unheard, unseen, and erotically unfulfilled. They are told that this is the ‘natural order’ of things.
It most emphatically is not. The sheer number of women on antidepressants in the US should reveal the lie behind that toxic concept.
Current research shows us plainly that erotically expanded women are happier than their restricted counterparts, have fewer serious illnesses, retain their full sexual function well into their seniority, and generally don’t need antidepressants and antianxiety meds because they are drawing from their own ‘inner pharmacy’ of naturally produced dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin that result from sexual stimulation. That same research points to exploration of erotic self-knowledge in a safe container with trained, ethical, professional support as a direct, safe, and effective way to resolve trauma held in the body.
Which brings us to Somatic S*x Education! SSE can be loosely described as the last sentence in the preceding paragraph. Stay tuned for the details!
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