Somatic Sex Education-Part 4
Written by Barry Carl, Certified Somatic S*x Educator
The most frequently asked questions I get as a Certified S*xological Bodyworker are these – What is it like for you to do this work? How do you maintain safe boundaries with clients? How do you take care of yourself? How do you train for this work? What got you into this work?
S*xological Bodywork has been a natural progression for me. I’ve been doing therapeutic bodywork for nearly 50 years. I’m also a Certified Core Energetics Practitioner (CCEP), which means that I am certified in a highly effective somatic psychotherapeutic modality. For more information on Core Energetics – https://www.coreenergetics.org/
Core Energetics is a great way for people to learn to feel and trust their feelings, and to build a loving, trusting relationship with their bodies. It is not, however, a modality that delves into the world of the erotic. Erotic energy is discussed a lot in Core circles but the arena of the erotic isn’t regarded as a natural pathway to healing. I initially heard about S*xological Bodywork from women who had experienced it directly, and my natural curiosity inexorably drew me in to the point at which I decided to take the training.
I am a curious and erotically aware person, so S*xological Bodywork was a very logical next step after Core Energetics, and my work contains a great deal of Core Energetics techniques and philosophy. Trainings in S*xological Bodywork are held all over the world. The US, Canada, Australia, and Europe have training and certification programs. I trained in the Canadian program and received my certification from that program as well. All candidates are vetted, and continued trainings and supervision are as much a part of S*xological Bodywork as they are of most psychotherapeutic trainings.
After repeatedly witnessing the effectiveness and rapidity of personal growth and healing that arises from S*xological Bodywork, I can honestly vouch for the efficacy of the work. I have consistently witnessed deep healing from both s*xual and emotional trauma, expansion of one’s capacity for pleasure, resolution of body image issues, release from shame, and resolution of life-long struggles with s*xual issues in remarkably short periods of time.
What is it like to do this work? It’s edgy. It’s exciting. It is challenging, stimulating, sometimes mysterious, often sublime. I am forever in service to the client when I show up. The boundaries for practitioners are in place to protect both themselves and their clients. I always keep my clothes on. There is no kissing or other oral contact between practitioner and client. It is not a romantic relationship. I like to say it is a relationship of purpose. There is also no oral-genital contact or genital-genital contact between practitioner and client. Gloves are worn for any internal work. Sessions are run by – and for the exclusive benefit of – the client. My job is to provide a safe enough container for my clients to be able to relax into their own erotic selves and explore their bodies, their desires, and heal the traumatized, exiled, shamed, and hurting pieces of their bodies and emotional selves that inevitably surface during sessions.
I am frequently asked how do I take care of myself. When asked this question by clients, they are asking how I manage my own erotic energy around sessions; am I stimulated by the work and what do I do about it? How do I maintain healthy boundaries?
The answer to this question involves talking a bit about s*xual stereotypes. It’s my impression that men in our culture are frequently and unreasonably given free passes for their s*xual excitability and often blame others when and if they act out in a s*xual way. It’s as if they have no control, which is a huge load of crap. Men that have yet to grow up often seek to escape the responsibility for their actions. Men that have done their personal work and sought to grow into taking personal responsibility for their puerile urges don’t have the same attitude as those that have not done any deep personal accountability work. I have had years of therapy and training in order to become a ‘safe’ steward and guide for my clients. I hold myself personally accountable for the safety of my clients.
Our culture has a big investment in producing men who feel very little and don’t do vulnerability, which they regard as weakness. To go into this work, men have to reinvest in their hearts, become fluent in the language and somatics of emotion, and yes, get vulnerable. “Me Tarzan, you Jane” just doesn’t work in this arena. I approach this work with deep reverence for the Feminine, a full heart, and a burning desire to be of service.
Tune in next time for some juicy stories of accelerated growth and expanded capacity for pleasure through S*xological Bodywork!
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