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  • Writer's pictureEmily Royce

The goop on Sexological Bodywork

If you have seen the new "goop" series on Sex & Love, then you have now seen the power of Sexological Bodywork. What used to be a horribly difficult word to roll around your mouth, now has a delightful visual of liberation attached to it. And no, this series is not over-selling the effects. Just yesterday a client told me they had never experienced this much pleasure in their bodies and they did not know it was possible. They are forever changed from their bravery and yes to exploring possibilities. And this happened with others last week and will happen with still others next week. That's what we're doing here, unwinding the societal shame matrix by speaking of the unspoken, peeking into mirrors, and setting ourselves (and those around us) free.

Because this series focuses on couples, you might be thinking your solo status prohibits you from accessing this work. Nope. Or you may be thinking how different you and your partner are and how they would never agree to come to a session with you. Okay. You can start on your own and whenever, if ever, they can join in. Or they can benefit from your home practice, info you learn on anatomy, or your newfound confidence that will surely translate to how you navigate life. No matter your relationship status and identity, solo sessions can be a really beautiful opportunity for you to learn the sensual being you are. What makes you tick, what turns you on and off, what gets into your head and keeps you from presence, your fears and hopes, your body particulars that are calling to be embraced, your unique body map of what you feel and exactly where you feel it.

And if the sensual and sexual make you cringe or trigger you, guess what, this work can be done clothes on, investigating boundaries and communication, safety and trauma response, self and co-regulation. Somatic Sexology sessions are client led and move at the pace of trust (Emergent Strategy.) Many of us have spent a lifetime building protective armor, and there is no rush in the dismantling. We do this together at a cadence that your body can integrate as it releases limiting story. It never ceases to amaze me that clients poo poo the power of practicing our yesses and no's together and then they inevitably have an expansive revelatory experience with saying those "simple" words back and forth. All the power and history of every time we have been in integrity with those words and when we have not. In sessions we consistently bring awareness, we connect the body with the mind, and these new pathways allow us to have new agency.

In this series, Jaiya refers to herself as a Somatic Sexologist, and then later in the series, a Sexological Bodyworker. You see me do the same thing on this site. Soma means "of the body" and makes it clear that we are dealing with human sexuality through body practices. Sexological Bodywork is a phrase coined specifically for the training I have received, but I tend to use it less because it is both harder to say and implies that this work is all hands on bodywork. That's not true. The above examples highlight that. We only get to the bodywork when it is safe to do so. Whether you see someone who calls themselves a Sexological Bodyworker or a Somatic Sexologist or a Somatic Sex Educator, you want to double check that they have received trauma training (I have), are continuing their education (yep) and are a part of a professional organization that will help hold them accountable (on the board.) With professional sites, you can search the database of practitioners and find contact info for those near you, or choose from them all and do this work online. Yes, this work translates online! Half my clients meet me on Zoom and the effects seen in their lives are never less than the in-person clients.

And while the word "sex" is embedded in every version of the professional names, this has so much less to do with the action word we associate with it and so much more to do with discovering who we are at the core of our being. And how we can love and care for the bodies we have. A big part of my work is helping folks post surgery, post cancer, and postpartum, resolve seen and unseen scar tissue. We come up with a whole body heal plan and incorporate body work when ready. Scar tissue melts, organs and muscles being pulled on by these adhesions are set free, pain and posture improve. (I learned this through Ellen Heed.)

The body can become a place for pleasure again. This is true for all bodies, without exception. I have worked with folks who are quadriplegic and discover sensation in their bodies that "should be impossible." I have worked with folks who have been plagued by daily chronic pain and see a dramatic reduction all the way to complete relief from this. I have worked with folks whose experience of disability has kept them isolated from pleasure until we discover their particular keys together. Accessible toys and positions and language and expansiveness around what we deem sex with an emphasis on what brings PLEASURE.

Your body is not dysfunctional and does not need fixing. But aren't you curious now what your pleasure potential is? Contact me here and let's find out together.

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