I Do This Work For……..

Having more time at home with my family this past year has given me time to reflect on my life, values, the work I do and my reasons for doing it. This time of reflection has strengthened my resolve to wait for in person workshops to resume, rather than converting them to online delivery. It’s also reminded me of the value I get from my work that doesn’t come from the fee, but from my experiences with the people I work with. I do this work for reasons that online formats and money can’t provide me. 

I do this work for…… the initially awkward and distant couple who is struggling to bridge the divide between them. For the moment that one of them softens, turns towards the other, looks up into their eyes and shows them — sometimes for the first time — that they are willing to do their part to break through their divide. 

I do this work for…… the people who are afraid there is something horribly wrong with their body and that no one would ever love them if they see it. I do it for the moment that we show each other our bodies and they realize that just like me, they are okay as they are — exactly as they are — and that someone who loves them will think so too. 

I do this work for…… the middle aged married woman who brings herself to orgasm for the first time in her life and, through her tears, cries over and over “I’m normal!” 

I do this work for…… the seemingly cocky man who ends up admitting that he needs help because he’s scared in intimacy, can’t relax enough to get aroused and is so afraid of making a mistake that he can’t even listen to his partner. I do it for the moment he learns what relaxation feels like in his body and that arousal happens naturally when he takes time to allow it. I do it for the emails he excitedly sends after sessions telling me how he was able to hear his partner for the first time and that he allowed himself the time to become fully aroused in sex. 

I do this work for…… the moments in Bodysex retreats that happen after workshop hours are over. When I see Justine lovingly adorn a naked woman’s scars with henna, cuddle piles in different corners of the room, shared laughter over stories and experiences of women from different ages and walks of life. 

I do this work for……. what I learn about a Counselling client from the moments they break eye contact with me, look down at the floor, shift their legs, say “ummm,” start playing with their hair, bite their lip or fold their hands across their stomach. I may not know what any of these necessarily mean for them, but I know there’s something there. By being present with them, I can notice and ask them about it. 

I do this work for…… the child with ADHD who feels completely misunderstood and doesn’t understand why they’re in trouble for something they did. I do it for the moment they tell me why they did it (which most often makes perfect sense) and the recognition and love on their parents face as they understand for the first time. 

I do this work for…..me. 

I love my work and miss the group workshops, and more in person interactions. And yet, I also don’t want to do it any other way. So —  just like edging an orgasm  I’m  patiently enjoying this time as a gift for what it’s showing me, and will fully celebrate the groups( and the orgasms) when they happen.<3

Q&A: Why does my vagina stink after having a lot of sex?

Our vagina’s are amazing self cleaners and regulators. We don’t need products to clean them and the less products we use, the better in balance our PH will be – resulting in a normal healthy vagina with a normal flavour and scent to it.
While douches and soaps can actually mess with this, another culprit is sperm. If you have regular or often penis/vag sex and the sperm enters you, you may find that your vagina smells and tastes different. This is because sperm is designed to stay alive and can stay alive for days in your vagina thus affecting the normal balance.
The best way to come back to a healthy ph is to take probiotic supplements. I find it best to just insert one into my vagina rather than taking it orally. It is amazing how fast they absorb into your vaginal walls and your awesome flavour is back! You might notice that the gell capsule (not the contents of it) takes a bit longer to dissolve and that’s okay. You can always reach in and pull it out or giggle at it on your partners penis when you have sex. he he. You can find these probiotics at health food stores and Superstore organic section and they should ALWAYS be refrigerated.
As women we are inundated with products to shame us into thinking our natural scent/flavour is wrong, and we should smell like fake cherries or flowers. No one tells us that fake cherry smell and sperm are actually big culprits here and that our natural scent is gonna be hot to whomever is hot for you – yourself included. (yay for pheromones!)

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines day from my cold ass to yours! I hope that we can all feel love within ourselves to have a day sprinkled with self compassion and grace for the journey we’ve travelled, the mistakes we’ve made, our wobbly parts and all things in between. Happy valentines day to me, to you, to life! (And all the warm naked beach days to come)

Expanding My Work To Include Men

I’m so excited that I’ve been getting more and more male clients coming to me for Intimacy Coaching. This work is of my creation and feels like a birthing of all the best and most intimate parts of myself as well as the teachings I’ve received from others. Intimacy Coaching sessions are designed specifically and uniquely by me – for each individual client – based on their concerns, needs and hopes they have for their current or future intimate relationships.
The sessions are a comprehensive mix of my trainings and experiences leading Attachment parenting groups, Sex and Intimacy Counselling, Bodysex Facilitation, Life skills Coaching as well as current trainings in Trauma Integration and Breath work.
Sessions are experiential and intimate – ranging from holding and rocking, loving and compassionate nude or clothed touch, teaching and practicing self regulation, grounding and embodiment practice while nude, genital show and tell to normalize and let go of genital shame, sensate focus touch, learning to slow down, sensual immersion and absorption through engaging the 5 senses, practicing making and holding eye contact, mirroring, interpreting body language, speaking up and asserting needs, boundary work, learning to not take “no” personally, orgasm coaching, overcoming erectile disfunction and effective listening skills.
As mentioned, I create sessions individually based on your needs and give them to you for feedback, questions and to ensure informed consent. Boundaries are clear, written and agreed upon before we begin the sessions. This is not sexual surrogacy but it IS intimacy surrogacy and essentially a practice ground for feeling comfortable in intimate connection with another person.
For me, I see it as an adult re-creation of the intimate foundation and capacity for attuned connection we may have missed out on, in our initial relationship with our primary caregiver.(often our mother).
I LOVE this work and the vulnerability it requires of myself as well as the brave people who show up for it. I grow with each client and learn more about my own capacity and tolerance for intimacy in it.
In the words of a man who just booked some sessions with me:
“I have encountered 3 of your past students in my romantic life and I’m blown away by their strength and agency. I want that.”
For more information you can contact me or follow this link.https://natashasalaash.com/intimacy-coaching/

Choosing My Flow

I woke up this morning in my quiet house with my children still sleeping. Drinking tea with the sun shining through the window onto my bare legs, this story — which had just been seen and felt in parts throughout the last year —  flowed completely through me. I wish I could read it to you, so you could close your eyes (as I like to imagine you would) and with each word feel the river touching your legs and teasing you forward in it’s flow. But this will have to do.

I see myself floating down a river, the wind softly blowing my hair, sun on my neck, holding hands with someone I love. The flowing water is as clear as a mountain spring and under it are rocks which sometimes jut out, causing us to maneuver our bodies around them so we don’t get hurt as we float. The banks are high enough on the sides and I smile when I see animals have made houses in the dirt along the edge. There are branches sticking out from the banks — some worn smooth by the water that flows over them at times, and some so sharp that we need to duck at just the right times to not get hurt by them. There are some shallow sections in the river where we often stop to play, laying half in and half out of the water, feeling the slight lull of it flowing over our legs as the sun warms the rest of our bodies. Sometimes we choose to spend days in these parts of the river exploring and being with the flow but not moving very far at all. In these places — between fully floating and totally stuck — we often find the best treasures, difficult to explain to anyone after, but nevertheless treasures that deeply impact the way we float on. 

Inevitably as we choose to continue on, the river changes again and we float together, until both of us get caught in a pile of branches that’s pooled along one side of the river. On my side the branches are less thick (this time) and I carry on with only minimal effort to free myself. The force of us getting caught though is enough to tear our hands apart and, while I notice the disconnect right away, it takes me a minute to stop because I’m still flowing along with the river. Stopping myself is difficult and it requires a great deal of energy to push backwards against the flowing river. I do it though, because I chose to float the river with this person and I’m not going to leave them behind just because they’re “stuck” in the branches. I want to keep floating with them. So I paddle against the current, breathing heavily as I slowly move back wards towards where they’re “stuck” in the branches. Once I get there I grab onto the pile and use it to pull me around closer to them and then, still unable to reach them in their pile, I choose to tread water alongside them while we try to figure a way to get them out. 

I love being beside the people I love at all parts of the river – even if they or I am stuck in the branches. Yet at some point, often after days of trying to figure out how to get them unstuck, I feel a deep hole of fear in my belly and hear a little girls voice telling me that “I need to get them out, or I’ll lose them.” Already tired from days of treading water to stay in one place against the current, I franticly try thinking of other ways to “help” them. If I can just lift one arm out to grab the branches and toss them down the river maybe I can free them. So I try this, constantly being forced forward each time I lift an arm out to grab a branch, toss it and then swim back against the current to where I was treading water beside them. I do however manage to remove a few branches this way. Sometimes the branches are tangled up too much though and instead of the easier task of just grabbing and throwing them, I have to hold onto the pile and work to untangle them while fighting against the river seemingly wanting to pull my legs forward to see what’s around the next bend. The top half of my body is pulled backwards  as I work to untangle branches and the bottom half is pulled forwards with the flowing river — I must appear to be in such conflict with myself.  But “I’m not!” I tell myself in a strangely child like voice.  “I’m simply “helping” this person, whom I love, become unstuck so we can once again float the river together.”

My efforts feel fairly grand, so grand that at times I imagine that this is the point of the story (if there was one) where the narrator would describe me in heroic ways. Pausing to think of how heroic I am, I look at the person in the middle of the branches and see that they’re not sweating or panting at all. They’re merely sitting — what looks like – comfortably amongst the pile of branches. “But they can’t be content to stay here I tell myself,” feeling that awful hollow hole of fear in my belly. “They MUST want to come along. They always said they wanted to do this and when they got stuck they called for me to come back. They must still want it.” Conflicted by this I grab on tighter and watch them, waiting for a sign that they do want to come with me. In this pause I notice how deep the hole feels in my stomach and how hard the river is pulling my legs forward and how much I want to allow it. But “I can’t just leave them here” says the little girls voice in my head. “Good people don’t do that. Good people stay and fight no matter how hard the river is pulling them forward. It’s for them that I’m doing it!”

In this moment — the moment in the story where time stands still and the whole scene seems so perfectly clear — I feel the irony in my words and hear a woman’s voice speak over the little girls saying “Just as I have the choice to let the river carry me, they have the choice to stay. Both are choices and regardless of whether one is to stay and one is to go, it doesn’t mean anyone is leaving anyone.” Paused in time for a second while I contemplate what she is saying, I notice that the hole of fear in my belly is gone and……. just like that I let go. Like the most beautiful orgasm in the universe I’m carried forward, swept into the ebbs and flows of the current and the wind in my hair and sun on my neck. I look back for a second and see the person in the branches, right before I’m swept into another orgasmic current, smiling at me lovingly and experiencing life in the way they are choosing. I smile back at them with a smile full of absolute love, then close my eyes and float on with the life I am choosing carried forward with the sound of the woman’s voice whispering softly in my ear “It’s all choice. We all choose each day to flow or to stop flowing. The only way I will lose them is if I stop my own flow.”

**** Dedicated to one of the many partners on my river :Justine. Thank you for reminding me of my own choice and my own voice. <3