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
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.”
Here I am explaining a bit about my upcoming “Intimacy In Sensuality” workshop. Check out the link for more details. Less than 2 weeks left to register!
I hear from men often in my counselling who struggle with anxiety around performance in sex which leads to difficulty becoming or staying erect. I feel so much empathy for them because our society places huge value on their ability to “perform” and “make a woman cum” and a hard penis is often equated (incorrectly) with that. I can’t imagine if I had to wear my arousal/fears visibly all the time, how exposed and vulnerable I would feel. These fears are common and normal in both men and women and there is nothing wrong with you if it happens to you. In fact I’d question anyone who told me they never experience performance anxiety during sexual intimacy. The great thing though is that there are solutions and this doesn’t need to continue to be a problem for you. Most of us were not raised in homes where intimacy (sexual or not) was modelled in a healthy and vulnerable way. This is one of the main reasons I created my intimacy coaching program. For more information click on this link https://natashasalaash.com/intimacy-coaching/