Intimacy and Passion in the Presence of Cancer
Healing with Somatic Sex and Intimacy Coaching
You may be on the road to healing, but who can help you pick up the pieces of your sexual confidence, your loss of desire, your feelings about your new body, your need to be seen by your loved ones and accepted for who you are now.
Real conversations come from working one-on-one with a Sex and Intimacy Coach and talking about your own personal sexual journey, your concerns and fears, and your hopes and desires. Through sharing and learning new ways of finding pleasure, you discover a path to passion and loving presence that will work for who you uniquely are, as a couple or a single person.
Intimacy heals! That’s a fact. Babies literally cannot survive without loving touch, and adults cannot thrive without the intimacy that touch and closeness bring.
Our bodies and minds are designed to feel pleasure, and pleasure is our body’s greatest healing agent. As a trained Sex and Intimacy Coach and a Certified Hypnotherapist specializing in sexuality, I will help you broaden your perception of what sex is, transform negative thinking that works against your immune system, and regain the healing pleasure in your new body.
When someone comes to see me who is struggling with a changing body, due to illness or disease, they are looking for guidance in keeping sex and intimacy alive in their lives. It’s important to them, and just because their bodies aren’t working the way they once used to, they’re not willing to relinquish the part of themselves that keeps them feeling connected, vital and alive.
It’s a relief for them to sit down and speak about such personal matters in a private, relaxed and confidential way. To be seen as a person rather than an illness, they soon realize that what they’re feeling is normal, that speaking about sex can be liberating and healing. Through sharing, learning about erotic exploration, and discovering new levels of intimacy, they create a life where sex (in its wide definition) can once again become a rich and important part of life.
Usually, within a few sessions, my clients learn new skills to apply to their relationships that work for them. We’re all unique when it comes to intimacy and sexual pleasure. How our bodies are wired for pleasure is shaped by a lifetime of experiences, both physically and emotionally. With the changes they experience in their bodies, they learn new ways of:
Discovering a depth of intimacywith their partner that comes through shared vulnerability and
Feeling close and loving with your partner doesn’t always just happen. It often takes intention and practice to be vulnerable enough to see and be seen. There are things you can both do bring those moments about more often.
Releasing negative thoughts involving body shame
When you don’t have shame you can feel free to be who you are and to enjoy intimacy and sex. Our bodies may look different than they once did. Overcoming body shame and self-consciousness starts with honest conversations. Allowing me to guide you in those conversations can teach you the power of conscious communication so that you both feel heard and accepted.
Learning to communicate about sex and asking for what you want from a partner
Knowing what you and your partner enjoy makes it possible for both of you to be fulfilled. A client once said to me, "how can I ask for what I want when I don't even know what that is?" I will help you in building this very important skill so that sex becomes an experience of true fulfillment rather than something you end up doing for someone else. For most people, learning to receive can be one of their greatest challenges and most valuable lessons.
Touch triggers a cascade of healing chemical responses in your brain, including a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels. Additionally, touch has been shown to increase the immune system's cytotoxic capacity, thereby helping our body maintain its defenses as well as decreasing anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, inattention, stress hormones and cortisol levels.
Rediscovering orgasm and how your body works now
Be patient, you will learn how to find new neural pathways back to pleasure. Erection challenges, vaginal dryness, loss of sensation are all common experiences on the road back to sex and intimacy. Together we will explore what works for you and your partner.
Bringing the fun back into sex at a time when everything else feels so serious
Realizing sex can be fun again. Finding ways to make it fun starts with stepping out of what’s too familiar. Rediscovering your erotic turn-ons. Sharing your fantasies. This may be outside of your comfort zone coming out of a period of illness, but taking baby steps in welcoming your erotic self back into your relationship to be seen and have a voice again can be a wonderful tonic.
Listening to your partner’s needs with compassion and non-judgment
Learning to listen and hear your partner's fears and needs requires presence and acceptance. There are tools to help you with that very important part of creating intimacy.
Learning how to set healthy boundaries for yourself and your body
When you have clear boundaries and agreements around what activities you want to engage in, you are giving your partner a clear and loving container in which you can both relax and enjoy yourselves.
Understanding all the forms of sexual expression
When you learn about all the ways you can get turned on, you come to understand yourself and how to find pleasure and desire in new activities and experiences. Learn what kind of erotic blueprint you both are and how to use your differences to your advantage. It's a wonderful journey of exploration.
Sometimes crisis can open the door to places within ourselves and our relationships that we would never have known had we not experienced cancer up close. Reaching out for help with an open mind and a willingness to explore new ways of being with ourselves and our partners can be an opportunity to delve into the gifts that crisis can bring emotionally and spiritually. Whatever your faith or beliefs may be, I will make space for these conversations, as the words themselves can bring healing and insight into who we are now.
Websites, books and articles are great at outlining the importance of keeping intimacy alive in your relationship and may offer some general advice on how to bring sex back into your life. A woman can be told what lube to buy for vaginal dryness or a man can read about ways to get his erection back. You can even read some suggestions for things to try at home, which is often as far as an idea gets. Most of these articles will end with, “if your doctor or health care professional are unable to speak to you about sex and intimacy, find someone who is trained to have these conversations”.
In the spirit of all great explorers, I hope you discover unchartered paths to pleasure and a new world of loving intimacy (with yourself or your partner) that is so often found on the other side of life’s greatest challenges.
Be curious and let your body be your guide back to a life of intimacy and sexual enjoyment, whatever that might look like for you, I will coach you in getting to where you want to be.
I support survivors, partners and couples in their journey back to sensual and emotional health. You can read what some of them have to say about working with me in Testimonials.
I work on a sliding scale for women.
If cancer treatment has left you feeling financially stressed,
call me, and we'll talk about how to make it work for you.
Ask about our 'sharing circles' for women who live in the presence of cancer..
It's free. Drop me a line if you want to know more.
I look forward to hearing from you.
In service to pleasure and healing,
Mill Valley, California
RELATIONSHIP AND INTIMACY COACHING
love, sex and desire