WHAT IS A SOMATIC SEX EDUCATOR?
Certified Sexological Bodyworkers (CSB - the first year level) and Certified Somatic Sex Educators (CSSE - the second year level) are professionals supporting individuals, couples and groups to learn to direct their own erotic development, learn about their bodies, sex and sexuality, or work through sexual issues or concerns.
The Somatic Sex Education™ training (this term describes both levels) involves a variety of instructive modalities, including breath work, touch, erotic bodywork, empowering embodied consent, scar tissue remediation, and Orgasmic Yoga coaching.
Kian de la Cour and Katie Sarra were the first UK Certified Wheel of Consent Workshop Facilitators. Betty Martin's Wheel of Consent® and embodied, enthuaistic consent is foundational to the UK & Ireland Somatic Sex Education™ training.
This is a training in embodiment. Whilst this involves learning and developing skills in a range of modalities, the main focus of the training is on learning how to facilitate client agency with their decision-making about how they are touched. As such, sessions are co-created with an educational focus.
Somatic Sex Education™ supports new neural pathways firing in the service of exploring new ways of being and wiring them with practice. Embodiment practices are routes to support coming back 'online' with the receptive parts of the nervous system which supports agency and choice in decision-making with our bodies. Learning how to feel more of ourselves supports more of us to come online with creating safety and kindness with ourselves and others.
For many people, the only context for intimate touch and discussion has been within a relationship or partner engagement. This is understandable - and there are other contexts; one of which is education and curiosity. In Somatic Sex Education™ sessions, practitioners intend to work outside of attraction or dis-attraction i.e. partner engagement is set to one side in the service of learning.
One of the somatic realms that Somatic Sex Educators introduce to our students is a state of arousal that is free of fantasy, unfinished emotional business, religious dogma, cultural caveats and habitual sexual behaviours. In this meditative state, an individual becomes aware of the body as a source of wisdom and freedom. One of the ways to access this fecund state is by actively receiving erotic bodywork. Helping others access and make use of a variety of erotic states is foundational to the education we offer.
Somatic Sex Educators believe that sexual health and erotic education are basic human rights. The Somatic Sex Education™ professional training is for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, characteristics and expressions.
How is Somatic Sex Education™ different to Tantra?
Tantra also offers potential routes into being more receptive and present with our bodies with practices being ritualised to increase sensory receptivity. The main difference is that in Tantra or neo-tantra as popularly taught in the West, boundaries and roles between practitioner and client have a wide scope of variability as there are so many schools and interpretations of this vast Eastern philosophy. Tantra trainings and individual sessions often involve immersive role play or sensual experiences rather than co-created educational agreements to explore feeling more of ourselves.
Somatic Sex Educators, in contrast, operate with a client-led & client-centred approach and with a clear Code of Ethics. Somatic Sex Education™ has an educational focus, meaning that practitioners work with learning objectives that the clients bring. This means it is not a set of techniques, rather, the techniques are secondary to the educational contract. For more on this see this clip from Dr. Betty Martin on Why the choosing is more important than the doing.
Working with Trauma
Trauma is prevalent in our society and we discuss possible nervous system responses to it & how to be with them. Whilst this is a training in embodiment with understandings of how the nervous system responds to trauma and routes that support the nervous system to relax out of disconnection, specialist training is recommended to work effectively with people who are living with the effects of Trauma. Somatic Sex Educators often work closely with trauma specialists and psychotherapists supporting the integration between body and mind. Read our trauma statement here.
UK and Ireland Professional Training
This 7 month program trains and certifies somatic sex educators. Certified Sexological Bodyworkers and Certified Somatic Sex Educators are certified sexologists who focus on somatic sex education. Somatic Sex Educators have the scope of practice to include touch in sessions, however, the term “bodywork” in this context refers to the fact that we focus on embodied (somatic) awareness; it does not mean bodywork in the sense of massage. Massage may or may not feature in sessions and massage experience is not a requirement to train. Sessions are client-led and are somatically focussed even if they include little or no touch.
The training emphasises session structure, embodied skills, professional practice, and group facilitation.
The UK & Ireland training both includes and expands upon the Institute of Somatic Sexology (ISS), Australia, curriculum and the original California-approved course of studies. Read the Code of Ethics for Somatic Sex Educators here.
"This has been the single most empowering and integrative experience I've had both for my professional and personal practice".
Certification & Insurance
Upon completion of all requirements, students will be awarded the Certificate in Sexological Bodywork (CSB) or, in the second year, the Certificate of Somatic Sexual Education (CSSE) by The Sea School of Embodiment.
Graduates from this professional training can become members of The Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers (ACSB), the Somatic Sex Educators’ Association of Australasia (SSEAA) and apply for membership of the Association of Somatic and Integrative Sexologists (ASIS).
This course is recognised in the UK by The Association of Somatic and Integrative Sexologists as offering a training of sufficient depth for practitioners to be eligible for insurance for their work. See the-asis.org for more details.
We recommend these recent publications in somatic sex education: