Sexual wellness is a buzzword often thrown around in conversations surrounding sex and sexuality. But what exactly is sexual wellness? How do we define it as sex coaches, and how can we use the concept in a way that is pleasure-focused and expansive for our clients?
The term sexual wellness is sometimes used to address the downfalls of one’s sexual experiences. A quick Google search of the term will immediately deliver a long list of advertisements and product suggestions to help ease some bodily problems or grant some otherwise unattainable sexual pleasure. It seems the underlying narrative is telling us something is wrong, you need to change, and through buying these products, you too can obtain the elusive badge of being sexually well.
But what does it mean to be sexually well? Following Dr. Patti’s MEBES© model, sexual wellness encompasses the mental, energetic, physical, emotional, and spiritual realms of our sexual experiences. It’s a state of balance and harmony between these realms and it affects more than just the sex we’re having.
As sex coaches, we can shift the narrative and apply it to the MEBES© model in order to promote the overall empowerment of our clients.
Pleasure-Focused Sexual Wellness
When working on sexual wellness with clients, it’s important to remain pleasure-focused.
A client’s pleasure is a huge part of their sexual wellness. And this means so much more than just orgasm. Pleasure encompasses the stimulation of the senses, warmth, gratitude, and the vast diversity of sensations within a sexual experience.
When working on balancing the different realms of one’s sexuality—access to pleasure is the goal. It is fundamental to positive experiences. The World Congress of Sexual Health has declared that pleasure is a sexual right. Because of this, pleasure should be prioritized when working through concerns with clients.
How can you circle back to the client’s own goals, wishes, and desires? How can you affirm the things that bring them pleasure, or grant them the permission they need to indulge in those things?
Pleasure is at the forefront when talking about sexual wellness. It is not an afterthought, or a byproduct–but a key component and the main focus. All of the elements of sexual wellness work toward promoting a more empowered and pleasured client.
Expansive Sexual Wellness
Sexual wellness should be expansive, in that a client’s own definition should allow for them to evolve, grow, and change. Rather than a clearly defined goal to meet, sexual wellness should be a journey for them to take and it should allow them to discover new things about themselves on the way.
There are no clear-cut stipulations that define a sexually-well person. Rather, it’s the state of balance between different areas of one’s own personal experiences. As sex coaches, we shouldn’t project our own definitions or preconceived ideas on our clients about what sexual wellness looks like. What we think is balanced and well might not be congruent with what our client thinks. It’s important to leave our own ideas and beliefs at the door, and keep our focus on the client’s journey toward their own empowerment.
Allowing our clients to define their own conception of what it means to be sexually well opens up the space for them to work toward these goals.
It’s also important to note that a client’s ideas of what it means to be sexually well for them may very well shift and change as they evolve as a person. This is good! It means their horizons are opening up. Their own components of sexual wellness might expand, shift, and change over time to accommodate their own evolution. This is how sexual wellness can be used in an expansive way.
Using MEBES© to Shift the Paradigm Around Sexual Wellness
The MEBES© model distinguishes between the elements of the mind, energy, body, emotions, and spirit. These are all elements of our sexual selves, and applying wellness principles to each of these states can help us conceptualize this idea in a more well-rounded and less ambiguous way.
Wellness in this area might look like clear and positive thoughts surrounding sex, an empowering “story” about one’s seuxal experiences, or the ability to let go of one’s monkey mind during intimate and sensation-based experiences. It’s going to heavily involve thoughts and narratives that influence our sexual lives.
Wellness in this area looks like the free-flowing of energy. It might involve the moving of energy throughout your body, or the intimate exchanges of two people. Energy influences so much about sex, especially when it comes to partnered experiences. When energy is blocked and cannot flow freely, it can hinder other areas of your client’s sexual lives.
Wellness in this area involves physical wellness. Because the actual act of sex happens with the body, promoting wellness here is important. This might look like resting, staying hydrated, and taking general care of your vessel. When our bodies are not taken care of, other areas of our lives are affected.
Wellness in this area involves allowing and processing all emotions. It might look like releasing shame or feelings of inadequacy. Allowing emotions to surface and then pass without judgment will help your clients feel more balanced.
Wellness in the Spirit involves recognizing, naming, and honoring your sense of self. This will be highly personal, but for all clients, you can emphasize a relationship with their essence, or spiritual sides.
Sexual wellness is a broad and vast term that can be found all over the internet and used for different purposes. But as sex coaches, our focus is always on our empowering our clients. We can use sexual wellness to move their journey forward in a way that is pleasure-focused, client-centered, and expansive.
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