Think of how different it would be if we were taught to identify that which we desire and how to receive sexual pleasure: the world would be a much happier place.

But how do we get our clients there?

Being a Certified Sex Coach and clinical sexologist, I work with many who have a challenging time with the concept of pleasure. It can feel uncomfortable for some; for others, they’re just numb or closed off from it. As sex coaches, we know how important pleasure is to a healthy sex life. In this article, I want to share how we can use receptivity and desire as key tools to help our clients learn to experience pleasure.

Receiving Pleasure

I’ve worked with many women in particular over the years who grew up with a deep shame around their bodies (mostly from religion and mainstream media), so the concept of being able to receive pleasure from touching their bodies, no matter who does the touching, whether it’s themselves or another, is challenging. Many of my clients’ bodies are numb for one reason or another (including my own many moons ago), how could they take the time to feel pleasure or even know where to begin?

Before someone opens up to pleasure, it’s important that they evaluate their concept of the word receive. What does it mean to receive anyway? Google says “to receive” means to be given, presented or paid (something). On etymology.com, the origin of “receive” comes from the 14th century Middle English word receiven, meaning “take into one’s possession, accept possession of.” 

My understanding of the word receive is connected directly to pleasure. To me, I see receiving as opening up to feeling with your senses: we cannot really feel pleasure unless we use our senses, a concept I learned from my time studying Tantra with Psalm Isadora. I’m referring not only to our physical senses, but our other energetic senses too. 

We are not taught how important it is for us to receive at all, let alone to receive pleasure. 

Using the Senses to Identify Desire

Before we dive into the pleasure of the senses, I think it’s also important to teach our clients about desire. There is sexual desire and non-sexual desire. Desire is in everything: plants desire water and sun, humans desire air to breathe, food to eat, a shelter to sleep under. It’s easiest for most clients to start with talking about non-sexual desire. Again I start at the beginning and have them look at “desire” on etymology.com, which comes from the late 14 century plesire, and means “a source of enjoyment, pleasing quality or thing, that which pleases or gratifies the senses or the mind,” and from the Old French plesir or plaisir, meaning “enjoyment, delight, desire, will.” 

From examining desire from a non-sexual desire perspective, we then shift and talk about receiving desire from a sexual one. Many of my clients have rarely thought about that which they desire sexually. Once the pleasure door is opened up for them, many of them love it because they’ve never thought they could ask for what they want in bed. They then see that if they can ask exactly for the food they want, what clothes to wear that make them feel sexy, to do whatever they desire, then YES they can ask for what they want in bed! It is the AHA! moment for many of my clients.

Once they are in the space of their AHA! moment, I bring it all together into this equation: 

Receiving + Desire = Pleasure. 

I usually work with clients for six months and during that time I have them look at how their sexuality and sensuality is reflected in their honoring of self, their self expression, their desires and their relationship between themselves and others. We do this through the lens of receiving, pleasure, and desire. Through the use of Intentional Creativity (either a form of art journaling or a painting), sensual movement, breathwork, and developing their intuition, I help my clients learn or relearn about self love, self expression, and desire. 

Through the time I work with clients, we slowly dissolve the numbness and shame (often so much shame) so that they can feel all of their body’s joy and be present to how they feel in their hearts; in doing so, they are eventually able to experience great joy and bliss during sex. 

So my advice to anyone reading this is to develop receiving your own pleasure as a sex coach, then teach this to your clients. It’s so important that we practice what is the foundation of our coaching. If you or your clients don’t know where to start, I’d recommend starting with yourself. Learn what makes you feel good, then pursue a conversation with yourself and your lover(s).