“What led you to become a sex coach?” It’s a question I’ve been asked many times before, but something about his eyes made me want to share the whole story.
I often talk about how I started reading Dan Savage at a young age and that I was fortunate to grow up in a sex-positive household where oral sex was discussed at the dinner table (much to the surprise of guests). I recount my university days when my Women’s Studies professors ordered textbooks from Venus Envy, a feminist sex shop that allowed me to explore the world of vibrators and handcuffs.
But this is only part of the story.
What I share less often is that one of the first times I had a sex I had a g-spot orgasm and I was convinced I had peed the bed. I didn’t know what had happened and I was angry that my body had betrayed me. I spent years suppressing pleasure, filled with shame, and believing something was wrong with me.
Through talking to clients and friends, I have learned that almost everyone has some version of this story – a fear that their body and their desires are not “normal.” So they hold back. Whether it’s the cultural representation of what sexy looks like (which is a very narrow definition), religious messages, or hurtful words from a partner, at some point we’ve been taught that we’re not okay just as we are. So we protect ourselves in the only way we know how – we disconnect.
I believe that how we show up in the bedroom is how we show up in life.
What led me to the field of sexuality is my belief in the power of unraveling that story and allowing ourselves to be fully seen. I know for myself how healing it was the first time a partner asked “what do you like” and actually waited for the answer. He wanted to touch me how I like to be touched. He wanted to know my unique body. I’ll never forget the first time a man said, “you’re on your period? Cool. I’ll grab a towel”. Or the night when I shared that (like many women) I can’t orgasm from intercourse alone and without missing a beat, my partner grabbed a vibrator.
While I continue to be passionate about sex toys, lube, and feminist porn, what has become clear to me is that sexual empowerment coaching isn’t just about having more orgasms (although, that’s a pretty fantastic side effect!)
What brings me to tears when I’m with clients is hearing “I didn’t realize how much this was affecting me… “
We’re taught to compartmentalize sex and see it as this separate thing. But if you’re holding back from experiencing pleasure with yourself and/or a partner, where else is that hesitation showing up for you? How does that fear of rejection, that fear of not “getting it right”, that fear of “asking for too much” play out in your work life and in your relationships?
There’s a ripple effect. Once you believe that you deserve to have your needs met, there’s no going back.
One of my favourite things about running group workshops is that moment when someone shares their experience and I see the shift in everyone’s body as they realize, they’re not alone. We live in a society that talks about sex all the time and yet we never really talk about sex. We never hear the vulnerable stories about how sex can be messy and complicated and emotional. So we create our own narrative that somehow if our body and our desires don’t fit the narrow definition of what’s “normal”, something is wrong with us.
In a recent session with my coach, I was asked what I want my legacy to be. What I long for is for every person to experience being fully seen and worthy of love just as they are.
This was the answer I gave to my date. Rather than my usual sound bite filled with humorous one-liners like “I get to test dildos for a living”, I chose to share the nuanced, complicated, and vulnerable story that lies beneath my “why”. I'm glad I did, because it inspired me to share that story here, where I can remind others that whatever your story is, you are not alone. And more than that, you have authorship over the ending.
If you have a story about your sexual life that you would like witnessed, I hope you'll consider sharing it with me. You can reach out by email, or you can share it with me on the phone by booking a twenty minute free coaching session. I look forward to seeing what possibilities may emerge on the other side.
~ Kim Sedgwick
Kim & Amy Sedgwick love to discuss sex, periods, and all the other things we’re not supposed to talk about. The co-founders of Red Tent Sisters, they’ve been featured in every major Canadian news outlet and have become a trusted resource for people seeking natural (effective!) birth control, a more joyful sex life, and an empowered journey to motherhood