What is an Intimacy Coach?

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An intimacy coach is someone who strives to help you feel safer and more comfortable being close to an intimate partner. Comfort with intimacy in a relationship is something most people learn as children. Unfortunately, many grow up without positive experiences around physical or emotional closeness. And so they don’t feel safe engaging in that as adults.

To help you practice with different kinds of closeness, the intimacy coach teaches you to feel safe. They tutor you on how to experience increased comfort with close connection. There are two main kinds of intimacy that a coach can guide you in: sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy.

Intimacy Coaching Starts with the Foundations of Vulnerability

Comfort with intimacy needs to be built from the ground up. By addressing issues like attachment wounds, your intimacy coach teaches you to get your bearings and begin to relax into an intimate connection. Intimacy coaches also work through deepening embodiment, increasing presence, and enhancing emotional awareness.

Addressing Attachment Wounds

Attachment wounds are caused by inconsistent, intrusive, or absent caregivers. Working with attachment is never about blaming parents. If your parents were not good caregivers, it’s likely because they did not have good role models themselves. Working on attachment is healing the history of disconnection in your family.

An intimacy coach helps transform your experience of attachment. First, they offer a non-judgmental, supportive, and consistent connection. They listen carefully and attune to your needs and feelings in a way that your caregivers could not. In some modalities, like the Somatica Method or cuddle therapy, you can practice with cuddling and holding so you feel warm and safe in physical connection.

Practicing Embodiment

You might have trouble relaxing into intimacy because you are disconnected from your body. You are used to spending most of your time thinking through problems, instead of feeling and enjoying sensations.

An intimacy coach can teach you embodiment practices including breathwork, movement, and play. These will all help you feel more free and relaxed in your body.

Cultivating Presence

Intimacy can only happen in the present moment. Yet so many people spend their time anxiously going over past experiences, or living in the future.

Intimacy coaching works to correct this anxiety by guiding you into present-moment interactions. Presence is also cultivated through breath, and noticing sensations and emotions in the moment.

Emotional Awareness

To have deeper connectedness, you need to be able to share your feelings. Before you can share feelings, however, it is essential that you have an idea of what you are feeling. Many people have learned to disconnect from their feelings, fearing their emotions will be shamed.

An intimacy coach will encourage you to notice your feelings – even if they are subtle and distant – guiding you into experiments where you learn to tune in more deeply to your emotional world.

intimacy coach

Physical and Sexual Intimacy

An intimacy coach helps you with sexual closeness in many ways.

One of them is by practicing to get more tuned into pleasurable sensations. They might direct you to experiment with different kinds of self-touch or with sensing different textures, flavors, and sounds. If it is within the boundaries of the method they are using, your coach might offer you sensual touch and help you relax, receive, and enjoy touch. They might also have you touch them back, and focus on how good it feels to caress.

Intimacy coaches also teach understanding of your turn-ons and help you get over shame you may have about these desires. Once you are more aware of your turn-ons and feel good about them, you can be more confident and comfortable in intimate situations.

Finally, to increase sexual intimacy, your coach assists in your sharing about your sexual needs – in terms of sensations and turn-ons before, during, and after sexual experiences.

Emotional Intimacy

Your intimacy coach not only counsels you on your physical needs, they also tend to your emotional needs. To become more emotionally intimate, your coach teaches you to share feelings with your partner (and others in your life). These feeling can include sentiments about your partner such as “I love you” or “You are so important to me.” You can share appreciations like “It means so much to me that you planned a trip for us”, or “You are the best girlfriend/boyfriend ever!”

In addition to instructing you on positive feelings, your intimacy coach also helps you share your fears with another person. To attain interpersonal intimacy, you need to let your partner see the parts of yourself you are frightened will not be accepted. People fear intimacy because they are scared if another person gets too close, they will see all the unacceptable parts and reject them. The more you share and are accepted, the less shame you will have, and the more you can relax and enjoy intimacy.

Finally, an intimacy coach guides you to be less defensive about your shortcomings. Every human has amazing strengths and challenging shortcomings. If you can accept your shortcomings and acknowledge them, you can be closer to people because you don’t always have to be on the defensive. Admitting one’s shortcomings positions you to have a much better chance of dealing with them directly and opens you up to profound and intimate connections without worrying.

intimacy coach teaches hugging

Is Working with an Intimacy Coach Right for You?

Do you want to feel closer to people and less self-conscious in your interactions? Do you want to practice emotional or erotic intimacy? Then engaging with a coach might be a good idea.

While you may think of the capacity for intimacy as something a person has or doesn’t have, the truth is that it can be learned at any age. Working with an intimacy coach can be fun and rewarding, and you can also practice with experiences that take you out of your comfort zone.

How to Choose an Intimacy Coach

In choosing an intimacy coach, you should decide on a specific modality you feel would fit you best.

  1. A Somatica Coach can work with all types of intimacy and sexual dysfunction issues.
  2. A Cuddlist works with physical intimacy and boundaries.
  3. A Surrogate Partner can only be accessed through a recommendation from a licensed therapist. A sex surrogate works with sexual intimacy and communication.

Whoever you choose – make sure you feel they are always checking in on and respecting your boundaries. If there is ever something you don’t feel ready for, make sure you tell your coach right away so they can take the coaching to a comfortable pace for you. There is no need to push yourself too hard in this arena – taking your time and respecting your own pace will actually help the work go faster in the long run because you will be able to stay present and not shut down.

Ready to find the right coach for you?

You can also change your life and explore intimacy in a group setting. You can do it with the Somatica Personal Growth Course.

If you love helping others around intimacy and relationships, you can get trained and become an Intimacy Coach Yourself!


Find a professional sex coach near you or by expertise now.

Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschmanhttps://www.somaticainstitute.com/faculty/celeste-hirschman/
Celeste Hirschman is the is the co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the co-founder of the Somatica® Institute. She received an MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University, and a BA in Women’s Students from UCSC.

In her teaching and coaching, Celeste routinely draws on her extensive training in attachment psychology, sociology, gender studies, and body-based modalities like Hakomi. She uses these embodied learning principles to help students and clients tap into their own somatic wisdom, deepen their experiences of pleasure, and realize their full personal and professional potential.

A prolific writer, Celeste researched and published a defining paper on adolescent sexuality development in 2006, during her tenure at SFSU’s Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality.

Since then, she has co-authored 3 books with Danielle Harel: Cockfidence, Making Love Real, and Coming Together. She writes frequently and is generally the first expert journalists turn to for quotes and information on sex, dating, and relationships.

No matter what she does – whether she is co-producing the sex-coaching-based TV series Here She Comes, or teaching at the legendary Esalen Institute – Celeste always brings her unconditional love, scintillating presence, erotic energy, and insight to every part of her work.

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