Sex coaching is a new approach to dealing with sexual and related relationship issues. Sex coaches not only help their clients overcome problems such as sexless marriage and sexual dysfunction, they also guide them to realize their full sexual potential through education and expansion.

History of Sex Coaching

While what we understand as sex coaching today is a relatively new professional field, individuals and couples have sought help in the bedroom for as long as recorded history. One need look no further than the Kama Sutra – the ancient Hindu guide to sexual pleasure – or passages in the old testament that detail expectations of sexual pleasure within marriage.

Seeking sexual help and advice from religious figures remains a practice in certain cultures to this day. On the other hand, it was the stigma certain religions attached to some sexual acts and desires, taken up by Victorian society at large, that would eventually pave the way for the need for sex therapy and, eventually, sex coaching.

Though in Victorian society, sex was supposed to be practiced purely for its procreative potential, many have noted the contributions of Sigmund Freud in emphasizing the general importance of sex in relationship to mental health. While psychoanalysis did much to deepen the understanding of sex, it is not a surprise that the emerging field of psychoanalysis initially sought to “cure” or treat sexual desires that were outside the norms of societal expectations.

The field of modern sex coaching can trace its roots to the early 1970’s when several sexologists, clinicians, and researchers felt that neither traditional sex therapy nor the more scientific approach of sexology fully addressed the broad set of challenges people face around their sexuality. As a result, clinical sexology was founded. Clinical sexology combined the knowledge of sexology and the tools of sex therapy to a number of new approaches. The most famous of these approaches was the PLISSIT model, developed by Jack Annon in 1976. The PLISSIT is a four-step process to help clients face whatever challenges they had around sexuality. These steps included permission (P), limited information (LI), specific suggestions (SS), and intensive therapy (IT).

In response to the coaching revolution of the 1980s, these same sexologists and other sexuality teachers began to realize there were lots of people needing information and practical help around their sex lives that did not require psychotherapy or medical intervention – and thus, sex coaching was born. As sex coaching became more widespread, two main branches formed – talk-based sex coaching and experiential sex coaching.

In talk-based sex coaching, the coach talks with you and then offers suggestions and homework. A sex coach who practices the PLISSIT model is an example of a talk-based sex coach. In experiential sex coaching, your coach will guide you through learning practices in the coaching office, giving feedback and direction as you go. A Somatica Sex and Relationship Coach is an example of an experiential sex coach.

Sex Coaching Goes Deeper

Sex coaching can go beyond the limits of therapy to help clients find a full menu of exciting and pleasurable erotic experiences. In the United States and most, if not all, other countries, a majority of people are having mediocre sex lives. Because sex has been so shamed and there is very little qualified education around it, people are often unable to find their full sexual expression.

A well-trained and certified sex coach has taken the time to learn the keys to an amazing sex life – and they probably aren’t what you think. The information about sex found in traditional media and on the internet can be very difficult to sort through and so much of it is just plain bad advice. For example, hot tips from a magazine might tell you that your sexless marriage can be solved with a date night, some new sex toys, or a vacation in the tropics. While any of these may be helpful, at least temporarily, it is only because they might align with one of your deeper desires.

To really get to the bottom of what you want and create lasting changes in your relationship to your sexuality and with your partner, there is often deeper, more nuanced exploration necessary. Tackling this journey is much more efficient with an experienced sex coach on your side.

Think about it – if you want to get a sculpted body, you hire a personal trainer. If you want your marketing to be better, you hire a marketing consultant. If you want to be a great lover, why wouldn’t you hire a sex coach?


How Does A Sex Coach Work With Clients?

A sex coach may help you in many different ways, but most sex coaches will take you through the following basic, universal steps:

  1. Identify goals – first, your coach will try to find out what it is you want to gain from the work.
  2. Understand the basics – second, they will want to gain an understanding of the possible reasons you are having difficulty and get a sense for your motives for change. This is an extremely important step and can be quite nuanced.For example, a client might come into a session seeking to become an amazing lover, but it turns out they have ridiculously high standards for themselves. If a sex coach tried to help them meet those standards, they would actually do the client a disservice. A good sex coach will instead be able to tell the client what pathway will result in longer lasting success based on their assessment.
  3. Map the pathway – next, your sex coach will map the pathway of transformation. At this point, they may also offer you some idea of the pathway to help you reach your goals. You may be someone who really likes to know as much as possible what is going to happen in advance, or you may be more interested in going with the flow. This will be something you and your coach can talk about.
  4. Begin interventions – each sex coaching modality will have a different way of helping you learn and grow around your sexuality. They might talk with you and normalize your feelings and desires to relieve shame. They might give you practical advice around sexual activities such as when to use lube or how to integrate a vibrator into your sex life. They might offer you exercises you can do in the office. They might offer you videos to watch, books to read, or homework to do.
  5. Support implementation – as you are learning new ways of thinking and new sexual skills, your sex coach will support you in bringing those skills into your world and integrating them into your daily life. They may take you on field trips, or check in to make sure you’ve started acting on some of your plans for change. If you are having problems integrating, they should examine your obstacles and offer new interventions.
  6. Celebrate and Graduate – throughout the process, your sex coach will help you celebrate each new shift you make. Changing old habits can be really difficult and it is important to fully honor each new, courageous step you take. Once you have met your goals, the final celebration will be your graduation session where you can look back on all you have accomplished with pride and joy.


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Danielle Harel
Danielle Harel, PhD is the Co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the Co-Founder of the Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in Sunnyvale, where she supports her clients in having amazing sex and relationships as well as passion-fueled lives. She has published original research on Orgasmic Birth and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Danielle Has her Masters in Clinical Social Work From Haifa University in Israel and her PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS). She is a Clinical Sexologist and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker. Danielle is a Certified Body Positive Facilitator and took many trainings in embodied and mindfulness based therapeutic approaches such as Hakomi.