What is Somatic Sexology?

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While sexology is the study of sex, somatic sexology is one branch that uses a more embodied approach. Somatic literally means “of the body” and somatic sexology attempts to bridge the mind-body split to help people have more fulfilling sex lives.

What is the Mind-Body Split?

In modern culture, and especially in industrialized nations, so much of the way we work and interact is mental as opposed to physical. Modern society places a high value on the ability to think and reason, and often looks down on emotions. We are taught to control and overcome the desires of the body. All of this results in a separation and sometimes even a tense relationship between one’s mind and body.

In order to have meaningful sex and a more holistic and enjoyable life, it is very important to be in touch with your emotions and your body’s sensations. Somatic sexology – and all other somatic practices – attempt to heal this divide and bring the mind and body in to connection, communication and harmony.

The Methods of Somatic Sexology

Somatic sexology is a diverse field which can include practitioners schooled in multiple types of modalities. Practitioners may have training in somatic approaches to sex coaching, psychology, education, and counseling. They may also be trained as massage therapists, sexual surrogates, or energy workers.

The goal of somatic sexology is to help people feel their sex lives more fully and profoundly. A somatic sexologist uses a couple of different methods to achieve this goal of healing the mind-body division – the main one being physical practices such as breathwork, movement, and touch.

Touch modalities used are generally practices of emotional connection and intimacy – therapeutic massage, sensual massage, erotic massage, or surrogate partner therapy. These methods can also include energetic work such as tantra, shamanism, or Taoist approaches.

In the same way another practitioner will use talk therapy, somatic sexologists sometimes incorporate a talk-based approach in their somatic therapy methods. They verbally guide their clients to bringing more awareness to their body sensations and emotions, helping the mind acknowledge, attend to, and integrate what is happening in the body.

Interested in learning more? Read this in-depth article on Somatic Sexology, or

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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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