Updated: Jul 11
Words that were banded about amongst colleagues of mine with complete indifference, no charge, no discomfort when I did my training to be a Sex, Love & Relationship Coach.
For me, it wasn’t always like that. Part of my journey was leaning into the discomfort around what I do, how I help people and the language I use. During my training to be a Sex, Love & Relatioship coach I was constantly being challenged to look at my own conditioning.
Let me explain…
1) During my training there were a few people on the course who mentioned to me that they were uncomfortable with telling people the ‘sex’ part of what they do. As in, telling friends and family that the coaching is not just for love and relationships but coaching around sex. When asking for my advice or opinion, I suggested they could just mention the love and relationship part if they felt more comfortable with that.
2) A couple of people who felt uncomfortable with the word ‘pussy’ when asked my opinion I said it didn’t make much difference to me but I like yoni because it was more sensual.
3) In the VITA coaching method we use self-pleasure (as in masturbation) as a kind of bridge between trauma (small t) with pleasure. So in effect rewiring the nervous system to learn that a situation brings pleasure instead of pain. Right at the beginning I remember thinking to myself, and had planned on asking the teachers, how to know if someone feels comfortable with that type of ‘practice’ or ‘home assignment’ between coaching sessions.
…And then I realised. The not dealing with and facing these areas of my training, were in fact my own discomfort. *cue shock horror emoticon*. I had been hiding it from myself. It was something that I had not been facing in myself.
Let’s look at each one individually…
1) When asked by my peers for advice, the ‘correct’ advice should have been to ask questions to help them understand where their concerns were arising from. Questions such as ‘what is it about the sex aspect you don’t feel comfortable with?’, ‘do you know where your fears come from in relation to the judgement you are concerned you will receive from your new career?’ ‘Have there been situations in the past where you have felt uncomfortable regarding this topic?’ ‘Is this possibly an opportunity for growth?’
With affirmations such as ‘this will be great to be able to relate to others who feel this discomfort as you overcome it yourself, this is such a great area for growth, this is a great opportunity to use the tools we’ve been given on the course to explore this independently and find what works for you.’
2) So, I hadn’t realised I had an issue with the word ‘pussy’ until I had to say it during a practicum. In the coaching aspect of our course we had to coach our peers in what’s called a practicum. And when referring to a safe place in her body, one of my peers said ‘pussy’. So I had to say it back to her as we are advised to mirror words the client uses.
If you look through at this article here, you will see my post about my discomfort when I first started saying the words ‘I love you’. Well the word ‘pussy’ stumbled out of my mouth like the words ‘I love you’ when I first learnt to say them.
Like I was chewing my lips and tongue.
Like I had marbles in my mouth.
What about you? Say it out loud. How do you feel when saying it? Can you drop it in conversation with someone casually (to a friend maybe, your grandma may not be quite ready for that yet!)
Another point I’d like to add about this is that when we packed up and sold our home, out of all the books on our course we were recommended to buy, the only one which I didn’t bring to my parents' house was ‘Pussy; A reclamation’ - which is basically, as the title suggests reclaiming the word ‘pussy’. Not bringing the book was an act of the unconscious maybe? A revelation of the shadow perhaps? And as always in these situations, one must make the unconscious, conscious. One must get uncomfortable to heal. So once I got all my books back from the removal company the first one I read was ‘Pussy: A Reclamation’ - I had to confront my shadow.
3) Regarding using self-pleasure as a tool, I realised I had felt uncomfortable discussing that with anyone outside of the course. Men talk about self-pleasure. They joke about it. It’s sort of, ‘normal’. Women? I don’t think I had ever talked to my friends about self-pleasure. In fact, the first time I talked with anyone about this was on the course. The first time I told my husband that I self-pleasure was when I started my training - and we had been married 10 years and together 15 years at the time. There was definitely shame there. Discomfort. Do other women do it? Or is it just those of us who decide to do the VITA coaching course? Self-pleasuring itself didn’t bring up any shame for me, however admitting I did it and talking about it did.
So there I was, being shown where my growth was. What areas of my sexuality I needed to work on.
So what did I learn?
The general theme running throughout was ‘being seen’. Being seen as a sexual being. I wanted to be accepted for being a sexual being. I wanted to feel safe to express myself without judgement. I wanted to feel loved for talking about subjects which aren’t your everyday but we all take part in. I wanted to feel like I would still belong; for talking about sex, using the word ‘pussy’ and for talking about self-pleasure.
So during the practicums my ‘goal’, my ‘desire’ that my peers coached me on was…
"To step unapologetically into my authentic sexual expression of Self."
And did I get there? Yes I did!
Because when we make a commitment to see where our discomfort is and confront it with lots of love and acceptance about why it was there, this is where we begin to really make a difference to who we are and how we behave.
And everyday I take a look back at how far I’ve come. How much I’ve grown. And it gives me a kind of sense of peace with all the growing I’ve still yet to do.
Because I know I can overcome it. I know I will get to the next stage.
I just need to trust the process.
And in case you missed it…
Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at email@example.com.