What is a safe space for sexual and intimate development?
In order to answer the question, it is useful to delve deeper into the concept of “ethics”.
The word ‘ethics’ is derived from the Greek word – ETHOS – meaning; custom, a set of moral principles to which we must act accordingly when we hold a position of influence on another or a situation.
When we come to define Professional ethics, we need to ask ourselves; What is the appropriate, responsible act that considers my influence on the other?
To my understanding, the most important insight is that as facilitators in Self-development workshops or as therapists, we have a significant impact on the people who come to learn and go through processes with us.
The relational space between a client and his/ her therapist or facilitator is not a normal relationship, although fundamentally it is of course a human relationship.
The natural structure in a therapeutic and educational relational field often times has a wide array of emotional projections at play.
A therapeutic structure has a clear differentiation between the role of the therapist and the role of the patient. It has hierarchy and authority.
A therapist-patient relationship contains the potential for healing, for relief and positive development, but it also has the possibility for exploitation, abuse of power and harm.
Our genitals are the most vulnerable and sensitive to touch, hence the domain of sexuality is the most vulnerable and sensitive part of us all.
This means that as sexual and intimate therapists / facilitators, our Professional Ethics must consider this dual complexity:
- Deepening into sexual energy is working directly with the vitality of life force and it evokes powerful feelings of both pleasure and pain.
- There is an authoritative influence that exists in therapeutic and educational relationships.
In my understanding, the professional responsibility lies first and foremost with the therapist/facilitator – and secondary to that with the participant who chooses to come to the workshop, or to a specific therapist.
When a person enters a therapeutic space, the person’s pain follows suit, at this tender moment the person is in a weaker position than the therapist. There is also a monetary exchange, and by the very structure of therapeutic relationship, the therapist holds power in her / his hands.
The question is what do we choose to do with this power?
We can channel it into a beneficial healing power, or if our professional ethics are not aligned, out of ignorance, a blind spot or lack of experience, we can hurt the person and ergo ourselves.
It is important for me to emphasise that any harm inflicted on another is always mutual; If my ethics are not aligned with the present situation and I don’t respect my patient’s/student’s personal space and I cross the line, I will harm myself as well as my patient. In every sexual and emotional abuse there are always two people that are harmed.
I feel that I am touching here on vulnerable and sensitive point both for those who turn to receive sexual treatments therapy and for those who provide them, as well as for those who guide and participate in workshops in the sexual field.
What do you think about yoni massage (vulva) and lingam (penis) massage as a therapeutic method?
I believe that in today’s age, yoni and lingam massage have their place in personal or couple training as tools for self-exploration only.
At the current times which we live in, there is openness, availability, and opportunities to meet people in our daily lives and so to create intimate, personal sexual experiences for ourselves.
When the root of a relationship is based on our common humanity and friendship without monetary exchange,
it is natural and appropriate in an intimate and friendly space to learn more about intimate gentile massage, to bring healing to the painful places.
In the absence of monetary exchange, there exists an equal position
between the receiver and the giver.
In Intimate sexual massage training, I see importance and significance for female facilitators to train women and for male facilitators to train men.
In treatment methods that allow and include genitals touched by the therapist as a built-in part of the treatment, the harm is also directly built-in the treatment method.
It is crucial to emphasise again that in any sexual and emotional abuse, both parties are harmed.
To summarize the question of What is a safe space for sexual development –
My answer is that a safe space for sexual-intimate-emotional healing is a space where Professional Ethics of the therapist or facilitator are transparently discussed, they protect and guard with the highest care the patients/participants.
There are many more questions worth listening to in the same context, such as –
What is sexual therapy?
In this stage in the evolution of sexuality, is intimate genital contact provided by therapists is a necessary requirement for healing?
What will help us connect to our inner authority and know how to choose what is truly safe for us?
I have been accompanying people in sexual, intimate, and emotional development and healing processes for over ten years. In my formal profession I am a social worker and a graduate of psychology studies.
It is through my own personal healing journey and in good faith that I became a sexual and intimate therapist.
I began by asking myself questions about feminine sexuality, body awareness and deep listening. The more I healed the unintegrated wounds of the past, the more I heard the inner call to share the knowledge with the world.
At first, I only worked with women, over time, I also began to work with men, couples, and groups.
I write all this, not as a self-testimony, but rather to convey that everything written here is based on a great deal of professional and personal experience, internal investigation, and constant learning. I have over ten thousand hours of therapy and teaching of individuals and groups, a wide variety of encounters with professionals from all over the world in the field of sexuality, and last but not least a daily reflection on questions of morality, love and ethics.
My Professional Ethics are:
- Trust –
A safe space for a healing journey may including a healing touch but no genital touch.
- Honesty –
There is permission to talk about everything / UNPORN
- Emotional Responsibility –
Nudity is not predetermined
- Request; Self-healing as a way of life –
As a therapist I am committed to my own healing as long as I accompany and care of others.
Thank you for walking together in this journey.