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Myisha Battle

Myisha Battle

Myisha Battle

Myisha Battle

Better sex. Better life.

Better sex. Better life.

Better sex. Better life.

Better-Sex-Anna_Nicolo-01

Interview by Inés Alcalá Freudenthal, Bisila Noha and Eve O'Sullivan, August 2017

Interview by Inés Alcalá Freudenthal, Bisila Noha and Eve O'Sullivan, August 2017

Myisha Battle is a certified coach and the woman behind the podcast Down For Whatever. She is based in the Bay Area, California. Her mission is to educate people and encourage them to talk more about their sexuality, which, as she says, leads to better outcomes for sexual health and deeper intimacy for partnerships. She firmly believes in the power of storytelling to empower people, and to think differently about their sexuality. We talked to her about her own sex education, and why too many women still aren’t having great sex.

Myisha Battle is a certified coach and the woman behind the podcast Down For Whatever. She is based in the Bay Area, California. Her mission is to educate people and encourage them to talk more about their sexuality, which, as she says, leads to better outcomes for sexual health and deeper intimacy for partnerships. She firmly believes in the power of storytelling to empower people, and to think differently about their sexuality. We talked to her about her own sex education, and why too many women still aren’t having great sex.

I grew up in Louisiana, which is part of the Bible Belt in the United States. That means that even though there is a separation between the church and state, there are a lot of religious undertones to the messaging that people get around sexuality. I saw teachers answer questions vaguely because they were afraid to talk it. For example, this guy once asked “how do gay men have sex?” and she responded “just as women have holes, men have holes, too”. That’s an example of how ill-equipped people were in my life. I remember thinking, this isn’t right – people have bodies, we are pleasure-seeking human beings, and I know that my peers are doing sexual things at this age and will be for the whole of their lives. This kind of message promotes the idea of being functionally sexual, and we are doing everybody a disservice by adhering to it.

I grew up in Louisiana, which is part of the Bible Belt in the United States. That means that even though there is a separation between the church and state, there are a lot of religious undertones to the messaging that people get around sexuality. I saw teachers answer questions vaguely because they were afraid to talk it. For example, this guy once asked “how do gay men have sex?” and she responded “just as women have holes, men have holes, too”. That’s an example of how ill-equipped people were in my life. I remember thinking, this isn’t right – people have bodies, we are pleasure-seeking human beings, and I know that my peers are doing sexual things at this age and will be for the whole of their lives. This kind of message promotes the idea of being functionally sexual, and we are doing everybody a disservice by adhering to it.

“People have bodies, we are pleasure-seeking human beings.”

“People have bodies, we are pleasure-seeking human beings.”

“People have bodies, we are pleasure-seeking human beings.”

“People have bodies, we are pleasure-seeking human beings.”

“People have bodies, we are pleasure-seeking human beings.”

I have always been someone who talks openly about sex. In doing so, I realized that the experiences I was having were far more positive than those of my peers. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I now believe that because I was super lucky to have had very communicative partners early on in my sexual development. I was able to own my sexuality and advocate for my personal pleasure in a way that is harder to get to if you’ve experienced trauma or had mostly negative sexual experiences.

Sexual expression is our birthright. Each one of us has a connection to a sexual self, even if that is the absence of sexual desire, as in asexuality. Despite this, we are told that other aspects of who we are as human beings are more important, more valuable. I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing. When you prioritize a part of yourself that has been diminished, there is a natural shift in all other aspects of your life. Sexual empowerment is actually all-powerful. I see this shift in my clients all the time.

I have always been someone who talks openly about sex. In doing so, I realized that the experiences I was having were far more positive than those of my peers. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I now believe that because I was super lucky to have had very communicative partners early on in my sexual development. I was able to own my sexuality and advocate for my personal pleasure in a way that is harder to get to if you’ve experienced trauma or had mostly negative sexual experiences.

Sexual expression is our birthright. Each one of us has a connection to a sexual self, even if that is the absence of sexual desire, as in asexuality. Despite this, we are told that other aspects of who we are as human beings are more important, more valuable. I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing. When you prioritize a part of yourself that has been diminished, there is a natural shift in all other aspects of your life. Sexual empowerment is actually all-powerful. I see this shift in my clients all the time.

I have always been someone who talks openly about sex. In doing so, I realized that the experiences I was having were far more positive than those of my peers. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I now believe that because I was super lucky to have had very communicative partners early on in my sexual development. I was able to own my sexuality and advocate for my personal pleasure in a way that is harder to get to if you’ve experienced trauma or had mostly negative sexual experiences.

Sexual expression is our birthright. Each one of us has a connection to a sexual self, even if that is the absence of sexual desire, as in asexuality. Despite this, we are told that other aspects of who we are as human beings are more important, more valuable. I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing. When you prioritize a part of yourself that has been diminished, there is a natural shift in all other aspects of your life. Sexual empowerment is actually all-powerful. I see this shift in my clients all the time.

“There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women.”

“There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women.”

“There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women.”

“There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women.”

“There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women.”

I work primarily with women, and have done a lot of research into female dissatisfaction. In my private practice, I see a lot of ‘type A’ millennial women who say, “you know what? I got such a good education on pretty much everything that I wanted to, except my dating and sex life.” And that’s the part that they are struggling with, and don’t know who to turn to; the part where they feel they are constantly hitting the same road blocks.
        I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized for so many historical and cultural reasons. The ramifications are that I see a lot of women who feel that they should be doing certain things a certain way, having a sexual experience that they are not having. These women are not being sexual. It’s not that they don’t have desire – it’s that within the context that they have found themselves in, there isn’t a lot of desire because of the situational constraints that they have been placed under. An example of that is being in a position where a man thinks that he should be the initiator all the time and constantly asking for sex, and a woman being the constant gatekeeper of her sexuality. That dynamic is very common, and it’s draining – to the point where women don’t want to have sex. It’s not that they don’t want to have sex with their partner, it’s that they are tired of having that ongoing discussion about it. It’s such a cultural norm for them to put up with it. There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women. I think the experience of sexual difficulties is similar, although it’s probably true that the desire to seek out help for a problem is higher on behalf of women. There is that social component that means women feel more encouraged to seek out help and support, whereas men have more barriers when is comes to getting help for certain issues to get to help.

The most common concern people come to me with is low desire. I also meet a lot of couples with mismatched desire, concerns with appearance, lack of dating experience and lack of sexual communication skills. And of course, there are a lot of people who really don’t know what they like, so I help them prioritize exploration. Low desire occurs for a lot of different reasons. When I actually sit down with clients and look and what their lives look like, it’s often very chaotic and very stressful. Women in particular are often working jobs and being the primary caregiver to not one, but sometimes three or four children. I had a client recently where she was working in an office, and then took a job to work freelance from home, for more money. She’s still working, and also the primary caretaker. All of a sudden, her husband has these expectations that just because she is home during the day, she is also responsible for all of the chores. And that’s a really rough intersection between women’s work and their sexual agency – the ability to be primary caregiver but just because they have the potential to be doesn’t mean that they should be.
         A lot of the things that I see with regards to women’s sexuality, and why they are not having the experiences they want, are a result of patriarchy. Their inability to see that they are the fish swimming in the water, and patriarchy is the water. So they can’t identify certain things that would affect whether or not they want to be sexual with their partner, when they are living in these structures that even their male partners are unaware of. A lot of my work is taking a look at that and asking “do you think this is fair? Do you feel you are being treated as an actual partner?” and then, “if you felt more like a partner, would you want to have sex with your man?” The answer to this question is usually yes.

I work primarily with women, and have done a lot of research into female dissatisfaction. In my private practice, I see a lot of ‘type A’ millennial women who say, “you know what? I got such a good education on pretty much everything that I wanted to, except my dating and sex life.” And that’s the part that they are struggling with, and don’t know who to turn to; the part where they feel they are constantly hitting the same road blocks.
       I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized for so many historical and cultural reasons. The ramifications are that I see a lot of women who feel that they should be doing certain things a certain way, having a sexual experience that they are not having. These women are not being sexual. It’s not that they don’t have desire – it’s that within the context that they have found themselves in, there isn’t a lot of desire because of the situational constraints that they have been placed under. An example of that is being in a position where a man thinks that he should be the initiator all the time and constantly asking for sex, and a woman being the constant gatekeeper of her sexuality. That dynamic is very common, and it’s draining – to the point where women don’t want to have sex. It’s not that they don’t want to have sex with their partner, it’s that they are tired of having that ongoing discussion about it. It’s such a cultural norm for them to put up with it. There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women. I think the experience of sexual difficulties is similar, although it’s probably true that the desire to seek out help for a problem is higher on behalf of women. There is that social component that means women feel more encouraged to seek out help and support, whereas men have more barriers when is comes to getting help for certain issues to get to help.

The most common concern people come to me with is low desire. I also meet a lot of couples with mismatched desire, concerns with appearance, lack of dating experience and lack of sexual communication skills. And of course, there are a lot of people who really don’t know what they like, so I help them prioritize exploration. Low desire occurs for a lot of different reasons. When I actually sit down with clients and look and what their lives look like, it’s often very chaotic and very stressful. Women in particular are often working jobs and being the primary caregiver to not one, but sometimes three or four children. I had a client recently where she was working in an office, and then took a job to work freelance from home, for more money. She’s still working, and also the primary caretaker. All of a sudden, her husband has these expectations that just because she is home during the day, she is also responsible for all of the chores. And that’s a really rough intersection between women’s work and their sexual agency – the ability to be primary caregiver but just because they have the potential to be doesn’t mean that they should be.
A lot of the things that I see with regards to women’s sexuality, and why they are not having the experiences they want, are a result of patriarchy. Their inability to see that they are the fish swimming in the water, and patriarchy is the water. So they can’t identify certain things that would affect whether or not they want to be sexual with their partner, when they are living in these structures that even their male partners are unaware of. A lot of my work is taking a look at that and asking “do you think this is fair? Do you feel you are being treated as an actual partner?” and then, “if you felt more like a partner, would you want to have sex with your man?” The answer to this question is usually yes.

I work primarily with women, and have done a lot of research into female dissatisfaction. In my private practice, I see a lot of ‘type A’ millennial women who say, “you know what? I got such a good education on pretty much everything that I wanted to, except my dating and sex life.” And that’s the part that they are struggling with, and don’t know who to turn to; the part where they feel they are constantly hitting the same road blocks.
I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized for so many historical and cultural reasons. The ramifications are that I see a lot of women who feel that they should be doing certain things a certain way, having a sexual experience that they are not having. These women are not being sexual. It’s not that they don’t have desire – it’s that within the context that they have found themselves in, there isn’t a lot of desire because of the situational constraints that they have been placed under. An example of that is being in a position where a man thinks that he should be the initiator all the time and constantly asking for sex, and a woman being the constant gatekeeper of her sexuality. That dynamic is very common, and it’s draining – to the point where women don’t want to have sex. It’s not that they don’t want to have sex with their partner, it’s that they are tired of having that ongoing discussion about it. It’s such a cultural norm for them to put up with it. There’s a general trend that occurs cross-culturally that men seek out help services far less than women. I think the experience of sexual difficulties is similar, although it’s probably true that the desire to seek out help for a problem is higher on behalf of women. There is that social component that means women feel more encouraged to seek out help and support, whereas men have more barriers when is comes to getting help for certain issues to get to help.

The most common concern people come to me with is low desire. I also meet a lot of couples with mismatched desire, concerns with appearance, lack of dating experience and lack of sexual communication skills. And of course, there are a lot of people who really don’t know what they like, so I help them prioritize exploration. Low desire occurs for a lot of different reasons. When I actually sit down with clients and look and what their lives look like, it’s often very chaotic and very stressful. Women in particular are often working jobs and being the primary caregiver to not one, but sometimes three or four children. I had a client recently where she was working in an office, and then took a job to work freelance from home, for more money. She’s still working, and also the primary caretaker. All of a sudden, her husband has these expectations that just because she is home during the day, she is also responsible for all of the chores. And that’s a really rough intersection between women’s work and their sexual agency – the ability to be primary caregiver but just because they have the potential to be doesn’t mean that they should be.
A lot of the things that I see with regards to women’s sexuality, and why they are not having the experiences they want, are a result of patriarchy. Their inability to see that they are the fish swimming in the water, and patriarchy is the water. So they can’t identify certain things that would affect whether or not they want to be sexual with their partner, when they are living in these structures that even their male partners are unaware of. A lot of my work is taking a look at that and asking “do you think this is fair? Do you feel you are being treated as an actual partner?” and then, “if you felt more like a partner, would you want to have sex with your man?” The answer to this question is usually yes.

“I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized.”

“I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized.”

“I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized.”

“I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized.”

“I think that female sexuality has been understudied, devalued and underemphasized.”

When I’m asked by clients how my sex coaching programme works, and how long it takes, the the answer is always the same: it’s really up to you. Typically when someone seeks out the help of a coach it’s pretty short term. But I say it’s up to you because coaching should feel like something that supports you, not something you have to do. And as a coach, it’s not only what I do in the session with them. An hour is a good chunk of time. But I also send an email follow-up with the assignments, and there’s an opportunity for feedback. I’ve had clients who want to see me every week, some that want to see me every other week, and others once a month, so they can really take in the advice and monitor their own progression. That’s the most valuable thing to people – having this record of what they’ve achieved. I like to let my clients steer the relationship. I feel people are used to – for every service they sign up to – having someone tell them “in ten weeks, your problem will be fixed.” I will never be that person. But people know that with me, they can discuss specific aspects of their life that they need support with, that they can’t get anywhere else.

When I’m assessing a client, I am looking an authentic expression of what that person wants, so there’s a lot of digging deep. A lot of my research is within the room with the client – getting to the bottom of what they actually want, as opposed to what it is that they have been told they should want. I see a lot of the same issues, but I see people dealing with them in many different ways. I’m also a big planner; coaching appeals to me because it’s like “so, you want to get to a place where your partner is ok with you going to a dungeon and having a kinky separate life from them, but right now you are in a committed monogamous relationship”. And I say, “ok, how do we get there? If that’s what you need to be happy, how do we get there?” Those steps along the way are different from person to person, and the relationship they are in. Sometimes that means leaving the relationship, and sometimes that means actually having a really uncomfortable conversation with your partner.

When I’m asked by clients how my sex coaching programme works, and how long it takes, the the answer is always the same: it’s really up to you. Typically when someone seeks out the help of a coach it’s pretty short term. But I say it’s up to you because coaching should feel like something that supports you, not something you have to do. And as a coach, it’s not only what I do in the session with them. An hour is a good chunk of time. But I also send an email follow-up with the assignments, and there’s an opportunity for feedback. I’ve had clients who want to see me every week, some that want to see me every other week, and others once a month, so they can really take in the advice and monitor their own progression. That’s the most valuable thing to people – having this record of what they’ve achieved. I like to let my clients steer the relationship. I feel people are used to – for every service they sign up to – having someone tell them “in ten weeks, your problem will be fixed.” I will never be that person. But people know that with me, they can discuss specific aspects of their life that they need support with, that they can’t get anywhere else.

When I’m assessing a client, I am looking an authentic expression of what that person wants, so there’s a lot of digging deep. A lot of my research is within the room with the client – getting to the bottom of what they actually want, as opposed to what it is that they have been told they should want. I see a lot of the same issues, but I see people dealing with them in many different ways. I’m also a big planner; coaching appeals to me because it’s like “so, you want to get to a place where your partner is ok with you going to a dungeon and having a kinky separate life from them, but right now you are in a committed monogamous relationship”. And I say, “ok, how do we get there? If that’s what you need to be happy, how do we get there?” Those steps along the way are different from person to person, and the relationship they are in. Sometimes that means leaving the relationship, and sometimes that means actually having a really uncomfortable conversation with your partner.

When I’m asked by clients how my sex coaching programme works, and how long it takes, the the answer is always the same: it’s really up to you. Typically when someone seeks out the help of a coach it’s pretty short term. But I say it’s up to you because coaching should feel like something that supports you, not something you have to do. And as a coach, it’s not only what I do in the session with them. An hour is a good chunk of time. But I also send an email follow-up with the assignments, and there’s an opportunity for feedback. I’ve had clients who want to see me every week, some that want to see me every other week, and others once a month, so they can really take in the advice and monitor their own progression. That’s the most valuable thing to people – having this record of what they’ve achieved. I like to let my clients steer the relationship. I feel people are used to – for every service they sign up to – having someone tell them “in ten weeks, your problem will be fixed.” I will never be that person. But people know that with me, they can discuss specific aspects of their life that they need support with, that they can’t get anywhere else.

When I’m assessing a client, I am looking an authentic expression of what that person wants, so there’s a lot of digging deep. A lot of my research is within the room with the client – getting to the bottom of what they actually want, as opposed to what it is that they have been told they should want. I see a lot of the same issues, but I see people dealing with them in many different ways. I’m also a big planner; coaching appeals to me because it’s like “so, you want to get to a place where your partner is ok with you going to a dungeon and having a kinky separate life from them, but right now you are in a committed monogamous relationship”. And I say, “ok, how do we get there? If that’s what you need to be happy, how do we get there?” Those steps along the way are different from person to person, and the relationship they are in. Sometimes that means leaving the relationship, and sometimes that means actually having a really uncomfortable conversation with your partner.

“I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency.”

“I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency.”

“I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency.”

“I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency.”

“I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency.”

My practice is talk only, which means I am basically like a therapist in that sense. You either come to my space in San Francisco, where we meet one-on-one in a room that I rent with another therapist, or we work one-on-one via Skype. Why? Because sexuality is such a private topics that it’s best to be in an environment that feels comfortable. And sometimes that’s somebody’s living room and not my office, and I totally respect that.
           There are also people who do hands-on work, for example, Orgasmic Meditation, which is a training programme based in San Francisco. They do a lot of workshops on a particular style of stimulation for women. In order to do that, they facilitate a workshop where the expectation is that you will be partially nude for the experience, and that there will be some kind of touch that is either facilitated by one of their organizers or through a partner that comes with you to the demonstration.
And then there is ‘hands in’, and that’s actually Betty Dodson’s style. Betty Dodson is one of the foremothers of human sexuality; she is a sex coach – in fact, a sex goddess – she’s fantastic and has been doing this work forever. If you watch her videos, which I’ve had the privilege of doing, she sits with her female clients, she holds a mirror, and then says, “this is your vulva, this is your clit, and with a gloved hand I’m going to touch this and you tell me what it feels like. Now you do it”. She is the person who is helping guide someone and facilitate the process of exploring their sexuality.
There are also body workers, who are trained in sex coaching or sexology who work with people around specific sexual issues. An example of that would be a sex surrogate. They are trained to be people who address a sexual issue. They use their entire bodies in a sexual way with their clients to help them move from a place of sexual distress to a place of sexual health.

A lot of men and women get their sexual education through porn, and it would be beneficial if we could educate consumers of porn and make them aware that it is a performance. We are not having that conversation with young people early enough, and we are also not encouraging boys to be curious about their own sexuality. There are articles on how to please a woman, but I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency and how to go through the world in a respectful way while still honouring your own desires, feelings and thoughts about whoever you want to have sex with. I can’t fault porn for it, I fault a society that doesn’t educate people.

My practice is talk only, which means I am basically like a therapist in that sense. You either come to my space in San Francisco, where we meet one-on-one in a room that I rent with another therapist, or we work one-on-one via Skype. Why? Because sexuality is such a private topics that it’s best to be in an environment that feels comfortable. And sometimes that’s somebody’s living room and not my office, and I totally respect that.
           There are also people who do hands-on work, for example, Orgasmic Meditation, which is a training programme based in San Francisco. They do a lot of workshops on a particular style of stimulation for women. In order to do that, they facilitate a workshop where the expectation is that you will be partially nude for the experience, and that there will be some kind of touch that is either facilitated by one of their organizers or through a partner that comes with you to the demonstration.
           And then there is ‘hands in’, and that’s actually Betty Dodson’s style. Betty Dodson is one of the foremothers of human sexuality; she is a sex coach – in fact, a sex goddess – she’s fantastic and has been doing this work forever. If you watch her videos, which I’ve had the privilege of doing, she sits with her female clients, she holds a mirror, and then says, “this is your vulva, this is your clit, and with a gloved hand I’m going to touch this and you tell me what it feels like. Now you do it”. She is the person who is helping guide someone and facilitate the process of exploring their sexuality.
           There are also body workers, who are trained in sex coaching or sexology who work with people around specific sexual issues. An example of that would be a sex surrogate. They are trained to be people who address a sexual issue. They use their entire bodies in a sexual way with their clients to help them move from a place of sexual distress to a place of sexual health.

A lot of men and women get their sexual education through porn, and it would be beneficial if we could educate consumers of porn and make them aware that it is a performance. We are not having that conversation with young people early enough, and we are also not encouraging boys to be curious about their own sexuality. There are articles on how to please a woman, but I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency and how to go through the world in a respectful way while still honouring your own desires, feelings and thoughts about whoever you want to have sex with. I can’t fault porn for it, I fault a society that doesn’t educate people.

My practice is talk only, which means I am basically like a therapist in that sense. You either come to my space in San Francisco, where we meet one-on-one in a room that I rent with another therapist, or we work one-on-one via Skype. Why? Because sexuality is such a private topics that it’s best to be in an environment that feels comfortable. And sometimes that’s somebody’s living room and not my office, and I totally respect that.
           There are also people who do hands-on work, for example, Orgasmic Meditation, which is a training programme based in San Francisco. They do a lot of workshops on a particular style of stimulation for women. In order to do that, they facilitate a workshop where the expectation is that you will be partially nude for the experience, and that there will be some kind of touch that is either facilitated by one of their organizers or through a partner that comes with you to the demonstration.
           And then there is ‘hands in’, and that’s actually Betty Dodson’s style. Betty Dodson is one of the foremothers of human sexuality; she is a sex coach – in fact, a sex goddess – she’s fantastic and has been doing this work forever. If you watch her videos, which I’ve had the privilege of doing, she sits with her female clients, she holds a mirror, and then says, “this is your vulva, this is your clit, and with a gloved hand I’m going to touch this and you tell me what it feels like. Now you do it”. She is the person who is helping guide someone and facilitate the process of exploring their sexuality.
           There are also body workers, who are trained in sex coaching or sexology who work with people around specific sexual issues. An example of that would be a sex surrogate. They are trained to be people who address a sexual issue. They use their entire bodies in a sexual way with their clients to help them move from a place of sexual distress to a place of sexual health.

A lot of men and women get their sexual education through porn, and it would be beneficial if we could educate consumers of porn and make them aware that it is a performance. We are not having that conversation with young people early enough, and we are also not encouraging boys to be curious about their own sexuality. There are articles on how to please a woman, but I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency and how to go through the world in a respectful way while still honouring your own desires, feelings and thoughts about whoever you want to have sex with. I can’t fault porn for it, I fault a society that doesn’t educate people.

My practice is talk only, which means I am basically like a therapist in that sense. You either come to my space in San Francisco, where we meet one-on-one in a room that I rent with another therapist, or we work one-on-one via Skype. Why? Because sexuality is such a private topics that it’s best to be in an environment that feels comfortable. And sometimes that’s somebody’s living room and not my office, and I totally respect that.
There are also people who do hands-on work, for example, Orgasmic Meditation, which is a training programme based in San Francisco. They do a lot of workshops on a particular style of stimulation for women. In order to do that, they facilitate a workshop where the expectation is that you will be partially nude for the experience, and that there will be some kind of touch that is either facilitated by one of their organizers or through a partner that comes with you to the demonstration.
And then there is ‘hands in’, and that’s actually Betty Dodson’s style. Betty Dodson is one of the foremothers of human sexuality; she is a sex coach – in fact, a sex goddess – she’s fantastic and has been doing this work forever. If you watch her videos, which I’ve had the privilege of doing, she sits with her female clients, she holds a mirror, and then says, “this is your vulva, this is your clit, and with a gloved hand I’m going to touch this and you tell me what it feels like. Now you do it”. She is the person who is helping guide someone and facilitate the process of exploring their sexuality.
There are also body workers, who are trained in sex coaching or sexology who work with people around specific sexual issues. An example of that would be a sex surrogate. They are trained to be people who address a sexual issue. They use their entire bodies in a sexual way with their clients to help them move from a place of sexual distress to a place of sexual health.

A lot of men and women get their sexual education through porn, and it would be beneficial if we could educate consumers of porn and make them aware that it is a performance. We are not having that conversation with young people early enough, and we are also not encouraging boys to be curious about their own sexuality. There are articles on how to please a woman, but I think we don’t really talk to young boys about what it means to be a sexual person with sexual agency and how to go through the world in a respectful way while still honouring your own desires, feelings and thoughts about whoever you want to have sex with. I can’t fault porn for it, I fault a society that doesn’t educate people.

“I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing.”

“I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing.”

“I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing.”

“I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing.”

“I believe that knowing what you like sexually and how to advocate for yourself to get it is life changing.”

Building your body confidence can have a huge impact, and often results in a fantastic sex life. We are a very superficial culture and what we don’t think about is function. I think that there is a bit more of a nuanced dialogue around body positivity now, though. There’s a growing understanding that this body, as much as you may not like its current form, is the body that gets you to work every day, is the body that allows you to taste your wine, to eat your bread, to speak your truth. I have had clients do exercises where they get out of the shower and they must pause and look at their naked body. And then they have to appreciate parts of their body, thinking things like “my extra layer of fat keeps me warm on this cold-ass day” or “my big thighs get me up the stairs on the train so I can get to work on time”. It’s about developing an appreciation for the things that you constantly create negative attention towards. It’s hard enough to get through the world as it is, why do we need to feed ourselves that negativity?

Everyone should talk about sex more. Start by talking to your best friend or a trusted family member about something sexual. Bounce ideas off of other people, stay open and encourage others to be open with you. Do your best not to shut down when the topic comes up – be curious and ask questions. When things are a mystery, they are given more power than they should have. There are moments that I feel everyone can lean into. For example, giving positive feedback during sex is great or saying afterwards “I really liked it when…”. Some people are afraid of these conversations, but they can be pivotal to getting what you want sexually. I also teach that the phrase “that isn’t working for me” is great for course-correcting when something happens that you don’t like. It invites the question “what does work for you?” and gives room for discussion rather than shutting it down.

Building your body confidence can have a huge impact, and often results in a fantastic sex life. We are a very superficial culture and what we don’t think about is function. I think that there is a bit more of a nuanced dialogue around body positivity now, though. There’s a growing understanding that this body, as much as you may not like its current form, is the body that gets you to work every day, is the body that allows you to taste your wine, to eat your bread, to speak your truth. I have had clients do exercises where they get out of the shower and they must pause and look at their naked body. And then they have to appreciate parts of their body, thinking things like “my extra layer of fat keeps me warm on this cold-ass day” or “my big thighs get me up the stairs on the train so I can get to work on time”. It’s about developing an appreciation for the things that you constantly create negative attention towards. It’s hard enough to get through the world as it is, why do we need to feed ourselves that negativity?

Everyone should talk about sex more. Start by talking to your best friend or a trusted family member about something sexual. Bounce ideas off of other people, stay open and encourage others to be open with you. Do your best not to shut down when the topic comes up – be curious and ask questions. When things are a mystery, they are given more power than they should have. There are moments that I feel everyone can lean into. For example, giving positive feedback during sex is great or saying afterwards “I really liked it when…”. Some people are afraid of these conversations, but they can be pivotal to getting what you want sexually. I also teach that the phrase “that isn’t working for me” is great for course-correcting when something happens that you don’t like. It invites the question “what does work for you?” and gives room for discussion rather than shutting it down.

Building your body confidence can have a huge impact, and often results in a fantastic sex life. We are a very superficial culture and what we don’t think about is function. I think that there is a bit more of a nuanced dialogue around body positivity now, though. There’s a growing understanding that this body, as much as you may not like its current form, is the body that gets you to work every day, is the body that allows you to taste your wine, to eat your bread, to speak your truth. I have had clients do exercises where they get out of the shower and they must pause and look at their naked body. And then they have to appreciate parts of their body, thinking things like “my extra layer of fat keeps me warm on this cold-ass day” or “my big thighs get me up the stairs on the train so I can get to work on time”. It’s about developing an appreciation for the things that you constantly create negative attention towards. It’s hard enough to get through the world as it is, why do we need to feed ourselves that negativity?

Everyone should talk about sex more. Start by talking to your best friend or a trusted family member about something sexual. Bounce ideas off of other people, stay open and encourage others to be open with you. Do your best not to shut down when the topic comes up – be curious and ask questions. When things are a mystery, they are given more power than they should have. There are moments that I feel everyone can lean into. For example, giving positive feedback during sex is great or saying afterwards “I really liked it when…”. Some people are afraid of these conversations, but they can be pivotal to getting what you want sexually. I also teach that the phrase “that isn’t working for me” is great for course-correcting when something happens that you don’t like. It invites the question “what does work for you?” and gives room for discussion rather than shutting it down.

Building your body confidence can have a huge impact, and often results in a fantastic sex life. We are a very superficial culture and what we don’t think about is function. I think that there is a bit more of a nuanced dialogue around body positivity now, though. There’s a growing understanding that this body, as much as you may not like its current form, is the body that gets you to work every day, is the body that allows you to taste your wine, to eat your bread, to speak your truth. I have had clients do exercises where they get out of the shower and they must pause and look at their naked body. And then they have to appreciate parts of their body, thinking things like “my extra layer of fat keeps me warm on this cold-ass day” or “my big thighs get me up the stairs on the train so I can get to work on time”. It’s about developing an appreciation for the things that you constantly create negative attention towards. It’s hard enough to get through the world as it is, why do we need to feed ourselves that negativity?

Everyone should talk about sex more. Start by talking to your best friend or a trusted family member about something sexual. Bounce ideas off of other people, stay open and encourage others to be open with you. Do your best not to shut down when the topic comes up – be curious and ask questions. When things are a mystery, they are given more power than they should have. There are moments that I feel everyone can lean into. For example, giving positive feedback during sex is great or saying afterwards “I really liked it when…”. Some people are afraid of these conversations, but they can be pivotal to getting what you want sexually. I also teach that the phrase “that isn’t working for me” is great for course-correcting when something happens that you don’t like. It invites the question “what does work for you?” and gives room for discussion rather than shutting it down.

Myisha Battle - Twitter - Instagram
Illustration by Anna Nicolo

Myisha Battle - Twitter - Instagram
Illustration by Anna Nicolo


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