In the realm of human sexuality, the exploration of pleasure is an intricate and deeply personal journey. It’s a journey that is often shrouded in mystery, confusion, and sometimes even shame. However, individuals like Connie Eberhart, a Somatic Sex Educator, Sexological Bodyworker, Erotic Blueprint™ Master Trainer, and STREAM Practitioner, are breaking through these barriers to help people understand and embrace their own unique expressions of desire and pleasure. Connie Eberhart has spent her career dedicated to unraveling the intricate tapestry of human sexuality, using a combination of knowledge, compassion, and innovative techniques. Her mission is to guide individuals on a path towards self-discovery and empowerment, allowing them to fully embrace their desires, connect with their bodies, and experience profound pleasure in a safe and shame-free environment. In this Mystic Mag‘s article, we will delve into the world of somatic sex education and explore the fascinating work of Connie Eberhart
Can you explain the concept of Somatic Sex Education and how it differs from traditional approaches to sex education and therapy?
Somatic sex education is a body-based modality where we honor the body’s inherent wisdom as a teaching tool to support clients in (re)discovering a healthy relationship with their body and their unique sexual expression. Sex therapy typically focuses on the past and identifies sexual dysfunction. Sex therapists utilize a treatment model to help a client overcome their difficulties or concerns.
Comprehensive sex education isn’t widely taught. Typical sex ed doesn’t include discussions on the anatomy of pleasure, communicating one’s desires, or how to negotiate consent. Most of us were never taught to listen to our bodies or understand our arousal. Cultural and societal norms impose limiting ideas and expectations of what is “normal”, and that sex is something that we “do”. Many people have been shamed for expressing their sexuality in a way that runs counter to the stated norms and fails to teach us how to honor and celebrate our body, pleasure or our erotic energy. Somatic Sex Education is more of an “un-learning” and re-education/reclamation. A key aspect of Somatic Sex Education is offering clients body-based exercises and guided practices to assist in rewiring conditioned protective responses and habits, navigating sexual differences, and exploring new erotic possibilities.
As a Mentor Trainer/Lead Coach in the Erotic BlueprintsTM, could you share some insights into the different Blueprint Types and how they impact an individual’s sexual preferences and desires?
The Erotic Blueprints, created by Jaiya, give people a map to who they are as erotic beings so they are able to communicate with others about intimacy, arousal, connection, and sexual satisfaction. The five Types are Energetic, Sensual, Sexual, Kinky and Shapeshifter. Each Blueprint Type has its own superpower and shadow aspects that help people understand they are not broken, they are not incompatible, and they don’t need to feel ashamed because they don’t fit a sexual norm. The Blueprints provide a map to your pleasure; a map that allows you to communicate your needs and desires to a partner whether you are newly dating or have been together forever.
An ENERGETIC is turned on by space, tease, anticipation, and longing. A superpower would be their ability to have an orgasm without even being touched. A shadow aspect would be their sensitivity and ability to short-circuit their turn-on.
A SENSUAL is most turned on by having all their senses ignited. On the bright side, Sensuals are notorious for getting caught in their heads and not being able to relax into a sexual encounter.
A SEXUAL is turned on by what we think of as “sex” in our culture: nudity, genital touch, penetration, and orgasms. Most likely able to go from zero to sixty in no time. The challenge with most Sexuals is that they miss the journey of a fully realized sexuality that invites and includes the pleasure of all the Erotic Blueprint Types.
A KINKY is turned on by and eroticizes the taboo. And that can mean anything that is taboo for you! Endless play and creativity would be a superpower, while shame may be one of the shadows that they may encounter.
A SHAPESHIFTER is turned on by all of it, loves it all, and wants more. This often gets mistaken for being too complex or needy, too much, or overwhelming.
To find out what your Blueprint Type is, go to www.WhatsYourEroticBlueprint.com to Take the Quiz! Be sure to look for Jaiya’s most recent book, “Your Blueprint For Pleasure”, that will take you deeper into each of the Blueprints.
What type of services do you offer?
I work with individuals and couples of all genders, relationship styles and sexual orientations, both virtually and in-person. People fly to Boulder, CO, for 2-5 day Immersion Retreats. These immersions may include sexological bodywork, nervous system and body mapping, scar tissue remediation, pelvic release, genital mapping and de-armoring and Erotic Blueprint mapping and coaching. When I work virtually with people, it is over a period of time so that new choices and practices may be integrated into one’s being and behavior for ongoing healing, growth and transformation.
In your work as a Sexological Bodyworker, how do you use touch and bodywork to help clients explore and enhance their sexual experiences?
As a Sexological Bodyworker, my scope of practice includes pathways to pleasure and one-way touch that involves the WHOLE body; including the pelvis, genitals and a person’s whole history. We begin with practices and exercises that map and track your nervous system. We only go at the pace that is in accordance with what can easily be digested and integrated. We work with consent and boundaries, sovereignty and agency. With that foundation, clients are able to make courageous choices to explore new pathways and possibilities. I invite you to learn more on my website at www.EmbodyPleasure.org.
What are the most common misconceptions or stigmas surrounding Somatic Sex Education, and how do you address them in your practice?
When I tell people I am a Somatic Sex Educator, people respond with, “Oh! You work with students!”. I do not. I am not part of the school system. I work with adults and provide more of an “un-learning” of old scripts, conditioning, and messaging. I support people by helping them reclaim their body, establish healthy boundaries, and increase their pleasure! People often feel that something must be “wrong”, “bad” or “broken” to be working with a Sex Educator or Coach. This is not the case! In fact, the ‘work’ is to be empowered with full choice and voice in the myriad of ways so as to be fully expressed in your aliveness and vitality. It is also not necessary to be in a committed relationship to do this work. The work always starts with the individual, even when working with a couple. One must be able to “be with self” before authentically and fully relating “with another”.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become a Somatic Sex Educator or a Sexological Bodyworker?
As my mentor Ellen Heed teaches, work first “self with self”. You must first be consciously doing your own work to move through any blocks and patterns that are held within your own body, psyche and sexual expression. Be sure to connect with each of the sexological bodywork schools to be sure there is an alignment. Are you ready to be visible in the world as a Sex Educator and Sexological Bodyworker? Are you comfortable touching genitals and including pleasure in your work? Will your partner(s) be comfortable with that? Do you feel up for and capable of being a solo entrepreneur? This field of work is also considered to be in a “gray area” of legality, so I advise anyone interested to do their own research on that in order to make their own informed decision. Personally, I am grateful and honored to be “on the fringe” and having an impact on how we can dismantle the current narratives and scripts around our bodies, our pleasure, and our sexuality.