I recently caught up with my sensational friend, Georgia Grace, who is a Sydney-based sex coach, writer and speaker.
During our catch up, we spoke about the differences between a sex coach, sexologist and therapist, broke down some common myths, such as whether vibrators really do desensitise the clit, and how these conversations around pleasure and intimacy are broadening to include more diverse bodies, genders and people.
In Part 1 of 3, Georgia fills us in on what she values most about her work, common pleasure misconceptions and how stress is killing our orgasms.
(6 minute read)
Q: What’s the difference between a sex coach, sexologist and a therapist?
This is a really good question and it can really vary for the way different people work. So I’m a certified Australian sex coach and by that it means I work with individuals, couples and groups and I also work in program development.
So I’m moving more into the tech space, developing online courses, working with brands and companies, and educate around use of sex toys and technologies. I’m also a journalist, writer and author. So that’s how I’ve decided to work.
I think the fun thing, or what I really enjoy, is that my training really equipped me with the skills to be able to educate and support in many different ways, and then I brought my own passions into that.
How it’s different to a sexologist or a therapist is that we actually work in tandem. I have a network of sexologists and psychologists who I refer to.
To really simplify it - and this absolutely isn't going to speak to how every sexologist, psychologist or counsellor works - they work with things that have happened to someone and support them in becoming more connected, happier or more fulfilled where they are.
A great example could be in the way I work. Say if someone came to me and had an experience of trauma, I wouldn’t be able to support them through those psychological processes, they would need to speak with a psychologist or sexologist.
If they've done that work, are at a really great space and now want to get support in feeling pleasure - in having great sex with themselves or other people - that’s where we work; to get them into a space to start creating those really fulfilling sexual relationships.
It’s really important we work together. We have different skill sets but some do move in tandem.
A lot of the work I do is supporting people with those grounding practices that are useful for people who have had experiences of trauma or not great sex. But yes, we work alongside each other.
Q: So it sounds like, say, if someone hasn’t done a lot of work in this space before, they would see a therapist first to get through the initial “layers” and then you come in to support addition practical work they can do?
It’s pretty different with everyone. Another way that I get referrals is from therapists or psychologists who can’t teach, educate or support in the areas of sex, intimacy or relationships - so they outsource to me.
But yes, the journey is always really different and why people come to see me is different. But it is that really important piece.
Sex is so multifaceted and there are so many things that go into it - there are psychological experiences, physical, emotional and of course the erotic - there is a lot going on.
If you have an issue, concern or a specific area that you want to work through, sometimes that takes a few practitioners or modalities to support you to getting to the place you want to be.
Q: It sounds like it’s quite a practical modality. What do you feel like is one of the most powerful or useful tools for some of the people you work with?
This is again quite specific to the person, but one thing that I work with that I find is really useful is grounding and mindful practices.
Because so many of us are constantly stressed and constantly overwhelmed, that can have an impact on libido and desire, on how connected [we] feel with [our] body and how much pleasure [we] feel.
Finding simple, mindful, grounding practices can do a lot to work through presenting issues. For example, for someone who ejaculates more quickly than they would like to or for someone who has never experienced orgasm.
If they’re so in their head all the time and goal driven - wanting to climax or thinking they need to climax - they’re out of their body and they won’t actually be feeling the sensation that is important for pleasure and orgasm.
And then also if we’re looking at libido and desire, when your body is constantly stressed or constantly in fight or flight, you’re releasing the stress hormone cortisol. When you have too much of that in your body it suppresses the sex hormones or the desire or drive for sex.
So even simple, stress management practices can support people in feeling more connected to what they want; to feel good. Also a big tool that I use in relation to that is education.
A lot of people think sex is hard and fast, as soon as you like someone you should want to rip each others clothes off, your bodies should just fit, and it should be really pleasurable and not awkward - and that’s not sex.
And I mean, that looks really good on screen and it can be arousing to watch and fun, it’s a great plot line, but it’s not really sex.
A lot of the time I’m educating people on ways they can have sex and sometimes it’s as simple as teaching really slow sensation techniques, teaching how to activate arousal through breath or movement or placement of awareness, and how they can do that with their own bodies and other peoples bodies too.
There are many approaches for people who are experiencing a range of issues. Coaching and education are the two steady approaches that I take.
Q: You were talking about this misconception about how we see sex and intimacy, maybe in movies and TV. What do you feel like is another really big misconception when it comes to pleasure and intimacy?
There are just so many! I think back to everything I’ve heard. Often I’ll ask in my workshops “What’s a myth you’ve been told about sex?”.
And it’s everything from “if you masturbate too much you’ll run out of orgasms" (I mean, remarkable!) to “the only way to have sex is penis and vagina sex” and then that “vibrators desensitise genitals”.
There are so much out there that's really a result of not having great education. And there’s so many myths when it comes to sex.
It’s even surprising that this abstinence-only education that my age received - which was “don’t have sex” because they thought that that was the best way to prolong people from having sex, because that’s the healthiest way to educate a young person - that these messages and ideas are still trickling into experiences as adults.
So there is a lot out there. There’s a lot of misinformation that is still being taught by people in these spaces too. I’m never surprised by the myth! But sometimes I’m taken aback.
Q: Imagine if we were only allowed 100 orgasms in our life and ran out?!
I know, I’d be done!! I would be retired.
Keep your eyes pealed for Parts 2 and 3 loves!