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Natalie Benway, a therapist at Seva Healing Center in Coralville, incorporates sex therapy into her practice and is currently pursuing licensure through the American Association of Sex Educators, ing only one other d practitioner in the state of Iowa.
For a of years I did a yoga group with RVAP, and then also did a group at the VA, specifically for women who had been through sexual trauma. I also did a yoga group for people who were in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction. In trying to set the record straight, the author says that sexual therapy is talk therapy, not, like, having sex in the office. It might be physical issues like erectile dysfunction, exploration of mental health issues that might be related to problems in the sexual experience. It can also be trauma and how trauma is impacting your sex life.
I think sex therapy incorporates desire, erotic intelligence. What turns me on?
How do I communicate that to my partner? How do I even explore that with myself? How do I give myself permission? Is religion and spirituality a part of my sexual exploration? Do you find that people feel conflicted about their sexuality or desire because of religious upbringing?
Helping people work through that and be right within themselves about how they can integrate that can be really, really hard, because people will build an entire life upon what they believe they should do and not what they feel. In my experience, we have a long way to go in understanding trans issues.
I mean, I took a Lesbian Lives United States class in and it was the first time I understood that sexuality is on a continuum. I remember the first class I took in high school was a sociology of gender class, but it was gay, lesbian and bi issues. Subscribe for daily news updates from Little Village. Anxiety and depression is a huge part of my practice.
And that certainly affects sexuality. In order to, most times, have a sexual experience, you need to be relaxed. In my experience, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, thought challenging and reframing and also learning how to communicate with your partner [are crucial]. Like, how the hell do I even create a safe space?
Is there trauma or not? Are there substance abuse issues in there?
What ideas did you learn … in your past about sex and sexuality? There are a lot of contributing factors in there. I just learned about the power of vulnerability in a very real way. I was stunned by his willingness to be vulnerable with us.
I felt like he was giving me permission to be vulnerable myself, which made me feel connected to myself and to everybody in the room — this sort of universal connection. Totally depends. Some people are way overt, in open relationships, open marriages.
Yes, I absolutely do. Each person gets to experience being the giver and the receiver of touch. A lot of people will talk about being really uncomfortable being the receiver, you know? And so breasts and genitals are left out for the first part of it. This article was originally published in Little Village issue Little Village is an independent media company based in Iowa City.
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