In this video I made with my fellow sex and intimacy coach Solanna, we discuss embodiment and why it’s so important for great sex.
K.B.: Are you actually in your body while you’re having sex?
S.A.: I’m Solanna A.
K.B.: And I’m Ki Bournes. We are sex and intimacy coaches, and today we’re going to talk about embodiment. What is embodiment? Are you embodied? What’s it like when you’re not embodied? And what sex is like when you’re not embodied, or when you’re embodied.
S.A.: So, let’s jump into that.
K.B.: Let’s jump into it. Yeah.
S.A.: What does it feel like when you’re not embodied? To start. What does that mean?
K.B.: Yeah. Yeah. It’s an interesting question. How can you be not in your body? Well, when you’re not embodied, often times you are in your thoughts. You’re rolling in your thoughts. You’re absorbed in your thoughts to the point where you are not actually sensing and feeling what’s going on in your physical form. Have you ever had that experience?
S.A.: Yes. Yeah. I think for me it pops up … I’ll be worried about something else, thinking about something totally unrelated to my pleasure sense, what’s happening in the moment, or often times, too, because I have a tendency to people-please, I can be thinking, “Oh, is this pleasurable for my partner? Are they getting bored? Are they …?” I’m just thinking about what is happening for them, and I’m not actually feeling into my own pleasure.
K.B.: Right. So, sex becomes more of a performative thing.
S.A.: Yeah, yeah. It’s not connected to sensation or what emotions I’m feeling or that kind of thing.
K.B.: Yeah. Yeah. When a person is actually embodied, there’s this awareness of sensation throughout the body. There’s an awareness of what emotions are there, present.
S.A.: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
K.B.: There’s an awareness of breath. Body movement. Of …
S.A.: Impulses and desire, too, of where I want to move next. If I’m disembodied, sometimes I’ll just feel numb and like the experience is happening to me rather than I’m fully in it.
K.B.: Right, right. Yeah, that numb, kind of checked out, you know, thinking about, classic is thinking about the laundry list while someone’s doing it to you, right? We don’t want to encourage that. I mean, that is not what we’re teaching.
S.A.: And it’s important, too, to be compassionate to ourselves, when we are disembodied. I know there’s lots of reasons for it. It’s a survival mechanism, to survive unpleasant physical experiences, and that could be whether or not you’ve had a history of unpleasurable sexual experiences or abuse, or even if just in your daily life, like, I used to work in a cubicle at this computer desk in a windowless room and my body was just like this the whole day. So it was useful to go into my thoughts and not connect with the discomfort of my body all day. Then it just takes some skill to transition into connection with myself and with my partner and pleasure.
K.B.: Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). And, when you’re in connection with your sensations and your emotions and your breath, your surroundings and your partner, you’re able to take all that information and use it to guide you from moment to moment into your pleasure, into what you want to do. And when you’re with a partner who’s able to do that, as well, sex becomes this delicious improvisational dance from moment to moment.
S.A.: Yeah. Which is really when the magic happens in sex I think. There’s an uncertainty, don’t know what’s going to happen next, and yet there’s a faith and a flow of, like, “Ooh, we follow this thread, we enjoy this pleasure,” that for me often opens up all this spaciousness of connection with myself, with my partner and a sense of the divine, a sense of sacredness in the union and in that connection.
K.B.: Right. It’s through the body, through being finely attuned to what’s going on from moment to moment and being in response to that, that we connect to something much bigger than ourselves.
S.A.: Yeah. Yeah.
K.B.: And, what happens from moment to moment can be very different. One moment it’s like, you know, lots of high energy, the next moment it’s stillness. One moment it’s like there’s deep connection with your partner, the next moment it’s like going inside yourslef. One moment you’re laughing, the next moment you’re crying. That’s only available when you’re deeply attuned and connected to your body and body-
S.A.: To your sensations.
K.B.: … to your-
S.A.: Your emotions-
K.B.: Your emotions-
S.A.: Your whole-
K.B.: Your impulses.
S.A.: … being.
K.B.: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
K.B.: When you’re with someone who’s not very skillful in touch, if they’re not embodied themselves, it’s kind of a hard thing to learn, to be embodied.
S.A.: Because it’s not that pleasurable.
K.B.: Not pleasurable.
S.A.: There’s no incentive to become embodied to an unpleasurable experience.
K.B.: Yeah, there’s no sense to be in your body. Yeah.
S.A.: Which is going to … I was going to say, when I first was a client and was receiving intimacy and sex coaching, it was this incredible awakening for me, to finally be touched by a very skillful practitioner who knew how to touch well. And then that was the invitation for me to be fully embodied and go new places that I couldn’t even have imagined before, because I’d never had that invitation of this good feeling in my body. That’s one of the beauties of working with a skilled and experienced sex and intimacy coach.
S.A.: So, if you want to find out more check out our website, erosha.com or you can call either Ki or myself and talk about sessions if that interests you.