This is the most common question I get. A completely understandable question, too. I began my journey into sex work as a sex surrogate in 1997, offering myself as an essential component to male clients of a Chicago-area therapist on a path to healing sexual dysfunctions. I was young and curious about all things sex and this opened up my mind to the real POWER of sex.
I had no way of knowing that 10 years later, I would find myself on the other side of the planet, offering a therapy all my own to clients who existed in varying states of erotic dysfunction. For the past 20+ years I have been studying sex with both the curiosity of a child and the voracity of a fat king, absorbing as much as I could from tantra to somatica. Throughout this period my life has taken it’s share of professional twists and turns, spending a big chunk of it working hard to maintain a “real job” both as an entrepreneur and in corporate, while working as a sex worker in the off hours.
‘Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.’ — Shirley Chisolm
At one point in the early 2000’s I went to massage school, focusing on prenatal and infant massage while I studied to be a birth doula. That career was probably the shortest lived, as the hours and workload were way greater than I had ever desired, but it gave me some powerful insight. It also led me to the position I hold now, as one day after a meditation I realized I the sex work that I was doing held so many parallels to the birth work I had done in the past. I had an aha moment several years ago, when I realized I was still doing the work as a doula, just sexually. I am, in one of my roles, a servant to those who desire a fully supported sexual experience.
While a doula is there to provide support to the mother, I am there to support the lover. I am there to make sure they are able to experience a safe and pleasurable sexual experience. I offer spiritual, emotional, physical and informational support before, during and after the sexual experience can be varied. In conscious spirituality, we recognize sex as a creative force, similar to childbearing.
So, what exactly does that mean in terms of what a sex doula can do?
I start by answering any questions the lover might have. For most of us growing up in the west we have to unlearn the way patriarchy and colonialism has shown up in our sexual spaces. This leaves the lover with a lot of questions around pleasure, desire and beyond. Some of the questions the lover has live in the body, so I offer what is akin to a spiritual reading, but somatically. At times we allow the body to reveal the answers energetically.
I provide a variety solutions or positions that can help with sexual dysfunction, discomfort or painful sex. I demonstrate erotic and sensual touch, share exercises, meditations, and techniques with the lover so that they can start to feel more comfortable in their bodies and create space for pleasure. I explore pleasure in the body, removing the assumption of gender as it relates to orgasmic energy. I use sacred plant medicine, erotic hypnosis and embodiment meditations to open the the mind up to the body, moving beyond trauma and neglect.
Coming out of this pandemic this work will be needed more than EVER…
On follow up sessions, I invite the lover in to discuss new revelations after sexual experiences. I refer clients to mental health therapists to address concerns that move beyond my scope of practice. In my practice, the traditional therapy tools of our ancestors and modern therapy tools work in partnership, not at odds.
The work of a Sex Doula moves beyond my role as a sex coach. It is as intimate and the work of a sexual surrogate, however in this role I don’t sit in as the lover in that capacity. The touch offered is one way, from the healer to the client. There is touch, though. There are times that call for genital touch, opportunities for yoni or lingham healing, even impact play.
There is healing in a shared sensual experience that isn’t transactional. Learning that the body is both capable and worthy of pleasure without having to do anything in return. My work creates an experience where the lover gets to learn the body, to experience sensation without judgement and rest safely in the arms of a caring human being. Coming out of this pandemic this work will be needed more than EVER. I am witnessing our community navigate complexity of being alone and weighing the feelings that come with that. Relationships are expanding, running their course and morphing into something unknown and as we see this evolution of experiencing love, people will need new ways to communicate their realized erotic desires. This is where the Sex Doula is called to task.
One of the many titles Amina Peterson holds as a Sacred Sex Worker is Sex Doula. She began offering a Sex Doula Certification course in 2018. If you are interested in starting this journey with her, feel free to email an introduction of yourself to get started on the path.