Oh, the realm of the heart is so powerful, isn’t it? And our feelings can be so BIG! When we’re stuck emotionally, that can really get in the way of who we’re meant to be.
As clinical sexologists, we often feel inadequate. Sexuality is such a vast topic and new information is coming out all the time. It can feel impossible to stay on top of it all and figure out how to integrate it into the best care of our clients.
If we don’t engage in enough self-care or struggle with codependency, we can also become burnt-out. We might feel irritated with our clients or struggle with letting go of the worry about our clients. We can suffer from low energy, low sexual desire, and high stress.
We might feel worried about our business (being an entrepreneur can be so challenging). We fear being a failure at business. Or we might even fear becoming successful.
Notice how there are often mental elements lurking amongst many of these feeling states…the MEBES model is circular and holistic, after all, and helps us conceptualize the inter-relatedness of all our parts.
Finding a small, intimate, and tight-knit circle of your peers and a compassionate and experienced mentor can make all the difference in helping you resolve your Emotional blocks to success as a sexuality professional.
But let’s move on to the next element in the MEBES Signature System: the B, which stands for the body, body image, and behavior. This is of course a primary realm for those of us who work in sexuality fields, which are so body-focused.
Video #4: Body / Body Image / Behavior
Hi, I’m Dr. Patti and I’m here today to teach you about the centerpiece of the MEBES model, literally and metaphorically. Why’s that? Well, because when someone usually thinks about sex, or s-e-x, what do they think about? Not their erotic core or their mental state, but the body. Dr. Rev Ted McIlvenna, founder and leader of the IASHS defined sexology this way: “Sexology is the study of what people do sexually and how they think and feel about it.” What people do is the physical part, like hands-on skin, lips on lips, caressing breasts, sucking nipples, stroking genitals, penis in vagina or anus, etc. Sex is our bodies in action, alone or with a partner and it’s the main course in the buffet of the 5 parts of the sexual self. At least to most people! And especially to us as sexological clinicians.
Now, let’s start out by being clear about the body and its gender identity. We’re living in an ever-changing world today, with gender fluidity, freedom of sexual expression and tides that affect us all. Language, pronouns, presentation, relationships, everything has nuances that are in flux. As a sexological clinician, you must be up to speed on how words, trends and even sexual options are shifting and be ready to be in tune with your clients. You need to keep on track!
The terms women and men are used in this series of lessons to refer primarily to cisgender bodies. A female-bodied or male-bodied individual will fit the criteria described in the MEBES model under B for the Body realm. Trans or nonbinary individuals will fit where they feel they belong in the model, and according to their concerns that require your clinical attention. Ask for their pronouns before jumping into where you think they fit.
A broad spectrum of sexual/relational breakdowns can occur, which are universal, and that can be addressed and overcome through sex coaching or clinical sexology. All body types, genders, expressions, erotic styles, sexual behaviors, sexual identities, orientations, and lifestyles may be served using the MEBES Signature System. Be creative in how you apply and amend it for your clients’ unique needs. It is a basic framework for your clinical work. Think of MEBES as a foundation from which to spring into action!
Ok. Let’s dive into the B in the MEBES Signature System and look at the realm of the body, body image and behaviors. Dr. Ted would say, “What people do!” I break this down into three parts, because the issues of body image dysphoria or self-loathing about the body image can be devastating or destructive to your clients. These clients often arrive in a state of total shut down. And what people do are their behaviors. You must know the anatomy and physiology of your client and how the body works. That doesn’t mean you have to be a neuroscientist, a biologist, or a medical doctor. It means you have to know enough to know when to refer out, what to coach your client to ask for in terms of outside care, and have a baseline of knowledge that shows your expertise. Remember, you come from service to your clients, right?
When I wrote the textbook, The Art of Sex Coaching, way back in 2004-5, all of the content was up to date and context relevant for those times. I described the causal factors and options for resolution of over 46 specific sexual concerns. Many of these were of the physical realm.
Examples include: Erectile dysfunction or erectile challenges or even misbehaving penises. I use humor a lot as a clinician to connect with my clients and to create an atmosphere of relaxed trust. Then there are the ubiquitous ejaculation control issues; or overuse of porn which can become a pattern of compulsive behaviors; negative body image concerns; orgasmic difficulties; lack of sexual desire or uneven desire with a partner; aging (my favorite type of work these days); challenges over sexual or erotic orientation or inability to cope with compulsivity or even connect with fantasies; desire to explore BDSM, kink and fetish play, or polyamory or ethical non monogamy; or sacred pathways, the list goes on. You can imagine how vast this is.
When I teach about the body, I focus in on the parts of the body that relate to how to help a client. Perhaps it’s about the internal clitoral structure or the fact that male-bodied individuals have a two-phased release into orgasm then ejaculation; or that an erotic mapping of the whole body can be a game changer in arousal patterns; or that knowing your own solo sexual response is the gateway for shared partner sex; or that sex itself may be redefined for a client if they are not able-bodied.
Of course, one of the primary roles that you serve to a client is as their sex teacher. Most clients are not fully informed about how sex works. Particularly about how their sex might work if they had a coach or clinician who could enhance their pleasure response, their ability to connect with themselves or a partner, and their sexual wellness. I define sexual wellness as the goal for most of the work that you do. It is about becoming whole. I even had a website that was called the Institute for Sexual Self Realization, which focused on becoming all you were meant to be within yourself, not society’s standards, to be fully realized sexually. That’s when you experience pleasure, connection, joy, and health, all through the sexual pathways. I’m sure you would like to be that for your clients, too.
Aging is a time in life when hormonal changes play a huge role. I talk about that with my clients, guiding them to get the proper medical testing, show me the lab results and discover together what may help them: Hormonal treatments; shift in body image self-talk; changing expectations away from how things used to be to how things are now; loving the sensual over the sexual and so much more. If this is your sweet spot for clinical work, you’ll find it very rewarding to serve senior clients who are desperate for accurate information, compassionate care, and uplifting messages to thrive until the very last drop.
Now that we’re on the B for the Body Realm, if this doesn’t seem like enough for the work you do with clients, go back to review the prior videos on the Mind and Emotions and the roles they play. Working only with the Body Realm is likely going to require integration with the other realms, as well. MEBES is a complete holistic system, one that allows you to pick and choose according to what the client presents, then go around the MEBES options to serve the clients’ needs.
To learn more about how the body works for erotic expression and sexual wellness, check out the book, The Art of Sex Coaching or explore the intensive training program at SexCoachU.com.
I want you to tune in to learn more about the rest of the MEBES model or Signature System. The next lesson is on both the E for the Energy and the S for Spirit realms. Be sure that you also check out my brand new Britton’s High Achievers Mastermind program.
I hope to see you in the next lesson.
Take good care,
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