Blog – An important chat with a Sex Coach
- Published: January 28, 2016
Randi Levinson has a difficult job: the very focus of her work is hard for people to talk about. Honest discussions of sex and sexuality – her areas of expertise – are at best circumscribed and at worst forbidden.Talking about sex is usually either shameful, funny, or awkward; rarely can sex (and especially sexual problems) be talked about honestly. Yet sex is of such tremendous spiritual, emotional, and physical importance to many people’s lives that not being able to talk about it often leaves people to navigate their problems alone. This is where Levinson steps in – she helps people and couples of all sexual proclivities regain control of sex in their lives. Whether confronting difficulties or spicing up an already spicy love life, she can help people better understand the needs of themselves and their partners. Levinson’s work reflects her own spiritual and educational journey, and she discusses it below:
Every time I say I’m a Sex Coach, people think I’m in a couple’s bed with them, cheering them on. That is not the case. I do most of my work online, video calls and phone sessions. It’s a 60 minute session, the client sets goals, receives home assignments, and there are email check-ins between sessions. After a session, I’m thinking a lot about what was talked about and will write a client to give more insight and give suggestions. Sex is such a difficult subject for people to talk about – there’s so much shame and guilt, and we’re taught that we’re just supposed to know how to do it, how to ‘perform’ and how to orgasm. We have to debunk every myth that we carry, and de-condition and critique our inner dialogue about sexuality. In listening to my clients, I listen to what happens in the act of sex from beginning to end. I listen for what is happening in the mind, emotions, body, energy and spirit of my clients, this guides me to find where the client is blocked.
Every couple is different, every person is different. It’s all relative. There are different issues in the trans community, different issues in the lesbian, gay, queer community. I can help ignite a passionate spark in a relationship that will result in deeper intimacy and pleasurable sex. For individuals and couples, sex coaching can help people wake up to the power of sexual energy and bring them into a deep intimate relationship with life. Sometimes the techniques I recommend will work for everybody, mostly I cater to an individual’s needs. I give them tools and techniques and coach them to empower themselves and find the pleasure and freedom we all deserve.
It saddens me to think that all around there are so many people, and so many partnerships and marriages that end up sexless. This is one of the most common sexual concerns people have and why they seek out my services. There is also fear and shame around desires. Many people are ashamed to have particular fantasies or desire something outside of what is considered ’normal.’ I encourage my clients to embrace their sexuality, whatever what form it takes, as long as it is healthy, harmless to everyone involved, and between consensual adults.
Some people have low desire but want to have sex more. First, I will refer them to have their hormones checked. Hormones in food and plastics affect people and can affect sexuality. We’re finding more and more that there are lower testosterone levels in men, whereas four years ago it was reversed. We look at physical issues and possible medical issues. Medication is a big factor in sexuality. SSRIs are a major libido killer. You can’t just take someone off their medication, so we’ll work with them to regain their libido and/or help them to have a satisfying sexual experience even when desire is at its lowest.
I did a three years master’s program in Berkeley, California and that was for Marriage and Family Therapy. I saw individuals and couples when I began working and I facilitated a depression group. I felt like I was just getting my big toe wet, like I was on to something but it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do. Then I started a PhD program in Los Angeles, also for Marriage and Family Therapy. In Marriage and Family Therapy, there would be no extensive training in sexuality. We learned to help couples communicate better and more effectively, but we weren’t heavily trained in actual sexual concerns and issues. I went through two programs and there was never any talk about sex. Most psychotherapists and psychologists do not have extensive sexuality training, but when I started working as a therapist, sex was a big concern.
But it was through this program that I met my current mentor and trainer, Dr. Patty Britton, a world-renowned Sexologist and Sex Educator. I started to train with her, and I did my certification through her in Clinical Sexology.
Dr. Britton was one of the first sex-positive doctors I worked with. She didn’t pathologize sexual problems; there were no “dysfunctions.” In the 90a there was the whole movement concerning men’s sexual dysfunction, founded and funded by pharmaceutical companies so they could promote Viagra and Cialis. And now they have a new movement for women’s sexual ‘dysfunctions,’ and a related drug. As a Sexologist, I am very weary of these drugs for a few reasons. For one, the Viagra type drugs for men are simply to help sustain an erection, they do not generate erections. So, for a man who has trouble getting an erection in the first place, he would not benefit from these types of drugs. However, these drugs are marketed in such a way that leads men to believe otherwise.
I think sexuality can be terrifying. It’s a very lonely, isolating experience to grapple with whatever concern you have, especially when we are raised with parents who never talk about it, with no sex education, or abstinence only education. It is something that is not acceptable to talk about in our culture, especially in religious communities. You are not supposed to talk about sexuality, sex, desire, or orgasm.
I believe when someone gains control over their sexuality, there is nothing more empowering. I have seen it. I focus on getting clients to feel comfortable to talk about their sexuality. Sex coaching is not sex therapy. The past will come up, but we don’t do any deep therapy work around the past. We acknowledge it and see where problems come from, but I try to stay in the present and move to the future. Sex coaching is not just about processing feelings, it is also about finding concrete answers to keep a person moving forward and reaching their sexual and intimacy goals. As a sex coach, I am dedicated to helping people make changes in their lives as quickly as they would like to change.
Speaking again on the spiritual side of things – I’m also a yoga teacher – it plays to the energetic systems of the body. Once you have orgasms on a regular basis or simply just cultivate sexual energy in the body, you have a tremendous amount of vitality. If you are not exercising your sexual organs, they atrophy. Once you start to re-engage in sex and orgasm – no matter what kind of sex you’re having – you regain a tremendous amount of energy, and life force. Use it or lose it!
From what I have gathered, there aren’t many Sexologists in Ohio. Yet, I feel like there are more and more people seeking this kind of help. I understand how important it is to have a healthy sex life, whether you’re alone or with other people. Everybody has sexual concerns. Everybody. So let’s just start the conversation and do the work to bring us into optimal health. A healthy sexuality makes for a healthy human being!