In my work as a sex coach, I create a zone of sexual safety for my clients, which is a safe space for a woman to explore her sexuality. It should be a reservoir of allowing all the thoughts and feelings around sex and sexuality with no judgment, where a woman can establish what she likes and dislikes and how she wants to express her sexuality.
In this episode, I’m showing you how I create a zone of sexual safety for my clients and the importance of creating your own. I’m discussing what you can expect in the zone of sexual safety, and why such environments should be in place for young girls from the outset.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast, episode 31.
Female Announcer: Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.
Good morning Diamonds. How are you? I’m so excited to be entering the month of April and spring. Alright, I live in Minnesota and spring in Minnesota is so fabulous. Okay, okay, for the most part it’s fabulous. Of course there’s usually that last snowfall in late April or maybe May where I end up asking myself, why, oh why am I living in Minnesota? But for those of you that don’t know, usually our weather is not that bad.
It’ll be in April and May we’ll be getting into the 50s and 60s, and maybe some 70s and then it’ll just get really cold one day and we’ll have the snow and then the newscasters across the country will report it’s May and there’s a snowstorm in Minnesota and everybody thinks that we’ve been in the 30s for the entire spring. And that’s not necessarily the case. I just want to make that clear. But our spring is really only about six weeks since we get a late start on spring. So welcome to spring and welcome to April of 2021.
And April is also the month that we are focusing awareness on sexual assault and sexually transmitted infections. It’s interesting that both of these topics bring up the issue of safety around sexuality. So many women feel that sexuality is not a safe topic for them to explore because society has taught women that there will be repercussions if we are too interested in sex. Women are taught that if we are actively exploring and expressing our sexuality then we will be punished.
It’s okay to be passively sexual, for example you could be a sexual object for the male gaze. It’s okay to look sexy and to dress sexy, well, kind of. And it’s okay for men to desire you and to have an indirect association with sex and sexuality but not necessarily a direct involvement, engagement and wanting to have more sex basically. That is where the problem comes in, where women want to direct the course of their sexuality as opposed to be passive.
So women are taught to be actively sexual and to be focused on sex for her own pleasure is dangerous in so many ways. And if anything happens to her that it is her own fault. We’re taught from an early age that there can be immediate harm if we are too interested in sex. Showing interest in or engaging in sex can at the very least, one, ruin your reputation; two, give you a sexually transmitted infection; three, lead to unwanted pregnancy; and four, even result in rape. And it’s all considered her fault.
And something even more insidious is that she deserves it in some way for being a slut. So besides the slut shaming and the blame, there’s also this perceived economic impact to a woman if she’s engaging in ‘too much sex’. The economic impact is her value in the marriage marketplace decreases. She’s taught that no one will want to marry her because she is ‘damaged goods’. But does anybody else notice that there’s a problem with this, that it’s really just not making sense?
When I wonder if there’s something going on, what I usually end up doing is just to replace the same scenario, have the same scenario and replay it but make the woman a man instead. And you’ll see that the rules don’t necessarily apply the same way. How can women engaging and exploring their sexuality lead to danger and harm? But when men are exploring and engaging in the same activities it’s seen as normal or it’s even encouraged by society. Really it’s just another way to control women, to control their bodies and to control women’s sexuality.
And women are being controlled through fear, initially the control is external with society telling young girls what the rules are, be a good girl, don’t be too interested in sex, that’s a bad girl. Stay away from sex, get married to a man, have kids and eventually you are going to live happy ever after. This is kind of what girls are sold from a very young age with these fairytales and other stories that they’re seeing about if you’re a good girl you marry a man, you have the kids and then you live happily ever after.
The message is that if you stray off the path in any way there is danger and you can be punished. But over time that control and that fear, it gets internalized. The young woman learns all the rules and internalizes the fear and the control to such an extent that she usually decides never to really explore her sexuality.
It’s like a hot stove, she just stays away from it and it could be a hot stove that she’s never touched but everybody passes by the hot stove and says, “That stove is hot, stay away from it. That stove is hot, don’t go near it. Something can happen if you go near that stove. Don’t touch the hot stove.” So she may not even have ever touched it but she’s staying away from it because all these people have told her, “Don’t do this.” So this is control and it’s in the form of fear. And it’s an internalized control, an internalized fear which keeps women from owning their sexuality.
So let’s fast forward 20 or 30 years. And finally the woman decides that she wants more out of life. She wants more out of the sexual intimacy in her life and she seeks out a sex coach, maybe a sex coach extraordinaire like Dr. Sonia. In my work as a sex coach it’s becoming increasingly important that I help my client create a zone of sexual safety. Yes, you heard right, a zone of sexual safety, something I call the ZSS. And you might be thinking what the heck is a zone of sexual safety? And why does she like saying ZSS? Because it’s so much fun, ZSS.
The zone of sexual safety is a safe place where a woman can explore her sexuality. She can explore what she likes, what she doesn’t like, how she wants to engage with other people, how she wants to explore and express her sexuality and with whom she would like to express that sexuality. I think of it as a big bubble or an environment that enfolds and surrounds my Diamonds. Within this bubble I focus on creating an environment of safety.
And the safety is first and foremost within the mind, because it’s the mind that’s attacking the woman again, and again, and again whenever she thinks that she wants to explore or express her sexuality. The mind comes in, it says, “Whoa, whoa, we know this is dangerous. We know bad things can happen if you explore your sexuality.” So the safety has to be created within the mind.
So, women have internalized the messages of society so much that there’s no safe place for them to explore their sexuality. Their own thoughts are now the societal police and they just can’t escape. There’s no place for them to get away from these controlling messages about being a good girl versus being a bad girl, being a slut and the victim blaming that goes on. So this zone of sexual safety, the ZSS is something that should have been presented from the beginning to young girls as they begin to realize that they’re sexual beings.
So this is something that should have been put in place for them from the beginning. And I’m not saying that it’s not there. Some women, some families, some communities have created a place of safety for their girls as they transition into puberty and into being a sexual being. But this has not been the case for every girl and for every woman. But if you look at it, there is a zone of sexual safety in place for boys and young men as they mature. It’s expected that teenage boys are going to masturbate. But it’s not expected that teenage girls are going to masturbate.
Men are given permission to want sex and to pursue sex. But women are not given the same permission. So since the zone of sexual safety is not automatically given to women, my Diamonds and I have to create the safety zone in order to do the sex coaching work. And I find that there’s several components to the zone of sexual safety.
I find that the first thing that has to be established in the zone is the concept of consent. Whenever we’re discussing sex and sexuality the issue of consent will come up. And consent is basically giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something. So the first thing in the ZSS is to recognize that you have a choice. You have a choice as to if you want to engage in sexual activities.
Sometimes a Diamond comes to me and they tell me that their partner or their husband told them that they had to work with me. But is that exactly what the Diamond wants? Is that what she wants? Does she want to engage in sex? Does she want to improve her sexual intimacy in her marriage? Or is this coming from somebody else? And this is another level of policing where somebody else is controlling what the woman wants to do.
And as I mentioned before, women walk a thin line when it comes to sexuality. If you want it too much then you’re a slut and you’re open to being slut shamed. If you don’t want it enough then you’re considered frigid or there’s something wrong with you, you’re broken and then you’re shamed for that. But who exactly gets to determine what’s too much and what’s not enough? And who says that there’s a problem?
So if a woman comes to me and she says that she has an issue around her sexuality and she wants to work with me, then that’s one thing. But if she comes to me and tells me that somebody else told her that she has a problem and somebody else wants that problem fixed then consent becomes an issue. And consent around doing the work of sexual coaching it may not be there. And then we’ll have to investigate if overall consent related to the sexual relationship is also there.
So I’ll start with my Diamond by looking at the dynamics in the relationship. Are there other factors at play? Maybe she doesn’t actually want to engage in sexual intimacy because she doesn’t feel safe with her partner physically or emotionally. You have to be pretty vulnerable in order to engage in sex and sexuality. But if she’s not necessarily feeling like it’s a safe place then it may not be that she’s ‘frigid’, or has some problem, or she’s broken. She’s just protecting herself.
She’s not going to engage in sexual intimacy because that’s not what she wants to do and that’s not the environment. So the consent is not there. So that’s why it’s important to first figure out if there’s consent there, if this is something that my Diamond wants to do. And is this something that she wants to engage in? So once consent has been established then we focus on creating a space, a space for the allowing.
And we want the safe environment to be a reservoir for allowing all the feelings and allowing all the thoughts around sex and sexuality and for it to be a safe environment for no judgment in relation to these thoughts and feelings. We’re not going to judge them, we’re not going to evaluate. We’re going to just allow all the thoughts and feelings because that’s the beginning of it all.
And we make sure that the emotional bullies of shame and guilt are not present. So shame and guilt have no place in the zone of sexual safety. So we just leave those out.
And finally in the zone of sexual safety it’s important to have an understanding of what might trigger a person. Some of us have trauma in our past related to sex and this trauma may be triggered.
If doing the work around sexuality may trigger emotional or physical harm for a woman then it’s important that she seek out the service of a therapist or a counselor before, during or instead of working specifically with me or with a sex coach because it’s important to be safe. It’s important to work on the underlying issues that may get triggered before we work on what’s happening right now.
And as I said before, sexual coaching and sex coaching, we deal kind of with the present. But if there’s stuff that’s happened in the past then maybe a sexual therapist might be a better place to start.
So there you have it Diamonds, this is how you create your zone of sexual safety. So, Diamonds what would you want to put in your zone of sexual safety? You get to decide. So I mentioned consent, I mentioned allowing and judgment and I mentioned being aware of what might be triggering you and getting professional help if you need that. But what else would you add? Maybe you might want to add self-compassion for yourself as you go through this process.
Maybe you might want to add some humor, maybe humor would diffuse a lot of the situations and so it would feel good to add some humor. And this humor is not making yourself feel bad or putting yourself down but just kind of adding a little lightheartedness to the situation. But you decide what it is that you want in your zone of sexual safety.
Okay, that’s all for this week Diamonds. I will see you next week. Dr. Sonia is out. Have a great week.
Hey Diamonds, do you want to reignite the passion that’s gone missing from your life? Do you want to want to want it again? You know I’m on a mission to end the emotional pain and isolation that women experience associated with sexual difficulties. And many of you also know that I was once in that place where I was experiencing little to no sexual intimacy in my life. And I kept thinking that there was something that was wrong with me, that I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t attractive enough. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough to fix this problem.
And I was worried all the time that my relationship was too far gone because of this lack of intimacy. Well, you know what? I was right about one thing. The relationship didn’t last. But even though the relationship didn’t last I committed to doing the work that I needed to do to own my sexuality. And now I have this amazing sex life and it’s everything that I wanted it to be. And I’m also committed to helping my Diamonds by teaching them the same strategies that I figured out in order to revitalize the intimacy in their life.
So if you want to stop feeling broken, if you want to stop feeling shame and guilt about sexuality, if you want to feel more comfortable with your sexuality and tap into that pleasure then I’m here for you Diamonds. First of all know that there’s nothing that’s gone wrong with you. You’re not broken. And you know what? You can solve your intimacy issues. You can let go of that shame and guilt, and you can tap into that passionate person that’s just waiting to come out.
Let’s get on a strategy call together. And let’s discuss how we can work together and how I can help you. And know that a strategy call, it’s like a 100% a safe place, there’s no judgment. We’ll talk about your intimacy situation which is what’s going on right now. We’re also going to talk about your intimacy goals, what you would like your intimacy to look like in the future. And then we’ll talk about how we could possibly work together to come up with a personalized strategy plan for you so you can get the results that you need.
So, Diamonds, I’m here for you. Don’t wait another minute, book that consultation call with me today. And I can’t wait to talk to you. You can get that consultation call by going to soniawrightmd.as.me and the link is also in the show notes. Okay, have a great day. I can’t wait to talk to you. Take care.