What to call myself has been a significant part of my business development journey.
I came to life coaching after a period of several years of putting other people first. I left behind my single city life to move to the countryside, marry my soulmate and become a stepmum, and my primary project became creating a happy stepfamily. As part of this journey I left behind an exciting, deeply satisfying, creative career living my soul’s purpose (more on that later), and instead became a personal fitness trainer, setting up my own studio. But whilst in many ways this was enjoyable and satisfying, it was still ‘a job’, and when the stepkids had flown the nest I allowed myself to feel how unsatisfied it was leaving me.
A long conversation with two acquaintances – in which I now realise I was being gently coached – led me to transformational life coaching as a possible new calling. I went to an Animas open day and within a week had signed up. But at this point it hadn’t occurred to me to blend my previous soul purpose with this new mission; that only came about shortly after graduation, with a fellow Animas student reaching out to me to ask me to coach them on a specific topic.
“I’m having the odd crisis of confidence around my sexuality… I’m not sure I’d feel at ease talking with many coaches on the subject but I feel I could talk with you openly. Let me know if you would feel comfortable with this and whether you’d be prepared to coach me.” YES! Why on earth had this niche not occurred to me before? We had a great deep dive session and I felt I’d come home to myself, having been somewhat lost for several years.
By now you’re probably wondering – that’s a pretty specific niche, how on earth has this come about? Well, my ‘superpower’, as my business coach puts it, is in creating an absolutely safe space for people’s erotic spirit to come out to play… to be witnessed… to be examined, explored and celebrated. In my former career, I achieved this as a striptease artist, exotic dance teacher and campaigner for erotic rights.
Performing on-stage, I’d unite audiences of mixed genders, ages and nationalities and take them and myself on epic journeys of shared eroticism, beauty and connection. In a one-to-one lap dance I’d look into my client’s eyes and silently, consciously, invite their erotic spirit to come out and dance with mine. In striptease classes my throat would be tight with emotion as one woman after another broke free of cultural conditioning, negative past experiences and limiting beliefs to claim herself as an erotic goddess.
I won an Erotic Award (the Oscars of adult entertainment) for my work with a charity campaigning for the erotic rights of people with disabilities. One of my proudest moments was dancing on stage for a severely disabled client at a Royal College of Nurses conference on sex work and disability, after which my client explained to the audience what finally being recognised as an erotic being – in his late-30s – had meant for his confidence and enjoyment of life.
Given my love of my previous work, it seems obvious now that sex and eroticism would be my coaching niche – providing a service I believe is greatly needed in the world at this time. Coaching is about empowering people to take control of their lives, be their best version of themselves, be brave and reach for happiness and satisfaction. That transfers so well to the erotic realm.
Being erotically empowered brings with it so many of the skills needed for a happy life outside the bedroom – self-awareness, mindfulness, curiosity, generosity, empathy, knowing and being able to ask for what one wants, being able to say no to what one doesn’t want, communication skills, self-care… Coaching tools are ideal for helping clients reach this state. They also enable clients to set aside conditioning, marketing and social media messages about “what is sexy” and find their own truths.
Recent research  which took into account physical and mental sexual functioning showed that only 48 per cent of women are in ‘good sexual health’ compared to 83 per cent of men. Dr Alison Parkes of the University of Glasgow, co-author of the research, said: “We think [the wider range of problems in women] may boil down to women’s general lesser agency when it comes to negotiating more pleasurable as well as safer sex with their partners.” Ponder that disparity for a moment and question what impact that is having on relationships and encounters.
Meanwhile the style and accepted topics of sex education in schools (although improving all the time), contrasted with the ‘education’ provided by pornography, has led to the majority of teens believing it takes a woman on average five minutes of stimulation to achieve orgasm (the actual figure is 20 minutes) . Of five ‘Erotic Blueprints’  (like a sexy version of Love Languages), only one is presented in mainstream Western culture as an acceptable face of masculine sexuality, limiting the erotic expression of half the population. The result of all this? Access to humanity’s greatest gift for pleasure and connection being severed.
My mission is to empower people to access that gift. Imagine if we were all more vividly connected to our aliveness, our innate capacity to generate pleasure, the beauty and wonder of ALL our bodies, the depth of joyous connection we can achieve with other adults. When in a place of erotic strength, confidence and peace we are powerful, generous, and vibrating with positive energy.
I invite you to close your eyes and recall when you’ve felt most erotically joyous and alive. What were you thinking, what were you feeling in your body, what were your emotions? Do you wish you could experience that state more often? How might you show up in your life differently, if that were a place you got to visit regularly?
From that place I believe we can heal the world.
Find out more about Ruth and her eight-part erotic empowerment coaching programme at www.passion8coaching.com
1) ‘Half Of British Women Have Poor Sexual Health’ – The Guardian, January 9 2020:
2) Kate Dawson, sex educator, West Of Ireland Sexual Education Resource
3) Erotic Blueprints (Trademarked)
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