Come to My Next Workshop!

I’ve got another workshop coming your way at the Sexploratorium!

Where: The Community Room, 3rd Floor of Passional Boutique and Sexploratorium:317 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

When: This Sunday 2/18/2018

Note: the time is incorrect on the website. It’s actually from 3:30 to 5pm !

Solo Sensual Touch w/ Kira

Are you stuck in a boring sex life with yourself? Do you focus on your genitals and ignore the rest of your body? Is it difficult to get your mind and body on the same page? Time to turn your old routine into a new experience!

In this interactive sensual touch workshop, we enhance our pleasure through mind/body connection! Work on building erotic energy through breath, movement, fantasy, and pleasuring your largest sexual organ: your skin. Learn how to use your mind and simple touch techniques to turn your whole body into an erogenous zone. Participants work alone and do not remove clothing nor directly stimulate themselves. Participants may also choose to opt out of any activity and simply observe. All identities and orientations welcome!

Get tickets HERE!

Physicality of Grieving

Grief is a physical thing.

It’s an ugly, inelegant, awkward, snotty, teary, gloppy thing.  And it’s 100% necessary.

A painful loss sets off a series of biochemical processes that, if not tended to, can have devastating physical consequences on the bereaved. Immediately the body experiences extreme physical stress.  We can feel tightness in the throat, tension, loss of muscular strength, empty stomach, crying, lack of focus, and pain.  Over time, the body can undergo sleep disturbance, change in heart rate and blood pressure, and even decreased immune response.  In other words, you are far less physically capable of handling normal life for a while.

One of my friends – a board-certified emergency physician – once described it to me as “taking a slegdehammer to your nervous system.” And if that doesn’t scare you enough: your odds of surviving a second traumatic event (accident, illness, etc.) drop significantly.

I’m sorry if this depresses you.  I don’t mean to create suffering with this post.  Instead, I want to validate the experience of grief as the physically painful and exhausting process that it is.  Think of it as a sickness that waxes and wanes but won’t fully go away.  Your body is fighting it like it would any other sickness, but it needs assistance from you, the griever.  If you are in a position to give yourself what you need (time off, counseling, travel, healthy food) then please take advantage of it.

But what if you don’t have the time and finances and options to take care of yourself?  Do you just ignore the grief, put on the “I’m fine” mask, and carry on?  No!  Symptoms need to be acknowledged, even if you don’t have the space to treat them.  For those truly awful and overwhelming times, here’s a mental trick to find reserves of self-love and patience that can save your sanity.  I know from personal experience that this works:

  1. Take out a piece of paper and write out the overwhelming obstacles you have to tackle (“Keep being the parent I’m supposed to be,” “Somehow move on in my career”).
  2. Break down that insurmountable obstacle into manageable steps (“Spend every evening with the kids and create amazing memories” “Send out 20 job applications a day”).
  3. Break those steps down into even smaller steps (“Make the kids favorite meal tonight” “Attend one networking event”).
  4. Keep chunking down tasks until you reach a task so easily accomplished that you shrug and think that this isn’t as big a deal anymore (“Drive to the grocery store” “Put on my favorite blazer”).
  5. Go accomplish that task.
  6. Put your hand over your struggling heart and truly thank yourself for a job well done.

You did it!  Your body managed to get out of bed and put on pants.  Sometimes, that will be the big win of the day.  Just remember to forgive yourself over and over again for not doing it all.  You’re sick right now, and your amazing and wise body is handling it the best way it can.

 

 

My Life as a Dance Instructor

How I went from dance instructor to sex coach…

Dancing with one of my all-time-favorite partners in Poughkeepsie, 2010.
Dancing Waltz after a ballroom showcase at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, 2010.

After dancing in undergrad, I took a job as a ballroom dance instructor thinking it was a temporary gig on my way to becoming a curator at a natural history museum (yes, really!).  I didn’t set out to climb the social dance ladder at all.  I just fell in love with teaching!  Within a couple of years, I was teaching and performing all over North America in an array of styles.

Performing in Oakland, CA, January 2012
Performing a Hip-Hop instructor demo at the San Francisco Fusion Exchange, January 2012. Back injury be damned!

While teaching at a big dance workshop is fun (and exhausting!), my favorite classes are private lessons with individuals and couples.  The intimate attention allows me to work on their specific goals, obstacles, and quirks; pretty soon a dance lesson becomes about so much more than steps.  As I wrote in my application to Widener University’s Human Sexuality program: “My private lessons with anxious wedding couples often morph into pre-marriage counseling sessions about mutual ego-building, listening, patience, and communication.  I treat ‘connection’ as a technique that students learn and practice….  My partner-dance classes double as training sessions on sexual etiquette: while practicing the steps, my students develop body awareness, self-confidence, and comfort with being vulnerable.”

Teaching a dance workshop in Philadelphia, February 2016
Teaching a Valentine’s Day Tango workshop in Philadelphia, February 2016

Grad school for Human Sexuality was nothing short of a personal upheaval.  Everything I thought I knew was chucked out the window and replaced with a more complex, broad, pluralistic view of sexuality.  I didn’t even realize how narrow my view was until I was already deep in the literature.  Ironically, the more I learned, the more strongly I came back to my first love: dance.  This time, I had a deeper and better understanding of my craft.  I’m fascinated by how we are socialized (based on gender, sex, class, race, religion) to move through a room, to walk, to stand, to touch ourselves and be touched and by whom, and of course, how we have sex.

I became a body-focussed Sex and Relationship coach because I believe that all the answers we need to live happy, sexy, loving, and connected lives lie under our very skin.  I act as a guide, witness, and dedicated support system to help you get in touch with yourself, and to live out your best sex life.

New to Kink? Start Here!

The word kink generally refers to any unconventional sexual practices, concepts, or fantasies, including but not limited to fetishism, dominance and submission, bondage, and fantasy role-play. If you’re intrigued by the world of kink, and you want to explore your kinky side, this is the post for you.

If you google “kink,” “kinky porn,” “kink play,” or any variation therein, you realize quickly that you’ve made a big mistake.  The internet offers an overwhelming array of videos, blogs, and books advertising every possible kink in existence.

So, where do you even begin? Do you buy the leather boots and the riding crop? Order the instructional bondage video? Reserve a ticket to the next kinky masquerade? How do you explore this side of yourself, without wasting precious hours and money?

The problem isn’t lack of kink knowledge.  It’s lack of self-knowledge.

STEP 1: SLOW DOWN. If we’re desperate to appear kinky, we might get caught up in what we imagine we’re supposed to like.   Instead, we should let our actual desires and curiosities guide our first inquiries or purchases.

So, what if you don’t know what you like? Don’t sweat it.

STEP 2: COMPLETE A YES/NO/MAYBE LIST. A yes/no/maybe list presents a number of practices, concepts, and activities in a convenient format.  You go down the list indicating which ideas you (1) definitely want, (2) definitely do not want, or (3) maybe would try under the right circumstances.  If you currently have a sexual partner who wants to explore kink with you, you can each complete a yes/no/maybe list and then share your results.  I guarantee you will have at least a couple of surprises!

Before anyone embarks on a kink journey, it’s important to be on the same page with your partner about things like safer sex practices.  Therefore, I HIGHLY recommend starting with this in-depth yes/no/maybe list from Scarleteen.

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I love this list because it addresses body boundaries, relationship models, sexual safety, and both physical AND non-physical sexual activities.  Use this list to build trust and deepen your understanding within your sexual relationship before moving on to more intense kink practices like the ones on my second recommend list.

The second yes/no/maybe list I recommend is this one off of the website of the incredible sex educator Charlie Glickman.

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I love this list because you can tailor it to your current interests.  It’s not just a yes/no/maybe chart; it includes space for “notes and nuances” for you to qualify your response.  As you read through it, listen to your body and notice your own arousal.    Use this list to spark curiosity and conversation between you and your partner, but remember: this is NOT a contract.  Just because you and your partner have marked “Yes” on the same kink does not mean either of you are obligated to try it.  These interests are allowed to shift over time.

As you go forth, I invite you to find other yes/no/maybe lists, and to even re-do the same ones every few months.  You will continue to find inspiration in your own responses.  Use these lists to guide you toward the toys, workshops, and instructional videos that will excite your unique kinky self!