Blog Mental Health Therapy Somatic Exercises Exploring the Transformative Power of Somatic Sexual Therapy

Exploring the Transformative Power of Somatic Sexual Therapy

Did you know that your overall physical health is closely linked to your sexual well-being? If you’re on a path to holistic wellness, somatic sexual therapy could be the key ingredient you’ve been missing. It’s all about integrating every part of you for better health, including better sex!

Imagine stepping into a space where any sexual challenges you may encounter are fully understood and nurtured. This is the essence of what somatic sexual therapy is all about. It’s an evolving type of therapy that is focused on combining physical and psychological techniques to address sexual and emotional issues. It focuses on the connection between the mind and body as a means of promoting healing and enhancing sexual well-being.

Undoubtedly, many of us may find sex challenging at various times in our lives, for different reasons. For example, a lack of accurate sex education, past trauma, and stereotypical social narratives may deprive us of physical pleasure and our ability to fully embrace our bodies. 

Even when you are in a fulfilling sexual relationship with someone you care about, you may feel that something is missing. Perhaps you feel you’re missing passion or certain sexual stimulation that provides you with satisfaction but you find it difficult to know how to remedy such issues. 

Addressing your concerns related to sexual intimacy can take various forms. Some people engage in psychosexual therapy, where they discuss their problems with a specialized sex therapist to find the underlying reasons for their physical intimacy issues. Throughout this process, you can find practical solutions to enhance your sexual well-being through support and strategies that are tailored to your unique situation.

Others prefer somatic sexual therapy. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. Let’s embark on a journey to better understand somatic sexual therapy and find more empowering and healthy ways to enjoy sex.

What Is Somatic Sexual Therapy?

The term ‘somatic’ is anything that is connected to our physical selves, rather than our thoughts or feelings (1). So, when we talk about somatic therapy, we’re talking about the physical part of who we are, which is rather important when it comes to our sexuality.

When talking about somatic sexual therapy, you should think of it as a type of treatment that’s focused on the body. A trained somatic therapist can help you better understand what your body is trying to tell you and provide healing around any challenges. It’s about using this enhanced awareness to enjoy better sexual experiences and reduce sexual challenges (5).

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 How it Differs from Traditional Therapy

Unlike traditional talk therapy, somatic therapy helps you foster a deeper connection with your own body and sexuality through physical touch. Rest assured, a somatic therapist will not physically touch you and they usually suggest therapeutic exercises where you explore physical sensations in various ways. 

These practices can help you build a deeper awareness and appreciation of any sexual blockages, in addition to your overall well-being and sexual health, to foster a deeper connection with yourself and your partner(s). Let’s explore some examples:

Mindful Breathing

Focusing on mindful breathing can help you become more present in your body and reduce anxiety.

Body Mapping

A somatic therapist may guide you to explore a map of your body’s sensations and emotional connections in a mindful and non-judgmental manner during simple at-home exercises. 

Sensate Focus

Working with your partner at home, you may have them touch different parts of your body to understand what types of touch evoke certain sensations and emotions.

somatic sexual therapy  

Boundary Setting

Your somatic therapist may also guide you in understanding and communicating your boundaries relating to sexual contact.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

For added sexual feedback, your therapist may also have you practice strengthening and relaxing your pelvic muscles as a means of enhancing sexual awareness and control.

Movement and Dance

Practicing various movements through practices such as yoga, tai chi, or dance may also help you become more in tune with your body and express yourself, which is why this can be used in somatic therapy.

Guided Imagery

In addition to physical expression, your somatic therapist may have you explore guided meditation using imagination and visualization to explore sexual and emotional experiences.

Emotional Release Work

You may explore different techniques to help release stored emotions in the body, which could be affecting your sexual well-being. This can include techniques such as holotropic breathing, which focuses on controlling your breath to release emotional blockages and increase awareness and healing. Other methods involve shouting, hitting a pillow, or other controlled, physical expressions to release pent-up emotions.

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The Benefits Of Breath Work: An Age-Old Practice For Calmer Nerves

Somatic therapy sessions for sexual trauma can be a powerful way of addressing past traumas. Many individuals avoid sexual closeness due to past trauma, which can take the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (3).

These deep-seated traumas have the potential to deeply impact your ability to form intimate relationships and you may look like someone who steers clear of sexual situations, feels scared of getting close, and has damaged sexual health. This can sometimes lead to sexual dysfunction, which comes in four main varieties (4):

  • Desire disorders: a lack of interest in sex or sexual desire.
  • Orgasm disorders: difficulty or an inability to reach an orgasm.
  • Arousal disorders: you struggle to become physically aroused during sexual activity.
  • Pain disorders: pain during intercourse.

Somatic therapy is an approach that could help you tackle the underlying causes of sexual dysfunction and find effective ways to improve your sex life. You should think of it as a path to healing your body’s sexual responses and enhancing emotional and physical intimacy.

Read more: 20 Benefits of Sleeping Naked for the Nudist Enthusiast to Enjoy Better Health, Sex, and More

Who May Benefit from Somatic Therapy?

Somatic therapy is like a holistic bridge that helps connect your mind and body, particularly when that connection is challenged. If you’re wondering if it’s right for you, you should consider that it’s often effective for those who are dealing with past trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, or grief. 

It’s also often beneficial for individuals with neurodivergent disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Somatic therapy may help such individuals better understand and regulate their body’s responses when dealing with either overstimulation or experiencing a disconnect from their sexuality. 

If you’re looking for a way to tune into your body’s signals and emotions, somatic therapy could be your ticket to better understanding them and releasing toxic tension that is held in your body. Remember, it’s all about creating harmony between your mind and body (6).

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Somatic Dance: Liberation Through Expression and Movement

Learning How to Interpret Your Body’s Signals

Somatic therapists are all about helping you tune into your body’s signals. You can learn to identify where you’re holding stress and find ways of letting go of nagging worries through different techniques. This body awareness can be obtained through pendulation, titration, and resourcing. Let’s explore what they mean in a little more detail:


Pendulation is like a gentle emotional seesaw. Your therapist will help you explore challenging emotions linked to past trauma, stress, and grief and then bring you back to a peaceful state through mindfulness, positive visualization, or grounding exercises (6).


Titration is a bit like sipping a hot beverage from a cup, but it deals with difficult emotional experiences. With your somatic therapist, you’ll visit challenging memories while paying close attention to your physical responses, such as tightening your muscles, intensified breathing, or increased heart rate. 

Rather than becoming overwhelmed by these sensations, you’ll simply acknowledge and experience each feeling in small increments. Focusing on these feelings during brief moments can allow you to explore and process difficult emotions without becoming overwhelmed. This can lend itself to greater emotional regulation and ultimately help you heal (6).


Resourcing is like having an emotional toolkit where you identify the people, places, and things that make you feel safe and nurtured. This allows you to tap into these resources more easily when you need to (6).

Special Considerations for Sexual Abuse Survivors

Sexual abuse survivors often benefit from somatic therapy, but there are a few things that are particularly important for therapists to provide when they work with such individuals, including safety and trust with clear boundaries. 

Empowering sexual abuse survivors is essential, and this can be achieved by allowing them to make decisions and fostering a sense of ownership over their recovery. In addition, somatic therapists should be knowledgeable about sexual trauma to avoid re-traumatizing their patients. 

For example, therapists should be attuned to non-verbal cues, recognizing that trauma may be stored beyond words, and an awareness of these cues can be beneficial for understanding the client’s needs. It should also be understood that healing is a gradual process where pushing too fast can be damaging. 

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Integrating Somatic Therapy

Integrating somatic therapy with other methods such as psychotherapy and other therapies can provide a holistic approach for addressing both mental and physical aspects of trauma. Examples of the types of therapy that can work well with somatic therapy include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help you understand the thought patterns that affect your emotions and behaviors.


Psychoanalysis can help you explore your past experiences and deep-rooted psychological issues verbally. It can provide context to the bodily experiences that are addressed in somatic therapy.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is often used for trauma and PTSD and can help you process traumatic memories.

Expressive Arts Therapy

Using art, music, dance, and drama can help you express your emotions and is often integrated with somatic therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness and is particularly effective for emotional regulation, which can help you deal with the emotional release that is often experienced in somatic therapy.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

When you have a partner, integrating IPT therapy with somatic therapy can help improve interpersonal communication.

somatic sexual therapy  

Using Somatic Tantra: A Path to Deeper Intimacy 

Somatic tantra is making waves in the wellness world as it offers incredible opportunities for intimacy and healing for couples. At its core, it’s a modern spin on an ancient practice that connects spirituality, sexuality, and awareness. 

Somatic tantra is about becoming physically and emotionally closer to your partner. In a world where connections can often seem superficial, such experiences offer a meaningful and healing way of relating to each other.

When exploring somatic tantra, if you or your partner have experienced trauma, it’s a good idea to seek guidance from a professional somatic therapist who has been trained in trauma. This can provide some extra healing benefits and make the journey safer.

Somatic tantra is about celebrating the body and an acute awareness of physical sensations and emotions. It’s designed to create a sacred space where intimacy transcends mere physicality, which offers a pathway to appreciation of one’s self and partner.

Tantric sex is a key component of somatic tantra and is different from the conventional approach to sexuality. It’s slower, longer, more deliberate, and can be more satisfying. For example, couples may do things such as deliberately delaying orgasm to prolong the experience, which allows them to explore in a more meaningful way.

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So, how do you explore tantric sex? It involves a few key practices:

Intention Setting

Couples can start by setting clear intentions, such as seeking deeper self-awareness, healing, or connecting with their partner.

Grounding Yourself

Couples should engage in activities that help them feel grounded and present in their bodies. These may include deep breathing, meditation, or gentle stretching.

Being Present

Practicing mindfulness and becoming fully present in the moment is essential for both partners. Noticing your breath, sensations in your body, and any emotions as they arise without judgment will allow for a deeper connection. This means allowing space for emotional liberation and allowing any emotions to surface and be expressed. This can involve crying, laughing, shouting, or other forms of release.

Conscious Touch 

Couples can incorporate touch and movement to deepen their connection with their bodies through activities such as self-massage, dance, or simple touch in a mindful and consensual way.


Using various breathing techniques can help couples regulate their emotions and can be a powerful tool for releasing blockages and enhancing energy.

somatic sexual therapy  


Somatic tantra often concludes with a period of integration where couples share their experience and reflect on any insights or emotional shifts they’ve experienced.

Practice and Learning

Regular somatic tantra practice can enhance the benefits. In addition, engaging in somatic therapy sessions and workshops and reading about the subject can expand your experiences with it.

Read more: Somatic Healing Techniques: A Holistic Approach to Physical and Emotional Recovery

The Bottom Line

As we wrap up our deep dive into the world of somatic sexual therapy, let’s reflect on the beautiful connection between our thoughts and our physical bodies. This therapy isn’t just about physical exercises, it’s a holistic journey to integrating your mind, body, and spirit.

When it’s done properly and with a qualified somatic therapist, it can be a gentle yet powerful way to heal, discover, and build a deeper connection with yourself and your partner(s). Somatic sexual therapy can be a life-changing way of embracing your sexuality and enriching your life.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1.   APA Dictionary of Psychology. (, n.d.). 
  2.   Massage Therapy (, 2023). 
  3.   PTSD & Sex: Understanding the Effect of Trauma on Your Sex Life (, 2018). 
  4.   Sexual Dysfunction (, 2020). 
  5.   Trauma Informed Intimacy & Relationship Coaching for Individuals & Couples. (, 2023).
  6.   What Is Somatic Therapy? (, 2023).
  7.   What Is Tantric Sex? (, 2023).
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