What Exactly is a Sex Coach and What Will You be Doing?

In the fall of 2021, I was entering my 18th year working in the disability field supporting people with intellectual and physical disabilities(functional diversity). After years of high stress, battling spider webs of red tape, watching progress move at a snail’s pace, staffing shortages that kept getting worse, and working in a 24/7 job, I was burned out. My heart was still in it, but it had taken a toll on my mental health. That, coupled with a deep desire to be more present with my family, led me on a search for something different.

In Sept. 2021 I signed up to view a coaching summit that included a few sex coaches. I had heard about sex coaching a year or so before, and even joked with my mom at the time that I should be a sex coach. I had completely forgotten about it, but hearing the coaches in this summit sparked my curiosity. On a whim, I decided to look it up and learn more.

One of the first websites I looked at was for Sex Coach U. I was immediately drawn in. They talked about using wholistic, whole person support to help people reach their sexual outcomes. This was very similar to the wholistic, person centered, outcome driven support I had been providing for years in the disability field. I was hooked. Here was a way I could use the skills I already had and transfer them into a new way of helping people. Not only that, I would also get to learn new things and use my brain in new ways. With coaching I would have the opportunity to offer clients a safe space to do things like release sexual shame, learn to love their bodies, find ways to shake up their sex life, experience more pleasure or rekindle the flame with a partner. All things I had just spent the previous year working on for myself and with my own partner. I signed up for the mailing list that day. In November I started working with a clarity coach, telling her my own outcome of becoming a sex coach. In January 2022 I put my notice in at work and in February I was accepted into the program. This was the start of my journey to becoming a sex coach/clinical sexologist.

Dr. Patti Britton co-founded Sex Coach U with the late Dr. Robert Dunlap

When I tell people I am a Clinical Sexologist/Sex Coach I am met with a variety of reactions. Most all have been supportive, some are of surprise, some are neutral, and at least one, was of disgust/concern. What all the reactions have in common is the follow up question, “What exactly is a sex coach and what will you be doing?” So, since you may also be wondering, thanks for asking, and allowing me the space to tell you.

Dr. Ted McIlvenna a Methodist minister, founder and president of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, explains that sexology is the study of what people do sexually and how they think and feel about it. As a clinical sexologist, that is exactly what I do. For almost a year I have been immersed in gaining a deeper understanding of who we all are as sexual beings and how we all think and feel about it. In addition to that I have also been learning about co-active coaching, leadership, and business. It has been an incredible journey, of which I am almost at the end. (edit to add I completed my certification in May 2023)

Some books from my journey.

As a sex coach I work with clients to support them in reaching their desired outcomes and goals for their personal sex lives. As a team we identify what is blocking their path to reaching their full pleasure potential. This looks like giving permission, information, suggestions, activities/exercises to do on their own, and intensive coaching. I hold the belief that my clients hold the key to their success. It is my job to help peel away the layers and empower them to keep moving forward toward their desired outcome. I offer an objective viewpoint, which helps my clients remain focused and unclouded by personal preferences, values, or beliefs.

An important point I would like to mention is that I am not a therapist, I do not have a license to offer therapy. Therapists focus primarily on healing past wounds and gaining an understanding of why people act or feel the way they do. Some other things I want to clarify is that: 1. I am not a sex worker, as in someone that has sex with others, or offers sexual favors for money. 2. I do not tell people about my personal sex life or offer advice based on my personal experiences, (Coaches aren’t advice givers, that’s what friends are for). 3. I don’t observe people engaging in sex, solo or otherwise, and tell/show them what to do/not do. (No whistles, playbooks, or clipboards here)

You may see me utilize the title of pleasure and intimacy coach, same thing, just different words. Word usage is important to me, and the word sex can bring up a lot of feels for people (and social media censors, if I’m being totally honest). At the end of the day, my goal is to support people learn how to experience more pleasure in their lives. Sexual or otherwise, pleasure seems to allude so many. The absence of pleasure has created some dark places in the world, so if I can help bring in a little light, it just might make a difference. Peace, love, and pleasure to you all!

Carli Guzowski is a Certified Sex Coach, Clinical Sexologist, Sexual Health, and Wellness Educator, and Pleasure/Kink Activist. She is owner of Unwinding Pleasure, where her main mission is to spread messages of peace, love, pleasure, and acceptance for all. She supports her clients in recognizing the role pleasure plays in leading a more fulfilling, empowered, healthy, and joyful life. She offers Sex/Intimacy Coaching, and Sexual Health/Wellness Education and Workshops. In her free time, Carli enjoys gardening, fast cars, adventures with her family, and sparkly boots.