Intimacy. A word for that unseen energy that tugs at our hearts and bodies when we are in love. It is a tale as old as time. And yet, we find that people struggle with maintaining intimacy, be it in a sexual or a romantic sense.
And, of course, nobody wants to be in a relationship where they don’t feel that spark for the other person. From infidelity to low libido, bad communication, and more – a lack of intimacy can make or break our relationships. It can even affect the relationship we have with ourselves, and the way we connect our mind and body.
But how do you fix something like a lack of intimacy?
You can opt for an intimacy coach to help you find that hidden spark. If you’re a friend who always has a kind word to say and a keen sense of helping other people resolve issues in their lives, this just may be the best career for you!
Intimacy coaching helps you understand the issues that you are facing in your relationship. This industry, while being unique, is gaining momentum, and more couples are seeking out intimacy coaches to help their relationships survive. Intimacy is the glue that keeps people together. It is what keeps love alive.
What is Intimacy Coaching?
Intimacy coaching is the application of coaching to personal relationships. Intimacy coaches help people find the emotional and physical intimacy that keep a relationship alive. They help couples stoke the spark of romance and passion into a steady flame of love and care. It is not intended as a substitute for treatment provided by a licensed clinician trained in the treatment of psychiatric, emotional, and psychological disorders. An intimacy coach can become a relationship expert, but the art and science of coaching are to help clients succeed without providing advice or “professional opinion”.
Nowadays, intimacy is often associated with the physical relationship that you establish. But the true meaning of the word lies in the emotional plane. For example, men or women might have difficulty in reaching the climax because their brains or their emotions are not properly stimulated. Intimacy coaching covers both the physical and emotional aspects of intimacy. From how to communicate during a fight to helping people comfortably express their kinks, intimacy coaches help maintain a flourishing personal life.
Who can be an Intimacy Coach?
Do you want to help people connect and get through tough times? If so, you may have found your calling. As an intimacy coach, you will work in conflict resolution by helping couples and groups build interpersonal skills and emotional bonds.
Anyone can be an intimacy coach! There are, however, a few skills that every intimacy coach should have.
- Active Listening
Active listening is about using your body and mind to the fullest. This includes observing the client’s body language and showing focus and attention through your own body language (e.g., leaning forward when the client is talking).
You must also contemplate their words and repeat or comment on specific thoughts they have shared. Active listening includes asking for clarification when you do not fully understand what is being said.
- Active Questioning
It is important to question and make a client reflect on their thoughts, without hurting their feelings. Strong questions are an important component of intimacy coaching. As an intimacy coach, you need to motivate your clients to see things in new and fresh ways.
Powerful questions can make customers look at their relationship problems from a whole new perspective. They can also discover deep, hidden beliefs and make life-changing breakthroughs.
- Building a Bond of Trust
This is sometimes referred to as “relationship building.” It’s about connecting deeply with your clients so you can share what’s on your mind and heart without fear of judgment or censorship.
A true bond with a client means the ability to empathize without judging. It also plays a huge role in building trust, which is a magical element of every customer you work with.
Trust is the key to effective intimacy coaching. Real connections are also created by “matching and mirroring” clients through body language, tone, and voice.
- Having a Game Plan
As an intimacy coach, you don’t just go head-on with your clients. You set goals, help your clients figure out what their desired outcome is, and how to practice new skills and maintain a routine. Understanding how to set a vision, goal, or outcome for each coaching session and the entire journey with clients is one of the most important skills you can have as an intimacy coach.
- Providing Timely, Actionable Feedback
This is what distinguishes a professional intimacy coach from an amateur. An intimacy coach must provide feedback that helps the client. It may involve creating an action plan, assigning tasks, and helping them follow through with them. You aren’t some all-knowing god who gives them mysterious signals on what to do. You have to be clear and precise.
What makes an Intimacy Coach different from a Sex Coach?
Intimacy plays a vital role in helping people have a good sex life. But, intimacy and sex are not to be used interchangeably.
Sex is purely a physical aspect, while intimacy requires a deep emotional connection and being in the moment. The whole concept of foreplay is to establish this very intimacy.
Now that we’ve established the basic difference between sex and intimacy, it is safe to say that coaching in these areas is also different. Sex coaches help couples or individuals deal with their issues related to getting physical with someone.
True, sex does involve emotional connection, and without intimacy, sex is not fun for many. A sex coach primarily helps couples feel comfortable in each other’s physical presence.
An intimacy coach, on the other hand, focuses on the emotional aspect of individuals. They curate sessions and tasks that will help an individual overcome their emotional blocks, and then these individuals can focus on building a relationship while overcoming more emotional blocks.
What does it take to be an Intimacy Coach?
Coaching is an extremely sensitive profession. There are aspects of therapy and mentoring that a coach has to adhere to. Intimacy coaching is a newer addition to the coaching industry. While many people offer sex and relationship coaching, intimacy coaching offers emotional healing. As an intimacy coach, specific personality attributes are required. You should…
- Be able to put clients at ease
- Have an aura that will help others reveal their secrets
- Be witty and fun, yet have an authoritative take on each session
- Be crystal clear about what services you will be providing
In terms of educational qualification, becoming an intimacy coach requires no specific subject expertise. But knowing how the human mind works and brushing up on skills like trauma healing and empathy, is invaluable.
How does an Intimacy Coach help people?
There are various ways through which an intimacy coach can reach out to their clients. But first, it should be noted that when a person approaches a coach and seeks help, that person has understood that they need guidance and are willing to accept the coaching guidelines. This dedication can often deteriorate during the sessions.
Intimacy coaches work with individuals as well as couples, making it easier for them to express and assert themselves in their personal lives. From self-esteem building exercises to working on healing childhood trauma, intimacy coaches take different approaches depending on the client.
You can opt to focus on helping your client overcome emotional blockages or go the extra mile and help them establish proper boundaries when it comes to relationships and intimacies of the physical kind. But, you need to follow a specific methodology, and not keep switching between a few.
The most popular technique employed by a majority of intimacy coaching is the Intuitive Response. This technique helps the client to learn to listen to their intuitions and then form a decision. Once a person is well-connected with their instincts, they can achieve a sense of peace and mental stability.
What target groups usually seek out Intimacy Coaches?
1. Single Folks:
44% of American adults are single. 25% of these adults live alone. (Source: census.gov)
If this trend continues, the majority of the Western world’s population will soon become lonely. To help singles lead satisfying lives and build successful relationships, it is important to understand that not all singles are created equal. Most single people don’t fit into the stereotypes of loneliness and relationship despair.
Most intimacy coaching research identifies the following seven types of singles:
- Temporarily Single: Someone who is actively seeking a partner and is in between relationships.
- Recently Divorced or Widowed: Someone recovering from loss and not ready for a relationship.
- Frustrated Single: Someone who wants a partner but is not able to find one, and gives up.
- Passive Single: Someone who wants a relationship but is not actively seeking a partner.
- Single but Not Available: Someone who has a self-perception of being single and desires a lasting relationship, but is “hooking up” to get needs met.
- Busy or Distracted Single: Someone absorbed in being a single parent, career, school, etc., and doesn’t have the time nor the desire for a partner.
- Single by Choice: Someone who has no desire for a partner.
Intimacy coaching can be of great benefit to couples as well. While any stage of a relationship with other partners can benefit from intimacy coaching, the spark of intimacy seems to disappear as the numbers of years spent co-habiting together increase. An intimacy coach can bring a fresh lease of life to married couples, especially.
As with singles, not all couples are alike. There are four types of couples.
- Dating Couple: A person identified as “single” but in a permanent, non-exclusive relationship. “Friends with benefits” is one common way to describe these couples. The couple sees the purpose of their relationship as fun and relaxation. Dating couples often turn to coaching when one or both of their partners want to take their relationship to the next level.
- “Pre-Commitment” Couple: Both partners have decided to stop dating the other and become an exclusive couple. Cohabitation is common at this stage, but there are no formal or explicit long-term commitments. These couples often want commitment and test their relationship for long-term compatibility. Couples often seek coaching when faced with a “deal breaker”, such as not wanting or wanting children.
- Pre-Marital Couple: Both partners have decided to be engaged, but have not yet taken steps to formalize their promise (marriage, engagement ceremony, etc.). Many premarital couples are aware of the high failure rates of committed relationships and seek coaching to acquire the skills and practices necessary for long-term success in relationships.
- Committed Couples: Most couples can think of their relationship as a “promise”, but if you don’t take steps to make the promise official, there can often be underlying trauma or insecurities at play. Couples who have made a formal commitment sometimes raise the issue of divorce in response to a perceived hurt, which can cause fear and lead to conflict.
Whether you’re just starting out dating someone or you’ve been together for years, intimacy plays an important role in a relationship. It may take some time to see the results, but we know it’s worth trying out new experiences together.
It is difficult to imagine life without relationships. With a little effort and dedication, your life can include relationships that allow you to express your true identity, grow, change, and ultimately reap the rewards of self-actualization.
And if you find yourself reaching out with a kind word or an arm around the shoulder to help people who are going through tough times in a relationship, you’re very well-suited to being an intimacy coach. Although the industry is new, there are plenty of certification courses that can give you a leg-up in your career as an intimacy coach.
And the opportunities are endless. When TV shows like Bridgerton are hiring intimacy coaches to help foster better intimate dynamics between actors, there is no fear about trying out such a wonderful career.
Remember, the sky’s the limit!