At Polysoma we know your sexual being is not one dimensional, and the connection between mind and body is just as important as the connection between body and body. We work with you to understand the full power of this.
Polysoma is professional service that specialises in somatic sexology and sexological bodywork. We would like to take a moment to guide you through our professional practices.
It’s important to keep an open mind when coming in to Polysoma as our practices are fundamentally different from what you may have experienced before.
Let’s get down to business on how we work with you. In this document we explain:
- What somatic sexology and sexological bodywork is.
- What happens during your first visit and getting to know you.
- Second and subsequent visits.
- How we work with consent.
- Modalities and educational/therapeutic use of touch.
- Our professional boundaries/health and safety.
what is somatic sexology and sexological bodywork
Somatic sexology and sexological bodywork focuses on embodied sexual awareness. Sexology is the study of human sexuality, activity, behavior and function. Sexological bodywork has a specific interest incorporating educational modalities that takes place within one’s body through lived sexual experiences and working with internal physical perceptions. Sexological bodywork modalities might include breath work, self-soothing, working with the genitals, anus, pelvis or whole body.
your first visit with us and getting to know you
On your first visit with us we want to get to know you, and everything about your sex life. Our rapport with you is open and real. We may engage in healthy and therapeutic laughter. We may use words like cock, dick, VV, pussy, vulva, penis or whatever lingo you feel comfortable with to describe your genitals or sexual practices. After all we want you to feel calm and relaxed.
Polysoma recognises that we are all sexual beings and promotes a sex positive environment. We believe your sexual health is important to your wellbeing. Naturally, most people engaging with Polysoma for the first time may feel nervous or even closed off and embarrassed. Be assured there are no judgments made about your sexual being. In-fact, this experience will be exciting, enlightening and above all else; healthy and sex positive.
During your time with us it will be necessary for the somatic sexologist to explore and obtain sensitive information from you; this enables them to make a thorough assessment of you. This information includes your general and sexual health, sex life, sexuality, sexual experiences and past medical history and current/past medications.
The somatic sexologist may undertake a physical assessment if you have any specific areas of concern. They may use body and genital maps to record anatomical details, for example pain, tenderness, sensitivity, numbness, swelling, surgical scars or nerve damage. Any areas of concern the somatic sexologist will assess through palpation, movement and touch. The somatic sexologist makes observations on your physiological state.
The somatic sexologist may request personal medical information from you, and may engage with your health care practitioner/specialist. When requesting personal medical records, pathology, imaging and scans we will always seek your authority and permission.
Polysoma makes a record of all talk based conversations. This enables us to formulate notes from our sessions with you. If you are concerned about the privacy of your information (it is no different to seeing another health care professional). Your information is kept private and secure. Textual notes are stored and encrypted on Cliniko our client database. It is important for you to read about our privacy practices prior to engaging with us. These are located on our website or alternatively you can request a hard copy from Polysoma. All this information forms a holistic understanding of your sexual being. Not obtaining such information can adversely impact the somatic sexologist’s understanding of you. Without an overall picture, the somatic sexologist is unable to progress and plan for you.
your second and subsequent visits with us
Our somatic sexologist will formulate a unique/individual plan after your second and subsequent visits with us. This plan can either assist, resolve, or continue working with you; whatever your needs are. Every sexual being is different, as such our modalities are not the same for everyone. What works for one person may not work for another. If we discover something that we are unable to work with, or requires the collaboration of working with another health care professional, we will make a referral and work closely with them. It is important to understand that we do not guarantee our services will work for everyone. If you agree with the plan, we can start working with you
Consent is an integral part of working with you and our modalities. Permission from you is required to start any modality. “Consent is the ability to choose, based on your own internal experience, what you want physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sexually”.1 At Polysoma consent also means communicating clearly with us. During your time at Polysoma you are responsible for taking care of your boundaries, needs and desires.1 Consent is not a once off. Consent is an ongoing process that evolves where you may consent to one modality and not another; you may even choose to change your mind during a modality/or dialogue at any stage.
modalities and the therapeutic use of touch
Our modalities harnesses aspects of experience dependent neuroplasticity and neuroplastic healing. We focus on your somatosensory and vestibular systems, as well as proprioception. Touch is a very important part of many of our modalities, whether it be therapeutic touch or self-touch and guidance by the somatic sexologist. Our bodywork modalities can develop intimate cognitive experiences and connections with yourself. Touch is also used in remediation and healing of genital, anal and pelvic scar tissue. Natural biological responses that are experienced to touch may occur we are absolutely not worried about this. If a modality uses touch it will be introduced to you. Touch will only be one-way that is the direction from the somatic sexologist to you.
professional boundaries/health and safety
The somatic sexologist will be fully clothed. Body or genital contact will be undertaken using standard health care precautions this includes the use of nitrile gloves. Any equipment is barrier protected and then cleaned with Hospital grade disinfectant. The somatic sexologist maintains professional boundaries at all times. It is important to understand that the somatic sexologist does not fulfill any desire for a sexual connection with you.
If you are not comfortable with touch aspects, then this is OK. The somatic sexologist will work with you and may seek alternate modalities. Of course this may also mean our professional services may not be suited to you, this is something you may need to consider and reassess yourself. If you are undertaking any bodywork, please ensure you are well hydrated before commencing your session with the somatic sexologist. We ask that you use the restroom to empty your bladder and bowel prior to any body or genital work modalities. Polysoma adheres to the strict professional standards of the Somatic Sex Educators, Association of Australia
- Haines, S, 2007. Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma. 2nd ed. California: Cleis Press.