What is a Sacred Intimate?

Sacred Intimates work with clients seeking help and exploration in sexuality.

Our work is experiential, as opposed to say, talk therapy or consulting, though we often include some measure of coaching. We recognize and work with the intersection of body, eros, emotion and spirit. We see the power of pleasure as a healing and transformative experience.

The main modalities used are movement, breath, touch, and teaching body awareness, consent, touch and sexual skills. The Sacred Intimate guides you through sensual, sexual and erotic experiences, keeping you safe and cared for, contributing to your experience and supporting your growth and learning.

The form of practice varies.
Some focus mainly on bodywork, some on coaching, some on mutual interaction and exploration, some on energy awareness or tantra. Most of us combine various modalities and skills. Some of our work is similar to Surrogate Partners, except without the third party therapist. It varies based on our previous experience and training, as well as our personal inclinations, age and physical abilities.

Sacred Intimate work is a calling. The one thing we share is a fascination with the intersection of eros and spirit, and a deep commitment to body experience.

Training

There is no licensure or certification for Sacred Intimates. Most Sacred Intimates bring to their work previous training in bodywork like massage, in therapeutic modalities like Somato-Respiratory Integration, Hakomi or Sexological Bodywork or various forms of breath work. Some have experience in traditional sex work. Many also have training as counselors, therapists and coaches.

The most significant training however is often our own lives and explorations. As a Sacred Intimate, we are also on our own erotic journey. Other wise we would not be able to offer what we do.

The term ‘Sacred Intimate’ originated with Joseph Kramer and the Body Electric School, which for many years conducted week-long intensive trainings open to those with prior experience. To check on current options, see their website.

For better or worse, anyone can call themselves a Sacred Intimate. When you choose someone to work with always include a conversation about their approach, experience and training.

Legality

Sacred Intimate work is a legal grey area. Since the modalities may include, when appropriate, genital touch, some states would consider this prostitution. Indeed, most Sacred Intimates walk a careful line to avoid legal difficulties.

However, the intention of touch with the Sacred Intimate is not ‘gratification’ or ‘entertainment’ but instead healing, awareness, transformation, inspiration, learning, self development and exploration of sensual, sexual, erotic and emotional experiences.

Most of us do not consider ourselves prostitutes in the sense of providing entertainment. And yes, we must tread lightly when it comes to legal issues.

Gender

Sacred Intimates can be any gender. Originally, when the word and idea was introduced, most SI’s were men. Today we cover the spectrum.

Most SI’s work with clients of any gender;
some exclusively or mainly with men or with women.

History

SI’s, in this form, have been around for a few decades, though people with this calling have been around presumably since the dawn of humanity.

For more about this see Don Shewey’s article on on Sacred Intimacy.

Why people seek a Sacred Intimate

People seek a Sacred Intimate for, well, experience. An SI guides you through experiences – physical, erotic, emotional, sexual.

People seek SI’s for help with specific sexual challenges, for healing of body memory, to become more emotionally comfortable with their own sexuality. People seek SI’s for pleasure, joy and bliss. People seek SI’s for coaching, learning and support. People seek SI’s for exploring a new element of their eroticism that they may not have yet had enough support to try. People seek SI’s for a nourishing respite from their stressful lives, or for the opportunity to connect skin-to-skin with a loving human being.

For examples of sessions, see the Sessions category of blog posts.

How to find a Sacred Intimate

Well . . . Google it!

Or – see the resources links on this site. Often finding one SI online will lead to others, and there are a few sites that list practitioners. (Sorry, this is not one of them. The only people listed here are our contributors.)

When choosing an SI, have a conversation about their approach, experience, and training. It also helps to have an idea of what you would like help with or would like to explore or understand.

Betty Martin

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