SEX & SEXUALITY
Coming to Know Your Sexual Self
WHAT YOU MIGHT BE EXPERIENCING
Coming to understand your sexual self can be a complicated and unclear process. There isn't a rule book that helps us know ourselves better and we can face uncertainty in who we are, how we identify, or the types of sex we want to have. Our experiences with sex education can be wholly inadequate in helping us understand anything meaningful about sexuality, and can instead provide us messages of shame and fear. And we can, all too often, lack the safer sexual experiences we need to help us understand what we find attractive, what sex we care to have, or what it is that we even enjoy when it comes to sexuality.
I believe that we live in a world that can be highly confusing when it comes to sex. Messages can be very conflictual - simultaneously shaming and celebrating sex - while new sexual terms, ideas, and identities can be presented to us nearly all the time. We only need to look at the endless growing LGBTQQIP2SAA+ acronym to help us understand the confusion. We can be expected to have a ready-formed identity and sense of who we are when we're really quite unsure. Am I gay, bi, straight, asexual? Polyamorous, sapiosexual, panromantic? Am I open to kink? How do I feel about dating someone who is nonbinary or trans? Sifting through identities and trying to be honest and accurate with ourselves and those around us can be trying to say the least.
You may be finding yourself curious to explore sexual experiences that are new or different for you or to expand your sexual horizons. You may be experimenting with your sexuality and left confused by what that means for your sexual identity, finding yourself coming out to yourself and unsure how to cope. You may be concerned about your sexual proclivities and unsure what they might mean for you. You may feel judged or shamed about your sex and sexualities and unsure where this leaves you. You may be struggling with the idea of coming out and curious to think about how you might talk about your sexuality with those around you. Or perhaps you're curious about how you might further embed the healthy sexuality you desire in your life.
Whatever your concern and specific needs, I’d love to support you as you work toward finding greater clarity in your sexuality. I look forward to working with you to discover how you might best live a life you find sexually fulfilling.
WHAT MAKES ME QUALIFIED TO WORK WITH SEXUALITY
In considering your search for a therapist to support the unique needs associated with sexual health, I think that it’s extremely important to consider your therapist’s experience and ability to support you in the ways you need and deserve. That is, not all therapists are equally experienced or well trained in this area of care.
I consider myself an LGB+ affirming therapist. For me, this means that I have a healthy background understanding of sexualities which allows me to work specifically with the unique needs of sexual minority populations. This also means that I work from a nonpathologising point of view (that is, I don't think your sexuality is an illness!) and view all sexuality identities as equal (Alderson, 2013).
As a gay male, I bring my own lived experiences of gay identity with me into my practice. This includes my personal navigation of queer communities, my experiences of homophobia, and my experiences of coming out (or, as I prefer, coming in to sexuality).
I have experience consulting with organisations and researchers around topics relating to sex and sexuality.
My personal research has focused on the process of sexual becoming and how we come to know who we are when it comes to our sex, gender, and sexuality identities. This very much builds on an understanding of existential sexualities, fusing my interests in existentialism, identity, and sexuality. You can read more here. I have a keen interest in supporting folks as they come to deeply understand themselves and live lives that feel more fully authentic and satisfying.
I retain memberships in a number of professional organisations relevant to sex, sexuality, and gender related care, including the Canadian Professional Association for Trans Health (CPATH) and the Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health (ASPSH).
My supervisor, Mel Sanford, is registered with AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) and has extensive experience working with sex, sexuality, and gender minorities.
I remain enrolled in university where I continue to study topics related to sex and sexuality.
MY RELEVANT TRAINING INCLUDES
A number of university courses in sexual health at the Master’s Level or higher, including: Psychology of Sexuality and Human Development (2017); Sexual Health - Issues and Perspectives (2019); Sex Positivity - In Theory & Practice (2020); Sexual Health Education (2020)
Intensive Sex Therapy Training Program, Guelph University, 2019
CPATH 2019 Conference & Pre-Conference Training Program, Including Trainings on Primary Care and Informed Consent Approaches in Transgender Health & Gender Affirming Surgeries - Exploring Options and Post-Op Care
ASPSH 2018 Conference: Diverse Approaches to Sexuality for Diverse Communities
Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR), 2018
Various Somatic Sex Education Trainings & Intensives (ex., 2018)
"It is through sex that each individual has to pass in order to have access to his own intelligibility, to the whole of his body, to his identity."