Here's how investing in higher education can improve your bottom line: Perhaps it’s the change of season, but there’s something magical to me about going back to school. The thought of learning new concepts, meeting new people and (my favorite) buying shiny new supplies makes my heart sing. Plus, there's nothing better than a well-educated companion!
Article by Jaeleen Creator of Bondassage Published Blog Slixa Under Cover
The thoughtful advice and opinions of the author of this article are meant to be informative and entertaining and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Slixa.
Successful business people know that it’s essential to continue their education - developing skills, expanding their repertoire, and attaining mastery in niche areas - in order to stand out from the competition. Taking a workshop, class, or advanced training taps into the basic human desire to expand and grow that resides in all of us and can increase your offerings, upgrade your clientele, and can make you more money.
In today’s article you’ll find an overview of some of the best training programs currently out there for sexuality professionals. Before you review the suggested programs, give some thought to three key areas:
1. Get clear on your goals
Why do you want to take a particular training? Will adding this certification or modality be of benefit to your clients? Are they asking for new experiences, new adventures, new techniques? Not that this should be your sole focus when choosing to invest in a particular program, but it’s definitely worth consideration.
Or perhaps you’ve grown bored with your current offerings (or burned out by boundary-pushing clients) and you’re wanting to expand your toolbox by learning something new. In either instance, be clear about your goals (both short and long term) before investing potentially thousands of dollars in advanced training.
Finally, what’s your ultimate motivation? Are you taking this training for personal growth and development, or to expand your services menu and increase your rates? What types of clients do you want to attract and what types sessions do you want to develop?
2. Which type of training is best suited for your personality type and learning style?
There are a myriad of opportunities and resources available today to invest in your education. Which of the following scenarios do you resonate with most?
Are you self-directed, preferring to cobble together your own training materials from a variety of resources? Or do you prefer a focused, structured curriculum delivered in an interactive setting - either one-on-one or in a group?
Your answer is key to your preferred learning style, and in many instances will determine how quickly you grasp and master the materials and concepts.
For example, the self-study or “do-it-yourself” personality type typically requires very little direction and can be quite disciplined. They prefer to explore a wide variety of tools - books, videos, short online classes - taught by a diverse group of experts. They take what they like, leave the rest, and design a curriculum that works best for them. If you posses a self-directed nature, keep an eye out for future posts where we’ll cover some of the extensive resources that are available to you.
On the other hand, the individual that prefers a focused, structured curriculum doesn’t want to waste time sourcing training materials. That’s not their overriding concern, however - the major draw for a structured program is having intimate access to an expert/teacher (usually the creator or a trained, certified instructor) to directly address their questions, provide on-the-spot instruction and individualized support.
As with anything, there are pros and cons to either options. Let’s explore:
The Self-Study Path
Pros: The self-study personality type can ease into their degree of investment by adding new materials as their time and budget allows. If you have the time and tenacity to vet, source, and integrate a steady stream of information, you can develop your own unique solutions and possibly create new modalities of your own (Nuru, anyone?).
Cons: Essentially you’re getting a mish-mash of (oftentimes conflicting) information from a variety of sources. The student can never truly be certain if the information is current or fully applicable to their needs at any given time. In my experience, this creates an environment that can lead to overwhelm and procrastination. As the saying goes, “A confused mind says ‘No’”.
Additionally, if you tend to ask lots of questions or require additional support, it may not be available from the source. On the other hand, if you’re willing to sort, test and weed through a variety of information and love figuring things out your own, self-study may be the perfect path for you.
The Curriculum-Based Path
Pros: The student of a curriculum-based program has direct access to an expert instructor that can provide immediate hands-on support. The instruction materials are designed to lead the student through a tested and proven system. The success rate in curriculum-based programs is considerably higher because the student isn’t wasting time, money or energy trying to “figure things out” on their own.
Cons: The training can be expensive as well as time and labor intensive. The initial financial investment may be prohibitive. In addition, some programs require a considerable time investment - this could prove to be an issue if you have trouble carving time out of an already hectic schedule.
Some things to consider:
- What interests you, both personally as well as professionally?
- What learning style do you resonate with most ~ academic and structured or practical and improvisational?
For example: Sexological Bodywork is quite academic and clinical in its highly structured, multi-month long curriculum. Bondassage® is a sequence or “flow” that you learn over the course of a weekend and then improvise upon. What resonates most for you?
3. What’s your investment budget - in addition to the cost of your training?
Setting up shop as a professional Dominatrix and outfitting your dungeon could easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, adding Tantra services to your offerings would require a more modest investment outside of your training.
Consider how adding this new training will affect your bottom line? Will your new skills help establish you as an expert in your field, or broaden your reputation as a “jill-of-all-trades”? It’s important to explore all of your options carefully, as your answers will be a determining factor in which of the following programs could represent the right fit for you.
Here are some training programs worth checking out:
Sexological Bodywork®: Created by Joseph Kramer, Sexological Bodywork is the first erotic massage program whose certification is approved by the state of California. “Sex Bod” training covers vulva, penis and anal massage, masturbation coaching, pelvic release work, breathwork, scar tissue remediation, and Orgasmic Yoga. The 2+ month course begins with 6 weeks of “online learning, home erotic practice, video demonstrations and communal erotic practice”, followed by a 14-day hands-on Intensive. You complete the program and receive your certification by completing an additional 25 hours of supervised sessions.
Sexological Bodywork training is great for those who want in-depth erotic massage training, more “legality” and legitimacy around their work, and professional, clinical boundaries (Sexological Bodywork practitioners must adhere to a strict protocol and ethical guidelines: offering uni-directional, gloved massage with the practitioner remaining clothed), and gives the student a more conventionally academic structure.
More information about Sexological Bodywork Training can be found HERE.
Professional Dominatrix Training through the Academy of SM Arts: Founded in 1995 by world-renowned kink educator Cleo Dubois, the Professional Erotic Dominance Intensive is perfect for those looking to develop their BDSM techniques and find their very own ethical style as professional Domina. Cleo teaches the three day course in San Francisco with Eve Minax and Selina Raven, and you'll learn on “seasoned” volunteer male bottoms. The course covers such topics as the psychology of BDSM, using archetypes to find your Dominant Persona, developing scenes, working with fetishes, boundaries, ethics and includes a 100+ page workbook.
The Professional Erotic Dominance Intensive is great for those looking to expand into Professional Domination, or those who just want to add a few BDSM techniques safely and sanely to their practice.
More information about Professional Dominatrix Training 3-Day Course can be found HERE.
Urban Tantra®: Created by Barbara Carrellas, Urban Tantra began as a best-selling book and has expanded into a 6-day workshop teaching her unique blend of Tantra and BDSM. The 6-day workshops are geared toward sexuality professionals ~ tantrikas, sex educators, companions, pro dommes, daka/dakinis, sex therapists, and anyone else who uses or wants to use a more “conscious approach to sexuality” in their practice. You’ll learn gender-neutral practices and language, specific breathing techniques and exercises, and Barbara’s blend of “Tantric BDSM”.
Urban Tantra is great for those who work with queer/trans/different-bodied clients, clients with performance issues, or those looking for an overview of Tantra and BDSM without all the “woo-woo” of Tantra or high protocol of BDSM.
More information about upcoming Urban Tantra Trainings can be found HERE.
Bondassage®: Created by Jaeleen Bennis, a professional Domina and Certified Massage Therapist, Bondassage is a blend of erotic massage, sensory deprivation, light bondage, body percussion and sensation play. Elysium (a slower, massage-intensive modality) blends soft bondage and sensory focusing tools with Taoist, Kashmiri and Ayurvedic erotic massage techniques. The two day training (or three days if you want to learn both sequences) is designed for sexuality professionals and erotically adventurous individuals and couples. You’ll learn the copyrighted sequences, diverse BDSM techniques, and a wide viariety erotic massage strokes on experienced demonstration models. Certification includes a manual, music, optional Bondassage kit, continuing education, private coaching, and a supportive global community.
Bondassage is great for sensual massage artists looking to add some kink to their sessions or for Dominas looking to add erotic touch to their scenes. Certified Practitioners also rave about the “built-in” boundaries that Bondassage and Elysium provide.
More information about Bondassage/Elysium Training can be found HERE.
The Body Electric School: Offering workshops in the US, Canada and Australia, ‘Celebrating the Body Erotic’ is a two and a half day workshop that provides the opportunity to give and receive full-body massage and explore breathwork and movement in a safe space. Other programs include: Power, Peace & Pleasure, Celebrating Sacred Eros - Women & Men Together, Tantra 1 For All Genders, Celebrating the Queer Body Erotic and Power, Surrender & Intimacy for Men & Women.
Body Electric workshops are great for personal development and explorations into sacred space, energy, kink, and increasing your body’s erotic potential.
More information about Body Electric can be found HERE.
Source School of Tantra Yoga: Founded by Charles Muir (widely considered to be the “father” of Tantra in the West), Source School offers training in various Tantra techniques through home study, seminars and workshops presented across the US. Tantric philosophy, meditation, working with energy, Tantric massage, sexual healing, sex magic and esoteric concepts are in taught in a variety of formats. Instruction also includes such topics as marketing, business plans and legal issues. Tantra Teacher Training is completed through four separate levels and, upon completion, certifies you as a healer, teacher and advanced Tantra practitioner.
Source School Teacher Training is great for those looking for a strong foundation in Tantra history, philosophy, principles and techniques.
More information about Source School Workshops can be found HERE.
Investing in your education can pay big dividends ~ setting you apart as an expert, supplying you with credentials and “legitimacy” in a field that often has none, associating you with a proven brand, offering you support through community, and giving you the skills and confidence to increase your rates.
Like any great entrepreneur or successful business person, consider your training an investment. Choose the type of continuing education program that best resonates with your learning style, fits with who you are and what you want to offer, and will help bring you the type of person you envision as your ideal client.
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