"I remain seated on the floor...or standing periodically by the bed when a closer look is required."
It’s a career track most don’t know about, much less announce aspiring to: sex coaching. For decades, though, these folks have been teaching people how to be good at sex. In its most intimate form, classes occur via play-by-play-in-the-bedroom instructive while clients engage in sexual activity.
This seemingly avant-garde tactic was born decades ago. Masters & Johnson took research to the field in the late 1950s. The duo gleaned vast amounts of data on human sexuality by watching people have sex in their laboratory. A decade later, Betty Dodson founded the pro-sex feminist movement and coined the term “sex coach.” For over 30 years, Dodson led workshops during which group members masturbated in unison. Dodson’s 1996 best seller, Sex for One, sold over 1 million copies.
At age 69, in 1998, Dodson began training a then 22-year old Eric Amaranth. Now, Amaranth makes his living as a professional sex coach with 10 years of experience as Dodson’s protégé. Amaranth’s blog states that he instructs “clients in real time while they engage in some form of sexual activity. I remain seated on the floor...or standing periodically by the bed when a closer look is required.”
Admittedly, while reading about sex coaching, I've been thinking that this man must be a voyeuristic perve. For what it’s worth, he appears rational in the clips I viewed at his blog. But Amaranth’s demeanor is stilted and a bit odd. He readily shares his sex toys and condoms, providing hands-on assistance, with his clients. "I always fit condoms on them and wash them afterwards," states Amaranth.
Moreover, I’m too sexually conservative to embrace sex coaching. I prefer to keep sex a private, sacred act with someone I’m in love or lust with. Then again, at least a few of my partners (and there were only a few) could have benefited from Amaranth’s expertise. In that case, I’d have benefited. But I can’t imagine the extent of performance anxiety when being critiqued by a male expert. Plus, I’d have been tempted to kick the guys out of my bedroom in favor of Amaranth – an attractive man who clearly knows his field.
Back on point, I’m the only true determiner of what feels good to me. Thus, I’m leery about sex coaching.
Next, there’s the expense. But Amaranth’s fees are in-line with counseling fees, at over $100 per session and thousands of dollars for a year’s worth of tutorials. His New York based business will travel via Skype to your bedroom too.
To conclude in Amaranth’s favor, he is normalizing sex as a basic human need with the potential for orgasmic intimacy and pleasure. He thereby reduces the pervasive stigma and shame that we, as a society, have regarding sex. Also, many have claimed that Amaranth saved their marriages and/or salvaged their well-being. If people want his services, good for them. And I hope it really is good for them.