How Following Her Body’s Pleasures Created A Legacy of Somatic Sex Education with Caffyn Jesse



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Caffyn Jesse is a leading somatic sex educator who teaches on encouraging neuroplastic change to support sexual healing and expanded pleasure, unwinding sexual trauma, exploring the intersection of sex and spirit, and creating erotic community. She is a faculty member at the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education. Caffyn is a prolific author who has researched and written on the science of sexual happiness, neurobiology and sexual healing, trauma, erotic touch, orgasm coaching and many other topics. You can learn more about Caffyn through her award-winning website at and by following her Facebook blog.

We explore: 


“We use the word ‘consent’ – but it’s actually more than that.   We have to go beyond consent.. because it’s very common to consent to unwanted touch… we’re getting practice everyday in consenting to what we don’t really want… And if we’re going to actually welcome each other’s souls and cultivate this much more empowered and transformative relational and erotic experience, we have to go beyond consent….”  


How our collective cultural beliefs and stereotypes involving race, gender and sexual orientation affects the dynamics of our individual sexual interactions,  embodied responses, and intimacy experiences.  


How being an “oddball,” bullied, and gender-queer led to Caffyn listening to her authentic Self, building self-trust around the erotic and erotic as power, and listening for her “deep yes.”


“When I was in my 40’s, I started to get regular bodywork,.. it just opened up some energy channels, and I started to feel this – wow~ powerful, sacred, very inconvenient erotic life force energy…. I was able to trust and be guided by my own body… where that erotic life force energy could be honored… as sacred, as powerful… – I let it change me…. I let it completely change my life…” 


How a key to discovering and cultivating our erotic life force can involve finding and receiving or exchanging with practitioners –  to have sacred, safe, contained, embodied explorations and “make it 100% about me and receiving to venture through new portals…” 


How her “holy pain” made it essential for Caffyn to explore receiving whole body massage and prolonged genital massage leading to accessing the technology of her body engaging the spiritual erotic energy that flows through us all.


How after teaching her 1st workshop, she knew : “this is what I’m meant to do… bringing together people – at first strangers, to learn about our own desires, practicing the erotic, integrating the erotic as sacred, witnessing the changes in people… rather than experiencing the erotic in boxes, and with scripts… really about feeling yourself and what your body really wants – to have a counter-normative experience of the erotic…” 


How the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education has been created and structured in ways to meet the sense of safety and pacing of the wide range of nervous systems of students – by slowing things down and providing the freedom to self-design their educational experience of erotic embodiment.  

Rahi: Welcome to Organic Sexuality, where we explore the restoration of pleasure, the reclamation of sexual sovereignty and the realization of our embodied sexual nature. An invitation to honor the pleasures of your body by embodying the pleasures of your nature. I'm your host, Rahi Chun. I'm a certified somatic sex educator, sexological body worker and creator of Somatic Sexual Wholeness. Today we celebrate the legacy, the light and the love that is Caffyn Jesse. I've been inspired and influenced by Caffyn and her somatic sexuality works for many years and been blessed with opportunities to connect with her personally in this last year, through the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education, that she co-founded. It was actually during today's interview that I came to learn that she is retiring this month after decades of teaching, training, writing, supporting, and leading somatic sex educators from around the world. So I'm especially delighted and honored to share this celebration of Caffyn Jesse and all that she represents in her journey of erotic embodiment, sexual reclamation, and service to the divine nature of Eros - discovered through our divine nature in safe, consensual, connected presence with pleasure.

Rahi: I'm very happy today to be introducing Caffyn Jesse to the podcast. Those of us who've been in the field of somatic sex education know Caffyn and Caffyn's work as the pioneering work she's produced over the years. For those people, new to somatic sex education, if you start digging around, you'll soon cross her name through her books, her videos, her trainings, her online courses. She's just really been a pioneer in the field. And it's such a delight to invite her to the podcast, to spend some time with us today. Thanks for being here, Caffyn.

Caffyn: Thank you, Rahi. And you know, you're such a leading light in our field, so it's such an honor to be on your program and to get to know you a little bit better. So I'm really, really pleased to be here.

Rahi: Thank you. So I wanted to share that in addition to a pioneering somatic sex educator and trainer, as well as a practitioner and author, I wanted to share some of your books that have been influential in my journey as a somatic sex educator. I dug them off my shelf. I have them right here, there's Science of Sexual Happiness. And you'll see, like I've got notes throughout. Like, you know, when I first read this, I was really amazed because I've never come across a book that not only explains the neuro-chemistry of our sexual embodiment so clearly, but also it's full of just incredible somatic exercises. I mean, exercises that involve breath, movement, sound, and really inviting the reader to take inventory of our experiences, sensations, safety, boundaries around our sexual exploration. So it is such a great book. And then the other book that I took off my shelf was this one "Erotic Massage for Healing and Pleasure." And I feel like it's like an A to Z around introducing anyone to erotic, sensual, safe and healing touch, particularly when it comes to restoring and reimprinting touch and pleasure regarding our sexuality and genitalia.

Caffyn: Thank you Rahi. I should mention, I've re-published that erotic massage book last year under the title "Intimacy Educator: Teaching through Touch." So it's a little slightly updated, mostly it's the same book that kind of takes you through erotic massage, from my perspective, as a sacred intimate and intimacy educator, trying to, as you say, you talk about re-imprinting and developing choice and voice - empowering us to access more ecstatic experiences with our body, our full embodiment, but with awareness of traumas and imprint of cultural stereotypes and expectations around gender and yeah, - trying to place the erotic massage practices that we learn as sexological body workers and somatic sex educators in a bit of a wider context. I mean, I'm really relying on Joseph Kramer's work and the sexological bodywork training in that book that I'm trying to just give it a bit more embedding in the context of like what our souls are and what they've experienced in the social realm.

Rahi: Yeah. I feel like that's so, so important. And I should say, I believe your Intimacy Educator, the updated version is being made generously available as a PDF on your website.

Caffyn: That's right. I decided to offer it as a free download during the COVID pandemic, because I was hearing about all these people trapped in their homes with their partner, getting all fractious. And to me, like these practices that we do are key to evolving more loving, intimate relationships, as well as our personal healing and wellbeing. I'm really interested in new work that I'm doing and looking at like, how do these practices help us love each other better and differently?

Rahi: Yeah, and I feel like so much of that comes from the understanding of that cultural societal context that you mentioned, because, you know, we have to understand where we're starting from and we are starting from an embodiment that is influenced by all of these different cultural and relational dynamics and factors, whether it's race, gender, sexual orientation, like whatever it is we are holding, we are embodying - kind of are these kind of social norms. And they're being expressed sometimes as obstacles, sometimes as a support in our sexual intimacy. To frame it with an understanding of all of the influences that feed our sexual erotic blueprints is really, really phenomenal.

Caffyn: Yes. And yeah, the whole cultural context to where, you know, like thoughts are valued and we're cut off from our bodies. It's a numbing and numbing culture that where we're supposed to operate, you know, according to rules and roles and not pay attention to what's going on in our body's sensation. And so these like embodied practices are so important,

Rahi: So important, so important. Yeah. And I feel like our educational system in today's day and age, just further emphasizes that. I mean, whenever I see, you know, school budgets cutting PE or art, I'm like, no for God's sake, just keep those, if anything, you know. So I wanted to say that the Intimacy Educator PDF you can get at Caffyn's wonderful website, that's E R O S P I R I, where you can check out a whole range of online courses and books and articles and videos, a lot of which are being made available for free. So definitely go and check that out. I should also say that Caffyn is one of the co-founders of the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education, which I want to talk about, and the Somatic Sex Educators Association. So what strikes me Caffyn or what struck me is, as I was becoming familiar with all of your various transmissions around embodied sexuality, it really becomes quite clear early on - the understanding that we are erotic embodiment is the expression of life force energy - really an expression of source energy and the explorations that you do, or the illumination that you bring to spirit and sex and how they really are this one in the same expression.

Rahi: I'd love to ask you if I may, like, what were the pivotal influences in your erotic embodiment journey that illuminated for you this delicious, sacred divine gateway, that is our body to spirit, to spirit source?

Caffyn: Well, I think, like in my personal journey, I guess, you know, I had a lot of aloneness and isolation and like being an odd-ball and different and bullied and excluded being like queer and gender-queer, and just like coming from a family of origin that was pretty troubled. And, um, so I, I learned to listen like to myself and have that kind of self-trust and that like around the erotic was confirmed by, um, you might think Audrey Lorde, "Uses of the Erotic, the Erotic as Power" - that was a essay I came upon early in life that just like, it was like such a "deep yes" for me. James Baldwin was another early entrance and then like finding culture where, you know, erotic energy cultivation was part of like who and how we were. And like, we were creating like this alternative, radical culture that felt like really, oh, with like, yes, this is a deep yes.

Caffyn: for me to keep on following. And, yeah, in my own personal journey, it wasn't until I was into my forties, you know, I had, you know, kind of a wild misspent youth, but I, you know, I settled down into just kind of living very tamped down erotically. But then when I was in my forties, I had started to get regular body work. And, you'll understand this because you work with energy channels. It was, it just opened up some energy channels. And I just start to feel like this, like, wow, powerful, sacred, very inconvenient, like erotic life force energy. And, you know, like how do I find expression for that? And with that, there came a lot of memories of early life trauma. And it was like they were all wound up together. And, um, yeah, that the person that I was receiving body work from, like, like wasn't in any way prepared to cope with that.

Caffyn: And it didn't go well with them, but I was like, oh, there must be something here. Like I was able to trust that my own journey and be guided by my body. And, you know, I think because of my early influences and just found my way, like with trying a lot of things that, you know, practitioners that were horrible and finding practitioners that were good. I found my way to Elfie Shaw, who is one of the pioneers in our field and Joseph Kramer had wonderful online offerings. And, and yeah, so from my little, um, rural home on Salt Spring Island, I was able to find through Joseph's online offerings, this whole field of sexological bodywork. That was, it was just starting in, in those days. But he had this very generous online offering. And I was just like, oh, wow, this is, this is it.

Caffyn: You know? And I felt excited by just the convergence and I, I made it, they wove with Joseph and studied his materials and worked for him for a while and helped him bring the first sexological bodywork training to Canada a few years later, and then was able to take it because it was right here where I live. And, um, and just kind of my people - where that erotic life force energy could, could be honored, like as sacred as, as powerful. And, you know, meanwhile, I was practicing, I, you know, guided by his work and found my way to actually having a practice, uh, where I could meet people in that way. The wording that appealed to me that felt really resonant with who I was, was, the sacred intimacy, you know, I could meet people with my touch and with my presence to be like another human soul soul, like soul to soul and, um, and help them feel their own sacred life force energy as the erotic. And, uh, oh yeah. I, I've kind of gone on a tangent away from your question.

Rahi: No, it's beautiful Caffyn. Caffyn - It's so beautiful. So, so beautiful. It's helping me understand how in your books and in your writings and in your teachings, how that awakening in you in your forties from, you know, really present safe body contact, body touch, awakened - what I'm guessing was probably a dormant force.. That's, it's kind of a sleeping force in all of us, you know, just really, waiting for the permission for the invitation, for the, you know, kind of the manual really. We've got this treasure in our bodies, but no one's given us the manual. And that's what I love about your works is it it's so multilayered and complete in providing that safe space and that sacred space for the invitation to really embody this, this dormant force. But I love that. I love that. I love how it happened and I love that you dove right in. I love that. It sounds like you just voraciously, you know, like drank up, ate up, read up everything that was available. You

Caffyn: You, well, I really let it change me, you know, like, like, you know, I just was fortunate and also courageous enough, I guess, to like completely change my life. And, you know, that happened gradually where I just started to practice like a couple of days and week, and then I got, it was like, well, wow - this is working and I love it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rahi: Um, you know, on your website, there's a wonderful page of videos for people who are visiting. And I love the, the breath meditations, the, the breath meditation videos that you both guide and demonstrate through your own body's practice. And I was curious, Caffyn you know, like during the journey of both embodiment and as a practitioner holding space for others, I'm curious what kind of the biggest ahas or turning points were for you? Because as I saw one of those breath videos, I kind of wondered, oh, I wonder if, if the infinite access to our erotic potential through breath, I wonder if that was like a big aha for Caffyn or, you know, or what, what others, uh, I mean, whether it was, or not, I'm curious what those kind of junctures were for you in your journey as a practitioner.

Caffyn: Well, I think like, you know, getting connected to a culture of like that not only permissioned, but with Joseph's teachings, it's like, you know, he's like very insistent that this is what you've got to do, like self-pleasuring and devote yourself to a discipline of self-pleasuring and recognizing the role that breath could play in that to really bridge with the autonomic nervous system. And, um, and to give more access to more joy, more ease, you know, like, like more excited, excited arousal, but also more calm, peacefulness and yeah - breath. But for me also, it's been very key to find practitioners at one time. It was like, I really needed to have people that I hired that like I knew, and this is still for me to occasionally do like, to just hire someone to like work with me, because then it's like a hundred percent about me and, you know, help me get through these portals to something more joyful, even like we come up against these barriers, like, and, you know, we need sometimes like a teacher, guide to like really take us through, but also to have like exchanges and have people that weren't my, you know, I didn't have joint bank accounts with, and wasn't trying to make home with and everything, but to have like exchanges with other people on this journey of erotic empowerment yeah.

Caffyn: To support me in this sort of counter-normative practice of cultivating ecstasy. And then to feel like the relational joy is of that, that can be, you know, how we can cultivate, uh, a real beautiful friendships and intimacy and enjoyment of the erotic together, you know, in ways where we're really feeling like safe and grounded and empowered. And, you know, we know that, you know, nothing's expected of us that we can't give with full heart. And like we're really in that practice. And, you know, to have those, month after month and year after year of having that kind of relational experience, I think like, that's what really changed me. Like, you know, what's like a totally walking into a totally different world. [inaudible]

Rahi: I just hear so many, um, exciting, important themes that you mentioned there. I mean, certainly the consistency, the regularity of the practice, it's kind of like, you know, it's kind of like learning to play exotic exquisite music through the vessel that is our body. And it does require that kind of devotion and consistency to become familiar, not only to the kind of wide range of energetic, physiological, chemical, you know, emotional parts of our body, but, you know, as cause they're changing day by day and year by year as well. So it's, it's really becoming so familiar with them that, that we can sense and Intuit and start to listen to how they're changing and what their needs are. But the other thing I hear, Caffyn, that was really important was having a space and a time where you're just receiving and not responsible for anything else. I'm sure all practitioners have seen this, but with clients who are in relationships, it seems rare for people to have the shared experience of one person having no responsibility, but just to receive sensation and inviting their partner to just give an explore.

Caffyn: Isn't that transformative for couples, right? Like it's so yeah, just teaching to take turns, don't always try and make it like a high-intensity same time interaction,

Rahi: Right. Where your attention and kind of your sensory awareness is split, but where you can be a hundred percent devoted to just receiving and what that can open up in the body, which yeah. Which, which it sounds like was, um, a real instrumental role played in your journey just to make sure you had those experiences of finding practitioners you felt safe with to receive well,

Caffyn: You know, lucky me, I have vulvodynia. So I have like genital pain that really inhibits me having, um, any kind of penetrative sex. So like that kind of had to be off the table. Um, and I think that's another reason why it's like, you know, my pain, which is, you know, I've struggled with through the decades that, um, but, uh, I call it now like a "holy pain" because it, you know, it made it kind of essential that, you know, for my body and my being it's like, there's kind of like a contraction and a closure. And like, my body was guiding me, like you need a different kind of setup. And then when I found it, like this take turns and have a long, like whole body massage and then go into some creative genital stimulation that's prolonged. And that's, you know, really touching all of the anatomy and, you know, guide to feel the pain and the armoring.

Caffyn: And, and then, you know, it'll gradually release and gently open and, you know, to have these embodied experiences, I mean, they just are not accessible in any other way. And for my body, it was just like, okay, like a huge, huge difference, like to access the technology of our body, which is also the technology of the spiritual and the, you know, accessing this amazing energy that flows through us when we, when we can cultivate it. Tell me a bit about you and your journey Rahi. I want to know more about like how, how did you come to these practices and

Rahi: Oh, sure. Sure. Well, I just, I did want to, um, I did want to reflect back that it is amazing the vulvodynia invited such a vast exploration of terrains that may never have been touched into or explored otherwise,

Caffyn: I probably would have just, you know, found much more kind of ordinary sexual experiences if they had been accessible to me.

Rahi: Yeah. Yeah. Um, wow. So my journey, I mean, essentially I came out of my Mom's womb with very crooked legs. So, you know, she massaged and lotioned them every day until they grew straight, which took about three years. So that was kind of my first language was receiving that kind of touch. And so naturally expressing love to my parents. I was massaging them a lot, you know, growing up. Um, and then, yeah, I think it was that combination of touch with presence. Cause I was really drawn to meditate different forms of meditation when I was in college. And so I found that, you know, I mean, we call it presence, but that unconditional presence with the intentional touch - what that does as far as unwinding or reconditioning the touch receptors in the recipient. Um, I didn't know it at the time, like what was happening, but changes were happening in my partner and I didn't, I wanted to know what was, you know, what actually was happening.

Rahi: So, you know, my path first took me to different Taoist - you know, consciously circulating the energy practices, um, and that led me to different tantric practices. Um, and then I was kind of off to the races and wanting to kind of, know everything I could. Um, but I would say like a turning point for me, I guess both as an embodied person, as well as a practitioner came from just recognizing how I guess malleable and how genital tissue can go from pain to pleasure. I mean, I was kind of blown away. My first tantra residential training, where we did inner pelvic release work. There was no expensive machinery. We weren't at a medical facility. It was just unconditional presence, breath, freedom to move and presence. And you know, my partner who had survived incest as a child, she had all this pain and armor. And by the end of the week, she was feeling so relaxed and so pleasurable that I was like, everyone should know how to do this. You know, this is like they should teach. I mean, I was, I mean, don't you feel this? I mean, I'm guessing you feel this way too, Caffyn, which is why you wrote your phenomenal books. It's like, everyone should know this.

Rahi: It just gets so exciting to see what seems like miracles happen. And it, you know, it's, it's like we have all the tools within our body to re-condition to re-imprint to rewire new associations. And, um, I wanted to ask you, like, I mean, I'm imagining like, as a practitioner, there were so many kind of mindblowing ahas over the years. Do you recall ones that were really kind of like, just kind of changed your trajectory as a practitioner, as an educator?

Caffyn: Well, when I recall was the first time I ever taught a workshop, I developed this intimacy educator workshop, you know, I had worked one-on-one and I didn't want to do workshops the first years of practice, I really enjoyed the one-on-one work and that was wonderful, but I got some requests for people like wanted more training, like how do I do this? And it was for sex workers that knew each other, they were friends. And they asked me like, can we come up and stay there and do a residential training with you? And I was like, well, why not? We could make this work. And I got a couple of other people to come in and we had this six day training that I designed and I just, yeah, I'll never forget kind of like at the end of it, after we went out for dinner, just walking home and it was like, oh yes, you know, this is what I'm meant to do.

Caffyn: And it was a change in my practice from the one-on-one work to really including more teaching and bringing these groups together. And that there was, something's like so magical about this, you know, intensive where, you know, you bring together people like, strangers, and then they, they weave this through these practices of like, oh, how do we understand the ways that we endure unwanted touch and start to self witness and really like practice, welcoming each other's choices and practice, like knowing our own desires and trusting them enough to voice them and then practice being, you know, introducing the erotic to that and integrating a sense of the erotic as sacred as wanted as welcome. And, you know, and then to see that happens and the changes that happen in the people and in me over a several day period, I was like, oh, I was born for this. Oh, wow, wow. Yeah. It's been a, such a wonderful ride in my career, you know, to just go more into the teaching and yeah, I've had that for the last, I guess, 12 years or so. That's been so wonderful. That's a memorable....

Rahi: Wow. That's really what an important, what a, like, I mean, it's such a blessing juncture from having resisted, you know, giving workshops because you were so enjoying the one-on-one and I totally related with that because I really enjoy one-on-one sessions, but there is, I don't know how to describe it. It's like a mysterious alchemical, energetic, collaborative, something that happens in a workshop with a group of embodied beings, where as you said, all everyone's kind of past sexual experiences come to the soup to be recognized, to be witnessed, to be honored, to be transformed. And it seems to me that the power of being witnessed in transformation. Yeah. It's unlike anything else. And then to have kind of the collective, um, erotic energy to support and nourish that transformation.

Caffyn: Yeah. I mean, we get, you know, we, we experienced the erotic in such boxes of, you know, like relationship boxes and privacy and, you know, scripts and everything. And just, it's just like, how do you create an environment? And like where you actually get to practice something really different and, you know, practice like, oh, like all of you is welcome and no choices mandatory, or there's no script here. It's just really about feeling yourself and what you actually want. And you know, all your grief is welcome. All your armor and your pain is, you know, welcome, your so-called dysfunctions are creative adaptations that we can respect, and we can cherish - to have that counter normative experience of the erotic. Yeah - outside the one-on-one box, I mean, which I love, I love the one-on-one work, but yeah. I think it's like, oh, there's something very special here.

Rahi: Yeah, totally. You know, as you were sharing that, Caffyn I, it occurred to me that like, as a species, because we are a tribal species and a social species, you know, for millennia, I mean, healing was done in community and in tribal kind of circles. And so there must be something deep within our psyche and our DNA that responds to that. And the thing that really strikes me is, you know, especially in one-on-one sessions and I think most practitioners, um, you know, can relate to this is so many clients think they're the only one that has certain fantasies or certain hangups or certain whatever, but in a group they recognize, oh my gosh, I'm not the only one. Like everybody has it. Yeah. Something I want to pick up on Caffyn is you mentioned in the group retreat, just the, the importance of voice and choice, you know, for me, I, it was really like in my one-on-one sessions, recognizing how safe the body can feel once it has the evidence that it's voice is going to be honored and responded to was really very illuminating for me. And I know in all of your work and your books, like it's such a core theme. I mean, I think it's one of the three, three stool legs that you, that you speak about is the voice and choice. And I just wanted to kind of underscore that because I feel like in our society, the way where, you know, often parented in families, like it's, without a choice of what our body experiences and how revolutionary it can be and the reclamation of our

Caffyn: Well, I mean, yeah, I think this is key. Like how we, you know, we, we use the word consent as like, oh, we need consent, but it's actually more than that. We have to go beyond consent because it's very common to consent to, unwanted touch or touch, you know, like, like we consent to, you know, have a pelvic exam every year. We consent to all kinds of touch exchanges. Like we're getting practice every day and consenting to what we don't really want. And if we're going to actually welcome each other's souls and cultivate this much more empowered and transformative, relational, and erotic experience, we have to go beyond consent. And this like notion like to practice, noticing what you want and then giving voice to it. And then having that expression welcomed by people who aren't going to hear your requests as a command, like there's so much appeasing going on and threat management in the ordinary relational environment that, you know, somebody expresses something they want, you know, either it's ignored or else overwritten or else it's received as a command by someone who goes into appeasement. And it's just like, oh, whatever you want, dear. And they're not in full heart with their gift of touch. I know you are so, you know, empowered as I am by Betty Martin's work. And, and she's just done so much of helping us understand the subtleties of, of like, where things go wrong and in, uh, in touch exchanges and practicing the three minute game that she developed and bringing those tools and understandings into our, our work has been so key for me.

Rahi: Yeah. But I think, you know, the appeasement or the fawn response, I think it's not so well understood or acknowledged in our mainstream culture, certainly not within the field of sacred sexuality or sexuality and intimacy. And yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I was speaking to a psychotherapist who is African-American, who's biracial, and those of us who were from marginalized cultures growing up, especially are kind of very good at the fawn response just to, you know, have a sense of belonging and not being ostracized. And so it's really so important, I think, for us to recognize the fawn response in ourselves, because so much of consent could be a passive reflexive consent out of a fear of not belonging rather than a real authentic yes.

Caffyn: Yeah. And how key to bring these understandings of like, like so much of how racism expressed is through, um, you know, nonconsensual touch through sex, sexual violence, through sexualizing, you know, sexual stereotypes and like these all come into play, you know, when we come into touch exchange, like we need to name these dynamics and make them conscious and clear and like, how are we navigating this? And, you know, unless we do that, like, they're, they're like quick sand, just pulling us down. And, um, you know, whether like in our own, our own responses or, you know, how we're, how we're trained to behave by the dominant culture, just like to navigate, social relational space where, you know, being racialized is endangering you. And it's, it's endangering you as a person with Asian ethnicity, different from a black woman or a black man will be like differently endangered. And there's all kinds of like really important stuff to unpack around, like what's going on in the social space we're navigating and how we're, how we're trained to show up in, you know, we'll be blind to three quarters of what's going on, like slowing it down and actually practicing, and then getting even more curious and, and like having these day after day, like experiences of actually having that welcome is, is so key.

Rahi: It is it's so key and, you know, it helps. I mean, it just, our insights into our human species certainly expands our ability to connect, relate, and intimate with the range of people we may want to, but also speaks to really being a holistic society, certainly as practitioners and as a field that invites all, all beings. Um, there's so many things I respect and really love about the Institute that you've co-founded - the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education, because I feel like the training, I feel like what you've created in the structure and the pacing and interwoven, the societal realities, like what you're speaking to, you know, how race, how trauma of marginalized people affects like our whole society. It's interwoven through all of the curriculum. Really. I'm curious how, cause you'd mentioned moments ago that, you know, after working with Joseph Kramer, you with his support, you started the first Canadian training program. I feel like there are things unique about the training at the Institute. I'm wondering what you feel like are essential and where you see the field of somatic sex education moving into in the future, because you've kind of seen, like, it sounds like the whole kind of evolution of it, you know, in the last 20, 30 years.

Caffyn: Well, um, yeah, I can only speak for the Institute. You know, we teach really differently in our training than somatic sex education is taught in other parts of the world. And so, what we decided to do after, you know, teaching in the old model for several years, I was just like, I can't teach this way anymore because it was very, like intense and like just kind of threw everybody in a hopper for six months of super intense training. And then meanwhile, we're telling people and trying to teach them about the nervous system and how we need to slow down. And we need to establish like an embodied sense of like safety, safe, enough to be brave kind of feeling in the body and how that can only come, like when we slow down and when we practice and then we're just like going through this like so intense experience.

Caffyn: So anyway, I, we just decided that we had to design a different way. And so we designed a way where basically anyone can come in and take an online introductory program it's, you know, priced really accessibly, I think, and there's BIPOC scholarship fund as well. And then like get introduced to the field gradually like figure out their relationship with it. Do some of the practices, you know, meet some of the different practitioners. Then we would have the, the intense, like in-person experience. Um, but only for a week. And then, you know, people could self pace themselves. And then we would go into the old curriculum, which was more like the like high intensity, like do a whole bunch of, bodywork practices with guidance and a curriculum evolved marked by Joseph Kramer, which we we've adjusted partly, but for that's our third course now.

Caffyn: So like, we're really trying to resource people with some like slowing things down and people can take the program over several years. That's, um, some people are going, you know, finish it in one year, but, um, it's kind of just done in chunks where you can pace yourself, both, you know, according to your, your nervous system, your what works for your body and, and your learning, to stay in your neural learnings on, but also your finances. So yeah, it really proud of the curriculum that we've designed and the way that just feels like, oh, our students are just magical beings that are finding us from all over the world. And I feel so elated by what's evolving,.... I'll be retiring next month, so I won't be teaching there anymore, but I feel like, oh, it's, it's really, um, good to go. And yeah, the team that's there and the brilliant students and new leadership coming up, it's like, wow, wow,

Rahi: Wow. Is right. So next month is your retirement. Yeah. And so, um, I need to ask you, um, like, how are you feeling Caffyn about retiring next month?

Caffyn: Oh, I'm feeling all the things, you know, little bit scared, vulnerable, you know, excited. I feel like, you know, my, my spirit and my body is just demanding of me that I have more spaciousness and more peacefulness and just, um, yeah, there's a definite, like, I can't not do this, but it's also a little bit scary to, you know, go from being busy and important to just being a has been, so

Rahi: Well, being a, an inspired and inspiring, pioneer and embodied vessel for life force to come through you and all of infinite creative ways, she I'm sure can't wait to use you to paint her next painting. I think it'll be really exciting Caffyn...

Caffyn: I've got projects and things that I'm doing and want to do. And, and, uh, yeah, so you might not have seen the end of me that probably be another book or two, but, um, it'll be, you know, like related to this field and informed by it, but not, not confined to it.

Rahi: Ah, I see. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that sounds very exciting. So not confined to it, but related to it. So you can expand beyond, um, what has been the field of focus. Um,

Caffyn: It feels like there's other things calling me, so, oh, well,

Rahi: That's very exciting that that freedom and sense of, um, permission you're giving yourself sounds really, really good.

Caffyn: Yeah. And just, you know, more time non-doing so yes,

Rahi: Absolutely. Well, Caffyn, I really want to acknowledge, um, the role that you've played in the field of somatic sex education. I think it's phenomenal just hearing your story, you know, I mean, thank goodness for all the challenges that you've experienced in your body and in the kind of social, uh, normative culture that has, that has invited you to channel all of this incredible wisdom and discovery and create the structure for all of us to benefit from and to grow from and through as well. Um, you know, as I said, your books were, really, really wonderful for me, you know, as I was entering the field and there weren't, it's still kind of a relatively new field. So your books were very instructive and very inspiring. And you're leaving behind this Institute that, um, is incredible. I mean, what you've done, you've used, you've created an Institute with a curriculum and a pace that honors the, where your students are at, which is what we do within sessions. So it's really kind of a macrocosm of a microcosmic session, and I'm excited to see what, what comes from you and through you next, but I'm so delighted to have you on the show at this juncture to really acknowledge the incredible trail that you've blazed for all of us that are, um, honoring the lineage that's been co-created for us

Caffyn: Well, Rahi, I want to thank you so much. And just to say, you know, watching you and learning from you in your webinars recently, the careful presence, the knowledge knowledgeable touch, the really going at the pace of, and like the embodied wisdom guiding you in, in how you show up with people and how like you offer work. And then how you also teach, like, you bring that as a teacher. And like, in our conversation here, it's really evident that, um, yeah, it's like you're living the dream of being in a grounded nervous system and, you know, being able to show up for others, like with this focused, loving presence, like, and to offer that through your knowledgeable hands. So, yeah, I want to thank you for being you and for yeah, having this wonderful conversation and really to honor what you manifest and embody and how inviting that is for me, you know, just as a human, but also as a teacher.

Caffyn: And like, I understand that. And I love thinking of you as like a little boy receiving that kind of touch from your, your Mother and the holding environment that you were able to receive and now can pass on to others that it's so profound. And I think like when we integrate the erotic with that holding environment, it's like, all of you becomes safe enough to be brave and to heal and to unfold like this. Not only are our child self that shows up always as we work with clients or as we show up in relationship, but then also our adult self - our full erotic self. And, yeah. So I just, I just want to honor that like, and reflect that to you, like what you, what you come in with and embody. So thank you so much.

Rahi: Thanks, Caffyn. Thank you so much for sharing all of that. Caffyn to close out the podcast, I'd like to see if there is a somatic exploration that may want to be led, um, for our listeners. Let's just tune in and see if there's something that wants to come forward.

Caffyn: Well, we spoke of welcoming the erotic as, sacred life force energy. So I could just guide a little bit, um, of a visualization to invite folks to do that. If that feels like something they'd like to explore for a few minutes with us. So, yeah, I like to always begin by just feeling my feet on the floor and, and just noticing maybe wiggling my toes and rocking back, back and forth a bit on my feet. And just feeling like roots are going down from the soles of my feet, down into the floor and into the crawl space and into the earth below through the rocks and through the crystal layer and just feeling seeking the heat and seeking the warmth at the core of the earth, and then bringing that up and you can use your breath or your imagination or combination of both and bring some warmth up from the roots and the soles of your feet and bring it up into your legs and bring it up to the top of your legs into your pelvis.

Caffyn: And then just feeling that warmth fill your pelvic bowl, that bowl there, as you breathe in, and just noticing with your breath, that there's a little expansion of that bowl - our pelvis is actually made to expand with every breath that we take in, and then contract a little bit with every breath that we take out. And we can't always feel that, but we can always imagine that we feel that - just breathing in and feeling the expansion, breathing out and feeling the contraction and feeling the swirl of warmth from the core of the earth swirling in the pelvis.

Caffyn: And then now if it feels right and just bringing your thought, your awareness up into your hands and reaching up into the sky and wiggle your fingers, reaching up into the air, into the light, we'll see if it feels right to breathe in through your fingers, some energy and breathe it in down your arms, into your shoulders, read it down into your chest and a little bit lower into your belly and all the way down into your pelvis. And again, just feeling the pulse of your pelvis as you breathe in and your pelvis opens. And as you breathe out and your pelvis contracts and comes together opening with the in-breath contracting with the outbreath and letting the energy of the sky and the energy of the soil meet and swirl around there in that beautiful ball of your pelvis. And if it feels nice, you can use your hands to touch the outside of the bowl and use your awareness and your breath to massage the inside of the bowl, and just noticing any sensation in welcoming and welcoming at home. And when you feel done, just coming back into connection with each other, me and Rahi and Rahi and all of you, and just feeling that connection and feeling the swirl of energy in our pelvis, and just rocking, coming back to being ready and a little bit warmed up for whatever comes next for you.

Rahi: Beautiful. Thanks so much. That was really lovely.

Rahi: Notice how you're feeling in your body right now. What sensations are present in your pelvis and in your heart space. Notice how blessed we are to have been graced by light houses, such as Caffyn and her creative and gracious life force. I would love for us to consider sending Caffyn a blessing, a prayer, some good Juju, a smile for her path as her journey continues to unfold. And if you happen to visit her wonderful site, that honestly has so many amazing free resources, consider dropping her a note, or perhaps an email about how her works may have affected you.

Rahi: And maybe there are other angels that have supported your erotic embodiment as your sexual journey has unfolded - a teacher, a counselor, a best friend, a lover, or someone who inspired you with their example of healthy, erotic embodiment, who encouraged you to explore your sexual nature without shame, who reflected back to you, your perfection exactly as you are... How about we take a moment this week to express our gratitude to them as well,. Links to Caffyn's website, all of the resources we discussed, and to the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education can be found in the show notes at Stay safe, stay sexy, and stay true. Until next time, take good care.

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About the Show

We explore the restoration of pleasure, the reclamation of sexual sovereignty, and the realization of our organic sexual wholeness. We engage with leading somatic therapists, sexologists & sexological bodyworkers, and holistic practitioners worldwide who provide practical wisdom from hands-on experiences of working with clients and their embodied sexuality. We invite a deep listening to the organic nature of the body, its sexual essence, and the bounty of wisdom embodied in its life force.

Rahi Chun
Creator: Somatic Sexual Wholeness

Rahi is fascinated by the intersection of sexuality, psychology, spirituality and their authentic embodiment. Based in Los Angeles, he is an avid traveler and loves exploring cultures, practices of embodiment, and healing modalities around the world.