Hello! My name is Monica and I'm a Somatic Sex Educator.
I believe that sexual energy/eros is a natural force within the human body and the foundation of vitality and creativity. I believe that each person has access to this energy, and that that only thing we must do is remove the blocks.
My work is heavily influenced by Eastern wisdom traditions including Tantra (Indian and Tibetan), yoga, Taoism, and their various shamanic roots. From the Western side, I draw on the teachings of depth psychology, eco-spirituality, and the pioneering work of somatic teachers: Peter Levine, Bessel Van Der Kolk, Joseph Kramer, and Caffyn Jesse.
I believe that somatic work is inextricably linked with spirituality, and that learning to access bodily wisdom can be profoundly healing, whole-ing, and vital to our capacity for intimacy and empathy.
My practice is trauma informed, client-centred and works at the pace of client. Both verbal and embodied consent are emphasized, and there is ongoing dialogue with the body and nervous system. My mission is to hold safe space for clients where their intentions can be explored, and where we can cultivate the foundation for a richer life experience that embraces ecstasy, authenticity and soulful living.
Like many of my clients, I grew up in a sex negative environment. My family was deeply religious, and there was a great deal of fear and taboo around sexuality. Unfortunately for me, I've always had an archetypal connection with the messier aspects of life in which creativity and eroticism thrive. My innate curiosities beckoned me to explore realms that were outside of my prescribed "norm", and I had no mentors to consult to help me unpack the experiences I was having. For much of my adolescence and young adulthood, I felt confused, scared and deeply convinced there was something wrong with me.
As with most conservative environments, I was taught to operate from a lens of reason, transcendence, and the will of mind over matter. The implied understanding was that sensuality is dangerous, femininity must be subdued, and that the body is the source of all evil. This led to a painful schism within my psyche, compounded by the unspoken truth of decades of intergenerational trauma, the memory of which lived on in my cells despite all attempts to silence the story. There was much healing and work to be done, yet the education I received was sorely inadequate.
Throughout my early adulthood, I began to tap into the notion that sexuality could somehow be sacred and that the merging of the two is key in the healing of our collective consciousness. I sensed that as long as we remain fragmented within ourselves, we remain fragmented from the world at large. I longed for a way to express this notion and bring it into fuller fruition, but the familiarity of an unfulfilling job and my dysfunctional relationships were safer than taking a leap into unknown territory.
It wasn't until I had repeated the same toxic pattern with several partners that I decided to step back and examine what was really going on. By this point in my life I was in a state of deep dissociation and nervous system shut down. I had lost all access to my creativity, desire, and erotic authenticity, and had put myself in a situation where all my power was externalized.
I decided to undertake the healing journey and reconnect with the source of wisdom that I always sensed was present, but for which I had no language. My personal growth journey has taken many paths, the most significant of which have been Tantra, shamanic work, qigong, and depth and somatic psychotherapy. Each of these modalities invited a thorough excavation into the roots of my wounding, and gentle piece-by-piece reclamation of every part that had been disowned. Bringing my body back into the healing process allowed for powerful grounding into my inner truth, the kind of knowing the cognitive mind can only conceptualize.
Gentleness and patience were key, along with a commitment to stay present with whatever was arising. The more I practiced listening to my body, the more it spoke to me. Gradually, as each emotion manifested as sensation in my body, I practiced holding space for it and not running away from this full spectrum of experience. The more space I was able to hold, the more I grew in my capacity for pleasure and true intimacy.
My biggest revelation in doing this work has been that eros is not isolated from daily life. The way we show up in the world, our attunement to our physicality, and our relationship with pleasure and sensation all translate into the quality of our sexual experiences.
Our ability for ongoing presence, self-compassion, and sexual authenticity is a daily practice, not an end goal. Therefore we are all continual works in progress. Through the integration of sex, spirit and psyche, I have found a centre from which to move and a space I can return to when the waves of life become choppy. It is this practice that I wish to pass on to others so they too can know their wholeness, beauty and erotic power.
I welcome you on this journey.
Training and Education
Certified Sexological Bodyworker / Somatic Sex Educator, Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, San Francisco, California
3 Years Training in Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy, The Living Institute, Toronto, Ontario (in progress)
De-armouring Training, De’an Matuka, Sanna Sanita, Susanne Roursgaard, Viljandi, Estonia
International School of Temple Arts, Level 1 Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Experience, Tarcoles, Costa Rica
Movement for Trauma Level 1, Jane Clapp, Toronto, Ontario
Dominatrix Training Intensive, Academy of SM Arts, San Francisco, California
Certified Hatha and Laya Yoga Teacher, Vichara Yoga, Lakefield, Ontario
Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training, Brandon Abram, Lakefield, Ontario
Reiki 1 and 2, Melanie Ollenberg, Toronto, Ontario
Volunteer Crisis Counsellor Training, Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape, Toronto, Ontario
Bachelor of Music, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario