Soul sex

Coach wants grown-ups to embrace their sexuality and connect to their bodies

“Porn is often the main way we learn about sex . . . it’s dripping out of the pages of every magazine in the country. Yet we are scared stiff of our own sexuality, and there is nowhere that really teaches us what healthy, soulful sex looks like.” — Jenny Ferry, sex coach

Coach wants grown-ups to embrace their sexuality and connect to their bodies

Transformation has been a big word for Jenny Ferry. Eight years ago, Ferry stepped — or rather, catapulted — into a quest she never knew she needed: to learn about sex. Soul sex.

Her wake-up moment came on Valentine’s Day, 2005 — the day her daughter was born. Despite being athletic all her life, Ferry says she was tangled in the delusions of professional life and 70-hour workweeks and had drifted away from the wisdom of being in her body. But, “you can’t not be embodied when giving birth.”

Then, everything accelerated. Ferry survived a near-fatal car crash (complete with short-term brain damage and PTSD), ended her marriage with a “rage-o-saur” husband and lost her home — and her life savings — in the aftermath.

“I took my daughter. I took a deep breath. I took the ravaged remains of my old life, and burned them,” she says.

That’s when something began to stir.

“I had been in an 11-year-long relationship that was really flat. It was a sexless marriage, and when I woke up to the fact that that was not what I wanted in my life, I really had to sit with that and think about what I wanted to do,” she says. “The amazing thing was that about three weeks out of that relationship, my sex woke up. And it was hungry. And it was looking for the buffet.”

Ferry wanted to indulge it, but had no idea where, in North American culture, a person could do that.

“There are so many of us, myself included, that have a sex life that looks like feast or famine. As we know, that’s not the best way to nourish ourselves,” she says. “I wanted to nourish myself, consciously.”

As a self-professed recovering academic, Ferry poured herself into books and “field research” to figure it out. Skip ahead eight years, and what she discovered has turned into a self-directed program and soon-to-be-published book on the subject — Soul Sex: contemplative, advanced sex education for grown-ups. And Ferry is bringing her work to Victoria for the third time on March 21.

“Soul Sex is about bringing mindfulness into every aspect of our daily lives; about living a life that’s in alignment with what we really want, a life that’s connected to our body,” says Ferry. “Grounded, real and in the present moment — and fully embodied as a sexual being.”

The program is designed as a three-hour workshop for singles and couples, though it’s likely not what you think. Ferry, who resides in Arizona and spends much of her time workshopping in the Pacific Northwest, is quick to assert that she is not a sex therapist or a marriage counsellor, there is no nudity and everything that happens in the three-hour workshop is completely PG.

However, through simple instruction, lively discussion and (PG-rated) interaction, participants will drop into their bodies, challenge their minds and live just a little farther outside the box than before. The goal: learning how to gently push your edges in a safe, judgment-free space, and understanding how to skillfully recognize how you respond to sexual energy.

“Most of us spend 99.9 per cent of our time in our heads, and that can go double during sex because of the way our society relates to it,” says Ferry. “Porn is often the main way we learn about sex . . . it’s dripping out of the pages of every magazine in the country. Yet we are scared stiff of our own sexuality, and there is nowhere that really teaches us what healthy, soulful sex looks like.”

That question is one that Ferry gets asked a lot: “What’s normal?” Her answer is always the same: whatever feels right to you. “If we can move out of our heads and into our bodies, we can all have a more soulful experience — even if you are having the best sex you’ve ever had, wouldn’t you like to make it better?”

The workshops are open to all interested, though Ferry suggests bringing three great starting tools: curiosity (an open mind), compassion (an open heart) and playfulness (an open body). And while the workshops focus on sex, the principles can be incorporated into all areas of life: learn to manage your energy, improve how you communicate and engage, increase your capacity for sensation and transform how you “show up” in the bedroom and in the world.

“The great thing is that none of this is rocket science,” says Ferry. “This is about creating a sacred container where you can feel safe to learn what is really right for you.” M

Join Intro To Soul Sex, Thurs., March 21, 6-9pm at 165 Cook. Tickets $30 until March 17, $40 after. Register at http://introvicmar.eventbrite.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jen Hodge conducts an online concert during the pandemic after returning to B.C. from New York City. Photo courtesy Claudia Nobauer
Canada Recovery Benefit won’t replace the magic of live performance, musicians say

Cash will help, but its the audience connection that most performers miss — and crave

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancouver Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann will play the same piano at the Port Theatre on Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy Best Days Ever Photography)
Piano duo perform on one piano in Nanaimo return to live performance

Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann present first live, in-person concert since March

Leaking Time by Oak Bay resident Ilka Bauer is the winning entry of the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Ilka Bauer Image)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

Can you spot all 12 Days of Christmas displays at the Butchart Gardens? Jen Blyth photo.
The magic of Christmas returns to the Butchart Gardens

Some events cancelled due to COVID-10 but 12 Days of Christmas will brighten the season

Gatineau artist Michèle Provost visits the Malaspina Galleries during her artist residency on Gabriola Island. (Photo supplied)
Gatineau artist the first to take part in new Gabriola Island artist residency

Michèle Provost to create art book reflecting on the positives of aging

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Most Read