Important Conversations about Sex and Intimacy with Simone Farschi, Founder of The Pleasure Plus

Screenshot 2023 03 23 at 3.58.19 PM

Photo Credit: Abbey Drucker

In recent years, there has been an increase in societal conversations about sex education, gender expression and norms, body positivity, and consent. The internet and social media have democratized access to resources about topics previously considered taboo and inappropriate. This access has allowed individuals to educate themselves and learn from the experiences of others, opening up conversations about these issues. Younger generations have also played a significant role in driving these conversations forward as they are often more open and accepting of diverse gender and sexual identities.

Despite the progress, an authentic and elevated conversation around sex education can still be challenging for many people due to prevailing norms and stigmas. Open conversations about the nuances of sex education are necessary to help demystify taboos, promote safety, and set the foundation for a healthy and fulfilling sex life. To this point, there is a growing movement of holistic sex and intimacy educators who are mindful of how pleasure and sex are a part of a larger conversation about our overall health like diet, exercise, meditation, and so on.

Even in 2023, women still face an ongoing stigma surrounding their sexuality. Women are often taught to view sex as something to be ashamed of or hidden away, potentially leading to a lack of confidence and understanding of their own bodies and desires. Even in the modern age, women who are innately sexual are shamed as sluts, which has negative effects on the way they connect with their bodies. Women in some communities also face specific barriers when it comes to accessing sex education due to discrimination. Unfortunately, many women have also suffered from some form of sexual harassment or assault, which adds another dimension to the sex education process. Sex educators need to be careful with how their sessions may intersect with these traumatic past experiences. Working with an experienced sex coach who is familiar with trauma can be deeply healing and repairing. Giving a client the space to address the traumatic memories and practice embodying what it means to identify with pleasure again is essential.

For men, the challenges surrounding sex education are often related to traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Many men are raised to believe that showing vulnerability or emotion is a sign of weakness, making it difficult for them to ask questions or seek help regarding their sexual health and relationships. Additionally, as new conversations surrounding consent have entered the public zeitgeist, men are re-educating themselves by listening to women.

Simone Farschi, the founder of The Pleasure Plus, is on a mission to promote sexual agency, education, empowerment, and pleasure. Simone is a sex and intimacy educator, Bodysex Facilitator, Sexological bodyworker, Somatica practitioner, pleasure coach, Peristeam Hydrotherapist, doula, and certified life coach. Simone’s modus operandi is to elevate people’s relationships, demystify how to feel pleasure, help people receive long lasting love, and empower them to not be ashamed of their sexuality. Simone is also looking to fill the gap in a comprehensive sexual education for women.

Simone grew up in a conservative environment where sexuality was not openly discussed or celebrated. As a result, she felt disconnected from her own sexuality and struggled with intimacy and relationships. Simone experienced her own challenges with shame and discomfort around her sexuality. Never having a model of what a healthy relationship is, Simone’s past relationship was not healthy and led to her and her partner hurting each other. Struggling to find a way to define herself outside of her relationship and finding support as a new mother, Simone “hit rock bottom” and lost complete connection to her sexuality. This ultimately led her to study the ancient arts of tantra, which set Simone on the path to finding her voice again. The emphasis on pleasure was revolutionary for Simone, personally experiencing how tapping into your sexual energy can help restore confidence, increase productivity, make better diet choices, communicate clearly, and attract people on her wavelength. Now, having trained with some of the best practitioners in the world in yoga, meditation, Somatic therapy, Sexological Bodywork, becoming a doula, and with Betty Dodson, Simone hopes to inspire others to embrace their desires and to create a more empowering relationship with their sexuality. Simone’s personal journey as a sexual agent and as a mother and her desire to create a world where her son can grow up with a healthy and positive understanding of sexuality that values mutual respect and intimacy informs her work.

After moving to the Bay Area, Simone discovered the Somatica Method and Sexological Bodywork. Developed by Dr. Danielle Harel and Celeste Hirschman, the Somatica Method is a unique blend of psychology, neuroscience, and somatic therapy that promotes sexuality and intimacy as essential components of a fulfilling life. The Somatica Method helps clients cultivate body awareness, identify deep-seated emotional patterns that may be blocking their relationships, and develop a better understanding of their desires through a combination of talk therapy, body-based techniques, and more. Sexological Bodywork is a hands-on approach combining elements of body-oriented psychotherapy, somatic sex education, and Tantra that promotes the exploration of sexual pleasure. These techniques can address many issues, including scar tissue, anxiety, shame, trauma, intimacy problems, and physical or emotional pain during sex.

During this time, Simone discovered and honed her passion for teaching and supporting others on their journeys of sexual exploration. Interestingly enough, while in the Bay Area, around 2018, Simone found herself coaching a handful of men in the tech industry who felt confused by the modern dating scene and unfulfilled in their sex lives. Simone provided unbiased sex education, a safe space for them to ask questions, and helped many of these men find their confidence. While Simone felt this was important work and learned a great deal from this experience, she was ultimately driven back to her original raison d’etre, helping women connect to their sexuality.

In 2020, Simone officially founded The Pleasure Plus. With The Pleasure Plus, Simone is committed to creating a safe and inclusive space where people of all genders and identities, particularly women, can explore and celebrate their sexuality. Leveraging her Somatica and Sexological bodywork expertise, The Pleasure Plus offers various services, including coaching, workshops, retreats, and online courses. Through The Pleasure Plus, Simone has helped countless individuals and couples develop deeper connections to their bodies, desires, and relationships, in addition to overcoming shame and trauma related to sexuality.

One of the innovative aspects of The Pleasure Plus is the focus on pleasure as a fundamental aspect of sexual education and empowerment. Simone understands that pleasure is often overlooked or dismissed in traditional sex education. This leads to feelings of shame and disconnection from one’s own sexuality. By emphasizing pleasure, self-awareness, and communication, Simone and her team aim to create a more positive and empowering approach to sexuality.

The Reveal Writing Course is a popular online offering from The Pleasure Plus designed to help women explore their sexuality and enhance their pleasure through writing. Using writing prompts, group coaching sessions, and community support, participants in the Revealed Writing Course are guided on a journey of self-exploration and healing meant to overcome any blocks or limiting beliefs holding their intimacy back. At the end of the course, the students have the chance to read their stories aloud, which may be their first time doing so. This is a transformative and empowering experience. By creating a safe and supportive space for women to share their stories, the Revealed Writing Series offers a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation.

Courses like the Pleasure Queen Academy — a program designed to help women explore their sexuality and connect with their bodies — and Sex, Love, and Relationship Mastery — a course that covers many topics related to sexuality and relationships — are great places to start as well.

Simone designed The Pleasure Plus coaching programs and retreats for individuals and couples to explore their sexuality and enhance their pleasure in a safe and supportive environment. Taught by experienced sex coaches and located in gorgeous secluded locations, the retreat attendees participate in activities and classes promoting a greater understanding of their desires and intimacy with their partners. For example, Simone puts on a workshop to teach women how to connect with their orgasms using techniques she learned while studying with Betty Dodson, a sex and female orgasm pioneer. Simone leads the workshop in the nude in what is a freeing and intimate opportunity for women to connect with themselves and each other. Simone dives deep into anatomy, prompting the group to participate in a  ‘genital show and share’ where those interested name parts of their body. The workshop culminates in an erotic recess session.

The Pleasure Plus clients learn how to pleasure map, a technique that involves identifying and exploring the various sensations that the body is capable of experiencing. Clients learn how to tune into their body’s natural rhythms and communicate their desires to their partners. Additionally, Simone believes exploring sexual fantasies can be a powerful way to deepen intimacy and connection with a partner. She helps clients analyze their fantasies in a safe and non-judgmental way. The retreats, like The Pleasure Plus Couples Retreat, are highly specialized as each experience is tailored to the needs of the attendees.

Simone also uses a unique melange of ancient and modern feminine health techniques. Simone promotes ancient rituals like vaginal steaming, which helps clean and nourish the vagina as well as improve circulation and hormonal balance. Through old-school methods and modern apps, Simone helps clients explore ways to align their life and sexual experiences with their menstrual cycle as a way to connect with their bodies. Furthermore, Simone is passionate about making women feel comfortable with the act of self-pleasure, as many women still feel ashamed of this. Through a safe practice, Simone helps clients learn how to deepen their relationships with their own bodies, empower their sexuality, and enhance their sexual experiences with partners through self-pleasure

As the founder of The Pleasure Plus, Simone Farschi is facilitating crucial societal conversations about sex education and pleasure as well as providing the necessary infrastructure for women to educate, support, and uplift each other as they fulfill their sexual destinies. We are excited to see what Simon Farschi and The Pleasure Plus accomplish in 2023 as she continues to help women and expands her services for men.

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