Lovehoney Sex Expert Interview: Kimberly Johnson
Kimberly Ann Johnson is a Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution Practitioner, Sexological Bodyworker, Structural Integration Practitioner, yoga teacher, and single mom.
She is the creator of Activate Your Inner Jaguar, an online course ushering women into their full voices and sexual expression, and the author of The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions and Restoring Your Vitality. Find more about her work here.
Tell us about your work as a Sexological Bodyworker. How does this body work play into your other areas of expertise like Somatic Experiencing and being a Birth Doula?
Sexological Bodywork is a holistic modality that includes the genitals in bodywork. It is one-way touch, where I, as a practitioner always remain clothed and wear gloves. I came to this work because my vulva and pelvic floor were damaged during birth. I came out of birth with an injury that I did not know how to heal. Sex was painful and I had never experienced that before. Sexological Bodywork is educational, teaching people about their own anatomy and arousal, exploring core erotic desires, and helping unwind some past habits or traumas.
I specialize in helping women heal from birth injuries and birth trauma which affect women's sexuality after they have children (or miscarriages, abortions, or intense fertility journeys) much more than anyone talks about, or than I had ever heard about at the time, 11 years ago. I wrote the book The Fourth Trimester so that I could include sexuality, relationships, and intimacy in the discussion of motherhood. The page entitled Sexual Mother seems radical and so necessary as we break down these old myths of who can be sexy and sexual, without pathologizing or exoticizing, as well as what that means as a legacy for our children.
How is female arousal different from male arousal?
Female arousal can be more wave-like and less linear. On average, it takes women 35-45 minutes for full arousal, which means full tissue engorgement. On average for men, full arousal takes 30 seconds to 2 minutes. In general, full arousal is what is signalling readiness for intercourse, but most women and men have never learned this and don't realize that it is totally normal and physiological to "need foreplay."
How can incorporating toys into the bedroom help strengthen and increase the level of play in a couple's sex life – especially when one or both partners are learning to connect with their sensual selves?
Anything that can help people move toward their curiosities and away from shame can be helpful. Inviting one another into each other's erotic fantasies and worlds is a part of deepening intimacy, as is being honest about any hesitance or taboos... It is so important to remain open and in dialogue about what is interesting in each moment, rather than performing an idea of what 'should' be interesting.
How can women in particular begin to uncover what their sexual relationship looks like to themselves? How can they discover what belongs to them?
Women can move toward pleasure and embodiment in all areas of their lives. Slowing down. Sitting down while they eat. Noticing what feels truly nourishing and where their curiosity organically takes them. Starting from the present moment, and breathing. It is so important to have a meditative or somatic practice – not just exercising or moving your body for a reason to get it to look some way. Goal-less movement, where your body is your instrument of expression and you can listen to her.
What's your very favorite bedroom advice to give?
Slower and less. We've been taught that satisfaction comes through faster and more. But there can also be an incredible palette of pleasure, as well as incredibly hot learning ground in slowing down.
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