Isiah’s story: When shy girl from the country, Isiah McKimmie left home for university, she had dreams of becoming a town planner. Sexology and Sex Therapy certainly hadn’t been career options given by her career counsellor at school. However supporting couples on the brink of separation, teaching women techniques to increase orgasms or feel interested in sex again is now just all in a day’s work for this therapist.
Curiosity and a chance encounter with a tantric workshop at a music festival changed her direction leading to 10 years of training and an unlikely profession. Today, Isiah is one of the few sex therapists to hold masters-level qualifications in both relationships and sex, giving her a holistic approach to her clients.
In her 20s, Isiah struggled with her self-esteem and body image, thanks to a skin condition that caused discolouration on her skin. She knew her feelings about her body were getting in the way of having healthy and open relationships. Sexual pleasure was shrouded in mystery – was she normal? What were others doing? Was she missing out? Seeing the tantric workshop on offer, she was immediately curious (though newvous) and signed up. All her misconceptions about tantric sex went out the window as she sat, fully clothed, among 30 other people, who gently touched one another’s arms or simply sat close to one another, each person focusing on their own body and feeling intimate without touching.
This was Isiah’s ‘ah-ha!’ moment. The tantric teachings on allowing herself to enjoy her body resonated. She felt more confident. Her relationships improved. She felt more comfortable around men. The impact it had on her life made her want to share her experience with others, so she trained to become a tantric sex teacher.
Not long after she began teaching, a psychologist saw her speak at a conference and asked her to work with some of his male clients who were struggling with erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. A particularly eye-opening role, Isiah says the experience gave her insight into the importance of sexuality to our lives and the complexity of human intimacy and desire, propelling her towards becoming a sex therapist, rather than simply a teacher of tantric principles.
She embarked on more training, first studying at the prestigious Institute for the Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco and then returning to Australia to complete a master’s in Relational Psychotherapy followed by a postgraduate diploma in sexology from Curtin University. Last year, she added a master’s of Science in Medicine/Psychosexual Therapy from University of Sydney to her qualifications. She’s since worked with other clinical professionals, teaching them how to talk about sex with their clients too.
Today, her practice in Sydney sees mainly women and couples, whether it’s couples broaching the possibility of an open relationship, women who are single and feel they need to address a pattern of unhealthy relationships, or couples on the brink of breaking up. Her approachable girl-next-door demeanour puts clients at ease, as does her focus on moving forward, rather than focusing on past mistakes or hurtful actions.
Isiah embraces the convenience and privacy offered by digital healthcare, offering Skype appointments to all her patients, which have been shown by clinical research to be as effective as face-to-face appointments in sex therapy. Where busy lives and multiple commitments can often be the barrier to pleasure and enjoyment, the ability to take action on such an intimate problem in a discreet and convenient way can often be the difference between people seeking help or not. Isiah also sees many clients from regional areas where visiting a local sex therapist isn’t possible.
Isiah is adamant that tantric principles and sex therapy can help everybody, pointing out that it’s entirely normal to have difficulties at some point in your life as a sexual being.
Stay tuned for her posts!!
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