Sexological Bodywork and Trans Bodies
My friend, the brilliant Marti Stany, works with LGBTQIA+ people navigating the military culture and work space. She asked if/how Sexological Bodywork and scar tissue remediation could work for mastectomy scars for transmen.
Yes. Absolutely. STREAM (Scar Tissue Remediation Protocol) and the deep acceptance and presence that are my practice in Sexological Bodywork, allow me and others in this field to teach clients to gently and effectively release physical scars, as well as body and gender dysmorphia and the struggle for self-acceptance that can come with gender nonconformity.
On the physical side, mastectomy and other surgical scars can travel through the connective tissue network and constrict and bind muscles and organs surprisingly far from the original surgery site. Untreated scar tissue can impact circulation, mobility, sensation, heart health, and breathing (which in turn affect immune health and overall body function including s@xual function).
I also teach alternate paths to arousal for those struggling to accept their particular genital configuration. Our culture teaches very strict ways that “male” and “female” genitals are supposed to look, work, be talked about, and receive touch. Every one of our human bodies is uniquely and finely attuned to be able to give and receive pleasure. My body is very much the expression of my unique gifts to the world and to those I allow close enough to play with me. I’m the only human on earth with genitals that look, feel, react, smell, and taste like mine do. How awesome is THAT?
Knowing our own evolutionary anatomy can be a game changer. Meaning, understanding that we all begin with the same non-gendered and extraordinary orchestra of pleasure-receptive nerves, erectile tissue, genital organs, etc. and then our bodies get all creative and exuberantly grow them into unique combinations of color, shape, size, etc. like sea creatures or all the different plants in the jungle. How does YOUR body want to be pleased and honored? What touch, what loving names, what loving witness does your body need to thrive and be in deep delight?
The body image piece can be even more important. What we tell ourselves about ourselves every time we see our own body or look in the mirror, directly impacts our nervous system. If I’m telling myself I’m wrong, bad, ugly, not good enough - it’s an attack, and my body perceives it as an attack. Every. Single. Time. Not consciously, generally, but nonetheless, I take it in. If I do it enough, I believe it fully and cannot value my own body, time, safety, or will. I can’t make choices in my life or in relationship based on my own inherent worth. I may even think that I don't want to choose to live with that level of disconnect and pain.
Learning self love, with loving self touch, is, literally, a life saver.