Out in Paperback

Dr. Amy Marsh covers the sex cosmos!

Dr. Amy Marsh covers the sex cosmos!

Yes, it’s true. Last year’s humble little ebook is now OUT IN PAPERBACK! I know I’m shouting – it’s just that I’m so durned happy about it. You have no idea how great it is to have published a book your cats can actually sit upon.

You can buy it on Amazon for $9.99 – which is also the price of all-you-can-eat-lobster at Wilkinson’s Family Restaurant.

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Moving Forward on Founding the Intimate Hypnosis Training Center

BestIntimateHypTrainingCntrIt’s been a few years since I first dreamt about founding a sexological hypnosis training center – one which could provide truly exceptional training in the uses of hypnosis for sexual problems and enjoyment. I want to promote sexual health and well-being through well-trained practitioners!

I am happy to say that I’ve successfuly jumped one bureaucratic hurdle in making this dream a reality! I received official word (as of April 8, 2015) that the CA Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education has granted my application for exemption for the Intimate Hypnosis Training Center. What this means is that the type of professional training that I intend to offer does NOT fit into a category requiring oversight by this particular agency. This is because (1) no class costs over $2,500; (2) IHTC does not and will not accept state or federal money for student tuition; and (3) IHTC does not and will not create degree-granting programs. Nope – it’s all strictly professional training, and while it’s a shame I won’t be able to offer financial assistance to students, it’s best to keep this operation simple and small. My focus is on delivering top quality, online and onsite hypnosis and sexology education. I’d like to avoid getting mired in unnecessary bureaucratic challenges.

So, as of April 10, 2015, consider the Intimate Hypnosis Training Center as officially “launched,” even though I have a few more business-type hoops to get through. Another piece of good news – I have updated my course syllabi and submitted them to the American College of Sexologists International, so that people who take my training can also qualify for membership in that organization, with all its benefits, the directory, etc.

Classes will start on June 1, 2015. Come study with me!

 

Hypnosis at Home

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Hypnosis at Home – How to Improve Your Family’s Health and Happiness with Relaxation, Imagery, and Loving Words

I am happy to announce a free workshop taking place in Kamuela-Waimea, Hawai’i Island in the month of May. Here’s a description of the program:

We all know words have a powerful effect on our emotions and subconscious, affecting our self-esteem, as well as on our health.This fun, interactive workshop teaches basic hypnosis and guided imagery skills that can be used in family life – with children and teens – and in your intimate relationship. Learn how a few short minutes of relaxation, soothing words, and loving imagery can help manage stress and create more harmony and health in your home life. Also learn simple self-hypnosis and mind-body skills that can be used by most family members.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015. 5:30-7:00 PM.

Tutu’s House: info@tutushouse.org

64-1032 Mamalahoa Highway ● Kamuela, Hawai`i

(808) 885-6777

Seeking Part-Time Position in Education and/or Other Nonprofit

Intrepid sexologists from the future defeat sex-negative foes!

Intrepid sexologists from the future defeat sex-negative foes!

I’m approaching my search for meaningful, part-time work in the spirit of that old song, “all of me, why not take all of me?” …including my sense of humor (as per my mutated comic book cover, above.) I plan to either stay in the SF Bay Area or move to Hawai’i island.

What is it that I do? Well… sex counseling and education, for one. Teaching sexology for another. I am a hypnotist and hypnosis instructor. I develop online curricula and teach in Moodle; write (everything from advertising copy to research papers); create beautiful graphic materials – brochures, website graphics, and so forth; know how to “work” social media (though I’m behind on Instagram); manage and produce events; and basically can rise to the occasion in most situations – coming up with practical, cost-effective ways to do things, within a budget and a deadline. I am a capable administrator.

I’m a polymath – personally, professionally, academically. In addition to my two doctorates in human sexuality (one professional, one academic), I have a human services paraprofessional certificate from Berkeley City College, as well as training in non-profit fundraising from University of San Francisco. Free clinic pregnancy counseling, doula work, and vocational nurses training are way back in my past. So is starting a family business, working as a copywriter at The Sharper Image, and working my way up through the ranks at a public opinion research/public affairs consulting firm. Did I mention I co-founded an organization to promote women’s involvement in outer space exploration? Or made wearable art out of vinyl in the 80s?

Oh, yeah, and I was in a band… (that was the 80s too.)

There’s so much more.

The short version of my CV is eight pages long. The longer version has details on volunteer work and event production. Much of what’s on my CV was and is accomplished, mind you, during the half of my life that I’ve lived as a person with multiple chemical sensitivities (environmental illness) and chronic fatigue. Because of this hidden disability, I’ve learned to be super-focused and creative when my energy and health are “up” and to manage my time and resources accordingly. Spoon theory spoken here.

Somewhere, there’s a place for me – all of me – to work and contribute. I have a bevy of useful skills. I seek a part-time position, in a safe, sane and consensual workplace, where I can use the broadest array of my skills, in a human and humane place where people make sense when they speak, seldom yell, and share a vision for the common good. (And I need to work in a place free of fragrance, in order to breathe and function.)

If you’d like to hire me, or know someone else who might, please fill out the contact form below. Please do NOT fill out this form if you’re just going to write something silly or insulting or spammy. Thanks, ever so!

Dearth of Representation – Images of Black Lovers in Sexology

Geoffrey & Carmen Holder, March 3, 1955 by Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964). Public Domain.

Geoffrey & Carmen Holder, March 3, 1955 by Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964). Public Domain.

As a sexologist who teaches, and who in course of teaching creates slideshow presentations and other materials, I’ve been frustrated by the overwhelming pervasiveness of white images and the lack of good quality, sex-positive images of black people and other people of color. Due to financial constraints, and because I have a finicky aesthetic, I search Wikimedia Commons for public domain and creative commons images in the categories of fine or erotic arts. In these categories (and even in the “human couples” category), beautiful and evocative images of loving black couples, such as the fine photograph  by Carl Van Vechten (above), are difficult to find. You can find loving black couples on public health posters however, and I understand the reasons for this. However, I wish that these images weren’t “always” so entwined with the context of disease prevention, know what I mean? Or maybe you don’t. I’m having a hard time expressing the nuances here. The image below is positive, sweet, caring, very attractive – all the things it should be in a public health message for safer sex – but I guess I wish we saw these same types of images more often in other mass media contexts, including ads for all kinds of products. As an educator, I want more portrayals of positive, intimate black relationships, of all genders and persuasions, to choose from. As a citizen, ditto.

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I am delighted to find this series of photographs, below. The kissing couple below adorns a tram door. I think the this art piece is wonderful.

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#1 Kissing couple on the doors of a tram in Bremen, Germany. Photo by Immanuel Giel, May 2009. Public domain.

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#2 Kissing couple on the doors of a tram in Bremen, Germany. Photo by Immanuel Giel, May 2009. Public domain.

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#3 Kissing couple on the doors of a tram in Bremen, Germany. Photo by Immanuel Giel, May 2009. Public domain.

I also like this photograph of an elderly couple laughing. There’s joy here.

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Oklahoma Sharecroppers, 1914. Found in a box of photographs and submitted to Wikimedia Commons by “Father of Don O’Brien.” Creative Commons.

And below is a quiet, peaceful interlude in the lives of two people (and their pet). But the photo was taken for an Environmental Protection Agency report and discusses the growing disparity between black and white income levels in Chicago.

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Black couple and their dog in their apartment in South Side of Chicago. Photograph by John H. White (1945- ). Taken June, 1973. Copyright. Photo archived by EPA, given to Wikimedia by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The photo below is also poignant, loving, cherishing.

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Photo by Pacien, April 2005. Creative Commons.

Though portrayals of black lovers are rare (aside from shots of celebrity couples), it’s even harder to find a good anatomical drawing or image that is not white. Sure, a few people have posted genital photographs on Wikimedia Commons, but they are mostly unsuitable for sex education materials. I’m automatically suspicious, for example, of any shaved images on posted on Wikimedia, even though shaving is a common practice.

Of course, if I put on my erotologist hat, I can say all kinds of things about various images and forms of representation – but at the moment, I’m writing strictly about the difficulty of finding good, free, respectful sex, body, and relationship images that convey sexual, gender, cultural, ethnic, etc. diversity (without being fetishized or exoticized). I will also note that at IASHS, where I currently serve as Dean of Students, we have an enormous amount of erotic books, films, and artwork. But, due to a donation of a massive collection of gleaming sculpture, there’s currently a heavy emphasis on the female form in our common areas. And even so, we don’t seem to display much that isn’t white and hetero- (and cis-) centric. I’m on the lookout for a wider variety of images for my own office, as this lack of visual diversity troubles me.

More to come on related topics.

WOCSHN – Women of Color Sexual Health Network

Today I simply want to present the link to this excellent article/essay by the Women of Color Sexual Health Network which challenges human sexuality professionals to (1) recognize their complicity with myriad manifestations of structural, systemic, (and yes, even personal) racism and to (2) actually do something about this.

I’d like the above article to speak first, before I offer a response. Also, here is the link to the WOCSHN Statement of Solidarity.

Tomorrow (or maybe the day after), I will write about how I want to take action and address the challenges in the article.

Proud to Announce my Certification as an Apprentice Ipsalu Tantra Teacher

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September and the first week of October has been a crazy, CRAZY time for me! At the beginning of September, I taught a nine-day sexological hypnosis intensive for my IASHS students. Then, with only a day’s break, I flew to Hollywood, Florida for a seven-day Ipsalu Tantra Teacher Training (Mod.1) course. After arriving home at the end of September, I had to quickly pull together a two-day SAR (Sexual Attitude Restructuring) class on short notice (as a substitute teacher) and then spent 12 hours creating a 4-hour lecture which I gave at IASHS a couple of days later. No wonder I’m tired!

However, the tantra teacher training experience was glorious: full of the most incredible people, all learning together in an old, reputedly haunted, mansion during thunderstorms and lightening flashes. We laughed, cried, summoned and circulated sexual energy, practiced our ASATE programs, demonstrated them to our classmates, and generally engaged with each other non-stop from about 7 AM to 10 or 11 PM each day. We ate fantastic vegetarian food every day, and stretched, and danced. It was like being at a really exhausting spa…

Much of our training consisted of learning how to teach variations of the Ipsalu ASATE sequence: Activate the body, Still the Mind, Arouse Sexual Energy, Transmute (sexual energy), and Enjoy!

Our teachers were Pat Sheehan and Nayano. Saying they were “wonderful” just doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about them. I feel very good about Ipsalu Tantra International as an organization as well – ethical, honest, dedicated. All praise to Bodhi Avinasha, the founder, and the many wonderful people who teach and support this organization.

I look forward to bringing Ipsalu Tantra to my clients (those who are interested, of course!). As an Apprentice Teacher I can hold day-long programs based on the Ipsalu ASATE sequence, hold satsangs for Level One initiates, guide people through the first three chapters of the practicum, and begin assisting at Level One workshops. I look forward to deepening my own practice as I offer Ipsalu to others.

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