Coral’s Isharna Walsh gives us a masterclass in our sexual healing.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Isharna Walsh is on a mission to improve our sex lives — starting with the relationship we have with ourselves. As the CEO and founder of Coral, a groundbreaking sexual wellness and self-advocacy app, Walsh is determined to normalize sexual wellness through conversations, modern research, and compassion. We sat down with her to talk the sex-soul care connection.
How do the body, mind, and soul connect through our sexual selves?
In some ways, that’s a question for each individual to explore and answer for themselves. To paraphrase Coral’s resident sex expert, [intimacy coach and tantric expert] Zoe Kors: we have a physical body that we can see and touch, but we’re also connected in some way to [the] energy in the universe. Mastering your body as an instrument of pleasure means that you increase your body’s capacity to hold that energy.
How is our sex life soulcare?
Having regular, healthy sex is essential to [our] health and happiness. The research is overwhelming that it creates greater life satisfaction, joy, and contentment. Yet, our culture teaches us next to nothing about what real-life, soul-stirring sex actually looks like and, on top of that, saddles us with shame for even talking about it.
Can you speak more about the social “norms” that aren’t actually so normal, and actually get in our way?
There are so many, but one of the most common and unhelpful ones, in my view, is that desire should be spontaneous. If you don’t feel a desire to have sex when you look at your partner, then you don’t want to have sex. Arousal (which is physical) and desire (which is mental and emotional) are not the same thing. In fact, them happening at the same time (aka “sexual concordance”) has been shown to occur an average of ten percent of the time!
Another is the span of gendered attitudes toward sex that center [around] tropes of cisgender male sexuality — for example, that penetration is “real” sex, and others are not. Or that others, like masturbation, are shameful…
Why is deconstructing ideas like this helpful?
So often, these norms make us feel like our experience of sexuality is wrong — and in turn, that there’s something wrong with us, when there isn’t. Deconstructing them helps us stop internalizing false messages that hurt our connection to ourselves, our own sexuality, the present moment, and the rest of our lives.
What are simple ways we can stay connected to our sensual and sexual selves?
Start by simply noticing pleasure, [like] the sun on your face or the taste of ripe fruit. You get in the habit of noticing what feels good outside of the bedroom, so that you can sink into your sensuality more readily when the time comes.
Our new partner chat feature helps you put small, impactful exercises into practice IRL, simply [by] hugging your partner or making eye contact in an intentional way for, say, three seconds.
How can we shift our thinking around it, on an individual level?
When we start thinking about sex as a wellness practice, we completely shift the paradigm. It becomes about unlearning the sex-negative lessons we’ve been taught, learning to love our own bodies — just as they are — and understanding what gives us pleasure.
What ideas about sex did this shift (or spark) your POV? Share what you’re thinking in the comments!