BLISSFUL BIRTHING, NEW MOMS AND SEX AND MORE WITH ERIKA ALSBORN
Erika is a sex and birth coach from Sweden. For the past decade, she has immersed herself in exploring the body, mind and sexuality from many different angles and approaches – the academic, the medical, the spiritual and the holistic. Her own sexual healing journey inspired her career shift from nursing to becoming a sex coach to help women reclaim their sexual power and pleasure.
In 2019 she gave birth to her first child and through that experience realized how transformative childbirth is and can be and is now dedicated to shifting the current narrative around birth – helping women to have positive, empowered and ecstatic birth experiences.
We talked to her about blissful birth and the intimacy and sexuality challenges new parents face.
Can you tell us more about your journey? How did you become interested in sexuality and intimacy coaching?
It started as me-search… research into myself and a profound healing and sexual expansion journey. I had been feeling disconnected and dissatisfied with my sexuality for many years and had experienced issues with being pre-orgasmic. So when I, in my late twenties, had a “sexual awakening” it sparked an interest for doing this as a job – helping others tap into their innate pleasure potential, just like I had.
So it was my own sexual healing journey that inspired my career shift from nursing to working with sexual health and after studying a Master’s Degree in Sexology I found holistic sexuality and sex coaching to be my jam and passion. For the past decade, I’ve immersed myself in exploring the body, mind and sexuality from many different angles and approaches – the academic, the medical, the spiritual and the holistic. And the best part is, the more I learn and the deeper I go in my own development, the more fascinated I am – it just gets better!
In 2019 I gave birth to my first child and through that experience realized how transformative childbirth is and can be. This ignited a desire to shift the current narrative around birth, and I help women prepare themselves to have positive, empowered and orgasmic birth experiences.
What do you love the most about what you do?
How I see my clients and students' entire lives change for the better! When you embrace your sexuality and expand your pleasure, it positively impacts all areas of your life. This is because your sexuality is a core aspect of being a human, so feeling good and confident sexually, means a core part of you feels integrated and fulfilled and at ease, which makes all areas of life feel better. I love witnessing my clients and students’ transformation! More than anything, I love seeing people being erotically confident, embodied and expressed, sexually fulfilled and in love with themselves and their surroundings!
Also, personally, I love that I get to explore and express so many aspects of what I love in my work. I get to write creatively, connect with people on a very intimate level, I create playlists and design embodiment classes, I get to inspire with my radiance and dance, I use my acting and dancing skills. So many of my own interests and hobbies, I’ve tied into my brand and work, which makes it feel like FUN and very seldom boring “work”. Doesn’t mean it’s easy, it’s challenging and confronting to put myself out there and create courses etc, but it’s always joyful even when it’s hard.
You are a sex, intimacy, and birth coach, what areas are your specialties?
In sex coaching, I’m an expert at helping women reclaim their sexual confidence and sensual power. In simple terms, I teach women how to masturbate and self-pleasure, feel ownership of their sexuality and how to experience all the different kinds of orgasms – clitoral, vaginal, cervical, g-spot, anal, breast, breath, energy… The road to get there, to that pleasure mastery and sexual confidence, one may need to work through shame, societal and religious conditioning, childhood wounds, sexual trauma, limiting beliefs, so my work is very diverse and varied and incredibly exciting!
In birth coaching, I help a woman identify her desired birth. There’s no right or wrong way or place to give birth and so the focus is on getting clarity on what they want and then giving the right tools, education and support to they can get as close to having that experience as possible. We eradicate birth fears, societal conditioning and “good patient” syndrome and empower the birthing person to feel like an unstoppable force of nature… in my birth coaching, an emphasis is on using one’s sensuality and sexuality to prepare for birth and to feel like birth and motherhood are extensions of your sexuality.
What exactly is blissful birthing?
Blissful birthing is giving birth in power and with autonomy. It means the birthing person is feeling confident and supported in an environment that they want to be in, and the experience feels respectful, centered around the birthing woman’s desires and needs. It can also mean having made conscious decisions about how and with whom to give birth.
In the actual birthing experience, a blissful and ecstatic birth is a full-bodied powerful and pleasurable experience. It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy or pain free the whole time.
Ecstatic and blissful states are accessed through moving, chanting, breathing, screaming, howling, growling, swaying, crying, meditating, and dancing.
By using these tools of expression through birth, it’s possible to access and experience your deepest, rawest life force energy. You can become one with your body and interpret your sensations during birth as ecstatic power rather than pain. That’s a monumental shift from “I’m in so much pain, I can’t take it!” to “Wow this is an interesting, challenging, powerful sensation”. This can transform the birthing experience to an powerful, intimate, vulnerable, liberating, and ecstatic birth. It’s SO magical and amazing.
You are a mother. What are the biggest challenges of new moms and parents
when it comes to their intimate relationship and libido.
Exhaustion, overwhelm and fatigue.
We don’t have a village anymore. We’ve made many wonderful technological and democratic advances in the West, but we’ve lost one very important aspect of humanity along the way – community.
And that becomes VERY apparent when you enter parenthood. It’s such hard and challenging work and we’re not meant to do it alone (mothers) or in a nuclear family of two.
There’s so little time for play, rest, recharge, social life etc, which puts such a strain on the relationship, the body, hormones, the emotions. Parenting in the modern world creates so much stress, which is a big libido killer.
Then I would also say – sex negative beliefs and the “asexual mother identity”, which are societal/religious conditioning. Lack of positive role models, absence of sex-positive sex education. All the negative ideas, beliefs and conditioning that you carry inside will be amplified when you enter motherhood and go through such a radical identity shift. For example, that your vagina is destroyed by vaginal birth. That sex will never feel the same after a vaginal birth. That you’re not sexually attractive as your body shifts and changes and matures during pregnancy and after birth. That only young, skinny people have great sex. That you’re now just a mother with no needs or desires of your own.
Most women don’t even know that they have all of these negative beliefs embedded deep within their psyche and body. And that’s a big challenge – to identify that and work on shifting that and creating a new narrative that feels true and authentic to your own values and how you want to live your life.
What would be your number one advice for women/couples who struggle with maintaining their intimacy during pregnancy and the first year after birth?
Sorry, I don't have one, but a few :)
Find time to REST. Then from a more rested state, start building intimacy through sensual practices, solo and partnered and communicate your fears, blockages, desires, needs.
For women, I think it’s so important to work on their mindset and beliefs. The idea, that is reinforced implicitly and explicitly, that you cannot be a good mother and fiercely sexual at the same time – that is not true. We don’t have to choose between them. Unfortunately, many women unconsciously choose motherhood and let their sexual identity die. So adopt the belief that sex is good for you and it’s for YOU.
You deserve pleasure. Pleasure will make you happier, make you more generous, will enrich your life and make you a better woman. Sex is for YOU! Not for your partner/husband. I encourage mother to fully adopt the belief system that sex is for YOU.
It’s not something you “give” your man/partner or do “for” him/them. It’s for you! You have sex because it makes you feel fucking good. It’s so important to constantly work on this belief system but the societal conditioning runs so incredibly that it constantly shows up as negative thoughts.
I’m sure everyone can relate: After a long day of living, working, mothering, child-rearing etc etc sometimes I find myself thinking “I’m not in the mood” or “Yet another thing I have to” - I quickly catch those lies in my mind and tell them to go fuck themselves. It’s not true.
What’s great after a long day? SEX.
What makes me feel better always? SEX.
If you don’t fully believe that you’re having sex for your own good, you could have sex to please your partner and slowly build a bitter core of resentment inside yourself.
Coming from the place that sex is truly for you and that it deeply benefits and nourishes you will help you stay positive towards to sex which makes it easier to be turned on and to feel like doing it (even when you don’t 100% feel like it but you know that will get into if you just trust and give it try – kinda like going to the gym, you never really feel like it, but you know it’s good for you, so you go, and then afterward you feel GREAT). AND to identify when you’re truly not in the mood, and you can honor your no.
And lastly, touch yourself! Pleasure yourself. You have to accept that you’re responsible for turning yourself on. It’s NOT your partner’s responsibility to turn you on. It’s yours. Getting turned on doesn’t start just before you’re about to have sex, it’s something you cultivate every day.
It’s a conscious focus, the way you look at and sexually objectify your husband (and other attractive people), and how you think about sex daily.
Of course, what your partner does matters, but if you’re not already at a mental simmer of turn-on it’s impossible for your partner to get you there.
The responsibility is YOUR OWN, and through that ownership of your turn-on comes empowerment and inspired action.
It also removes a subtle sense of victimhood - especially for heterosexual women - your sexuality and turn-on are YOURS, you don’t need a man to save you or turn you on.
Best tip on deepening intimacy between a couple that have got into a rut? Any simple practices and tools you would recommend?
I find it’s hard to give general advice around this because relationships are so complex and there’s no one-size fits all solution.
One couple might need therapy, one need sexual healing, one need time apart, one need more play and fun.
But, doing simple intimacy practices like eye gazing, sensual touch without any goal of penetration to build trust around being intimate, belly to belly breathing never hurt.
What does the term "sexually empowered woman" mean to you?
A woman who owns her sexuality, feels autonomous and sovereign as a sexual being, knows her body inside/out, knows what turns her on and what she likes, and isn’t afraid of asking for it OR setting boundaries.
A sexually empowered woman celebrates her pussy’s HELL YES and honors the NO.
What are your tips for women who wish to increase their pleasure potential?
Dive in and get your hands juicy. You are your own most important lover. You have the power and pleasure in your hands.
Buy some tools, get some support (pleasure course or coach), or just freestyle and EXPLORE.
Explore your whole pleasure and orgasmic landscape – clitoris, vagina, g-area, cervix, anus, breast and full body.
Have fun experimenting, unlocking and expanding your pleasure potential! (and it’s not always fun, it can feel frustrating, difficult etc… but the only way is through the emotions and forward).
Now, let's get more personal. What would a day of pleasure look like for you?
A slow gentle breakfast with my husband and son. Then drop my kid off at daycare and head to the outdoors nude bathing house by the sea to spend a few hours on my own, among nude women, reading a book or doing some work.
Then ride my bike through the park and pick up my son from daycare and spend the afternoon playing and hanging out together. Top it off with a nice home cooked dinner, followed by sex and multiple orgasms.
A perfect day of pleasure.
You have the Onna Raven Wave. What do you like about it and how is it different for you from vibrating toys?
I love how beautiful it is. It’s a delight to look at and I appreciate that it doesn’t look like a penis. Don’t get me wrong, I love penises! But, in some situations and in some moods, I prefer having a non-penis looking tool to enhance my self-pleasure. I have LOTS of penis looking dildos, and I love them too. So I guess what I'm saying is that I love the variety and diversity that the raven wave offers.
I love the weight and smooth shape. Because it’s so smooth and heavy, it allows for a much deeper penetration and stimulation of the vagina. The nerve endings in the vaginal canal respond really well to deep, slow rhythmic pressure. Most people don’t know this. They think a vaginal orgasm is created through intense fast in-out penetration. When in fact, it’s slow, rhythmic deep pressure/penetration that will take vagina pleasure into the orgasmic states.
A non vibrating toy, again, offers the opportunity to really be with the sensations, to get to know yourself intimately and be very present with what is.
GET RAVEN WAVE HERE
What is sensuality for you and how do you embody it?
Sensuality is defined in the dictionary as:
the enjoyment, expression, or pursuit of physical, especially sexual, pleasure
- the condition of being pleasing or fulfilling to the senses: life can dazzle with its sensuality, its colour.
Sensuality comes from the word sensual, which is defined as:
relating to or involving gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure
So part of sensuality is the enjoyment of your sexual pleasure, but not limited to.
It's an experience of being connected to your senses. So when you're connected to your senses, your sensory experience, you can have a sensual experience.
- the sense of hearing: listening to amazing music, hearing the breeze through threes
- the sense of sight: watching something beautiful, like art, beautiful people, a dance
- the sense of touch: the feeling of silk against your body, soft touch, hugging your children, breastfeeding, eating
- the sense of smell: inhaling scents that make you feel good, smelling skin of people you love or the genitals of your lover
- the sense of taste: eating something delicious
Your sensuality is an embodiment of your senses, of feeling your sensations and the experience that gives you. Sensuality can be how you choose to speak, eat, dress and move through life. This extends your sexuality into everyday experiences.
You can use your sensuality to be deeply connected to your human experience in a sensual and pleasurable way.
Everything can be a pleasurable experience, accessed through your senses, through your sensuality.
So that’s how I understand and embody sensuality. And the key is perception, focus and intention.
Life doesn’t have to be dull, it can be dazzling with its sensuality!
If you could give just one piece of advice to women on sex and desire, what would it be?
Sex is for YOU! Pleasure is for YOU! I encourage women to fully adopt the belief system that sex is for YOU! It’s not something you ‘give’ your partner or ‘do’ for them. It’s for you and you have it because it makes you feel oh-so-good! You deserve pleasure. Pleasure will make you happier, make you more generous, it will enrich your life and make you a better woman.
You can find Erika here: