‘Maybe you are fantasising about trying a new experience… exploring a kink… going to a sex party…opening up your relationship… booking a sex worker… I help you understand why you want to have this experience, how to make sure you’re ready, how to communicate about it, and what steps to take to increase the likelihood of everyone involved having a great time. This prep and thought beforehand helps ensure experiences are safe and positive.’

Ruth Ramsay is a sex educator and coach with a tedX talk ‘Revamp Your Sex Life in 6 Minutes’ that has received over two million views on YouTube. After years of experience, she is also a striptease teacher, helping people to step confidently into their sexual energy.

What do you wish more people understood about sex?

That sex should be a recognised as a force of good, not a force of shame.

How can you help people on Sensuali?

The role that I would like to play on Sensuali as a coach is helping people be ready to try out new experiences. Many are curious about trying the sensual experiences you offer such as BDSM, booking a sex worker or trying a threesome. I am here to help maximise the chances that things will be safe, enjoyable, and that you’ll get what you want from it. Together we can understand what you want to try and what you’re looking to get served through it.

Guiding your sexual exploration: meet sex educator and coach, Ruth Ramsay
Introducing sex educator and coach, Ruth Ramsay.

How did you get into this world?

When I was a small girl I had a fantasy of being a striptease artist. I think that came from watching the dancing girls at the start of James Bond films. However I never thought this dream could become a reality. I went to an all girls school, never had a boyfriend (despite desperately wanting one), and wasn’t kissed until I was eighteen. So my fantasy remained a fantasy and instead I worked hard at school and did a journalism degree.

I began working as a fashion business journalist, which was very glamorous and involved a lot of travel, but something in me wasn’t happy. When I saw an advert for London school of striptease, I was intrigued.

I didn’t think at the time that pursuing stripping would mean I would give up my journalism career to become a full time striptease artist, but that’s actually what happened.

I began classes at the London School of Striptease. I did a beginners course and within a month of starting the intermediate course, I was auditioning at The White Horse strip club in Shoreditch (RIP). From there I stripped part time and kept the journalism day job, but I eventually started stripping full time because I loved it so much in so many different ways.

I was already getting into the activism side of things and writing articles about it too. I had privileges being English stepping into the industry. I was very out with everything and everybody, I paid my taxes declaring as self employed. This meant I could be a spokesperson for a lot of workers who weren’t in that privileged position.

I did this for 12 years. I was active in setting up what was at the time the first sex worker’s union in the UK, I worked with lots of charities, I danced all over London and a little bit internationally as well. I also started teaching striptease very early on as well as running striptease events with my friends. I had an amazing time with all of that.

But eventually, the kind of venues I loved dancing at were closing down, with the gentrification of East London. I was getting into my late 30s and was thinking it was probably a good idea to start thinking about training in something else. I then met my now-husband. All of these events collided and I ended up moving out of London. I trained to be a personal trainer, which feels similar to striptease, because you’re on your feet all the time, it feels kind of sexy, and most importantly you’re in an intimate situation with your client very quickly. I like that.

I launched my own PT studio, but in my heart, I was still a striptease artist.

I grieved losing the stripping work. About once a year, I would get all of my striptease clothes out from the suitcase under my bed and try to throw some of them away, but I would end up just sitting on the floor crying, surrounded by all of my outfits, before putting them back in the suitcase under the bed.

I had also become a step-mum, and the kids were not at the appropriate age to know that I was once a stripper. So I had to keep that all a secret. It was a tough few years.

Now that they’re in their mid 20s, they know everything and we’re great friends. Once they went off to uni, I finally allowed myself to feel how deeply I was missing working in the sexy world. I no longer wanted to be a striptease artist at this point, I was in my early 40s and knew how unwelcoming the industry can be on people generally beyond late 30s.

I ended up training as a life coach, not knowing that this would be my route back into the sex industry. After I qualified, someone who had been on the same coaching diploma reached out, asking if I would coach her about her sex life. She felt so much shame and embarrassment around sex and felt she couldn’t talk to anyone about it, not even her husband.

Because she knew about my past, she felt I was the only person who wouldn’t judge or slut shame her. This was a lightbulb moment for me and I began my business as a sex coach. When I was in-training, we were told to never tell our clients anything about ourselves because as coaches, we’re supposed to be mirrors and sharing personal information about ourselves can mess with that concept.

But what I found in sex coaching was that the more I shared about myself (where relevant to the client), the more comfortable the client felt opening up themselves. For example, if from what my client was saying, I had a strong suspicion that they may have faked orgasms before, I might mention my own experiences of doing that in the past. As soon as I do that, people then feel this relief and safety to say that they also had done that.

Of course, one of the concerns with this is that you put your own experiences onto the clients for example: *I experienced this in this way, therefore, my client also experienced it in this way*. That’s something I try to be very mindful of. But overall I think there is value in being open and sharing your own experiences. In fact, I have had clients that have chosen to work with me because they know about my past experience in specific fields.

How would you describe your coaching style?

My style of coaching is upbeat and pleasure-led. Rather than focusing on what’s been going wrong, where you feel let down, where you’re not getting pleasure, I ask what does feel good and what you want to improve.

Very often, people aren’t talking about sex with anybody, but if they are talking about it, it is usually to worry, to complain and to dwell on the negatives. I think it’s good to be upbeat and positive about it and also to treat it like we treat other areas of life.

We seem to think our libido exists in this magic, separate box, always ready and unaffected by everything else going on in our lives. But it’s part of life and it changes, ebbs and flows in tune with the rest of our life.

Ruth Ramsay, sex educator and coach on Sensuali
Ruth Ramsay.

Why do you like coaching?

My favourite thing about coaching is how quickly it can work. In just one session with somebody I will notice a change in their body language and their facial expression.

Very often, people just need permission to think about sex in a different way. I am never too harsh on no-shows for a first session because taking that step to do the first one is a very big step. Once they have gotten past that, they often relax incredibly quickly.

What should more people know about coaching?

I wish more people knew what it was and how effective it is. Many people think that as a sex coach, I will be like a football coach, giving them specific physical techniques that will increase their sexual performance. Others assume it’s therapy. Therapists and counsellors help people deal with unresolved traumas from the past. If something’s holding you back from being able to fully inhabit or enjoy your sexual life, then you need counselling or therapy. Whereas if it’s a case of, ‘nothing’s holding me back, I just don’t know what I want, and I need some help to explore that and take steps to action these things.’ then coaching is for you.

We’re not accustomed to investing in our sex lives in an educational way. We are also brainwashed by what we see on TV. People are very quick to blame porn, but I think what’s presented in the mainstream film and TV as what sex should be is just as damaging as porn in my opinion. Many clients of mine still believe everything they see on mainstream TV, despite being educated, open-minded people.

Mainstream media has made them confused as to why they’re not instantly turned on when their husband touches them, or that they don’t orgasm in a missionary position within 3 minutes. They then question what’s wrong with their relationship or themselves. It’s very harmful.

I wish people knew how mainstream deceptions of sex have skewed their perception of it, and I wish they knew in turn, how coaching can so effectively help them reframe that perspective.

Has your relationship changed with your coaching over time?

What I underestimated when I started out was people’s lack of education around sex. Back in my stripping years, one of my jobs was reviewing books about sex- so reading all of those books was my own personal sex education. But I had kind of forgotten that not everyone had been exposed to the things I had. I would be coaching someone and not realise the fact that they didn’t know the fundamentals of their own anatomy. This made me realise that there’s education that needs to be done before people are ready for coaching.

The other thing I’d underestimated was how hard people find it to talk about sex. I spent my life talking about sex for twelve years, so it became very normal to me. When I started coaching, I thought I would be doing one-to-one coaching, but I ended up going more into the education space for adults and putting together an online course, called The Passion8 Program. Then I started to do webinars as well, for example, ‘How to Pleasure a Pussy’, ‘Understanding Your Erotic Mind’. This is an easier entry point to start with. Now that my education is being noticed, especially after the TEDX talk, my coaching has become more popular.

Who is your typical client?

My typical client in coaching is actually one half of a couple.

What tends to happen, is (if we’re thinking heterosexual couples, which typically it is), either the woman or the man will come to me and say, ‘our sex life is non-existent, disappointing, boring, etc. and I want it to change, and my partner isn’t quite as on board with this as me’ or sometimes, ‘I haven’t told my partner about how I feel’.

Then I will coach just that partner, sometimes it turns into couples coaching, sometimes it’s the couple right from the start, but very often it’s just one half of the couple. What I always do is take them on a journey about themselves and their own relationship with sex first. You need to understand yourself before you can bring anything into the relationship. Then the person I’m coaching will often bring the exercises we’ve talked about into their relationship, allowing it to transform. The best thing is when I receive an email from the other partner explaining how thankful they are.

For the Passion8 program, the typical client tends to be individuals who want to learn and explore more about their sex lives, plus couples who have been able to say to each other ‘things have got a bit boring haven’t they? Let’s do something about this.’ These are usually partners in their 30s and 40s. I really admire when people are able to be honest with each other instead of stopping talking about it or stopping having sex and instead making sex a little project to work on together.

People in this position aren’t necessarily wanting to spend money on one-on-one coaching and on the Passion8 program, they are still able to learn, apply the learning to themselves, and reach out to me whenever they want on the journey of the course. You’re not alone on it, It’s a supported journey.

What advice would you give that has been important for you personally?

Trust your instinct. It’s always right.

How do you feel about sex in society today?

In a lot of ways, we’re moving forward. I think the terrible representation of sex in TV and film is starting to improve. Certainly within the time that I have been coaching there has been a lot more acceptance of diversity around sex. I’m not met with as much shock, for example when I talk about sex coaching a couple in their 60s. Having said that, I am also aware that I live in my own sex-positive bubble and the people I chat to and the films I choose to watch might be more sex-positive than what is the standard today.

Occasionally I will get a shock when faced with someone who isn’t in that bubble. We all need to be aware that in some ways, things are going backwards, for example with everything currently happening in the US with abortion rights and trans rights. If you care about sexual freedom, do try and be aware of what’s going on politically because all too quickly, our rights can be revoked.

Tell us about your striptease classes.

I’ve always loved teaching striptease and I sometimes incorporate it into a coaching class.

Occasionally, if a client is still struggling to connect with themselves, we try a striptease lesson, which helps them to connect through movement rather than talking, and this sometimes unlocks something in them.

I absolutely love seeing someone relax into their body and realise that they can do it, and that they’re going to have fun doing it. I teach online and sometimes I teach in person as well.

Striptease extroidinaire, Ruth Ramsay, on Sensuali.
Striptease extroidinaire, Ruth Ramsay.

What are your hopes for the future in the sensual world?

My hope is to carry on the momentum that has been building with the TEDX talk. I have always hoped to get my message out on a wider scale and so I had always planned to write a book, but the TEDX talk has actually gotten that message out much more efficiently. I am glad to be part of a bigger movement with other sex educators, (some who are on Sensuali), who are helping to spread the conversation around sex. The hope is that young people today will enter adulthood far better equipped around sex, consent, boundaries, knowing their own bodies and their wonderful capacity for pleasure.

 

Discover more about Ruth Ramsay.

Explore coaches on Sensuali.

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Iso

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.

Ruth Ramsay

Ruth Ramsay

Author

Ruth is an adult sex educator and coach, UK Erotic Award winner, TEDx speaker and erotic expert. She coaches clients 1-2-1, runs an online course The Passion8 Programme four times a year, and regular online workshops with titles such as ‘Your First Sex Party’ and ‘Exploring Your Sexual Fantasies’.


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