I am Reia Lance (she/her), a proud Indigenous Member of Algonquin Greater Golden Lake and a graduate of somatic sex education and sexological bodywork with the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education.
I write to you from Mohkinstsis, a word in Blackfoot translating to "elbow," a reference to the Elbow River in what is known colonially as Calgary, Alberta, within Treaty 7 territory. This sacred land has been nurtured by the Blackfoot, Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations, the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda, along with the Métis First Nations. My deepest connection to this land lies in the expansive prairie view from Nosehill Park, where I frequent the Blackfoot Medicine Wheel, feeling the wind gently kiss my cheeks. Another sacred spot for me is where the Elbow meets the Bow in Inglewood, where I patiently await the wisdom the ancestors in the water might share with me.
My journey into Somatic Sex Education is intertwined with my commitment to decolonization. As a queer Algonquin kwe—a fluid term for woman in my ancestral language—I am resolute in constructing a future that rejects the perpetuation of sexual and gender violence.
Somatic Sex Education becomes a fertile ground for decolonization, challenging me to question the conditioned perspectives on sexuality and gender. As an Algonquin, it is my duty to uncover my gifts, a process we undertake as a Nation through ceremony, reflection, and self-actualization. I view Somatic Sex Education as a form of ceremony.
In my worldview, our personhood is molded by the conditions that allow our true essence to emerge, whether consciously or subconsciously. Composed of flesh and bone, we share a profound connection with other beings, mirroring the wild mystery of the universe. With this medicine, my intention is to be a responsible caretaker and knowledge keeper, creating the conditions for Eros to flourish in others. I aim to challenge established notions around sex and gender, recognizing that it requires rewiring. The magic lies in bringing the body back online and cultivating a harmonious relationship with it. To be united as flesh and bone in the right relationship, we must keep each other captivated with aliveness, for aliveness makes the world more vivid and real.
What is Somatic Sex Education?
“Combining interpersonal neurobiology, anatomical knowledge, and practices to empower choice and voice, Somatic Sex Education practitioners guide clients in the reclaiming of their bodies and their pleasure, and support liberation from the ongoing effects of sexual oppression, trauma, neglect, limiting beliefs and dysfunctions.
Somatic Sex Education offers a new way of understanding our bodies, our sexuality, and our erotic capacities; weaving the scientific understanding of human sexuality together with spiritual practices of erotic energy cultivation.
Somatic Sex Education is grounded in the science of neuroplasticity and informed by polyvagal theory. The modality is trauma-informed, and able to embrace the incredible diversity of neurology, gender and gender expression, with awareness of the impact of normative culture and privilege on access to sexual expression.” Caffyn Jesse