Katrina Marie is a Hamilton-based holistic sex & relationship coach and Bodysex facilitator. Bodysex is the legendary masturbation workshop created by Betty Dodson in the seventies. Experiencing this workshop for herself was the catalyst for Katrina’s own sexual liberation. 

We asked her about her career, getting comfortable in one’s own skin, and how empowering other women has motivated her work. 

SDTC: What was your education/career trajectory prior to your first Bodysex workshop experience? At what point did you realize you wanted to make a career out of empowering other women via sexual liberation?

KM: It is funny to look back on my trajectory because it seems so fated, but at the time it was laced with a whole lot of self-doubt.

A huge part of my education was one of contrast. I was raised one of five kids in a small conservative (and extremely sheltered) Christian community. Needless to say, I struggled with intimacy ever since I can remember. Confidence, communication, creativity…all of it pretty much sucked.

I went to Western University and was totally won over by my first year Women’s Studies professor. I ended up graduating with a degree in Sexuality Studies. I was fascinated by what I was studying but still felt totally disconnected from it myself. I remember Googling asexuality a lot during this time.

I then went on to study midwifery for two years. I delivered a bunch of babies, I helped women labour, I even repaired several perineums. It was in this time that I got comfortable being around women in the nude and in a very vulnerable state. It was also when I realized how much support and defence women need. I saw how our medical world doesn’t really support women’s free sexual expression or intuition. Our mistrust of women’s bodies is both warranted and incredibly damaging. It was a system I didn’t really feel comfortable participating in. So I quit. I had no idea what I was going to do, but the school of life knew what was up.

I fell in love and began my greatest training: a sexless, financially dependent marriage (totally my bad; my unacknowledged trauma had me pretty afraid of intimacy). It was through this struggle that I ventured to NYC to the legendary Betty Dodson’s masturbation workshop. I really wanted to want sex. I went to save my marriage.

I left the workshop realizing that I needed to create a deep intimate sexual relationship with myself before I could ever give that gift to another person. It was a massive pivot point for me. It was through connecting to myself that I gained clarity, direction and ENERGY! I ended my marriage, tripled my income (I was running a yoga school at the time), and stopped having daily panic attacks. It was honestly my own transformation that inspired me to go back three months later and complete my certification in the Bodysex method. I wanted this aliveness for every woman.

In reflecting back on past Bodysex workshops you’ve led, what are some of the more memorable moments that come to mind?

There are so many, but one of the greatest moments for me is seeing the women drop into being completely comfortable naked with each other. Moments when a participant says, “I can’t believe how normal this feels.”

When the first woman cums in erotic recess [portion of the Bodysex workshop], it gives permission for the others to go there, and then they all start orgasming in waves and they are laughing and cheering and then all of a sudden everyone is pausing to eat a cookie in the next room. It’s in those seriously joyful, surreal moments where I ask myself, “What is this magical, bizarre life I have created?”

Also when a women has never had an orgasm before and has her first one in the circle, that is a very special moment. We all cheer.

Can you describe the transformation(s) you’ve witnessed in women who have participated in one of these workshops?

Women leave feeling empowered. It is liberating to know that you are more powerful than your fears. It is incredibly grounding. Like you aren’t leaving worried about your cellulite anymore, if you know what I mean.

Women also experience such deep intimacy with the other women there that most women up level their friendships almost immediately. Why settle for shallow relationships where you are performing all the time. No, no. Women want deep sisterhood–they want to talk about the real stuff!

They get the power of vulnerability in such a visceral way that they bring that to all their relationships. Almost everyone messages me after the workshop telling me how epic the sex was with their partner after.

They also leave with a deeper, more intuitive sexual relationship with themselves. So much of our sex lives with ourselves is automatic. We snap out of that in Bodysex and learn to make art with our bodies, to really listen to what our bodies are asking for. Next-level sex with self is a Bodysex side effect, for sure!

Overall, women gain the confidence to raise their standards after Bodysex. It is beautiful to see.

What lesson did you take away from Betty Dodson’s instruction that has really stuck with you?

Sexual energy is woman’s most untapped resource. To be unapologetically myself is my greatest gift to the world.

What do you wish more women knew about either a) their own capacity for pleasure or b) accessing their sexual energy?

I wish more women knew that they don’t need to fix anything. That they are normal, perfect, beautiful beings.

I wish more women knew that their sexual energy is one of their greatest renewable sources of power. And that taking time to give back to themselves in this way would pay them back ten fold. Sexual energy is powerful and turned on women make shit happen.

What have you learned about yourself in teaching these workshops?

I have learned that I am extremely brave and that my vulnerability is a gift. I have learned to trust my intuition. And perhaps my greatest learning is that my pain and my experience are really valuable to people.

What would you say to women who may be curious in taking a Bodysex workshop but are sheepish about the nudity or masturbation-alongside-other-women aspect?

First, you were born naked. Shame has been passed down and put on to you for generations. And I guarantee you it is holding you back from more than just this workshop. It is time for healing for you, yes, but also for your family lineage. You have the power to do that. For your mother and your grandmothers, and also for the (future) children in your life.

Second, it’s not as crazy as you might think. We have these wild expectations of what a self-pleasure workshop is going to be like, but all the women are more or less just like you. I think people have a hard time conceptualizing a masturbation workshop without picturing some porn orgy, but it’s not like that at all. It is incredibly healing to remember your erotic innocence. We laugh a lot. It’s play. It’s self-expression.

The next Bodysex workshop is coming up on September 22 and 23. Get all the deets here. Follow Katrina Marie on Instagram