Q & A With . . .
Vicky Crone - HERintimacy
Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Vicky?
Vicky is a slightly dishevelled, slightly unapologetic, slightly badass 33 year old wife to one and mum to three (one of which has Asperger’s Syndrome). I’m also a passionate feminist, domestic abuse survivor (although I hate the word survivor!) and lover of coffee and crisps (not at the same time though!).
As the founder of HERintimacy, what does it represent?
HERintimacy is my pride and joy. She represents a world in which women can be free to own their sexual pleasure, let go of shame and build their self esteem free from societal pressures. The short of it is: I do this through transformative sex education. The long of it is: HERintimacy is a social platform specifically designed for women to discuss sexuality, self pleasure, sexual health & intimacy.
What led you to become a sex coach?
My passion for women. My feminism. My determination to raise women to be equals.
I absolutely believe this starts within. Building self esteem, boosting confidence and giving women the space to own knowledge of their own mind and body in order to make informed decisions within every area of their lives.
How long have you been a sex coach for?
I’ve been advising women for a long time now. Through my time in a women’s refuge and then when I went on to study psychology everything was about women owning their sexuality. I also own an online adult retailer and have done so for 18 months now. I released my 1:1 intensive 12 week programme in May of this year.
How long do your 1-2-1 sessions last?
My 1:1 sessions are one hour long zoom sessions. These are built into a comprehensive 12 week programme where you also have access to me via whatsapp for any support outside of sessions, a self reflection journal and 12 months free access to the HERintimacy membership.
The goal here is to take you from the overwhelming feeling of your own future to confidently creating your desires. Life leaves us lost. A lot. This programme will allow you to be clearer on the person you want to be, the life you want to live and the actions you will take to get there.
How do you assess what your client needs?
Initially, I offer a free 30 minute discovery call which gives my client the opportunity to express what they’re hoping to achieve through working with me. If I believe the programme is suited to their needs then we go ahead and get to work. However, if I feel like a client could benefit from another service then I will express this and with permission, go ahead and refer them to the other service.
Sexual Orientation has recently been in the limelight, what are the challenges a sexual orientation minority faces that heterosexual clients would not?
I think that as women we suffer great challenges just to survive in this world but then when you throw in a sexual orientation that society classes as abnormal it’s absolutely devastating stuff. Challenges include (but are not limited to) rejection, isolation, discrimination at work, harassment, online trolling and abuse from family members.
I don’t think we should be differentiating between a heterosexual woman and a gay woman; for example, at all. We’re all women. This goes for transgender women too. We’re all women, we’re all human and we absolutely deserve to be treated as such!
How does trauma affect intimacy?
Trauma forces your body into a constant state of ‘flight or fight’ mode. It is very difficult to trust someone when you’re in this state, which means that all kinds of difficulties will arise when trying to have an intimate relationship. Like spectating during sexual moments, self criticism and lack of desire for example. The only way to have any kind of intimate relationship after trauma is by establishing a positive relationship with yourself first. So; addressing your stress response and bringing the nervous system back into balance, learning yourself through self pleasure and being clear on your limits and boundaries are paramount to engaging in intimacy again.
What is your opinion on the porn industry?
I love it. I think that there is still more work to be done in terms of what constitutes ‘healthy porn’. A lot of porn that was on offer, especially in the 1980s/ 1990s, was degrading and unhealthy in the sense that it gave domestic abuse a positive vibe and told all women that that’s how they should be doing it and what they should look like. Like most things in life though, that was the product of a man-led society. Nowadays, women are absolutely smashing the ethical porn- breakthrough! Take Erica Lust for example. Erica is the proud producer of ethical, well- managed, real- life porn. Her films highlight the beauty of diversity and allow viewers the freedom of pleasure free from shame and guilt.
It’s worth mentioning here that my absolute belief is that sex education needs to do more for porn! I hate that unhealthy porn is still floating around and that instead of young adults having knowledge of what to steer clear from and what it is that healthy porn can actually do for them, they’re being told that it’s altogether unhealthy and they shouldn’t be using it! This just creates extra pressure and more feelings of shame and guilt. Teach them that self pleasure is normal and healthy and absolutely necessary for wellbeing and point them in the direction of healthy tools for masturbation!
Are there any experiences that you can share that you found unearthing in your line of work?
Self pleasure. My sex education growing up was absolutely useless and my parents are to blame for this just as much as the school curriculum. If I had any clue about myself, my desires, my limits and boundaries, would I have ended up being in an abusive relationship for 8 years? Possibly. But would I have escaped faster? Absolutely.
That is why I only work with women and I urge all women to use self pleasure before entering relationships or making decisions that impact their whole lives. It’s not just about having an orgasm. It’s about knowing your limits & boundaries and being able to set these with ease. This intertwines with all areas in your life. Imagine a coworker slaps you on the butt at work and tells you what a good job you’re doing. Conforming to social order, you wouldn’t want to kick up a ‘fuss’. But knowing your limits and boundaries? That fuss would be escalated into full blown ‘sack their ass and take their reputation down with them’ mode, with no doubt in your mind. That is the confidence I want to see in all women.
The term “sexually affirmative” is commonly used, what does it mean to you?
Oooh don’t get me started on consent! Consent is my be all and end all. After having my decisions and control over my body and life being taken away from me for 8 long years, and then experiencing stalking, consent is the most important thing I learned. It goes hand in hand with limits and boundaries and is the single most important thing a woman should understand before entering any type of relationship.
The meaning I offer to women is that consent is fluid. Affirmative consent is knowingly and voluntarily entering into a mutual sexual situation. The consent is fluid because anyone is free to leave at any time. Just because you said yes at the start doesn’t mean you have to go through with it. You change your mind girl, whenever it suits you. You’re not here to live for anyone else but yourself.
What do you enjoy the most in your profession?
It’s so hard to pinpoint just one thing! I absolutely love what I do and I sort of stumbled upon it by chance because of my life experiences so I’m grateful for that. I also own an online adult retailer selling tools for masturbation so as well as empowering women I also get to experience the sex industry in all its glory and witness the positive changes it has made that impact our lives for the better.
What are the challenges you face in your profession?
The stigma associated with masturbation. I had a lady laugh at me recently when I suggested she tried masturbation to help manage her perimenopause symptoms! She thought I was joking!
Do you have a morning routine to set you for the day?
Coffee first. Always coffee first. I’d like to say here that I have my sh*t together and the children and I spend a wonderful half hour eating breakfast together before our leisurely walk to school but that is never the case. Home life is really busy for me as is for any mummy. I don’t think we ever find the balance for long do we?! The one thing we always do though is have an upbeat song playing that we shout-sing at the top of our lungs to release all our negative energy and start our day feeling energised. It’s usually off the trolls soundtrack and it’s my 5 year-olds’ favourite part of the day!
What’s your go-to way of winding down after a long day?
In the winter, I love relaxing in a hot bath. In the summer, a refreshing cocktail in the garden is a must!
What is the one word that you want people to associate you with?
Can I have two words? Sex education. If I must have one word I’ll go with sexeducation haha!
If you were not a sex coach, what would you be doing?
How can people contact you?
Thanks so much for having me!