Earlier on this month I was interviewed by Vanessa Raphaely the founder of The Village, one of South Africa’s biggest Facebook community groups.

Want a happier, healthier, more satisfying sex life? There’s a coach for that!

Meet Nicki Brivik, Cape Town’s brilliant new Sex Coach.  

Learn more about Nicki’s practice and gain valuable insight about how to have a happy healthy sexlife, via her Instagram account: @ask.nicki

Book a private session with Nicki nicki@asknicki.co.za

Think about the most unlikely career pivot, for a high-flying former lawyer … How about sex coaching? Is that unlikely enough for you?

Not for Cape Town’s Nicki Brivik, who is quickly becoming renowned as the city’s newest and most insightful sex coach. “I have always been motivated to help people,” she says, “As a lawyer I acted for people who had been severely injured due to the negligence of others. Now, I am helping people unlearn all the negative messages that they have internalized and rather learn to embrace sex as something beautiful and natural. So I guess I have swapped the thrill and excitement of litigation with the heat and desire that surrounds sex.”

A warm, dynamic mother of three and ex-principal partner in CPT law firm Malcolm Lyons & Brivik Incorporated, Nicki completed her articles in Cape Town and litigated Medical Malpractice and Road Accident Fund claims. She had over 20 years experience in both.

But she always believed that having a great sex life enriched lives and added excitement, pleasure, confidence and adventure into everyday relationships and chose coaching as the most effective modality, to assist others find their sexual sweet spot! “It was the combination of my desire to share my sex positive world view and my ability to openly talk about sex that led people to seek my advice, which ultimately led me to sex coaching,” she says, “Sex is so central to peoples’ lives and relationships, yet there is so much secrecy and dishonesty around the subject, resulting in a lack of open and honest conversations. This is why so many people experience difficulty surrounding their sex life . But even if you are one of the lucky ones and sex comes easily to you , we can all benefit from a few tips because great sex is something we usually have to figure out on our own. The problem is, who to talk to?! And this is where I realised there was a massive need. That is why I became a sex coach. To liberate the conversation around sex and help people reach their own pleasure potential.”

Her practice has established itself quickly, as people of all ages seek out advice and guidance on challenges such as disparity of desire, what to do about a sexless marriage, or “How to overcome erotic barriers that need to be breached before someone can truly embrace and enjoy a fulfilling sex life, including being able to orgasm.”

I asked her how clients felt about admitting seeing a coach for such intimate issues: “There is still such a stigma attached to seeing anyone about sex. This has always amazed me because people today generally have such a growth mindset regarding everything and will freely share that they see a life coach or a business coach or even that they are seeing a psychologist. But when it comes to sex, people feel as though they are admitting to having a serious problem in the bedroom. This is why it is my desire to normalise conversations around sex , and encourage people to share sex tips as easily as they would share and compare best buys, places to go and restaurants to eat at.”

Both the need that Nicki has identified and the stigma is demonstrated right here on the Village, where questions are frequently asked around sex, but ALWAYS asked anonymously.

My own, entirely unscientific market research, based on the many questions I have seen asked over the 5 years of adminning the Village, is that Nicki very much has a point.
Many of us, it seems, have very complicated and repressive views around sex.

Many of us (And our partners,) could benefit from some sensible, non-judgmental down-to-earth advice from Nicki.

Sex is one of the most positive, life-affirming gifts we can give ourselves. Sex is so much more than just a function of our bodies. It adds to our quality of life and enhances our humanity. If you are unfulfilled by sex I would recommend you be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you are sublimating so that you can unlearn the negative messages you have been telling yourself and challenge flawed beliefs. Be open to what could be, because I truly believe that sexual healing is essential not only for pleasure and physically intimate relationships but also for complete healing as an individual.”

To introduce her to our community, I asked Nicki to answer some of the most common of Village sex problems, such as:

How do you re-ignite passion and desire in a marriage that has gone stale?
“In order to reignite passion you need the desire to do so. Put in the time and effort to stoke the flame. Use your imagination, communicate and make sex a priority. If you remember that foreplay begins after your last orgasm this will add an element of play and excitement to every area of your life. Great sex helps to keep your glasses rose tinted so take the time to sexplore your partner once again and you will be amply rewarded.”
What is to be done if a couple experiences discrepancies in desire?
“This is a common problem. I think it often boils down to a failure to understand the difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire. Some people (often the men) feel spontaneous desire. This means you metabolize desire into arousal very quickly. This is the kind of desire that is depicted in the movies like a need or a craving. But in fact, a lot of people experience reactive desire, which is more like a slow burn then a frying pan. In other words, getting in the mood happens more gradually. People who experience responsive desire need space and time to metabolize sexual cues. This does not mean that they are less sexual then spontaneous desire people, they may in fact be highly sexual, it just means that they require more to get them going and context can be very important. If we understand this difference ( often divided along gender lines and also liable to vary through our lives,) and the spontaneous desire partner took the time and energy to arouse the more responsive desire partner, then a lot of friction can be avoided. Resentment is a relationship killer whilst curiosity is a relationship healer. So communicate and move from critical to curious. Change your mindset and view getting into the mood as a team effort.”
What do you think are the most pressing questions facing couples of different ages and stages?
“I would say that with people in their 20s there is a focus on performance and being the best one can be. The problem is that sex is not a show and this singlemindedness can result in much anxiety and a failure to understand that great sex is about mutual pleasure. With people in their 30s, sex is usually centred around procreation or people are in the thick of having young kids, which wreaks havoc on new parents sex lives. With people in their 40s, sex becomes more recreational again and can be reconnecting, but it is often difficult to find ones way back to each other after the barren young child years. The 50s is beset with menopausal women and menopause has a massive effect on ones’ libido and can have a scorched earth effect on ones’ sex life; but there is also the bonus of children growing up and even leaving home and allowing for more opportunity for couples to find their way back to each other. People are also more accepting of who they are and where they are in society and this can also have a positive influence on their sex lives. The 60s and upwards can be a wonderful time for people to explore their sexuality without fear of judgement coupled with an awareness that one needs to grab anything that gives us pleasure in this world. Of course this can have the downside of health issues and ageing bodies capabilities.”
and finally …
Many Villagers report a discomfort with their children becoming sexually active, what do you counsel, to distressed parents?
“For some reason parents find it very difficult to accept that their daughters are sexually active much more than if their sons are. This buys into the age-old stereotypes that we were taught when we were younger. My view is that we should teach our kids from a young age to view sex as something beautiful and natural but something that one should only do when one is physically and emotionally comfortable to do it and is not something we should ever feel pressured into doing. We must remember that we teach our children to trust themselves to be able to make their own decisions in every area of their lives, and sex should be no different. There is no magical right age to be having sex so equip your child with the right tools to be able to choose their time correctly.”“Just a little bit of effort and some open and kind communication can transform the most mediocre sex life into something transcendent.” says Nicki.