Research Study on Sacred Intimacy

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Transformational Healing: A Phenomenological Examination of the Practice of Sacred Intimacy as Taught by the Body Electric School”

Study Title

Transformational Healing: A Phenomenological Examination of the Practice of Sacred Intimacy as Taught by the Body Electric School

Researcher and Purpose

Andrés Cordero, Jr., submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy, Human Sexuality, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA

Study, Aim, Background

This dissertation will examine the phenomenon of sacred intimacy, a form of transformative sacred sexual healing taught by the Body Electric School, an educational institution founded for the purpose of exploring the role of eroticism in healing and personal development. Anecdotal evidence contributed by both practitioners and recipients or clients of the sacred intimacy practice assert that the approach provides significant benefits to individuals seeking to address both clinically-diagnosed dysfunctions as well as more esoteric challenges related to sexuality, spirituality, and embodiment. Although the term sacred intimacy is claimed by many somatic and spiritual practices, this examination will focus specifically on the phenomenon experienced and practiced by graduates of the Body Electric School’s programs and their clients. I intend to provide a qualitative contribution to the existing literature as the basis for further inquiry.

In the Humanities, the disciplines of relevance are philosophy and religion. In the social sciences, the disciplines of relevance are anthropology, ethnic and cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, psychology, and sociology. In the natural sciences, the disciplines of relevance are biology. In the professions and applied sciences, the disciplines of relevance are divinity, education, social work, massage therapy and body work, sex therapy, psychotherapy, and sex work. It is quite possible that due to the highly varied nature of interactions between sacred intimates and their clients, other disciplines may be included.

Methodology and Method

The study will employ a qualitative research design that will be based on psychological phenomenology. The goal of phenomenology is to reduce individual experiences with a phenomenon to a description of the more general essence (Creswell, 2007) that is transferable to other cases and which offers a structural understanding of the phenomenon. The proposed study will investigate the practice of sacred intimacy in the context of gay male practitioners and their clients. The approach is based on Paul Colaizzi’s approach to phenomenological inquiry (Edward, K. L., & Welch, T., 2011, p. 165).

Availability and Duration of Study

The study is scheduled to be initiated in the Spring of 2020, and the expected duration of the study, and availability timeframe needed by providers, is 18 to 24 months.

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