Interview with Dating and Sex Coach, Catherine Toyooka

How important is flirting within our lives? Can effective flirting be taught?

Flirting is incredibly important in our everyday life. Most people don’t realize that flirting is fun and playful and it does not need to lead to anything more.

I absolutely believe that effective flirting can be taught. If you think about it, we are all born as natural flirts…just look at the way babies interact with others.  They smile with anyone and everyone!  Flirting requires a shift in behavior and thinking which doesn’t often happen overnight.  However, once people get over their initial resistance, flirting is very learnable.

How common is it for people to have body image issues? What steps do you take to guide someone through this?

Body image issues are huge in the United States with about 80% of women and about 45% of men reporting dissatisfaction with their bodies.  Almost everyone has had a time in their life when they felt the most confident and it’s just a matter of getting them to identify what that specific occasion was. For people who struggle with remembering a time when they felt confident, I work with clients to identify what are their most unique or defining positive qualities.  Much of what I do is give people permission; permission to like themselves, permission to think of themselves in a positive light, etc.

What about self-confidence? How can someone learn to be more self-confident and attract the people and situations they want into their lives?

Lack of self-confidence is something that the vast majority of my clients deal with.  People can learn to become more self-confident by taking care of their physical appearance, standing up straight, looking people in the eye when they interact with them, and learning to modulate their voice to get their point across.  People remember how they felt when they spoke with you much more than the specifics of what was actually said.  Moreover, people forget they are the ultimate authority on themselves and that people absolutely believe what you show and tell them.  If you act with confidence, people will treat you accordingly.

As a dating coach, what is your role? Who would benefit from that service?

My role as a dating coach is to give individuals insight into why they might be single.  A dating coach is much different from a friend because my motivation is to give clients constructive feedback as to how they appear or come across to others, what potential deal-breaker quirks they exhibit and what steps they need to take in order to become more attractive to who they wish to meet.  People who benefit most from my services have to realize that what they have been doing hasn’t worked.  Many of my clients get plenty of first dates but then never hear from the person again. I also work with people who have specific difficulty transitioning from an online to an in-person meeting, are socially awkward, and socially shy.

Through your observations as a sex coach, what have you found to be the primary barriers that keep people from having a truly gratifying sex life? How can this be prevented and/or remedied?

One of the foundations of a gratifying sex life is good communication.  Many people become flustered and very uncomfortable when we talk about sex and sexuality.  Many times it is because they never learned how to build proper vocabulary around the subject.  As a sex coach, I give clients permission; permission to see themselves as sexual creatures, permission to masturbate, permission to ask for what they desire.  I also start from the foundation that sex is wonderful, natural, and normal.

About: Catherine’s Blog – Catherine Toyooka is the founder of Catherine Coaches and is a blogger, sexuality speaker, sexuality educator, and a dating & sex coach helping busy professionals living in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

She is a sought after national sexuality speaker who travels the country presenting at prestigious locations like Stanford Medical Hospital, UCSF Medical Hospital, Planned Parenthood, The Ryan White National Youth HIV Conference, and Good Vibrations.

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