About Mark Davian

mark-davian-chairHi, I’m Mark Davian.

Since the late 1980s I’ve dedicated myself to deep listening, coaching and innovative problem-solving to help people get more of what they want from life especially in the areas of sex, relationships,  resilience and spirituality.

This page has a lot of information about me including my background, experience and training, who I work with and how I work, my curriculum vitae and a link to 25 things you probably didn’t know about me.

You can also read a shorter, more informal introduction to Mark Davian.

Short Bio for Mark Davian

Mark Davian is an author, relationship coach and sex educator fiercely committed to helping sex positive people and erotic explorers experience the happiness, intimacy, pleasure and success they long for.

Raised in the Amazon rainforest by American parents, he later lived and worked in more than 20 countries helping global humanitarian workers thrive under some of the world’s most difficult conditions.

Mark’s training has included graduate studies in cross-cultural communication, counseling, and training with the Coaches Training Institute, the Relationship Coaching Institute and with leading somatic therapists and sexologists.

Since 2004 Mark has been teaching about dating, meaningful relationships, wellbeing and fulfilling, adventurous, shame-free sexual expression. Over the years he has led more than 250 workshops and trainings.

His teaching and writing found at BeyondIntimacy.com bring a wealth of insight as Mark uniquely blends cutting edge tools, ancient wisdom and practical strategies with warmth, compassion and joy.

Mark’s clients and readers regularly report discovering new dimensions of wellbeing, emotional intimacy, sexual pleasure, confidence and self-acceptance.

My background

  • I grew up in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest where my parents worked as part of a team of humanitarian workers helping alleviate illness, lack of education, poverty and widespread discrimination suffered by indigenous people. It was in this setting where I first learned about community, shamanic priniciples, relationships, navigating turbulent change and developed the capacity to see things from multiple viewpoints.
  • As a young adult I spent a dozen years working in some 20 countries, assisting global humanitarian workers living in some of the world’s most difficult settings. I learned many things during this time, especially how to create emotional safety for others and had many opportunities to develop and hone my gifts for counseling, coaching and spiritual direction. Also, during these years a longing was born deep within me for a global outreach that empowered others.
  • A dozen years as a manager in corporate America brought a deepening of skills in resilience, communication, training, coaching and conflict resolution – for myself and also in guiding others in these areas.
  • I spent six years as a business and marketing coach helping those doing transformational work to expand their impact and create and grow successful businesses. While having enjoyed this meaningful work, I sold Authentic Business Growth to more fully dedicate myself to supporting people in their quest for erotic fulfillment and emotionally satisfying relationships and to supporting others working in this field.
  • As a guy who has been in relationships with both women and men, the earliest years of my work as a sex educator, relationship coach and workshop facilitator were spent serving mostly gay and bisexual men. This brought many opportunities to empower others and deepen my empathy, capacities and mission to help others experience meaningful intimacy. After running over 100 in person workshops in Boston and the Northeast US, based on requests from women and men across North America and overseas, my outreach broadened to include all genders and orientations and became global and mostly online.

I’ll share below how all this blended together and led to the formation of Beyond Intimacy where anyone of any gender or sexual orientation who wants more pleasure and intimacy is welcome regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Pleasure and intimacy is possible for you

A good wine gets better with age and this is a useful metaphor to understand the development of my work.

My message has long been that a deeper level of pleasure and more nourishing, deeply connected intimacy is possible through open-hearted authenticity and self-compassion.

This message deepened and clarified during the years that my work as a sex educator and relationship coach focused on gay and bisexual men – a group that has faced a lot of stigma, shaming, judgment and even violence from society – just for the simple act of being who they are.

Despite its simplicity, this message is profound and life-changing:

Pleasure and intimacy are possible no matter one’s background. You deserve them. They are your birthright.

How Beyond Intimacy was created

Over the early years that my work focused on bisexual and gay men I was increasingly sought out by women, straight men, transgender and queer people to teach, help and guide them in the arena of sex, intimacy and relationships.

As a guy who has been in relationships with both women and men, broadening my work made sense to me. Despite outward appearances and some differences, as humans we are all more alike than we are different.

It was from these invitations – and carefully listening to my inner knowing – that Beyond Intimacy was created, as a place where anyone – no matter who you love or how you love them – is welcome.

Who I Work With

whoever-you-love-welcomeI work with people of all genders and sexual identities who want to experience more deeply intimate connection and nourishing sexual pleasure in their experience of sex and relationships.

Specifically my work is focused mostly on those who live outside the traditional societal norms in some way, such as due to any one or more of the following

  • Identity as a sexual minority (e.g., bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer or transgender)
  • Choice to pursue alternative sex and relationship expressions (e.g. those in the polyamory, Tantra, BDSM/kink/leather/fetish communities or who otherwise identify differently)
  • Living with depression, anxiety, shyness or recovering from physical or emotional trauma
  • Living with a challenging medical condition
  • Living with a disability of some kind
  • Those who are empaths or who identify as Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

My work blends coaching, education, energy healing, heartfelt dialog, body-centered modalities as well as tantric and shamanic principles.

All of the programs whether online or offline are about helping you eliminate barriers so that you can reach your full potential in your connection with others, and yourself.

I work with my one on one clients by phone, something that has repeatedly proven to be surprisingly effective for practical body-centered sex and relationship coaching.

Overall my work brings you a refreshing, down-to-earth approach that blends ancient wisdom and cutting edge tools with body-centered practices and deep listening to help you accelerate intimacy in your life.

If you are interested in my experience and background, you can continue reading below.

You may also want to

Highlights of Programs Developed, Led and Taught

Over the years I’ve led, taught and convened at least 250 classes, experiential workshops and gatherings to support wellbeing and help people in having a life they can love.

More than 100 of these were in the arena of intimacy, relationships and sexuality (including Tantra and BDSM).  Here is a sample of some of them.

  • Touch & Authentic Connection
  • Pain Free Anal Sex Blueprint curriculum for beginners and experienced people to deepen anal pleasure
  • Where Did My Woody Go? Sex coaching curriculum for men with erection problems
  • Intimacy Through Touch and Presence
  • 7 Secrets of Emotionally Satisfying Relationships
  • Relationship Cafe
  • Meditation, Touch & Sensuality
  • Erotic Trance Journey
  • Calm, Confident & Powerful
  • Exploring the Power of Forgiveness
  • A Taste of Tantra
  • Tantric Principles & Practices
  • Moving from Meeting & Dating into a Committed Relationship
  • Intensify Erotic Play Through Simple Somatic Practices
  • Flirt Fast for Fun and Safe Erotic Play
  • Sensual Touch Dojo™
  • Conscious Kink Lab™ (erotic bondage, spanking, etc.)
  • Communal Erotic Heart Jam
  • Sacred Energy Healing Circle
  • Communal Erotic Heart Jam for
  • Erotic Explorations
  • Bodywork Cafe
  • Urban Aloha Massage Exchange
  • Communal Erotic Meditation Gathering
  • Bondage & Surrender Basics
  • The Courage to Be Happy
  • I Love A Man’s Touch
  • Dungeon Play Orientation
  • Learning Lab for Negotiation & Communication
  • Learning Lab on Power Exchange Relationships
  • Igniting the Fire: Passing the Torch Ritual (co-presenter)
  • Exploring and Transcending Boundaries (co-presenter)
  • A Gentle Masculine Body Blessing
  • 7 Little Known Secrets Of Emotionally Satisfying Long-Term Relationships
  • Communal Erotic Meditations for Men
  • Savoring Touch and Arousal
  • Sensation Play: From Tickle To Torment
  • Warm, Wet and Taboo
  • Erotic Trance Journey
  • Kinky Camp at Easton Mountain
  • Kink Lab: Exploring Erotic Spanking
  • Exploring the Power of Forgiveness
  • Bodywork Basics for Men
  • Expanding Your Capacity To Receive Love

CV Highlights for Mark Davian
Practical Sex & Relationship Coaching

I follow the code of ethics of the

  • International Coach Federation, an international organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession.
  • Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers (ACSB), a professional association devoted to the promotion of professional somatic sex education.

My affiliations have included being a licensed member of the Relationship Coaching Institute, a founding member of the Gay Coaches Alliance and a member of the Association of Sexual Energy Professionals and of the Focusing Institute.

Modalities

My work is holistic and integrative and draws from ancient teachings and modern practices.

Here are some of the modalities that inform my work based on extensive study and practice.

  • Professional Coaching, including Coactive Coaching, Somatic Coaching, Conscious Dating Coaching and Relationship Coaching
  • Erotic Coaching, Orgasmic Yoga and Sexological Bodywork
  • Tantra, Sacred Sexuality and Sacred Intimacy
  • Inner Relationship Focusing and focusing-oriented body awareness and dialog (based on the work of Eugene Gendlin)
  • Conscious Dating™ Coaching
  • Play Two Win™ Coaching (Coachville)
  • Reiki and energy healing
  • Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Meridian Tapping)
  • Shamanic practices and ritual
  • Various breathwork techniques
  • Various bodywork modalities

I am not certified in any of these modalities, though none of them require certification. In fact, most of them do not offer certification options (especially back when I got started).  (I am, however, a Reiki Master the highest available practitioner designation for Reiki.)

The purpose of my work is to help healthy, functioning adults to find more meaning and pleasure in their relationships and sexual expression.  I do not diagnose or treat illness.  I am not a physician or psychologist. Also, I do not provide legal or financial advice. Coaching is intended to supplement such services and is not a substitute for letting these professional be your primary support in those areas.

Influencing modalities

These are some modalities that I don’t specifically practice, but which have underlying theories, concepts or insights that have significantly influenced my views and inform my work.

  • Rubenfeld Synergy
  • Authentic Movement
  • Contact Improv
  • Massage therapy
  • Hawaiian Lomi Lomi bodywork
  • Ericksonian hypnosis
  • Client Centered Therapy (Carl Rogers)
  • Pastoral care, spiritual direction and Person-centered Therapy (Paul Tournier)
  • Quantum Touch
  • Respectful Confrontation® by Joe Weston

Training Highlights

Unfortunately there is very little training available for the work I do.  Most of the little training that has been available (especially when I got started in this field) is sex negative, often shaming, coldly clinical and heavily based on the Western medicine (disease model) that assumes any lack of satisfaction or fulfillment in life means something is wrong with you that needs to be “fixed.”

Even today, sadly, there are few trainings for coaches or psychotherapists that are both knowledgeable and culturally competent when it comes to supporting and empowering those who are sexual minorities like queer, LGBT, poly and kinky people.

As someone who was coaching a decade before the field of life coaching started to become widely known, I have always come from a perspective of seeking to collaborate with clients in an effort to empower them to live more meaningful lives, rather than from the more common shame-based approach of diagnosing and “fixing” them.

My qualifications are based on my wide-ranging experience of over 25 years supporting people around the world in their journey toward fulfillment and empowerment. Since 1990 I have worked with thousands of men, and many women, who have sought my help specifically in the areas of sex and relationships.

My experience  living and working in some 20 countries helping global humanitarian workers thrive in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous places has given me a strong foundation for helping people with sex and relationships.  There are few things inside us that can feel as difficult and dangerous as sex and relationships sometimes do.  It’s possible to thrive there also.

I also bring to the mix years of explorations and training in spiritual, holistic and body-centered practices, sexology, energy medicine, meditation hypnosis, and my own personal sexual journey over many  years.

Listed below are some highlights of the many trainings which I’ve taken and integrated into my work. Many, but not all are trainings approved by the Association of Sexological Bodyworkers, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) or both.

  • Urban Tantra® Professional Training
  • Coaches Training Institute
  • Yoga of Sex Sexological Bodywork training with Joseph Kramer, PhD
  • Body Electric School
  • Relationship Coaching Institute
  • Wheel of Consent™ Desire, Empowerment & Choice professional training
  • New School of Erotic Touch
  • Tantra Heart, LLC
  • Training, live and online classes, professional development self-directed study and mentoring with leading sexologists and somatic therapists including Joseph Kramer, Betty Martin, Barbara Carrellas, Ann Weiser Cornell,  Caffyn Jesse and many others.
  • Numerous trainings in the BDSM, Fetish and Leather community including Midori’s Rope Dojo®, Max’s Bondage Intensive and Body Electric’s Power, Surrender & Intimacy (PSI).
  • Foundations of Facilitation, EDUCO
  • Focusing Resources yearlong practitioner training
  • CoachVille School of Coaching
  • Authentic World Community Leadership Program
  • Sacred Lomi Hawaiian Temple Bodywork
  • Respectful Confrontation®
  • Reiki levels 1-3 and Reiki Master
  • Many, many other trainings in sexuality, relationships, counseling skills, bodywork, body-mind therapies, consciousness, communication, spiritual direction, communication, conflict resolution, etc.
  • Lesley University Intercultural Relations MA Program
  • Studies in psychology with Indiana University

If you’ve read this far, I recommend you join the Beyond Intimacy community so you can benefit from our free email resources to support your erotic fulfillment and relationship satisfaction.