Clinical Blindspots series

Clinical BlindspotsTM: Anal Sexual Health Basics

Heather Edwards, PT, CSC and Alex Papale, PT discuss the basic, need-to-know aspects of anal sex to assist pelvic health providers in delivering more accurate, stigma-free, and sex-positive counseling about all things anal in this one hour course. This course covers the basics of risk-reduction, safety, and types of anal sex as well as problem-solving barriers to anal sex. There will be a second course that covers pathophysiology and more specific issues that come up with anal sex. 

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We want you to feel confident in offering clients advice on anal play (without stigma)!

This question comes up a great deal in pelvic health social media spaces and from what we've seen, there are not many great resources to help people learn more about how to counsel clients who have anal sex questions or goals. We want to change that! You can help us by taking this course. 

We will give you the scoop on:
  • Basic safety and hygiene
  • Sexual shame and sex counseling
  • Different types of anal play
  • Problem solving patient-identified barriers to anal sexual function
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What people are saying:

From the perspective of an openly gay pelvic health PT, this course covers the basics of anal play and anal penetration beautifully! Heather and Alex are both wonderful presenters and deliver the information in a fun and inviting manner that welcomes learning about all things butt stuff. 10/10 would recommend.
Lance Frank
Physical Therapist

Here's some more!

I loved that it was “basic” anal play knowledge but also dives into more “complex” components as well (I.e., douching, fisting, etc.)
Great info for pelvic PTs and other to begin exploring new territory. See what I did there? :)
This course excites me about the direction that our profession is shifting towards to best assist all patients in addressing their goals for improving their sexual function and experience.
 I LOVE THE CHART! I use "sexual menu" a lot and have never thought about directly addressing down training the nervous system following sexual play, but reflecting on my own experiences doing this has been when I've had the most positive sexual interactions. I love the direct applications that I can bring straight with me into the clinic. Asking about aftercare, highlights and communication between partner, how to educate on "best douching habits" (or no douching habits), and framing productive questions will all be incredibly valuable.
The instructors were highly knowledgeable and able to break down myths with ease while bringing in humor. I whole heartedly agree humor is necessary with any sexual exploration, experience, or even educating patients about sexual function. If you'll allow it, I would love to quote the statement "sex without a sense of humor is setting you up for disappointment, embarrassment, and shame." This is so impactful! I can imagine patients or even just any individual *sigh* after hearing it. You both speak and educate with inclusivity and intention. Thank you.

Alex Papale, PT, DPT, Sex Educator (them/they)

Alex Papale PT, DPT (they/them) is a pelvic health physical therapist and sex educator based in Boston, MA. They treat patients at Flourish Physical Therapy, as well as develop and teach trainings and continuing education courses on sexual and pelvic health, BDSM, and LGBTQ+ healthcare. Alex began their professional career as an inclusivity consultant for a major medical institution in Boston, while co-creating and teaching one of the first national con-ed courses on pelvic health PT for the trans and gender non-conforming population. Since then, they’ve lead over 20 workshops and trainings to audiences ranging from a handful of people to national conferences on sex toys, kink, pelvic health, and gender, and they continue to expand their specialized training as a sex educator. Their pandemic hobbies include hanging out with Honey their 4ft snake, reading about kink and queer history and being an overbearing plant parent.
Patrick Jones - Course author

Tell me about the course: 

  • Objectives: 
    • Participants will be able to advise clients on types of toys and lubricants that are safe for anal play. 
    • Participants will be able recognize what shame and stigma around anal sexual activity might look like in their interactions with a patient. 
    • Participants will be able to develop a treatment plan that is inclusive of a patient's anal sexual goals.

Who is this for?

Clinical Blindspots is a course series for professionals (medical and mental health) who work with pelvic and sexual health. 

It's also great for anyone wanting a more clinical approach to sex education. 

About Clinical BlindspotsTM

This series focuses on the psychosocial aspects of caring for other humans in all of their glorious complexity. 

Clinical Blindspots is set of short courses that dive into topics that aren't usually part of the discussions in pelvic health. Some of them talk about bigger concepts of communication and clinical reasoning, while some offer specific instructions for kink and sex acts that can help clinicians navigate advising clients who enjoy doing these things. All of these courses are sex-positive, pleasure-positive, and trans-inclusive. 
Meet the Clinical blindspots creator:

Heather Edwards, PT, Sex Counselor & Educator, Founder of Clinical BlindspotsTM (she/they)

Heather Edwards, PT, CSC has been a pelvic physical therapist for 18 years and is an AASECT certified Sexuality Counselor as well as a Sex Educator. They achieved their dual certificate at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. They founded Vino & Vulvas in 2015 and it quickly became their favorite thing to do. They have presented at APTA and AASECT conferences and teaches for Pelvic Guru Academy on the topic of Trans-Inclusive Sexual & Pelvic Health. In addition to education and clinical work, Heather is an artist and illustrator of the coloring book series "Coloring Books for the Crotch Enthusiast". To connect with Heather, email H
Patrick Jones - Course author
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