Gaia Poupětová has been devoted to the development of adult sexuality in the Czech Republic for ten years. Though many people are still confronted with certain prejudices, her courses are full. Gaia practices the theory that one has to learn sex because nature and instinct cannot be relied on in long-term relationships. She has two life partners, two happy relationships. Thanks to her experience and education, she is also recognized in the medical field. In the following interview for Luxury Prague Life, the sex coach talked about the shyness of her clients, but also about herself.
Your name is Julia, so why does everyone call you Gaia?
The name sounds terribly esoteric, but it's not. It's a nickname under which I visited different sex communities, like bdsm or swingers parties. Nowadays many of these activities are considered by physicians to be neither pathological nor perverse. But let's say that a lot of people still consider them to be quite uncommon, sometimes even extreme. When I started visiting them, discovering, I used the name Gaia as a nick. Most people in these communities have two identities, their official one, and then the one they use for similar events. But I said to myself that since I am a sex coach, I can combine the two. Then the name of Gaia began to be used by colleagues on the radio and other people around me, so now it predominates in my life.
Does anyone still call you Julie?
I don't like it very much, so it is mostly people who want to upset me or who don't know. I already thought about adding Gaia to my name, to my documents, when the opportunity arises. But not now, because I have a new passport.
What is it like to live with the title "sex coach" in the Czech Republic?
We are quite liberal in comparison to other countries, but there are still a lot of taboos. But I can do my job freely, I am part of the Czech Sexual Chamber and the Czech Society for Sexual Medicine, so I am accepted by the professional public, and of course it did not come easily. It took a while to explain to sexologists what I do and how.
In addition, I am writing a book. Its main theme is that there is an opinion in this society that there is no need to learn sex. When I started putting it together, I realized that I was writing something quite different from what I had intended in the beginning, and I began to dig into the essence of the fact that even experts say there is nothing learnable about sexuality. I think it is necessary to clearly stand against this opinion and lead some discussion, because as soon as people begin to think that nature will do everything for them in sex, they are on the path to no sex in the relationship sooner or later. Or to having terrible sex or falling into a stereotype, which is enough for some, but not for most.
At the same time, the idea of people is such that instinct will take care of everything for us and that there is no need to learn anything in sex, so what do I even bother doing such an unnecessary job. This is one of the things that degrades and devaluates my profession as well as what I do in the eyes of other people. But I think it's a lot more enjoyable after ten years. Of course, I still encounter various reactions.
There are people who think that what I do is just another form of prostitution, and cannot see any difference in the two. Of course, they imagine that I have sex at work or participate in the sex of other people. I tell them that I do no such thing in my work and that I talk to people in the same way as they do in their work...And there are also people who ask me if I still enjoy sex, because...I don't know...they probably feel like I'm overworked, right? (laughter)
Yet your courses are very successful.
I think so, but of course it involves a lot of hard work. And after ten years of communication, it's pretty good now.
Can you count how many people, women, men, couples you have helped? Maybe even saved their relationship?
I don't know exactly. Sometimes the break-up is the savior. (laughter)
However, for example, over 2,700 women have undergone the "The Art of Pleasing a Man" course. For men it was slower, but the last year and a half the courses for men are also full. They even recommend them to each other. For example, doctors from one hospital in Prague or one group of guys from Slovakia. But I try to keep the number of participants low, so that I can spend at least some individual time with everybody during the two days the course lasts, which means we have groups of up to eighteen women and fifteen men. And in lessons with models for men there are even fewer participants, because of the atmosphere and the possibility to explain everything in detail to the guys.
You've been doing it for ten years. Is it a business now? Do you make a decent living, or do you have to do other activities?
At first I had no idea what I was going to do. But now I have a business, I have had a colleague...for the last two, three years now. Now it's great. In the beginning it was really hard work. Moreover, it depends on many factors. If a person had a sponsor, an investor, it would be completely different, but it has become more organic since it was created in a gradual, organic way. I also founded an academy, a school of development that is based on Western educational approaches. The other schools of sexuality here in our country, whether you want to admit or not, originate from some religious direction. But we are Western Europe, at least I hope we are, so we deserve a Western approach. I don't care that everyone says that sex cannot be taught, because I see in practice that it works perfectly in a number of relationships. And men come to me after the course saying they had some training in their company that it was good, but they had no idea that sex could be learned in the same way. They are simply excited about the fact that it doesn't contain any esoteric BS and has a clear structure.
Do you have any competition?
I don't think so. Our courses, both live and on-line, are original. There are tantric massage schools here, but a strict educational system for the general public at different levels? Nobody had created that. Actually, it's unique in Europe, from what I have in the other schools abroad.
Do you teach with your husband?
No, no. I teach alone. My husband offered to help me as a model. He helps me with the part where I need to demonstrate something on a living man. That's where he enters the game. My other partner helps me in the kissing course. The guys have their activities divided this way.
You teach kissing, too? I would send a lot of men to that course... (laughs)
Oh, yeah. People get very shy there. The dynamics of the kissing courses are very interesting. For example, eight couples register, mostly it is the women who send the application. And then, because their men apparently start protesting, they slowly sign out. Very obscure reasons. Shyness plays a big part in kissing! It's an incredibly intimate and powerful thing. But few think it can be learned. That's the most absurd thing.
Shyness probably plays a big role everywhere...I can't imagine it at all.
Most people cannot imagine how to teach sexuality in a way that is pleasant and easygoing. But that doesn't mean its not possible. I remember the lady who sat opposite me a little to the side at a kissing course. When I asked the participants what experiences they would like to take away from the course, she just said angrily, "I just didn't want it to go to waste." She meant the voucher she'd received from someone, perhaps from her husband. Her husband rolled her eyes. A tough case. At the end she left glowing. I told her I should have had her picture taken before and after the course. She would have been surprised.
And what did she learn? What helped her?
The partner's attention and tenderness. In addition, aside from various techniques, we teach them communication, how to talk about these things in detail. People don't know how to do it. Most experts – sexologists, therapists, psychologists, will advise you to talk about sex, and when you want to show them to model how they talk about a situation, it's hard for them to even talk about masturbation...The real problem is then that we have nowhere to learn it. You just have to create your own dictionary with your partner. When you want to talk in detail about kissing, most people crash and burn. We teach them different patterns, touching styles, techniques, interaction possibilities and non-verbal communication. This is what they learn. When they want to hide, they can go and try some things in the room next door. Moreover, the kissing course, in particular, also raises self-confidence a lot. Despite being the one where people are really shy. In the case of touching and massaging, it's actually not so bad, but overcoming shyness during kissing is much harder.
If you are an expert on all these things, you must be a very happy woman. Do you feel that way?
But happiness is not just about sex. But it is true that after ten years with my partner we still have the spark. He sometimes warns me that I teach these things differently in courses, so he sometimes makes me work in private (laughs). But thanks to that, I think that even after ten years we have succeeded in maintaining that dense strong excitement. And we know that it can be done. We cannot go back to the very beginning, but we can return to the first or second year of the relationship. No problem.
Will you give me advice on how to do it?
Learn erotic communication, those are the five types of dialogues in our on-line course and then...well, use everything we learn at the courses as much as possible (laughs).
I guess it's not possible to describe it in one sentence...
No, it's not. Anyway, once people overcome the shyness, that embarrassment while talking about sex, and they really start believing that a lot of things can be learned, then everything in the relationship is much easier. I tell clients that they are not here primarily to learn, for example, penis or oral massage techniques, but mainly how to overcome the learning difficulties with their partner once they have decided to try it. Even if they take away only this specific skill from the course, they will do a lot better in the future.
Is it true that women are better in this?
I don't think so, certainly not by nature. It is more about the fact that female sexuality is still not emancipated. Since the Neolithic age, when people started farming. Female sexuality is still dependent on the male. These are stereotypes that you do not realize until you start to work as a sex coach.
How long have you been with your husband and how long with your partner?
I have been married to my husband for twelve years and been with my partner for ten.
Do you think it could work like this for another ten years? How do the people around you view you? If people are in the same situation, they don't talk about it, it is not public.
Then it's infidelity. This is an absolutely liberal partnership. We all know it, the neighborhood and the parents. I gave them no other choice. (laughter)
Have you thought about having a family? With whom would it be?
That's such a typical question, but I don't want a baby yet so we'll see...We have ferrets, that's enough. (laughter)
Does anything still surprise you?
Yes. Not so much the bizarre things, but I am still surprised about how our sexuality is actually limited, that we are still close in a fence we have created ourselves. We still care about what other people or partner would say if they found out this or that. It's our own fence and we can break free. But it's true that when you break free in two, it's much more fun.
And what do you like doing when you don't have to deal with sex?
I spend my time very creatively. I am writing a book, re-writing it for the fifth time, which is a wonderful learning process. Then I do video tutorials and when I can, I practice pole dance, I cook, I roller-skate and I like to travel. Now I have just come back from Singapore.
Thank you very much for the interview.
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How could you be able to tell that someone is the best lover?
Hmm, you will have to come to our course.