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Exploring Life & Business with Nicole Barkhordari of Nicole Colleen Coaching

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Barkhordari.

Hi Nicole, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
How did I become a Sex and Intimacy Coach? If you really want to know how my story begins, we have to take a quick visit back to my childhood. I was raised in a fairly conservative and faith-based home. My parents were mindful of what we were exposed to, especially when we were young. Remember that movie The Sandlot? My dad overheard my brother and I joking about the scene where the kid fakes drowning so he can make-out with the lifeguard… after that, he took away all of our PG and PG-13 movies for the next year.

For me, I was the type of kid who didn’t mind the structure and boundaries. I trusted my parents completely and felt confident that they always acted in my best interest. My childhood was innocent, light-hearted and truly a sacred space where I was encouraged to just be a kid.

Enter the discussion about the “birds and the bees”… there wasn’t much of one to be honest. I knew that sex before marriage was off the table and I didn’t question it. I also did not have any desire to be in a sexual relationship when I was younger. Then… I went off to college and met my first serious boyfriend my first week of school. Very quickly, I was faced with the fact that I had a lot of “catching up” to do when it came to the topic of sex and sexuality. Not that I felt like I needed to have more sexual experiences per se, but I just didn’t know much of anything about the topic.

I felt like a fish out of water and was surprised to be desired by someone in a sexual way. I turned to the best sex-education out there (haha)… Hollywood movies. Fast forward 16 years… boy did I have a lot to learn about sex, self-love, intimacy, relationships and life transitions. It was through my own relationship journey with my then boyfriend, now husband, as well as further exploring the intimate relationship with myself that I found a deep passion in supporting others on their own sexual journeys. Sex has the potential to be one of the most pleasurable, empowering, intimate and fun experiences we get to have as human beings. But all too often, because of the way we are raised and exposed to the topic, we so often end up feeling awkward, embarrassed and insecure. As a licensed psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy, I now own Nicole Colleen Coaching. I work with couples to undress intimacy issues and turn on the pursuit of passion in their relationships.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Is the path to the good things in life ever without its bumps and bruises… no way! Yes, I struggled… and not always so gracefully.

At a young age, I watched my parents face major conflict and pain in their relationship and that was tough because I idolized them. I battled with depression, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love in high school (and honestly still do sometimes today). Like many young women, I wanted to be desired and at the same time was not comfortable allowing those mutual desires to be explored due to my faith and upbringing. I met my (now) husband early on in life, got married after seven years and it wasn’t until a few years into our marriage that we realized, shit! We were best friends, shared our values, hopes and dreams for the future but we struggled with this deep fear that we would never be aligned with our sexual needs because in reality, we never were, just neither of us knew it.

At some point in the middle of endless conversations around our sex life with my husband, I realized there was a kink in the system. Society sells us the idea that our “Happily Ever After” is found in the person who can check all the boxes, when in reality, legendary love is finding a partner with whom we trust will do the work to write a story that may need frequent edits and revisions. I realized that I have always had that partnership with my husband. We have never avoided the tough conversations, so now it was just about finding the recipe for intimacy that we both desired.

As humans, we are wired to connect with other humans and sexuality plays a huge role in our overall well-being. You remember the song lyrics by Letters to Cleo?

“I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
I’m beggin’ you to beg me.”

Such simple words… yet they provide so much depth to the vulnerability that many of us experience in our sexual relationships, however, struggle to express to our partners. A successful sex life, I’ve found, has a rock solid foundation of good communication skills.

I know that everything in my life, all of my experiences, good and bad, created the space for where I am at today. Had it not been for my own experience and challenges in connecting intimately with my husband, there is no way I would be here talking about sex and intimacy for a living! One of the reasons I am so passionate about the work I do is because I have seen firsthand that when couples have good resources, good support and are open to it, then together, they can move mountains!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I am a psychotherapist turned Relationship-Intimacy-Sex Coach and certified Clini-Coach. I’m on a mission to change the narrative around sex, to empower individuals to take ownership of their pleasure, to support couples in talking about their desires, create a toolbox for fostering intimacy (even in the busiest of times), and pursue passion and novelty in long-term relationships that may have gone stale.

We are a society driven by efficiency and productivity… yet, when we try to apply those same tactics to the bedroom, intimacy is strangled. Sensuality and sexuality struggle to exist in an environment that is overburdened with expectations and outcomes. As a coach and therapist, I see all too often relationships falling apart due to avoidance or lack of communication, years and years of pain and resentment that build-up and a dissolve of trust and connection. I also see the incredible beauty and strength of a couple who slows down, practices self-awareness and fights for their relationship. The sparks that are created between a couple who invests in one another daily, who leans on each other, who prioritizes moments of connection and intimacy- it is that couple who sparks a wildfire. Strong, sexy, passionate relationships inspire growth, creativity, confidence, connection and vulnerability. I believe it is that couple who changes the world.

I am real with my clients and that is what I am most proud of. I’ve been in their shoes. I am the first to admit that my husband and I don’t have that Bridgerton-esqe vibe locked down quite yet. As a couple, our life is BUSY! Two toddlers, complete tear down and remodel of a new home, full-time careers, Covid, etc… life can be beyond hectic at times. And… no matter what chapter we are in, I have deep faith in the truth that we can have it ALL! Is it easy? NO! Is it worth it? No doubt! We can have an incredible friendship, parenting skills that are on par, we can be co-contractors/designers on our new house, and be sexy, fun, passionate LOVERS!

I want others to experience this too and feel confident in their relationships on every level!

I am currently offering 1:1 coaching sessions for couples to undress any issues around intimacy and spark that wildfire of desire and passion. Meanwhile, I am in the process of creating a self-led course for individuals and couples that will aid in my mission to make the world a better place one SEXY relationship at a time!

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
For so long, I muted my voice in so many ways. I found a place where I was comfortable/content directing my focus more towards others and their happiness. I thought it was external validation from others and their happiness that would be the path to my own fulfillment.

It was finally through open and honest conversation with my husband and realizing that we were both struggling in getting our needs fulfilled that I realized, to give ourselves the greatest opportunity of success for a happy forever with the person we love, we MUST honor vows in the relationship with ourselves first.

Through extensive research, experience, interaction with clients, devoted study to relationship dynamic and sexual interaction, as well as sacred wisdom that pulls from my foundations of faith and spirituality, I discovered the secret to that happily ever after that we all dream of. I found that if self-love becomes our greatest love story of all time, if we as individuals are able to take ownership of our own pleasure, find confidence and empowerment in expressing our desires, risk vulnerability in our relationships, then, and only then, the intimate, sexy, passionate energy we have with our partners will radiate.

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Image Credits:

Lista Family Photos – Katie Jackson

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