‘Naked Therapist ‘ Ona Strips Down to Make Guys Open Up

Last winter, we talked to Ona about slut shaming, personal branding, and sexual expression. But we were all curious to delve in deeper and hear more about the business that Ona has been practicing for the past six years: Naked Therapy.

Ona’s not a traditional — or certified — therapist. She’s also not a cam girl. Her role as naked therapist floats somewhere in between.

If you’ve been to therapy before, you might LOL at the idea of your doctor stripping down, but when you think of how often men are hesitant to open up about their emotions, Ona’s practice seems like the perfect way to reel them in to actually talking about their feelings.

We spoke to Ona about what a typical session involves, what she’s learned about men from being their therapist, and how the same model could benefit women.

What is an average Naked Therapy session like? What is your favorite part about this practice? 

A normal session is done via Skype. It’s really like a normal therapy session. We talk about what is going on in the client’s life, his concerns and issues, except that about 15 minutes in I start undressing, and sometimes he does too. Taking off my bra and underwear is my favorite part, as often the conversation will change there, it’ll get deeper, more honest, more insightful. There is something about a naked woman’s body that seems to put a man both most at ease to be himself and also excited to try to really figure something out. It’s so rewarding to see it and to be helping men. My other favorite part is that I meet men from all over the world from all different socio-economic statuses, so beyond enjoying meeting every one of them, it has given me a lot of knowledge about the realities of men.

What makes you a valuable therapist to your customers? 

I am non-judgmental, which is a large part of what the nakedness symbolizes. I let my clients say whatever they want and need. I am also a true transference object to men (in the same way Freud, an intellectual man, was to his female patients), so I can be very effective in helping them realize deep emotions that might otherwise have stayed hidden.

Freud was the first to discuss [transference, which is the redirection of a patient’s feelings towards an outsider to the therapist], particularly in relation to his younger female “hysteric” patients. Thus we see Freud, an older, intellectual, kind, listening man acting as a transference object for female arousal and desire. I’ve just done the inverse. Female arousal is very different than male arousal. So, taking cues from biology and social biology, what would be the arousal object for a male patient? A youthful, available (naked), kind woman. So Naked Therapy provides a therapeutic space for true male transference.

Further, classic female “hysteria” – a female disorder thought to be based in sexual frustration – was once a common diagnosis, and today we are looking at the male version via what I call arousal frenzy or “male deferensia,” which is a spectrum of depression, mania, and addiction that comes from not having a socially acceptable way to address male sexual confusion. All men need to learn how to manage and enjoy their arousal, because, as I mentioned earlier, just ignoring it is not the answer.

Finally, I think that offering men a chance to be aroused and think deeply at the same time is very beneficial to them.

Do you feel that men can open up better to women in general? Why do you think that is?

I’m not sure about that in general, but I do think a person’s opening up is related to the attitude and availability of the person they’re trying to open up to. With Naked Therapy I’m trying to create a very safe and open space that allows and encourages men to relax and open up in ways that they might not be able to in a traditional therapy setting. My being naked enacts and symbolizes this openness.

Are there times when men get too distracted by your nudity and the conversation shifts to something more erotic and less therapeutic?

Actually, I wouldn’t call it distraction, since eroticism is part of the therapy, as I believe arousal is part of the person. So, if the conversation gets more erotic I don’t necessarily consider that less therapeutic. A lot of people have hangups around sexuality so I feel it’s really important to provide a safe and therapeutic space where the erotic can be experienced and discussed.

Do you feel that working as a naked therapist has helped you understand men in your personal relationships?

Yes, definitely! And tbh, it’s really made me like men a lot more.

Do you have any certification as a therapist at all?

I am not a certified psychotherapist. I actually can’t be as my techniques are considered unethical by state licensure boards. However, I have studied psychology, human sexuality, and social biology, and I have helped hundreds of people, many of whom say that Naked Therapy has made a huge difference in their lives. “Therapy” is actually not a regulated term. You can find Massage Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Style Therapy, Harp Therapy, etc.

Are there any repercussions you could face for practicing without a license?

If you call yourself a “counselor” or “social worker” or “psychologist” there are licenses. But “therapist” is just a general term. I am transparent and clear on my website (and in the signature of every email I send) about my status. As far as I am aware, there are no laws against the discoveries of new helping modalities, nor the development of alternative healing methods.

What’s something that most women don’t understand about male emotions?

Men love getting compliments too! Tell your man he’s handsome! Also, men really want to be accepted and liked and touched. I’ve found that if there’s something you want to change about a man, the best first step is to show love and acceptance. Then get up to what’s bothering you — and the more specific you can be the better. If it can make logical sense then it is easier to negotiate and make concrete changes.

Have there ever been times when a client has made you feel uncomfortable?

Not that I can think of. After over 1,000 clients, I can honestly say that every single one has treated me with respect.

Do you mostly have regular clients? Or do you have many one-off clients as well?

I have a good mix of regulars and one-offs. For five years I did only Naked Therapy, but last year I added on a new project called ONA which is a combination of music, my Instagram, a nude website, and my art practice. I feel it’s my way to share the ideas of Naked Therapy more broadly with the world since I can reach a lot more people than I can with Naked Therapy. I see my Instagram as a place of therapy as well. In it I try to create a safe, open, arousal-friendly space for people.

You don’t allow recording of the session from your clients, how can you monitor this?

I can’t. The rule is in place to establish the confidentiality and privateness of a therapy session and to prevent recordings from showing up online.

Do you think that Naked Therapy could work for women clients as well? Why or why not?

Yes, I think Naked Therapy can work for women, but in a different way than for men. I think today women are growing up seeing naked women online, and for hetero women that can be jealousy-inducing and exciting, and facing that in a therapeutic context can be very valuable. Naked Therapy acts as a therapeutic space to discuss what’s happening online. Online porn is a huge presence in our lives and rarely discussed thoughtfully in the media since most people just wish it would disappear. But it’s not going to disappear, and actually I think there’s a lot of beautiful things going on there. So I feel instead of slut-shaming the women and demonizing the men who partake we should all start looking at it thoughtfully and productively. In other words, as a society, how can we start to accept expressions of sexuality and see them as a beautiful?


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