I am a sex ed teacher. This probably conjures images of a Midwestern gym coach fully equipped with a mullet and whistle, nervously pacing in front of sterilized images of reproductive organs. No? I guess we went to different schools.
Though I like yelling and am fond of metal whistles, I am no gym teacher. I am, for lack of a better term, a sexademic. I study sex, teach others about sex, lead workshops about sex, dream about (weird) sex and write about sex. Sometimes I do these things to excess and drive my friends insane, so one kindly friend advised me to start a blog and stop cluttering my facebook account with annoying updates about my work.
Yes, what I do is work. Though I am blessed to have found a job that I love, it is still a job and characterized by its own peculiar brand of frustration and elation. When I tell people what I do, the first response is usually a wide-eyed stare, a ‘wow’ or an incredulous ‘really?’ as if I’ve just told them I’m a fireman or some other archetypical occupation that we learn about as toddlers. Sex educator wasn’t listed next to teacher in your preschool book? I guess we went to different schools.
My job is not what it seems. I do not sit around all day talking ad nauseum about how reverse cowgirl will change your sex life (it won’t) or about the latest titillating stats on how many times a week the average person has sex.
That stuff is all white noise.
Sex is more than a penis in a vagina. Sex is more than what is between our legs. Sex is more than meets the eye.
Sex is a complicated human experience. Sex is shaped by our social, economic, racial, and gendered realities. Sex is fraught with complications wrought by a psychopathic entertainment industry and morals rooted in bygone eras.
The more I study, the more depressed I become sometimes. Brick walls are hard to crumble when the only weapons you have are your hands and sense of indignation.
But I have hope. This is why I do what I do.
Sex can be an amazing connection (with yourself, someone else, many someones). Sex can be a positive pleasure accessible to everyone while harming no-one. Sex can be so much more than we allow it to be.