Reactions to Mythical Sex Educators

The weekend is almost here and that means I have social obligations on top of work. I’m blessed to have a large group of friends that know and love what I do. But my active social life involves a much larger population than my immediate friends.

I try to avoid telling people what I do when I first meet them. If pressed, I tell them that I am a teacher. For most people, this is boring enough to move forward in the conversation. for others, their curiosity gets the best of them.

The reaction is always along the lines of “Woah” “Really” or “Wow”. I brace myself when I interact with the general population, for whom sex means Cosmo Bedside Astrologer and Maxim Babes. Women demonstrate only a passing interest though sometimes they will pull me aside and confide their most anxious sex dilemmas. Men are more peculiar in their reactions. Here’s a breakdown. Continue reading Reactions to Mythical Sex Educators

Adrenaline and Sex

During an open discussion lunch today at a high school I gave the kids a choice between “Arousal” and “Relationship Conflict”. All the students chose arousal except for one guy that complained about his “asshole” girlfriend. I started off by explaining undifferentiated genitalia and which parts of the male and female genitals came from the same tissues (glans clitoris=glans penis, labia majora = scrotum, etc.). Here are some crude but effective charts for easier reference.

Continue reading Adrenaline and Sex

Sex Positivity Has Boundaries

As a sex educator I’ve often met people who think that sex positivity means that anything goes. I disagree. I’m all for non-judgmental sex information but that doesn’t mean I don’t find some forms of sexuality disturbing as hell.

The latest strange fetish to raise the hair on my neck? Masking or Femskins. This is related to the Real Doll fetish but with a sinister “Silence of the Lambs” twist on it: men cut the face and skin from the doll, wear it (or simply a female rubber mask) and often videotape themselves. CREEPY! Here are some visual examples. Continue reading Sex Positivity Has Boundaries

Perscribed Orgasms, Not Sex

In the late 19th and early 20th century, many women were diagnosed with female hysteria, a generally vague affliction that could cause things like irritability and trouble making tendencies. (Male hysteria was also recognized but not as publicly and the treatment was usually just psychotherapy). Because the clitoris was not publicly recognized as a major point of sexual response, doctors would massage a lady’s happy button as treatment for hysteria. This was not considered a sexual act but probably a profitable one for the doctors as the massage was “treatment” and not a “cure” from some whack affliction

As this was pretty time consuming and could lead to some sore wrists and fingers, the vibrator was invented as a mechanical alternative. Once vibrators began appearing in “stag films” (porn!) and the sexual nature of the objects started to become publicly known, the treatment for hysteria was a little scandalized. Doctors definitely stopped giving clitjobs at that point but still kept selling vibrators. Did you know that you used to have a medical prescription to get one? I mean, in many parts of the country they’re still sold as marital aids.

Abstract Sex

I am in the process of grading essays about sexuality and they range from the absurd to the sublime. Sexual organization varies from culture to culture and is so deeply embedded that few people really stop and question why we think about sex the way that we do. So, when you ask someone to give a social analysis or interpretation of a sexual behavior (oral sex) or identity (heterosexual) most people fall short.

Somtimes, the claims are simply weird:

Homosexuality is not practiced as widely as it was in the ancient days due to the evolution of the human brain…

This is a thesis statement in an essay. My polite response?

Be prepared to back this up with evidence.

Perhaps people are conflating opinion and evidence. Considering that a certain network television show likes to call hidden camera shenanigans “experiments” I can understand how this confusion could arise.

Teaching Sex

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.

Sexademics Do It Theoretically