Curious about being a sex educator? How did other people figure out they wanted to teach about sex?
Cathy: I’m getting this. Someone asked us, how did you find out that you’re interested in being a sex educator. They’re really intrigued by a lot of the social studies and human behaviors, but they’re not really sure what aspects of it intrigued the most or how to go about being a sex educator. They were wondering if we had any advice.
Reid: Well, I’m in it for the money. Because sex education is where the money’s at. Screw investment banking and all that stuff. Here, everyone, here, a YouTube channel, cha-ching.
Cathy: He’s being sarcastic in case you didn’t know. This is Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com.
Reid: That’s right, I’m greedy. Greed is good. This is Cathy from The Intimacy Dojo. Cathy Vartuli of The Intimacy Dojo.
Cathy: Thank you. It’s good to know you remember my name.
Reid: This is true. I felt like didn’t really give you a good one.
Cathy: Like you spelled it wrong the other day.
Reid: I did. I did. I’m very creative.
Cathy: I actually, for me, I found out a lot about it from Reid.
Reid: Yeah. Blame me, I’m the escape goat.
Cathy: I’ve been doing life coaching for a while. I was not dating and I wanted to, and I was kind of scared of sex. I was really scared of sex, and so I reached out to Reid for advice. I was so amazed that there’s so much information and we’re just not taught that it even exist to ask about it. Like I’m a research scientist and I didn’t know how much is just readily available out there. I wanted to help make it accessible to people, be it people who are scared or overwhelmed. That was my niche, so to speak, to work with people that are kind of overwhelmed or scared to feel comfortable to explore.
Reid: You’re already doing, outside of being somebody who has 19 patents to your name in another field, like you are already helping people feel more empowered and I just probably contaminated you.
Reid: Made you realized, “Oh, I can talk about sex too in new ways.” Thank you for that, that’s a really sweet acknowledgement. For me, and you’ll find this online in a lot of other places because I do try to talk about my past, most of my like X-Men origin story is that my mom and dad loved each other very much and couldn’t communicate at all and work through their upsets, and it really fucked up their marriage. They ended up, my mom became an alcoholic, my dad became a workaholic thinking money would fix everything. They eventually lost everything and lived in their van for several years. I just didn’t want to be like my parents, that’s one part of the story, and because we talk to a lot of other sex educators especially ones that are just starting out. I was a comic book artist and a bartender and an actor and a film producer, like all these things before my friends actually pulled me aside and said, “You need to charge money for your relationship advice.” What was happening was, unconsciously, I was trying to … I was learning all these tools, so that I didn’t have to be like my mom and dad. I ended up amassing a lot of information …
Cathy: Putting it together in a really pragmatic and fun way.
Reid: Yeah. Well, I mean, now. But back then, I was still kind of like, well, I believed that I was still giving really great tools and resources, and I was really passionate about people not having to go through what I grew up around. As far as when I talk to a lot of people all over the United States and in Canada and people from all over the world, most of us knows somebody if it wasn’t us who grew up in a fucked up family. When you really start looking at it, so much of it is about lack of communication skills, bad cultural and social role modeling, a lot of fear and shame. Things just get really worked and the tools that I want to share with people and why I’m so passionate, and you are too about encouraging sex educators, or people who want to help people around relationships and intimacy and sex to be better at the business of it so that we can all make a living. Because you can make a living, I just don’t … If you want to make a lot of money quick, don’t do it here. It’s hard to do it here, that’s all I’m going to say.
Cathy: Well, I’m a full-time engineer and do this as well because I’m passionate about it, and I love engineering too, but it can be a challenge to make a good living in that. It’s really important that people speak about this and teach about it. You’re giving people reconnection with their body and pleasure back. It’s like they’ve been taken … They lost it. Helping them find that is priceless.
Reid: I’m going to say if you’re watching this video right now, whatever you’re interests are, you may have several over your lifetime, so people who thought I was flaky because I was an artist, then I was an actor, then I was this, then I was that like … And who knows 10 years from now I might not be a sex educator.
Cathy: You might be an investment banker.
Reid: Yeah. Yeah.
Cathy: Or a sex therapist only you’re just …
Reid: Or sex therapist investment banker. Whatever you’re passionate about, please, follow that in some way that makes sense to you. And also, if what you are passionate about just happens to be an area of life where there’s a lot of shame and anxiety and confusion, sex just happens to be my niche, right?
Cathy: There’s plenty of shame out there.
Reid: Yeah, and it could be money, it could be helping people transition around death. Like whatever those … Like death, money, religion, like sex, like cultures, at least American cultures kind of fucked up about these things. If that’s where your area of passion is, please, follow it because we need more people out there helping relieve the shame and the silence and the workness in society. If it happens to be sex education or relationship education or something like that, and there’s anything that I can do to help or Cathy can do to help, check out our resources, SexGeekSummerCamp.com is a really great resource.
Cathy: It’s going to be a blast.
Reid: There’s a lot of different things that I’m creating now and Cathy is also creating to help around business-sy stuff. Again, like I just want to say thank you for the question. Also, if you’re interested in sex and sex education now, but 10 years from now you want to go be a comic book artist, that’s okay too. Whatever that is, follow your passions, please. I think that makes for a better world than you beating yourself up for not being drawn to do whatever that is.
Cathy: Yeah. Just explore and figure out what works right for you.
Reid: What are you passionate about? Leave it in the comments below.