How Do You Handle Giving Bad Advice As Sex Educator? | Facebook Walk With Reid And Allison

by Reid on August 2, 2020

How Do You Handle Giving Bad Advice As Sex Educator? | Facebook Walk With Reid And Allison 

 

 

 

 

Reid: Hello Facebook! Ah! Hang on. There you go. We want the bridge in the background. There we go hello Facebook! It is Reid Mihalko from http://reidaboutsex.com/

Allison: And Allison Moon from http://girlsex101.com/

Reid: So, first thing when you type in because Allison can actually read it from here. Let us know if you can hear us because I am tweaking my little fancy microphone stuff. So let us know can you hear us and can you hear us okay?

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: And how you doing there, buddy?

Allison: I’m doing right.

Reid: Yeah. We’re having we’re having some stressful times

Allison: We’re doing some stressful stuff

Reid: today. Maybe….not us personally

Allison: Not us. We’re great.

Reid: We’re good. We’re totally good. But we’re….we’re…we’re having to wear several pairs of adulting pants these days.

Allison: We’re….it’s like it’s like that video that one of those early viral videos of the guy who puts on like 35 t-shirts

Reid: Oh, yeah.

Allison: I feel like my butt is

Reid: how

Allison: is

Reid: how many

Allison: very big with all of the adulting pants

Reid:  adulting

Allison: that I’m wearing.

Reid: Where….where how many adulting pants can you put on? That being said, we have a whole other thing we want to talk about ‘coz we need to get our minds off of the adult thing that we’re going.

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: And but….but you had an experience about giving somebody “bad advice” and I have thoughts about it ‘coz we already talked about it but

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: we could also talk to you all

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: because I think we give bad advice too in our relationships, we give bad advice in bed to our lovers and then from a business perspective we also sometimes give bad advice. So what we’re…… this conversation applies to everything.

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: I think maybe you give bad advice to your kids sometimes or

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: your friend

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: So what do you do….what do you do?

Allison: Well, so we’re….they’re a bunch of children walking by really quick so I’ll

Reid: It’s just noisy

Allison: It’s just noisy but it won’t it won’t be…..last forever.

Reid: Yeah.

Allison: I’ll try to this, fleeting.

Reid: Yeah.

Allison: Okay, so

Reid: Just hit some emoticons if you like kids. I’m just curious. I mean I like them too but

Allison: Just if….you just feel it in time

Reid: I like them

Allison: Okay.

Reid: when they’re not my kids.

Allison: So, yesterday I had somebody asked me for advice on Twitter and….and it was really sweet. They actually asked if they could ask me for advice which was a wonderful way to approach by the way. So if you’re looking for free advice from sex educators or anybody, it’s really nice and polite to ask permission to ask your question.

Reid: Yeah.

Allison: Just F.Y.I. So she asked permission and I said sure and then she asked the question on Twitter and she had I think it was two tweets and asked the question in two tweets and

Reid: So that’s two hundred and eighty characters of questions.

Allison: Right and I found myself…I asked a clarifying question and then she responded and I thought I had a decent gist. My instinct told me that I didn’t get the whole story. Obviously, how could you get a whole story about sex in two hundred and eighty characters but I felt my instinct was maybe I should tell them to email me. I didn’t say that. So that was my first mistake. I should have especially when dealing with sex or the heart or anything like that more context is usually very helpful especially when people are asking for advice.

Reid: Sure.

Allison: So that was my mistake for sure. So I thought I understood what the question was, I answered the question the best of my ability using I statements saying well “I would do this in this scenario, I would probably experience that and then I shared a story from my own life about dealing with the similar thing.” And I said “I hope that helps. I’m sorry that this….this platform lacks a little bit of nuance but you know good luck” and then I….they said “thank you” and then I got there was nothing else. Fine and I was on Tweet Deck which I have two…. I have @GirlSex101 Twitter and the Allison Moon or @HeyAllieMoon Twitter so

Reid: And you can see your feeds

Allison: you can see your feeds

Reid: side by side

Allison: on side by side and so I saw that they had blocked me on the Twitter that I had responded with and that was curious and made me concerned and so on my other Twitter I saw that they basically not tagging me but basically said that that was terrible advice and I invalidated their identity. Which made me felt terrible and so I responded to those tweets with the Twitter that they didn’t block saying “hi, I’m so sorry that I hurt you and I’m so sorry that my advice was bad and I miss I clearly misinterpreted your question and I…I take responsibility for that and I if there’s anything that I can do to help, please let me know.” Now, at that point, the person’s reaction is their own reaction. This person was incredibly apologetic and gracious that certainly couldn’t happen all the time. Sometimes you’re going to get people who are like “how dare you stalk me” right and I’m very happy and grateful that this person didn’t react in that way but so I….I apologize very genuinely ‘coz I did feel terrible and then they felt terrible that they basically was were sub-tweeting. They we’re basically talking shit about me behind my back consensually and they felt terrible about that and so we are basically

Reid: But did they feel terrible getting caught or did they really feel terrible

Allison: No, she….she

Reid: because you apologize?

Allison:  said she felt so bad that she had said those things in the way she did. I mean and I…I believe her absolutely. I mean she reached out to me because she liked me as my…. and my work. So that was a really so that I knew that there was already a little bit of like parody there but at the same time who knows like we’re strangers on the Internet, we all know what happens on the Internet

Reid: And we’re speaking in a hundred and forty characters.

Allison: Right and so I apologized directly right out the gate. I think that helped and then she felt terrible because she was because she was caught but also because she realized “hey, I actually what I said was kind of shitty to about her or another human being” and I mean she didn’t say like she wasn’t personal attacks. It was really just like “hey F.Y.I sex educators, when you when somebody comes to you advice for you advice don’t invalidate their identity, right?” And so she felt bad that she was talking behind my back and the….we basically like in an apology circle-jerk for a second there ‘coz I’m like “no, no I’m so sorry.” She’s like “No, no, no I’m so sorry.”

Reid: Apologies actually happened and sometimes work on Twitter. Unbelievable.

Allison: Well, I mean I was very heartened by the fact that we both apologized

Reid: Yeah.

Allison: to each other because I realized that like this could have escalated in a lot of different ways and again when we’re talking about identities and a lot of sexual stuff, it can be so emotionally fraught. The fact that I gave her the wrong advice could have been interpreted in a lot of different ways and it…. she was very gracious and I was very gracious. So basically what I just did was take took responsibility and I didn’t try and like make excuses. I just said “I clearly misunderstood you. I wouldn’t have given you that advice. Had I known that this was actually what you were asking about” and I and I said “hey and feel free if you want to email me, we can talk about this and I said quitter loses a lot of nuance. So if you want to email me here’s my email. We can certainly talk this through in more depth” and I said and now like I and I also apologize “I’m so I’m sorry if you found this invasive. I’m stepping back now.

Reid: Oh, yeah.

Allison:  You have my email address. I will not continue to look at your tweets.”

Reid: Yeah

Allison: And then she said “Thank you. I’m so again I’m so sorry.” “No worries” and then we kind of ended it there. It was like the best possible scenario

Reid: Yeah

Allison: in a lot of ways because again like I think they’re planning to opportunity times when people offer bad advice and it it’s so hurtful. It hits in the wrong spot that it feels like feeling invalidated, feeling like you’re made even more wrong when you were like when you were

Reid: When you’re being vulnerable to ask.

Allison: When you’re being vulnerable with somebody.

Reid: Yeah

Allison: Absolutely, absolutely and so I did definitely felt like I had the best possible scenario here but there have been times when it hasn’t gone nearly as well. Obviously I have a book out and people are talking about my book and I have a Talkwalker/Google Alert for my book title and my name because I’m a public figure and I need to know when people are writing reviews of my books which means I often see when people are gossiping online about me. There’s a print a certain aspect of having a thick skin but again like we are in the advice business. I don’t like to posit myself as an expert but I do like to you know talk to people I mean I…I wrote a book about “How to Have Sex” and so people are going to be reacting to that. I’ve gone a lot of positive feedback. I mean I’ve I have gotten almost….almost unanimously positive feedback except for one experience that I had on Facebook probably about three months ago and even then it wasn’t bad. It was just like “I just didn’t like the way you did this.” Fine. But that’s kind of part of the game we’re going to try I mean it’s a numbers game. We give a lot of advice, we try and make our advice as good as possible, as often as possible but sometimes we’re going to misinterpret or sometimes we’re going to tell somebody the….the last thing they wanted to hear even if that actually is a good advice but they don’t want to hear it, right? So that often we have a lot of people lash out

Reid: Yeah

Allison: at us for that reason too. Maybe you need to break up with that person, right? Maybe that person is abusive or whatever

Reid: Yeah

Allison: that’s not something that a lot of people like to hear.

Reid: Yeah ‘coz it’s and….so there’s a lot just in what you just shared

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: and I know you can read everything because you

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: have Hawkeyes

Allison: Yeah. So yeah. So, somebody just suggests that…..I’m sorry your name just disappeared but “the face-to-face conversations are much better than communicating via text.” Of course looking at people in the eye is always so much better than text because you’re losing all of the nuance that humans have evolved for

Reid: Yeah.

Allison: conversation like facial expressions and you know smiles and tone of voice.

Reid: So

Allison: These are all things that we need to read to be able to understand and trust each other.

Reid: And….and so there’s I mean so…..so some of oh, we’re going to run out of power. Goddamn it.

Allison: Do you now have your thing?

Reid: I don’t have my thing.

Allison: Okay.

Reid: I don’t have my power thing. So we have to…we’re going to wrap this up soon before

Allison: Yeah

Reid: this just….just dies. I’m going to say and this is also useful for non-sex educators when people have a question and I think if….this is something I’ve had to train myself to do when they…they tell me a two-sentence question and I’m like “I have the answer.” Stop and have your knee-jerk reaction even with your friends, even with your kids, even with your co-workers to be like “oh my goodness, thank you so much for like you know asking. Please tell me more.”

Allison: Yes.

Reid: Give them an opportunity even if you know the answer already to continue sharing.

Allison: Yeah

Reid: One because you get more context hopefully. Some people don’t have context because they don’t know what’s going on because that’s why they’re asking the question so sometimes they don’t have the context but just be like go into active listening mode and be like “well, well tell me more” like you know how do you feel about that or what do you think or like what have you noticed about the situation like….like hard for me to give you a great answer with two sentences or a hundred and forty characters.

Allison: Right

Reid: Please tell me more. Community wise and family wise this is useful because you’re teaching your friends and family that it’s safe to go into more detail while you get to confirm whether or not you’re…your original “aha! I have the answer” is actually what they need.

Allison: Right

Reid: And you might save your own ass because with more context and….and building more relatedness which might be tough for them because now I’m being more vulnerable because I’m giving you specifics but it helps you adjust your answer so that hopefully it’s…it’s….it’s more on target.

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: And then the other thing I really love that you did is you just you just apologized rather than being offended

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: that somebody was sub-tweeting or blow or that they offend being offended that they blocked you.

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: You’re like you just you like took care of the situation, you’re like “oh my goodness like that’s not…I didn’t mean to give you bad advice.”

Allison: Right.

Reid: And you acknowledge the Twitter thing like Twitter’s….Twitter is tricky

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: Facebook can be tricky. Asking people to email you so they get their thoughts clear

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: or like Facebook personal message so that other people’s responses don’t dilute the feed

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: like when I’m just when we’re just going back and forth with the…with a conversation, you can scroll back up and re-present yourself to what we said. In Twitter, if your stream is filled with all this other stuff, it’s not like you can easily scroll back and reread for clarity what I said 20 minutes ago. So like I did… these are just like these interesting things and I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: everybody

Allison: I’m seeing people already offer some good advice as we were talking about the positions and I think people should read the comments on this one. This is good.

Reid: Yeah and the…and the phone’s going to die. So…so let’s…let’s bring it in for a landing

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: before it…it dies.

Allison: Context is good. This is the reason why girls likes 101 is almost 400 pages long. It’s not just because that sex is that complicated it’s because I sent….spend a lot of time setting up context. So, I think you’re absolutely right. Moving the…the advice from one venue to a more personable one is usually a really good idea and a less public one as a usually good idea too so that you can feel more comfortable both of you, all of you having a candid conversation without having

Reid: Yeah.

Allison: to worry about other people interjecting their opinions.

Reid: Yeah. So, I hope this is useful. The phone’s telling us it’s about to die.

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: Where can people find you?

Allison: http://girlsex101.com/or on Twitter if you don’t block me @HeyAllieMoon or @GirlSex101.

Reid: And….and we didn’t check in about…about the support the person involved obviously this all took place in in a public form but I just want to acknowledge all of you

Allison: Yeah

Reid: whoever made a mess and tried to really show up and clean it up and I want to acknowledge everybody who had to go through a bullshit situation and be the bigger person

Allison: Yeah

Reid: in service of having things go more smoothly for everybody, thank….thank you for wearing your adult pants when you can.

Allison: Yeah. And thank you to people who are willing to be vulnerable and ask for advice. This is why we do what we do. So thanks to that person who….who reached out to me and thanks to anybody who’s ever reached out to somebody that they don’t know in real life to ask for help because that’s a really sophisticated adult thing to do and asking for help is really valuable so thank you for doing that for those of you who’ve ever done that before.

Reid: Alright and  http://reidaboutsex.com/ and if you’re coming to camp, we got ten days folks.

Allison: Yeah.

Reid: So, http://reidaboutsex.com/campFAQ for sex geek summer camp stuff and thanks.

Allison: Thank you. I love you.

Reid: Let’s kiss. Hit some emoticons and we’ll kiss again

Allison: Mwah!

Reid: Mwah!  Alright, here we go. One last kiss, let’s just do it, screw them. I love you. Bye!

Allison: Bye!

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