Privacy vs Transparency in Sex Positive Businesses

by Reid on April 17, 2017

A group of business people are in a meeting in an office. TheySharing your passion and experiences can help you touch people’s lives and help them feel safe with you. How much do you share about your private life when you run a sex-positive business? What should you keep private and where are you transparent? And how will it effect your loved ones?

With Reid Mihalko from and and Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: Oh we got a good question. When I’m wearing the Sex Geek Summer Camp shirt, we’re talking about business for sex educators around building careers and branding and marketing and stuff, when I’m just wearing the Sex Geek shirt, these videos are about intimacy and relationship stuff. Today’s a business one and I’m sitting next to the amazing Cathy Vartuli of 

Cathy: And Reid Mihalko from and 

Reid: We had a really great question. We love it when you email us or leave comment questions and so this one, do you want to kind of summarize it? 

Cathy: This person teaches single men how to find their loves and I believe it’s a she, said she’s now met this amazing person and she really loves the relationship. She doesn’t want to damage it in any way. 

Reid: So her dating advice actually worked on themselves. 

Cathy: Yes. She wants to know how, I think this is a question of privacy vs being fully expressed and transparent. She wants to know how much she should pull him into her business, using him as an example, or maybe doing some videos and talking about their relationship. She’s also not wanting to damage their relationship at all. They’re wanting to know, are there any role models, who’s done this and how do I know when to be transparent and share what we’re doing and how to, when should I protect the relationship? 

Reid: Sure. When in doubt, don’t. Just don’t do things. As far as role modeling and people’s privacy, Dan Savage has a great relationship with his partner and they’re public that they’re in a relationship, but they don’t talk about their personal life much anymore. Dan, who used to talk about his personal life a lot, out of respect for his husband, doesn’t really any more. You can definitely talk about your partner and you don’t necessarily need them on stage and if you guys talk about it and it feels like a good thing, then you can totally acknowledge them or appreciate them and you can share your story, you don’t necessarily need them to share their story.

You could go so far as to create an alias or the Mr. or Mrs., and just be like because we set our privacy settings to our life here, here are the things I will share and this is what feels good for us. Then you’re actually role modeling that it’s okay to be private about certain things, so your clients and your fans are also like, ‘Oh my God, we can be private about stuff too.’ In this day and age where everybody’s sharing everything, like what they ate for breakfast and what not on Facebook and social media. 

Cathy: She wasn’t really clear if her partner is also an educator. So if you’re both sex educators or relationship educators, you can decide that together, how much you share and maybe testing it out, testing the water, like start with something small and see how you feel about it. 

Reid: Yeah. 

Cathy: Does it feel like that’s okay or do we want to pull back. I know that last year at camp, we had some people there that were in relationships with another educator and they would sometimes share about their partner. They had pictures together and some videos together and there were certain parts of their relationship they kept private. So they kind of discussed it, and I don’t want to name names, just in case. 

Reid: I know who you are. 

Cathy: I thought they navigated it really well. They were very vulnerable and transparent about certain things and they’d share some intimate aspects that felt okay to them to share and then there were certain aspects they just weren’t. In terms of transparency, just because you’re uncomfortable, if it feels awkward to share, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share. In terms of protecting the relationship, that’s something very different. 

Reid: Sure, and this also goes along with having kids and things like that, although people are like oh yeah, totally, keep the kids out of the picture because they need their privacy, but somehow we think because we’re in love with our primary, we’re supposed to like blab that everywhere, all over the tabloids like Brad and Angelina. The other thing I would just caution and be very mindful about this, is if you are considering pulling your loved one into the spotlight, and kind of being this power education couple, design into your advice the how to handle if you guys ever broke up and the business model around creating dream relationships now seems like you guys are completely full of crap because you didn’t stay together forever. 

Cathy: And who owns the product and who owns the ideas. 

Reid: That’s a more nuanced conversation than a free YouTube video about how to navigate and negotiate that, but there’s nothing wrong with sharing the spotlight with your loved one as a way of modeling like, this is what’s possible. Here’s what my experience was using my own advice. That’s totally fine and legit, as long as your partner’s okay with it. 

Cathy: Yeah. One thing we’re beta testing this year at camp is you can bring your non-sex educator partner or friend with you, as long as they’re sex positive. They have to understand consent and all that. We have an obligation. 

Reid: Camp is a business camp. This is not a couple’s therapy session, so don’t bring your angry spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend or whatnot, who doesn’t want you to be a sex educator. Don’t bring them to camp so that they’ll finally get it. We’re not here to help your relationship. 

Cathy: But if your partner is interested in this and curious about it, bring them along, let them experience the community and get a feel of being more open in that community. That’s a great way to test how much you might want to share with the general public. 

Reid: Awesome. We hope this question helped, or this answer helped the question. Leave more questions, subscribe, we love all of you and what you’re doing to make the world a more sex positive place. Thanks.

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