The Importance of Difficult Subjects (In Sex Ed and In Life…)

by Reid on March 28, 2019

Peacefulness in us. Delighted peaceful positive African American couple sitting in the cafe and touching hands of each other while expressing peacefulness and love

[This post contains the 2nd email I sent to my newsletter subscribers on March 18, 2019, as I came out of my restorative justice-based accountability process and back into teaching. You can find the 1st newsletter email HERE.]

Subject: This Email List, Difficult Conversations, and My Deep Gratitude…

[You are receiving this email because you previously 
purchased a sex geek t-shirt, online program, downloaded a 
worksheet, signed-up for my newsletter, or attended a workshop. 
If you’d like to unsubscribe, please click the cancel link at 
the bottom of this email.]

Dear Sex Geek,

My many thanks to everyone who reached out in the last several days, responding to the email blast I sent apologizing for being away for a year.

I did my best to reply immediately to everyone who reached out. Reaching out to me personally really meant a lot. That any of you hit reply or texted was important, and it felt important that I try my best to respond quickly.

If me responding felt disproportionately intimate, having replied so quickly after having been out of touch for so long, please forgive me. If, somehow, I missed getting back to you, it was an oversight and not intentional, I assure you.

And thank you to everyone who acknowledged and sent thanks to the accountability pods for their hard work and the courageous women who came forward. Accountabiilty is not a one person job, and these amazing people made everything possible.

The email subject line was, “An apology to you, (your first name), for disappearing for a year…” in case you missed it and wish to read it. It should pop up if you search for it by the subject line, and it would have come from this email address.

The Importance of Difficult Subjects…

It’s important to me to give everyone ample notice about my accountability process. I don’t want folks to be surprised or feel like I tried to hide anything from them, which is why I continue mentioning it.

But there is also a deeper, more powerful reason to bring it up… Communities benefit from talking thoughtfully about difficult subjects. And while difficult subjects are, well, difficult… It’s my personal lived epxerience that silence creates even greater difficulties and pain than walking towards what is uncomfortalbe.

It was my parents’ inability to talk about difficult things in their marriage that caused them and my three brothers so much pain.

And it was seeing their pain that led me into doing sex and relationship work. I never wanted to experience (or inflict) the pain I saw them go through, so I set out to learn all the things they were missing. And while I couldn’t “save” them (it wasn’t my job, plus, what parent really wants relationship advice from their kids, right?), I did the next best thing: I began helping others learn how to NOT go through what I saw my Mom and Dad go throught, helping others learn how to have healthy, thriving relationships and satisfying sex.

And I was blessed to have colleagues in the sex ed world who encouraged and challenged me to tackle for myself something my Mom and Dad never tackled… Something that I was invited to take a look at in my accountability process: How harm, oppression, and privledge fit together and operate in our personal lives.

It’s clunky and vulnerable to try to talk about this. This is not my area of expertise, and I worry that I will say it “all wrong,” but I can point you in the direction of people who talk about these things for a living… And I can talk about my personal experience around accountability and restorative justice and why I think people should inform themselves about these things. And I can talk about talking about difficult topics such as harm, oppression, privilege, gender, and race. 

I invite you to check out these resources

Why is it important to talk about talking about it?

As I do deeper work on myself and learn to ask better questions, I’m beginning to see how systems of opression are all around us, how deeply woven into sex they are, and how much they negatively impact people’s abilities to give and gain consent. 

And, if having healthy relationships and intimacy depends on consent, then we MUST start the slow, difficult work of unpacking and understanding opression. 

It’s dense, complex, difficult stuff. However, if we always shy away from the difficult conversations, how are we ever going to grow, deepen, and expand the amount of pleasure and love in the world?

Unless we tackle the seemingly impossible, uncomfortable tasks ahead of us, we will only forever be using pleasure and ecstasy as convient forms of excapeism. 

And escapeism is not what I teach. Escapeism is not sustainable. And escapeism wouldn’t have saved my Mom and Dad.

There is so much shame and hurt in our world when it comes to sexuality. And I hope that my imperfect way of trying to step forward to be responsible and accountable, and the way I talk about it, encourages communities to have deeper conversations, share approaches that work, and take more effective and healing choices when responding to harm. I hope it encourages you. 

There are so many things about oppression that I as cisgender white man have difficulty seeing, so I need to walk towards that difficulty and continue to work hard at learning (or unlearning as the case may be) to see things more clearly. And this takes support, support that I am fortunate to have, so back to work on all the difficult things I need to learn and will continue to share about in the hopes that these concepts and ideas help YOU be the change you want to see in your bedroom.

And I am fortunate to have you on my mailing list. And fortunate if you read this far.

Got questions? Hit Reply. I always appreciate hearing from you. Thanks in advance.

With much gratitude,
REiD
Ps. Housekeeping notes: As I come back into teaching more, I’ll be doing two things in the next several weeks…

1. I’m streamlining my business and switching email services over the next few weeks—From this service (these last two emails you received) to a new service which is integrated with my online courses and shopping cart systems. Having them be all-in-one should give you a smoother experience with less glitches. #FingersCrossed

If you’d do NOT want to be mirgrated over, scroll down to the bottom and click Cancel, and this should be the last email you get from me unless you subscribe to something new of mine at a later date. If you wish to continue getting emails, adivce and updates from me, do nothing. I’ll import you over to my new system in a week’ish or so—You can UPDATE your email below as well.

2. I’m teaching in several places soon. If you’re near by, please check out the various workshops. If you see one you like, join the amazing people I’ll be nerding out with!

Reid’s Sex Geeky Yet Informative Disclaimer:
In the spirit of full disclosure, some of my emails (and some posts, banners, and links on my website) may contain affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase products or services from a company or fellow, sex geeky peer. I only recommend products, people, & systems that I respect, use, or think might be useful to you and your loved ones. While you may not resonate with the marketing of some folks/things I promote, trust me when I say that there is a method to my geekery. If you have a question or think something is “out of whack,” hit reply and ask me. YOU and your input make me a better geek. Curious and want to learn more? Go here.   

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: