When Do You Know If You Can Call Yourself a Sex Educator?

by Reid on October 2, 2018

When Do You Know If You Can Call Yourself a Sex Educator?




Cathy: Someone wrote in and said, my question is when do you know if you can call yourself a sex educator? I haven’t been able to find a lot of advice on that specifically. I have friends to ask for my advice maybe because I know a lot in that area but I really want to get started on the education part of it. I have knowledge and finally confidence in myself to be able to handle situations that come my way. Anyway, thank you for your time. We’d love to know what you think.

Reid: Wow! Great question. I’m Reid Mihalko from http://ReidAboutSex.com/, creator of http://www.SexGeekSummerCamp.com/ and when you see the green t-shirt this means we’re giving business advice for sex educators.

Cathy: Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com/.

Reid: Alright, so Cathy, what’s your answer to this question?

Cathy: I think it’s kind of a great thing, there’s not like a certification, there are some certification but when you’re sex educator and you’re educating about sex and when you start feeling like you have a good enough base of information not that any of us can know anything, it’s evident in the last video that we shot and we’re like, we’re not sure of the answer, it doesn’t mean that you have to know everything but if you had some experience in answering questions and if you feel like you have a good enough base of knowledge to get out there and start helping people in improving their sexual connection or their information, I think you’re a sex educator.

Reid: So, my answer for this our industry has a lot of people, we live in a do-it-yourself culture on these days, some people go to school for these things, some people from life experience, I’m going to say that you get to identify however you want whether you’re a good sex educator or not.

Cathy: That’s very [inaudible 00:01:41]

Reid: Whether you’re a great educator or not. That’s going to be open for interpretation so you get to identify however you want which I mean I could say I’m a mathematician and Ms. PhD Engineer person here is kind of like, you’re so not a mathematician. So then the question is like can I back it up?

Cathy: You are, just not a good mathematician.

Reid: I am horrible mathematician. So again like there’s certain situation where what’s your knowledge base and then how do you feel about it? A lot of us in the sex ed world have imposter syndrome so I still feel like on a bad day, I am shitty sex educator and I don’t deserve to be in my industry. And that’s me having created Sex Geek Summer Camp, teaching sex educators how to be better at being sex educators, make a living and all that stuff. Understanding that you may never feel quite like you’ve arrived but that doesn’t mean you can’t help people. My request is that you get really good at giving and continuing to stay up on the current information about accurate sexual health information, good relationship communication, self-care, emotional IQ, skills sets because sex isn’t just about tab A into slot B, it’s about communicating, getting better consent, how do you teach people about consents, harm reduction, all these things can feel overwhelming but if this is really going to be your career then ideally you’re going to stay up on things and continue to improve. This also includes in our community just getting better at decolonizing sex education which is really getting savvy about understanding race and inclusion dynamics is important, understanding gender dynamics is important. All of the -ism: body, shame and like if you really want to be kick ass you really, I think, need to be figure out why this stuff is important and why you should give a flying f*ck.

Cathy: I really encourage you to define some peers that talking about the ideas with peers you can say, maybe you could say this way it might be a little better or just hearing their expressions of it is really powerful. So like going to Catalyst Con or Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit if you can get swing those or a lot of regional ones as well or get to Sex Geek Summer Camp where you can meet a bunch of people and learning how to express yourself in ways like up in the game. I’m always looking for ways I can express what I’m sharing in a way that will land quicker, easier, more powerfully for people. So a really good educator is not only sharing good information but they are sharing in a way that their audience can learn it very easily and that’s very accessible to them.

Reid: And if you’re always up in your game and inviting others to up their game around understanding privelege and systemic oppression and things that really impact sex education that’s just useful to have those skills sets anyway to invite people to step up even if you’re working in a very niche population that is a very privelege population because everybody needs sex ed and our industry needs more voices, more diversity. It’s going to be tricky because when are you entering the conversation..

Cathy: But we all started off as little chicks going, I think this is how.. none of us just emerge full bloom into the community.

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