As A Sex Educator, What Do I Do If Sex Organizations and Conferences Don’t Pay Their Presenters?

by Reid on January 30, 2019

As A Sex Educator, What Do I Do If Sex Organizations and Conferences Don’t Pay Their Presenters?


Cathy: Someone wrote in and said what about sex positive and kink organizations and conferences that don’t pay their presenters, what can we do about this as an educator? This is Reid Mihalko from

Reid: And which is a business retreat for sex educators and I’m wearing my tux here with Cathy Vartuli of because the Airline I flew this morning lost my other bag and this is the only thing I had that was appropriate to shoot videos.

Cathy: So not only his does his mug gets stolen but his Sex Geek Summer Camp t-shirt is flying around the country somewhere.

Reid: My my, the rest of my clothes are on a vacation of their own.

Cathy: His mug is often been kidnapped if you haven’t been following, it has its own Twitter account the Sex Geek Summer Camp log.

Reid: And that’s Reid’s missing mug or something like that @Reidsmissingmug my life is so exciting that my coffee cups have their own Twitter account.

Cathy: That’s very impressive actually.

Reid: So let’s get back, they don’t want to know this they want to know the answer for this questions.

Cathy: There are a lot of conferences that are either they’re smaller or starting up or like they don’t pay their presenters. They often offer discount or fee entrance to the conference but they don’t pay their presenters who put a lot of effort and work into putting everything together, what do you recommend for that?
Reid: First I’m going to ask anybody whose curios about this to you don’t have to run your own conference but go do the paperwork the research to find out what it would cost to run a conference and make it your goal to pay your presenters what you think is fair and then see if you can make the numbers work. I’m not excusing the situation about you know asking people to do what they do for living for free but I do as somebody who runs live events and Cathy is helped me with a lot of events there are certain business models where there is not like everyone thinks that people who are running conferences are Gazillionaires.

Cathy: The hotels are so expensive.

Reid: I’m just going to tell you that it’s tricky if you want to make money…

Cathy: Don’t do it.

Reid: Don’t run conferences that’s not where that’s not what you should do as it like I want to be rich. I haven’t found a way to do it.

Cathy: Well when like if you’re counting the hours of the organizations and wrangling people the one, something’s we’ve done it’s been like ten cents an hour like in terms of profit for and people have to live on it too.

Reid: I would ask you to do your due diligence and see what you can learn about where you would get money to pay your presenters if you’re running a conference. And to the real solution I think is, how can you as sex educator monetize your conference appearances. Are there ways that you can make money off of being somewhere for free or ways that you can bring in revenue for the conference promoter so that you get paid so for some of you that’s going to be you know may I attend your conference and have a sex toy company or something like that sponsor me so you could get paid by doing the hustle yourself and building a relationship. You’re getting a call Cathy. Can I decline it?

Cathy: Decline it please.

Reid: Decline it? Or should we take it together, should she answer the call or not?

Cathy: Sorry about that.

Reid: So the idea of how do you, you know can you make a relationship with a sponsor so that you can get paid to be there. Could you make bring sponsors into the conference and get a cut of that like I’ve done that for the bill conference I they wanted me to run…

Cathy: And building their own sponsor so that’s something you have to be careful with you can check.

Reid: So basically were like we want you to do this sex and relationship stage and the room that we want to do it can cost how many thousands of dollars because it was in the boiler room of the Queen Mary Crew or an Ocean Liner down in Long Beach. So I’m like oh my goodness that’s amazing, how much does it cost and is it paid for yet like do you have enough money? You know were still fundraising I’m like I’ll do the stage for you and I’ll curate it ad bring in the educators. If I can raise all the money, if I can get sponsors for that stage can I just pay for the stage and can I keep the rest of the money I raise? So I was able to make it easier for them to do their conference.

Cathy: And then you have rooms for people to stay?

Reid: I have rooms like I took care of all my educators and I was able to make a little bit of money because I was able to keep what I didn’t spend. So again, for some of you that’s like how do I even start to learn how to do that Sex Geek Summer Camp is a great place to start learning that I have some other programs Sex Geek Summer Camp would be the place I would start and what advice to you have?

Cathy: It’s a great experience. Some of them we’ve done together too but I like to model things that are win-win so what I think of the conference is a great place to network and do videos or find people to collaborate with like it’s an investment for me and networking and I appreciate the people gathering all these people together but also a lot of people can attend to all the conferences like there’s usually simultaneous meetings going on.

Reid: What do you mean all the lectures inside that conference?

Cathy: Yeah. Yeah. They’re going out simultaneously there might be three I want to see and I can’t go to all of them or I might forget some of the notes. One thing we’ve done is make a handout, a handout that have some kind of the URL at the bottom where they can get a copy of the video of some other resources and that invites people to come to the page and sign up and be in a Newsletter where they might find other things they want to participate in that could bring money and I’ve also seen you arrange for other talks in the area and other Sex Geek Store.

Reid: I can book talks with Sex Stores or Toy Stores in the area to help pay for my trip so I can stack other workshops. There are conferences that will sometimes be able to pay you or camp you a hotel room or something like that. So you always ask I’m just going to say so this is my personal perspective on it like as a white cisgender guy who’s extroverted and how the world treats me but I think your time is better spent learning how to monetize and leverage your appearances so that you’re going to make money anyway so that you could go to conferences for free. And always ask the organizers what they can do to help you get there, stay there, keep your expenses low sometimes they can help you out, sometimes they can’t but it’s always good to ask and generally speaking unless you run a conference and know how that works behind the scenes certainly there are people that abuse the privilege and think everybody should be teaching for free and that really falls into like not necessarily people being greedy but people just being mean like conference organizer shouldn’t be mean, I think. We can get overworked and be curt or a little passive- aggressive but that’s because were burned out and we should apologize for that as quickly as possible.

Cathy: In general I mean it is an act of love to pull all these people together…

Reid: But for you to be offended somebody’s asking me to teach for free in a conference situation I would say be just understand the situation. Somebody asked me to teach for free and they own a business or something like that just the way conferences is a little bit different so again ask for what you’re worth it’s okay to say no too.

Cathy: Yeah. And for organizations that ask you can always ask what they’re going to say if they say would you this? It doesn’t hurt to say what can you pay?

Reid: I immediately ask, what’s your budget? I’m flattered that you would ask and what’s your budget. And I’m not offended when somebody says there’s no budget and I’ve tried to be creative with them about what can we do to make this a win-win for both of us and sometimes you can come up with ideas you never would have even thought of. So lots of answer in one 9 minute video but were going to stop it here. Leave your comments, let us know what else you want to talk about. Thanks.

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