Will using AI corrupt my work and turn me to the Dark Side?

by Reid on February 29, 2024

In a recent article, I talked about how much time AI could save you as an entrepreneur (and how there are certain approaches available to sex educators to help AI befriend you and assist you on your spicy projects).

And today I want to address the concern many smart sex educators are having…

What If Artificial Intelligence is Evil?

You underestimate my power Star Wars GIF

AI is the new-fangled technological thang on the block right now and it’s okay to be cautious.

People in the early 1900s thought the invention of the car would ruin America. People had similar fears about the advent of television, birth control, the microwave oven, and all sorts of other advancements. 

It’s natural to be cautious about advancements and new technologies, especially when they’re powerful right out of the gate. And Artificial Intelligence is very powerful, but like anything, “With great power comes great responsibility.” 

Anything can be misused and put to nefarious purposes. 

But you know what might be MORE nefarious? Avoidance and ignorance. 

Is Technology Evil Or Is It Uncomfortable?

Let’s face it… All seggz educators work somewhat “in tech” these days. Sure, we’re not launching startups in search of venture capital in Silicon Valley, but we are all using technology to reach clients and build our careers. 

We’re using technology all the time in our careers… From emailing or answering a DM with a calendar scheduling link… To teaching or coaching on Zoom… To sending an invoice that includes filling out a W-9 and saving it as a PDF… To sending routing numbers or your Venmo QR code to get paid for a gig… Using technology is just part of the job. 

And that also includes learning new tech, which can be a real pain in the ass.

Park and Rec Ron throwing computer in dumpster GIF

Ignoring the usefulness of something and automatically labeling it bad because you don’t want to confront discomfort will almost always bite you in the ass. Especially in business. 

Here’s my personal example… I’m old enough to remember a time BEFORE Facebook and smartphones. Yes, I’m when phones-had-cords-and-plugged-into-the-wall and you-recorded-music-on-cassette-tapes-for-your-crushes old. 

As the Internet began becoming a “thing,” I didn’t feel called to learn about websites, blogging, Search Term Optimization (SEO), and the growing world of online commerce.

Reid Mihalko headshot from the 90s

I was an actor and bartender living in New York City in the mid-90s. We still mailed headshots to casting directors in those days and auditions were in-person (and if they really liked you they’d call you back and maybe video your audition on VHS tape and FedEx’d it to LA!). I was a hockey player in a McDonalds commercial, I appeared in a Salt N Pepa video as a stripper, and much more! Back in those days, you ordered your drinks at the bar using words and not on your phones using QR codes! It truly was the Dark Ages.

Now, in my defense, I wasn’t an entrepreneur then like I am today. I was rollerblading (yes you read that right) back and forth from auditions to my bartending gigs, hustling for my big break while trying to keep my exorbitant NYC rent paid.

I was far, far away from “working in tech.” Influencers and being “online famous” as careers didn’t exist yet. And I can see now, hindsight being twenty-twenty, that I have a habit of dragging my feet on adopting technological advancements. 

The Tech That Made Cuddle Party Famous Wasn’t Pillows and Pajamas… 

I launched Cuddle Party, my first workshop to become a viral sensation, the same month and year as Facebook – February 2004 (Happy 20th-anniversary Cuddle Party!).

If only I had nerded out as much on SEO, tech, and online marketing twenty years ago as I did bringing spooning and non-sexual touch to the world.

Cuddle Party highlights GIF

Thank god, Cuddle Party co-founder Marcia Baczynski knew HTML and coded the entire Cuddle Party website by hand in one weekend. Why? Because, when the Press heard that New Yorkers were paying money to cuddle strangers, we had a professional-looking website they could visit that confirmed Cuddle Party wasn’t a hoax AND our website told them how to reach us (so they could cover us for their show, magazine, newspaper, etc)… THAT technology is what made Cuddle Party an international sensation. 

Kid Throwing a Tantrum GIF

Did Cuddle Party’s success on account of the website help me learn my lesson to lean into technological advancements? Nooooooo. I wouldn’t learn my lesson there. Oh no. 

Instead, I would drag my feet and throw a tantrum while using Facebook for business, and, boy oh boy, did I scream and wail while avoiding using Twitter early on.

I rationalized that Facebook (founded in Feb 2004 and I started my FB account three years later in Sept 2007) was okay because I was reconnecting with middle and high school friends I’d lost touch with. I was three years late to using Facebook but I eventually would. And when I did, using Facebook helped me a lot to promote my events by sharing pictures of my other workshops and speaking gigs (which helped create buzz about my work). Facebook back then also made it easier to invite friends and fans to things. 

Twitter, however, I thought was useless and evil when it first appeared in 2006. So many of my educator friends were loving it but I was a stubborn, whiny baby and it took me years ’til I eventually gave in and started an account, and guess what?

Using Twitter helped me grow my brand even MORE! 🤑

Using Twitter allowed me to reach new fans and followers, thousands of them. Twitter allowed me to promote my new ReidAboutSex website (launched June 2008), which sped up the switch from being the “Cuddle Party Guy” to the “ReidAboutSex Guy.”

ReidAboutSex website banner

Twitter and Facebook allowed me to announce to the world —for FREE— that I was stepping away from cuddling and diving full-time into being a sex and relationship educator. I say FREE, in that it only “cost” me my time (which was helpful since I didn’t have any money to throw at the problem).

If it weren’t for the technology of social media and websites, it would have taken me years and A LOT of money to rebrand. Instead, it was a relative breeze —I still had to work hard and hustle— but the shift happened quickly and powerfully.  

And once I shut my whiny mouth and gave myself an attitude adjustment so I could actually get good at using Facebook and Twitter…  It was then that I met and developed relationships with so many amazing sex educators while also attracting a huge fan following.

I found out about conferences I never knew existed and applied to give talks at them… I got invited to teach at sex toy stores and be on podcasts that reached more new potential fans… I collaborated with sex educators I met online & in person, and got excited about learning new things from all these connections on the Internet — Admittedly, this was in the early days before Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet became more poisonous… I don’t think I could have pivoted and rebranded myself as quickly, as powerfully, and as cheaply if it hadn’t been for Facebook and Twitter. 

Side Note: I eventually would lose my ReidAboutSex Twitter account to hackers*, and I rarely use X these days except to post Sex Geek Summer Camp announcements.
*Learn From My Mistakes: Enable 2-step verification and/or Authenticator Apps on all your accounts!  

little girl girl - seemingly passed out - being dragged on the floor while holding onto a unicorn merry-go-round

But would I learn my lessons getting to Twitter and Facebook late??? Oh no… That would have been too smart of me! 🤪

I continued to be stubborn and kicked and screamed my way to starting a channel on YouTube (founded Feb 2005, and I started the ReidAboutSex channel in June 2009). Same with Instagram (founded in Oct 2010, and I started my ReidAboutSex account in Nov 2014). Same with TikTok (founded in 2016).

What Exactly Did Reid Learn?

The lesson I was slooooowly learning —which is the lesson I want you to learn today!— is that adapting new technologies sooner will help me (and you)…

  1. Reach new fans & future customers sooner… And a bigger platform and customer base creates new opportunities!
  2. Speeds up all sorts of tasks and lightens workloads (and does that sooner, too!)… And that means more progress, less burnout, and a longer, more successful career!
  3. Create better experiences for future & current customers (Yep! You guessed it – sooner!)… And that means more happy customers recommending their friends and loved ones to hire me! 
  4. Have more fun and joy at work and at home!

And, guess what? Artificial Intelligence is the NEW big technology that I could drag my feet on but I am not this time! I am not waiting 2 to 5 years to start using AI to make my life easier and my business better! I’m using it NOW!

And you shouldn’t wait either. 

Your Learning Curve Discomfort — Lean Into It…
AI Isn’t a Fad!

I don't want to learn this GIF

What I learned about myself in the examples I shared above is how much I HATE learning how to use something new.

And rather than look/feel like a clumsy, old fool and going through my embarrassing learning curve, it’s easier for me to label something “evil!”, avoid it as long as I can, and stay comfy/cozy right where I am.

But that comfy coziness comes with a steep price: I don’t get the compounded benefits that come with implementing something earlier in one’s journey.

Surprise, surprise! Resistance actually holds you back from going forward! The effort I put into kicking, screaming, dragging my feet… What if I had poured that energy into working through my learning curve discomfort and learning to do that thing sooner? 

The secret is realizing there are two types of struggle: One is the struggle that comes from hard work getting good at something and the other is the struggle that comes from resisting doing the hard work.

One gets you nowhere fast while exhausting you eventually. The other reaps you dividends over time, making your life more joyous!

AI Is Here To Stay, So Start Sooner Than Later!

Folks thought social media early on —blogging and the first Facebook— would come and go. Many folks thought social media wasn’t going to impact things like traditional publishing and the big TV networks… Some folks thought Netflix mailing DVDs to people’s homes was a joke and would never last… Now look! 👀💰

I wish I’d invested in Netflix and Facebook stock back in the day! And I wish I’d spent more focused energy on embracing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram way back when… So let’s be smart and invest in AI as soon as possible by learning to use it for your business. 

AI isn’t going away just like social media isn’t going away, and how successful do you think anyone’s business would be if they up and decided to never, ever use social media at all? Ever.

Invest in learning AI now and you’ll continue to benefit from your investment in that you’ll get more done, get things done better, AND your AI skills and confidence will grow stronger. 

AI is the next big tool for entrepreneurs and it’s here to stay. And the people who learn how to use AI now will have a huge business and career advantage going forward. This is as big a deal as the invention of the personal computer… And YOU can be in on the ground floor.

It’s time to overcome your resistance, make friends with AI, and make AI your friend. And Cathy Vartuli of TheIntimacyDojo.com and yours truly have created an easy, fun, and FREE way for YOU to do just that!

CLICK THIS LINK HERE or the green button below and join us for our Harnessing AI for Sex-Positive Workshop Leaders training!

Thumbnails from the AI training

Cathy and I want you inside the training geeking out with us!

Plus, you and I get to cheer each other on as we stop dragging our feet!

Last but not least… I have one final thing to share… 

YOU Can Be The Change You Wish To See In AI

You’ve probably heard the concerns out there about folks using AI with malicious intentions like spreading misinformation, and folks using AI to make it harder for sex educators to reach the folks who need our advice.

As sex-negative folks use AI to make it harder for us to reach our audiences, we’re going to need extra time and bandwidth to come up with new solutions and workarounds… Let’s use AI to gain that extra time and bandwidth!

Plus, since AI learns from what folks feed it, AI needs people like us feeding it smart, sex-positive, body-positive, anti-racist, and consent-focused content. We can contribute to the knowledge base that can help make AI better. 

So let us show you how to use AI ethically so YOU can help yourself get MORE of your valuable work to the folks who need it!

Begin your AI journey now, absolutely FREE, by clicking the button below! Remember, why wait 3, 5, 7 years and lose all that you’ll gain if you start weaving AI into your business and marketing tasks now?!

Yours in geeking out with AI, in ethical and sex-positive ways!

xREiD and Cathy

The Good Place high five GIF

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