Diary of a Sex Educator: my job and my dating experiences

I want to find a sanctuary in my long-​term partner. That applies doubly when you're in a polarizing career field.

Diary of a Sex Educator: my job and my dating experiences 1

Sometimes, being a sex edu­ca­tor can put me in uncom­fort­able sit­u­a­tions in the dat­ing world, but I have to remem­ber what mat­ters to me. I'm here to expand people's nar­ra­tives about plea­sure, and if some­one can't sup­port me in that, then how could I feel safe to be myself in their presence?

It's easy for me to set bound­aries on an indi­vid­ual lev­el, but some­times, it doesn't seem like it's "just" about a poten­tial partner's assump­tions and me. Sometimes, I per­ceive an uphill bat­tle — like me vs. their fam­i­ly (if the rela­tion­ship pro­gress­es that far) or me vs. society.

That was one of the most hurt­ful things about a recent-​ish breakup. I couldn't shake the sense that I would nev­er assim­i­late well into his tight-​lipped fam­i­ly. Given that I'm not very close to my par­ents, it was easy for me to wave it away, "Well, I'm dat­ing you. I'm not dat­ing your fam­i­ly or your friends. So what's the problem?"

There's a clear sense of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion for me. My moth­er behaves in ways that I con­sid­er pret­ty rude and inva­sive towards my friends — think dig­ging out my trash, find­ing paper shreds, tap­ing back togeth­er to dis­cern someone's phone num­ber, and repeat­ed­ly call­ing them. But here's the thing: they under­stand that the way she acts is not a reflec­tion on me. She's her own per­son. And I'm my own person.

Yet, the ex men­tioned above rebutted, "Well, I want my girl­friend to be part of my life."

So what did that mean for us if we dis­agreed on what it meant to be together?

What did it mean for me to date some­one new after that?

It was hard for me not to let the expe­ri­ence dent my view of myself. It's straight­for­ward to say to some­one else, "Why would you date some­one who judged some­one else's harm­less and con­sen­su­al expres­sion of their sexuality?"

But that doesn't take away the knot in my chest and throat or the burn­ing behind my eyes. It might take some sit­ting with the dis­com­fort when you're in the mid­dle of it. Alternatively, gath­er evi­dence over time (and it will take time) that there are plen­ty of peo­ple who appre­ci­ate that side of you.

I used to won­der: When some­one diss­es women with OnlyFans, where am I on their spec­trum of accept­abil­i­ty? I'm not a porn star but a pleasure-​oriented sex edu­ca­tor. Where does that fall?

My most recent boyfriend's com­fort thresh­old was, "Anything you did before you met me isn't my place to judge. And you don't post any­thing beyond what would be seen in a bikini."

One of my friends, a rope rig­ger called Cannon, added, "[Sex work] is not my pri­ma­ry source of income, nor do I suf­fer the same dis­ad­van­tages, prej­u­dices, and social stig­mas that most oth­er sex work­ers expe­ri­ence. Sex work is part of my iden­ti­ty but in an excep­tion­al­ly priv­i­leged way."

I don't con­sid­er myself a sex work­er, but everyone's line is slight­ly dif­fer­ent. And I can't pret­zel who I am in antic­i­pa­tion of an imag­i­nary part­ner who would be a mis­match any­way. It's not like I'm about to slam puz­zle pieces togeth­er, stomp on them, or file down their edges. Nor will I throw my sex work­er friends under the bus.

I have replaced those thoughts with, "It doesn't mat­ter if you accept me. I accept me and have friends who love me." Love is all around — pla­ton­ic, inti­mate, or oth­er­wise.

I know that I'm doing good in the world and that my work mat­ters to those who mat­ter. Here's just a frac­tion of my mis­sion as a sex educator:

I'm here to teach peo­ple about their (or their part­ners') bod­ies and the tools to make heav­en a place on earth.

I'd like to believe that expand­ing the col­lec­tive con­scious­ness about plea­sure can only be good.

But it hel­la trig­gers peo­ple. Maybe because some of them have (unfor­tu­nate­ly):

  • Been told that it's dis­gust­ing or base or unspeakable.
  • Internalized the idea that sex isn't "for" women's plea­sure, or that it is harm­ful for women.
  • Tied their per­ceived worth as men to how want­ed and need­ed they are by a part­ner — with tun­nel vision on a very nar­row set of attrib­ut­es and skills.
  • Tied their per­ceived worth as women to with­hold­ing and com­mod­i­fy­ing sex as part of a per­for­ma­tive transaction. 
  • Sought male atten­tion, but only in cer­tain ways they view as fair or righteous.

I've thought that way before, and I get where it comes from.

But here's the thing: I'm doing me for me. I'm expe­ri­enc­ing plea­sure for pleasure's sake. I per­mit myself to play by myself and hook up, but it's always risk-​aware, on my terms, and revolves around my gratification.

What makes me feel good can and often does occur out­side what turns a male part­ner on. In the words of the Pussycat Dolls, "Imma do my thing, while you're play­ing with your [beep]."

If a dude is self­ish enough to think that my blog exists to turn him on, that's not on me; that's his men­tal garbage to process. And if some­one doesn't under­stand the entire con­cept of plea­sure for women, break­ing their per­cep­tion would take more effort than it's worth to me. My time and ener­gy are valuable.

My focus is on those who get it and those who are also try­ing to raise the stan­dards of plea­sure for women: more orgasms, big­ger orgasms, orgasms from a wider vari­ety of risk-​aware and con­sen­su­al activ­i­ties, and more accep­tance for peo­ple wher­ev­er they are on their orgas­mic journey.

I have my par­adise, and I'm doing some­thing that helps peo­ple expe­ri­ence that, too — that mat­ters more than any par­tic­u­lar part­ner. In the end, and all the same, there is only joy and love.

What's your over­ar­ch­ing meta-game?

Heads up! This post was spon­sored. As usu­al, these are my own words and thoughts.

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2 Responses

  1. Cam says:

    So glad you’re true to yourself

  2. D. Dyer says:

    It is inter­est­ing to read this and note the par­al­lels and some of the dif­fer­ences between your expe­ri­ences of dat­ing as a sex edu­ca­tor and my own of dat­ing as a Sex work­er, though an admit­ted­ly priv­i­leged one. I def­i­nite­ly think there is a sim­i­lar need to find a core of belief in your own val­ue and the val­ue of your work

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