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.
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:
- Remind women that they have the sovereignty to take it into their own hands. The "orgasm gap" isn't destiny; I average 10 orgasms for every 1 of a partner's, and receptivity to pleasure is a skill I built over time. And my readers can, too.
- Expand readers' "vocabulary" of pleasurable sensations by using toys.
- Educate people about the full power of the internal clitoris — and how similar it is to the penis!
- Show them the roadmaps to the deeper, lesser-known erogenous zones.
- Give people the communication toolbox to show and tell a partner how to please them.
- Priming women's minds to stay in the present, checking in with how they feel and knowing that they deserve to feel joy and pleasure.
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 metagame?
Heads up! This post was sponsored. As usual, these are my own words and thoughts.
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
So glad you’re true to yourself