Honoring Others in the Field

lets talk about sex

Greetings and Happy Monday!

With WSE moving into its next stages, as I work further toward getting two important resources finished with drafting, I would like to take a moment to honor others in this interesting (and often entertaining) field of sex education.

Several months ago, I was asked if I had ever watched any Sexplanations and did I know who Dr. Lindsey Doe is…and what were my thoughts? My immediate answers were YES, YES, and I LOVE HER! For those who don’t know who she is, Dr. Doe is a clinical sexologist, and is the founder of Birds & Bees, LLC. I think she is absolutely AMAZING, I love what she does, and I cheer her on regularly.

I didn’t have occasion to think about Dr. Doe outside of sharing her various YouTube Sexplanations with individuals (and posting my favorite one on WSE’s facebook page) until this past weekend while reviewing my answers to the questionnaire for WSE’s upcoming inclusion in WoD magazine. I was reading aloud the questions (and my responses) to my husband, mainly as a way to ensure that my responses were reading smoothly. When I read this question: “What advice would you offer to someone starting out in your industry?,” my husband made the wise crack: “DON’T DO IT!” I laughed, because he was joking around about “competition” — and, of course, my actual answer to the question had less to do with advising folks about entering sex education (which, to my thinking, isn’t an industry unto itself), but about following their individual passions.

The joke my husband made, though, got me to thinking. There really isn’t competition within sex education (well, there IS, but not in the sense of industrial competition). The “competition” within sex education is more political than it is interpersonal…which is about “which type” of sex education to promote in American public schools, for example (meaning, abstinence-based or comprehensive, to keep it very simple). But here in my little world, where the focus is sex-positive, shame-free, all-inclusive, comprehensive sexuality education…those of us who promote it aren’t really in competition with each other, at least not so far as I know. I don’t think that there are that many of us out there to be competitive, since it’s not as though it’s really possible to saturate the field. Besides, what I’ve found during my research is that those of us who identify as “sexperts” (whether we be physicians, sexologists, or management folks) all focus on different facets of education. Together, we form a connected network (even if we’ve never actually communicated with one another directly). I know that I have promoted other sex educators whose focus and area of specialization is different from mine…routinely, in fact.

Because my focus is STI prevention, education, and containment, my primary target audience is parents (with my secondary target audience being facilities such as long-term care, assisted living, independent living, etc.), I don’t really view other sex educators as “business threats” — in fact, I view them as exactly the opposite! We all complement each other. Our goals are basically the same (to raise awareness, to connect and build, to encourage, mostly to educate), even if our actual directed areas of focus are different segments of the population.

Soooo…with that in mind, I’d like to take the time to highlight just a few of my favorite sex educators.

Dr. Lindsey Doe (clinical sexologist), previously mentioned (and again, she’s AMAZING!)

Michael Basso (CDC public health advisor), author of The Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality, and one founder of Youth Embassy

Dr. Jen Gunter, OB/Gyn…Wielding the Lasso of Truth (not specifically a sex educator, but a great sex education resource, as it happens)

Dr. Darrel Ray (psychologist), author of Sex & God: How religion distorts sexuality, which I recommend to believers and nonbelievers alike — and I routinely promote his Secular Sexuality podcasts.

All of the folks at Bedsider, Go Ask Alice!, My beautiful sex life (definitely NSFW), and Scarleteen…just to name a small handful of folks I admire, follow, and promote.

Yeah, we’re all in this together. Definitely. With big love.

Dr. Weird

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