So before we delve any deeper into the tale of my career path, let me define for you what exactly sexology and a sexologist are. Sexology is the scientific study of sex. Essentially, it is what people do sexually and how they feel about it. It is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses such fields as biology, psychology, anthropology, medicine, sociology, and more. A sexologist is someone who has received an extensive education and training in the field of human sexuality. And as it is an ever changing and growing field, they are someone who is continually accessing the latest research in human sexuality to better their own knowledge and to strive to provide the most accurate and up to date information. That being said, the story continues…
Sex school was nothing like I could have ever imagined. I never counted on the breadth of the education I would receive there. I was exposed to things I had never seen, let alone, heard of! But, it was all part of the education. Exposing myself to these different aspects of sexuality made me realize that there truly is no “normal” ANYTHING. Sexuality is subjective. Our culture, family upbringing, and religious convictions all go into shaping who we are and how we think. This education through exposure helped me find out what my buttons, sexual hang-ups, were and how to come to terms with them. No one is going to like everything, and I’m not saying I do either, but I have learned to be impartial to everyone else’s unique perspective on sex and sexuality, because who am I to judge?
One of the most common questions I was asked when I first started attending school was “Umm…so do you like have sex homework?” And the short answer was, “Yeah its sex school!” Like any other university we had books, videos, guest speakers, and field trips, but that wasn’t why people were asking me. They wanted to know if we had actual sex or not in class. Well in order to be well versed in anything, you have to practice it. Would a chef be able to cook without having learned how to cut vegetables and operate in the kitchen? Same notion applies here. I experienced my own sexual journey that is by no means over yet, but has opened me up to much of the possibilities of what sex can be. And I am not just speaking about PV (penis/vagina) sex. A common phrase I say to people is “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” I think it comes from having a mom who is a flight attendant, ha. If I am not comfortable and secure in my own sexuality, how on earth am I supposed to help someone else with theirs? So did we bang in class? Much of our homework was research in the form of “me-search” and self driven at home, outside of class. Very few exercises were partnered ones, sorry to disappoint. No class orgies here.
Armed with my newly acquired knowledge and bursting drive to change the world, I came home to Michigan where I asked some favors of some very good friends in the media industry. I have since been on the radio and television trying to ease my way into the West Michigan area as a sexologist. I have been met with a mostly positive response. People seem genuinely curious! But occasionally, I do get someone who completely makes a mockery of my career choice. It was just the other day that I was with one of my close friends who happened to witness me being bashed by someone. When we were alone she finally let out her rage-
“I have never seen someone get so much shit for their career choice more than you! It really pisses me off! No one would ever go up to someone and ask,
-What do you do for a living?
-Oh, you’re a garbage man?
-That must be a smelly job.
I loved her even more than I already do for saying that. Of course the jokes hurt, and I realize that many people deal with uncomfortable situations through “humor”, but it gets old after a while. I realize that this a sensitive subject for many people and it can stir many emotions, but all I ask of you is to respect me and my education. I worked very hard to get to where I am today. As a society we are constantly being inundated with sexual messages that can confuse, shame, and misinform us and I am trying to help shed light on the truth and make people ok with their sexuality despite what others (society, media, family, friends, etc.) may think. So please consider what I have to say before you shove me by the wayside.
One of the best and most priceless things I received from school is my amazing network of classmates. Their backgrounds are as broad as they come, spanning from medical doctors to sex workers. I always have someone I can go to when I have a question regarding sexuality or just life in general. There is a special camaraderie that gets forged when you go through this school together and it is quite a resilient bond. Even though many of us are separated by thousands of miles, we are all connected through this field in our commitment to educating others, but more importantly, because we are a family.
I can’t wait to be done with my degree early next year and to see what the future holds. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this exciting journey. I promise you more great things are on their way and as always, everything is OK here.