Howdy Sex Nerds!
I have been a big fan of your weird sex co-op forever and really love your approach to sexuality and sex toys. I am writing because I'm extremely interested in getting into the sex education industry. I have an overall fascination when it comes to sex and the role it has in relationships and I was wondering how to turn this love into a career. If you have any tips or advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
- Wannabe Sexxxpert
Oh man, of all of the sex questions we've gotten over the past 20+ years this is actually one of the most difficult questions to answer. To be totally honest, we're all just a tiny bit disillusioned after doing this work for so long, but hey, least you'll know you're getting a realistic reply to your query!
To start, it is important to know that people who work in sex shops are definitely *not* sex educators. I know that some shops call their staff "educators" but sex educators tend to be people with education degrees with a specialty in sex education. One of our founding members had a masters in education with a focus on sexuality, and like our founder, most sex educators tend to be certified by AASECT or have other industry or educational accreditations.
Our shop provides a full month of training before we're even allowed to talk to customers, but we're still not considered educators (nor should we be).
Not that university education is everything - we're actually quite "anti-expert" in our orientation toward sex knowledge. We truly believe that the only expert on your sexuality is YOU!
I'm not even sure we think the traditional model of sex education is super helpful - so many universities teach really antiquated information about sexuality/orientation/gender/etc because it is hard to keep up with the current trends around sex!
If you're not interested in working for an educational institution or for an organization, my best suggestions is to immerse yourself in the part of sex culture that you want to be an expert in. Make friends in that community and figure out who the experts are. "Sexperts" (a term we generally despise except as applied to Susie Bright) love when people pay them a lot of respect and treat them like they're super important - compliments go a long way.
On a personal front, develop your expertise and hone your skills! Pick a genre of sex that particularly interests you and try to learn as much about it as possible. With the advent of the internet, the whole sex world is shifting to more of a peer-to-peer model of sex education and there's a lot of opportunity there for folks with niche expertise. I cannot tell you how difficult it is to find someone knowledgeable to teach workshops about sounding, for instance!
With love and encouragement,