4 years ago, I emailed Audacia Ray and Jamye Waxman. I’m sure the letter was slightly more eloquently written, but each of them boiled down to:
“Hi. You are a sex-positive feminist who works with adults, sex workers, people in the adult industry, and more. I want to grow up to be like you — how do I do it?”
I’d never met them or contacted them before; however, I’d seen their movies they’d directed, read their blogs, and I knew that I wanted to go that direction. Now, it helped that I was already working on my Master’s of Human Sexuality Education and was working at HotMoviesForHer.com. However, I wanted more. I wanted to help people, to change lives, to educate adults outside of the traditional setting.
And not only did they write back, but they agreed to have dinner with me when Dacia was in Philly for a book reading. They are now people I count as my friends. Both have given me countless pieces of advice, both have put me in contact with amazing people, and both are just sweet, kind hearted people themselves.
Last fall, Tristan Taromino met with me in Phoenix for dinner with her partner (and mine), and we chatted. Again, more advice, more inspiration, more support. But even more, she introduced me to the marketing director of Fascinations, who is now my boss at my full time dream job, being a sexuality educator almost 24-7. A reference from Tristan is worth its weight in gold.
Of course, there is my favorite North-Easterner, Megan Andelloux, another fierce and sassy sexuality educator who I’ve gotten to know more and more the past few months, and who dispenses advice and support to me right and left.
And Always Aroused Girl, who designed this whole site for me, graphics and all.
Why mention them? Well, first and foremost, to thank them for helping me figure out who I am, what I should do, and supporting me in following my dreams. But also, as an example of our responsibility to our community.
I get letters weekly from college students and bloggers (and others) wanting to become sex educators. To each person, I take the time to find out their background, their education, their passions, their dreams, and I write long letters back and forth with them, supporting them how I can. At Fascinations, I fly out sex educators to Denver, Arizona and Portland, having never even heard many of them talk, but in hopes of providing them a leg up while also providing sexuality education to the masses. I’ve helped people with marketing their blogs, their small indie companies, writing press releases and more.
Why? Because this community grows upon itself. We must help each other. Foster new educators, new bloggers, new authors, as well as support each other as established ones. Without this support, the community becomes weaker, more diluted. Often times, I think we get nervous; if I help someone else, what if they become more famous than me? What if they take my classes/my places I present?
To this, I say that I would much rather have more sexuality educators who are strong and care about each other, than few who are snippy and angry, and unable to work with others. I’d rather lose a little traffic to help out a new blogger who may have amazing things to say that we haven’t heard yet.
Our responsibility as we learn and grow is to continue to give back. I thank those from whom I’ve received support, and I hope to continue to give it back as much as I can.