Originally posted March 11, 2010

photo by trec_lit

I’ve had a variety of unremarkable day jobs: government work, standard retail…that sort of thing.  Then, through a series of flukes and coincidences I’ve wound up with a whole other career…in sex.  There’s much to love about working in this sphere.  It is, by nature, a sexy field to work in.  I get free and/or discounted condoms, toys and other paraphernalia. My work has helped me sort out some of my own issues related to sex and body image.

I also see a lot of boobies.

I love what I do.  That having been said, there are quirks of the trade.  Here, for your education and amusement are 10 occupational hazards of working in sexuality.

10.  All Talk. Less Action.

I talk about sex all the time. Which leads some people to assume that I have sex all the time.  The truth is that Man of Mans and I live jam-packed lives as working parents to a young child.  If you invite us to a party, you may catch us sneaking off to a seclude corner somewhere but it’s just as likely to be for a power-nap as for make-outs.  Add to that the high probability that I’ve spilled something sticky on my shirt  and really it’s miraculous that I get any action at all.

9.  Condom Surplus

Condoms, condoms everywhere.  A box in my spare room.  Leftovers from presentations.  Standard swag at conferences.  I come across random rubbers in my purses, my pockets…once stuck to the bottom of my shoe.  Need some latex?  Come see me. I have enough to sheath every member of our fair city.

8. Jumping To Conclusions

Once some friends came over to hang out and one of them brought a video. I immediately wondered why they had brought porn and if they wanted us to watch a group and would that be super-awkward?  It absolutely would have been, except for the part where the movie was The Big Lebowski.  I sometimes forget that when most people say  “I brought a video” or “come round the back” or “I could eat some sushi” they’re being literal. Life is not one continuous double-enterdre

7. Buyer’s Remorse

Access to deeply discounted toys and other hot paraphernalia is awesomehats.  But like with anything else, I’m susceptible to the seduction of sale prices, regardless of what the item is.  As such, I’ve come home with a few items that far exceed my sexual ambitions and/or flexibility.  When I look at an item and think “where does this GO?”, that’s probably  a clue that it’s not the toy for me.

6. Impropriety Is The Spice Of Life

Due to the nature of our work, conversation around the office water cooler tend to be about the current season of Lost…and clitorises. Oscar fashion…and clitorises.  The latest federal budget…and…you know.  I can and will bring any conversation back to the clitoris.  It’s a deeply ingrained instinct.  Great for work and nights out with certain friends.  Less wonderful at wedding receptions or playground chat with my fellow parents.

5. Blurting!

This one’s related to number 6.  Recently, I was at dog training class when the instructor asked us, “what is something you really, really wouldn’t want your dog to have in his mouth?”  No one answered.  The instructor prodded futher, “Really?  Nothing?  Nothing you wouldn’t want your dog to grab…perhaps trot out in front of guests?”  “Um…your vibrator?” I ventured.  Everyone in the class looked at me like I’d eaten a kitten. “I meant something like shoes,” the instructor corrected, “Dumbass.” She didn’t say that last part but it was strongly implied in her tone/withering glare.

4. Spoiler Alert!

One of my many guilty pleasures used to be pulp fiction novels.  Sadly, I can no longer enjoy them.  Or soap operas.  Or romantic movies.   I can’t be in the same room as a sex scene, without critiquing all the titillation out of it.  Because of my professional lens (or “smartypants-itis”, as I like to call it), I ruin pop culture sex for myself and I wreck it for other people too!   One friend has already stated emphatically that she will never watch Y Tu Mama Tambien with me.

3.  Not Pimpin’

Dear Random Strangers Who Approach Me In All Sorts Of Random Situations,

I work as a sex educator. That’s not the same thing as doing sex work. I support it, I just don’t do it. If you want information on safer sex practices or how to locate the G-spot, I’m your gal.  If you want access to a sexually experienced kink-specific, instantly available play partner, I’m afraid you’ll have to ask elsewhere.

2. Family Bonding

My parents are very supportive of the work I do.  *Very* supportive.  Perhaps too supportive.  Like when my mom (Hi, mom!)  came to the fellatio workshop I was giving and sat in the front row.  Then she enlisted my help in selecting a vibrator.  It was only a minor stroke, but one that I feel is responsible for at least 50% of my typos.

1. Rashes

Blisters. Sores. Pustules. Warts.  The most casual of acquaintance will describe dermatological afflictions of their genitals in graphic detail.  Not that anyone should ever feel shamed into silence by a potential STI.  But I’m not a doctor or anything close to a qualified diagnostician (though I can point you in the direction of someone who is).  Also?  People tend to initiate the rash conversation when I’m eating.  Let me finish eating my yoghurt, then we’ll talk about your discharge.


  1. Bob LeDrew says:

    I want this on a tshirt:

    “Let me finish eating my yoghurt, then we’ll talk about your discharge.”

  2. John Collins says:

    Yeah, I want discharge on a t-shirt, too! (Oh, wait, hang on…)

  3. syrens says:

    I so hear you about the buckets and buckets of safer sex supplies. As my fiancee puts it, “we’re rather awash in lube”.

  4. GL says:

    I love that you keep a box of condoms in your spare bedroom.

  5. Jan says:

    Don’t feel bad about number five – that instructor totally made the Mystery Object sound like something naughty. (As if shoes could be a source of embarrassment!)