Vancouver, British Columbia Canada: Womyn's Ware If you're ready to dive in a bit deeper, one potential next step is to attend a national conference or workshop on sexuality. The Sex Ed Conference is the largest conference in the United States that is exclusively devoted to sex education. One of the oldest and most respected of these was the Annual Thornfield Workshop on Sexuality, which unfortunately has long stopped its regular summer offerings, but will forever be memorialized in Brian McNaught's book Sex Camp.
You can find an upcoming listing of SARs and other educational offerings here. Depending on your particular interest, there are numerous other conferences on sexuality-related topics, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues; women's sexuality; and youth sexuality education. In general, conferences and workshops are a great way to get more education about sexuality, to network with other people in the field, and to learn about other opportunities you might want to pursue.
OWL is taught in both faith-based and community settings, such as Planned Parenthood affiliates. Even if you're not in a position to teach OWL, the trainings themselves provide a great learning opportunity for aspiring sex educators. Check the online calendar for upcoming dates. Believe it or not, it is possible to get a Ph. Two of the best known doctoral level sexuality programs in the United States are the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco and the one hosted at Widener University , just outside of Philadelphia.
Both programs offer night and weekend classes, to enable students to continue to work while pursuing their degrees. Widener also hosts a "Careers in Sexuality" conference every year. You can see a list of other programs at the Quad-S website.
Of course, you can get just about any graduate degree and make the focus of your study and your dissertation a sexuality-related topic. Many successful professional sex educators do not have a degree in the field, but it is an option, particularly if you'd like to become a professor at a university.
As you explore these different opportunities, you might want to think about what aspects of sexuality education appeal to you the most, and what types of skills you have that you believe will be most useful for this work. Some people really enjoy writing about sex. Others like public speaking and educating groups. Others want to research sex in a lab. Below is our unofficial list of a few of the different "tracks" a person with an interest in sex could pursue.
School and youth track: This includes school health teachers, guidance counselors, and people who work in school- and community-based programs designed to reduce HIV, STIs, and unwanted pregnancies among youth. While this track may have the greatest number of jobs, it's also one of the most challenging, given that many youth programs are currently required to teach only abstinence until marriage.
After receiving a graduate degree, you might get a position at a university or a place like the Kinsey Institute , to conduct sexuality research. This includes teaching women's studies with a focus on sexuality, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender studies. This includes people who work in HIV, STI, and pregnancy prevention programs targeted to adults, both in the United States and in developing countries. Many of these programs promote safer sex among populations at high risk for HIV, and are funded through public health grants.
Counseling and therapy track: Given that sex is an important issue in many peoples' lives, there are lots of opportunities for counselors and therapists.
This category might also include HIV test counselors, with lots of overlap with the above categories, such as a school nurse who counsels students. It might also include ministers or other clergy who focus on helping people address the intersection of sexuality and spirituality -- for instance, see the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing.
Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues is probably the best example of this, but many artists explore sexuality themes in their work. This includes people who lead seminars, write books, write sex columns in newspapers, and work in stores like the ones listed above. Our work, teaching sex education programs to college students, falls into this category. We've hired a team of amazing sex educators , and are occasionally in a position to hire more.
If you think you might be interested, you live in or near the Northeastern part of the U. There are also a number of companies that hire people to sell sex toys and give workshops at in-home parties.
Many of the sex toy stores listed above also offer in-home parties. These companies vary considerably in terms of what they sell, how their parties work, and how their consultants are trained and paid. A close overlap with the adult education track, those in the journalism track focus on writing about sex. A job or internship at Nerve. And of course, the possibilities include occupations with that overlap with many of the above tracks and ones that aren't yet listed.
Good luck, have fun, and stay safe! Let us know where life's journey brings you -- we would love to hear! Er, How do I do That?