PUGS course you’re teaching and why: I’m teaching Sex Ed for Adults. I’ve been a professional sex educator for the past six years, although accurate and shame-free information about sex, sexuality, and bodies has been a life long passion. I’m dismayed by the lack of good information people receive in school, or even as adults if you turn to the internet with your curiosity, and I’m excited to help people learn how to find more pleasure in their bodies, and with their partners, as well as information about how to be safe - without resorting to fear-based teaching.
When I worked in animal welfare we used to say we wanted to put ourselves out of a job. As a sex educator I feel the same way. I wish young people got so much good information from their families and their schools and their libraries that the notion of adult sex education was redundant. But I don’t see that happening any time soon. And that’s just for the basics; for information that covers health, safety, and pleasure. Add in some of my specialties, like intimacy and BDSM, and I think I’ll have more than enough work to do for a very long time.
Who’s the target audience of this class: Any adult who is curious about sex and sexuality or who wants to find ways to level up their own sex life.
Best thing about PUGS: I absolutely love that PUGS give people the opportunity to keep learning far after their school days. They have so many interesting topics, and being able to enroll in only the classes that appeal to you makes it easy to fit life-long learning into any schedule.
I care about lifelong learning because: There is so much to know! Continuing education is essential to living a full and informed life. There is always more to know, and more is always being discovered. We can’t be fully engaged in society or in our communities without keeping ourselves informed.
How did you get into sex education: I became a sex educator out of necessity. At the age of 13 I had to teach my grandmother about female anatomy – specifically the hymen. It didn’t take long for my grandmother to discover [my] tampons, and when she did she pitched a fit. She was convinced using tampons would break my hymen. At thirteen years old I wasn’t yet equipped to have a discussion with my grandmother about women only being valued for their purity, or about the harmful (and irrelevant) concept of virginity. But I did know enough about female anatomy to set her straight. First I told her that having engaged in gymnastics and horse back riding it was entirely possible my hymen was already torn. (As advanced as I was for 13, I didn’t yet know that the notion of tearing a hymen is just one more way violence against women is steeped in our language, and that stretching is far more accurate.) This did not comfort her. So off I went to grab the appropriate edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (a gift from my other grandmother, who had passed only a year before my mother.) I turned to the blessedly complete and accurate section on female anatomy and read her the passage on the hymen and well as showing her the picture, and made it clear there was more than enough room for a tampon. Read more on Stella's blog.