Thursday, November 21, 2013

Can I interest you in a little sex therapy?

I started watching the Showtime series Masters of Sex recently. The show is about the lives and work of William Masters and Virginia Johnson -- Masters and Johnson -- who pioneered the field of modern sex research. Believe it or not, a lot of sex happens during each episode. And even more talking about sex happens. It's a sexy romp through a serious subject. I like it.

This isn't a review of Masters of Sex though. This post is about what the show has brought up for me personally regarding my own dreams and career path.

I wrote recently about this being a big year of change for me, and it really has been so far. Travel adventures, new friends, buying a house. If nothing else happens, it will already have been a pivotal year.

I wrote in that post that I couldn't remember what my dreams were, and I wasn't sure I really had any. Watching Masters of Sex reminded me -- and reminded me hard -- that I really do have a dream, and I think it was a dream even when I was a kid, although I couldn't have put it into words any more than I could have told you what a vagina was.

If I could choose any career at all, I would not choose one of the prestigious, well-paying careers like doctor or lawyer or engineer or president of the United States or even best-selling novelist .... OK, that's a lie. I would choose best selling author.

But in addition, what I would really like to be when I grow up is a sex therapist. Sex therapy is my dream job.

I've wanted to do this since I was a little girl,  or maybe I should say I've been called to do it since I was little. When I was 6, I was the class expert who informed the other kids that when a man and a woman have sex, the man puts his ding ding into the woman in a place between her legs even I didn't have a name for (but could be the place she pees from), and he pees inside her. This is also how babies are made, although the man and woman have to be parents to have sex. It doesn't pay to think too hard about this now. A couple of years later I had to revise my explanation.

I also spied a lot on my parents and their friends, and I repeated all of my dad's wide repertoire of sex jokes many times, especially the one about the pink puppy noses. I was obviously called to be a sexpert even as a child.

I also have what some of my friends call my superpower. And my superpower is that people talk about sex openly and a lot around me. Almost every conversation I'm in eventually turns to sex, even though I don't always bring the topic up. In fact, even if I make a point of not bringing it up, before you know it somebody is telling a story about her recent vibrator malfunction. Whether in groups or one-on-one, people will tell me more about sex than they've ever told anybody else. And often they learn things they didn't know, because I have a treasure chest of information about sex in my head.

Disclaimer: My superpower does not, unfortunately, have any effect on my own sex life. It does not attract appropriate and talented sexual partners -- although it often attracts the wrong ones -- and it doesn't even mean I get more action than the normal un-superpowered person. I'm pretty sure I get much less than I deserve. It does mean though that sometimes people go home feeling pretty randy after a rousing conversation about sex with me ..... but I'm not the one getting laid.

It's a fucking shame, isn't it? But I digress.

The important question is: Could I really become a sex therapist?

The answer is: I don't know for sure, but I'm certain it would require another degree. I've already got a bachelor's degree in social work. Probably in this state, I could become a sex therapist if I got a master's degree in social work and became a licensed counselor.

The obstacles are few, but large. First, I can't afford it. Not that I can't afford the time, but I can't afford the tuition. I paid for my last master's degree by working my ass off teaching composition at the university. I can't imagine that kind of gig exists in the social work department. And I refuse to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. I'd never be able to pay them off.

Second ..... there is no second. Money is the only obstacle, unless becoming a licensed social worker isn't enough, and I'm certain it is.

The advantages: I would be doing work I would absolutely love. I would be a good -- maybe even a great -- sex therapist. And I would get paid a decent wage for my time, which is not the case with either writing and teaching.

Oh, yeah. I just accepted a job teaching creative writing at the only magnet school for the arts in the city. I'll start in January. I've already done some substitute teaching there this fall, so I'm already familiar with the job, as well as what some of the challenges will be, and I've already formed relationships with my colleagues and some of the students. I'm excited about teaching creative writing as opposed to academic. Also it's only a few blocks from my new house -- within walking and cycling distance.

So here I go, back to teaching, the job where I love many of the kids, dislike, or even hate, the grading, and work twice as many hours as I'm paid for. It's something I can do and do well, but it's not the same as following a dream.

My two dreams: to write, which I do, and to talk and write about sex for a living.

Why am I writing about this here? I know it's neither funny nor poignant, not about the vagina or the penis, which is probably what you came here for. It's not even really interesting to anybody except me.

I just want to put it out there. A dream often won't happen unless it's put forth as a possibility ..... OK, I'm not even sure this one is a possibility. It's just a dream, and so many dreams never come true. I'm probably more likely to get struck by lightning or grow a latent vestigial penis.

But it never hurts to say a dream aloud so somebody can hear it.

So how about it? Anybody want to kickstart my career in sex therapy? I'll give you a post-dated coupon for your first 5 sessions free ... and that number can be negotiated.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a firm believer in throwing dreams out there. It never hurts to talk/write about them. It can only bring them into the picture a little more clearly, and let the universe know you really do mean business. ;)