Sexuality Happens

When Work Is Emotional

I love my job. A lot.

There are some days I like it less. It is often entirely stressful, it can be frustrating, and working in the field of sex education often leads to me being questioned as an educator, told I’m not enough not a real educator, etc.

However, some days are just wonderful – I realize I’ve changed people’s lives, I’ve helped to save people’s relationships, I’ve helped people to discover things about themselves.

And somedays? Wow.

At my last Let’s Talk Sex workshop in Phoenix, after the class, a young woman came up to me. She looked familiar — I realized that she was a Fascinations Facebook Fan, and commented often, as well as attended classes. She told me that her sister had died in November, and that was why neither of them had been at my November class. She told me how much my updates on social media had meant to her sister, how much she loved attending my classes, reading my facts of the day, etc. She told me, through tears, that she was just hanging in there, but that her sister would have wanted her to tell me how much I had meant to her during her life.

I went home, driving 45 minutes thinking about this. Q was out of town, so I made a cup of tea, tucked myself under the covers with the kitties, and cried.

What I do, what people in my field do, changes lives. Period. We often present to people that we never seen again, never talk to again. Unlinke a college professor, or a therapist, we don’t have a lot of continuity with the people whose lives we touch. But this? Hearing from someone’s family member how much what I did had meant to them? It’s both very heavy and very lightening at the same time.

Sex education remains a difficult field…but things like this? THIS is what keeps me going, every single day, despite the frustration and the tiredness and the being broke and the getting called out and the long days and longer nights. What I do matters.

-Essin’ Em

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4 Comments so far

  1. Jason Riedy February 4th, 2011 10:06 pm

    Thank you. This is beautiful and inspiring.

  2. A February 5th, 2011 12:00 am

    wow…it gave me shivers reading about this. Imagine how much strength it took her to reach out to you and share that with you. wow.

  3. Essin' Em February 5th, 2011 9:38 pm

    Certainly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been told.

  4. Luscious Lily February 7th, 2011 10:41 pm

    This was beautiful. You really do touch the lives around you in an amazing way – you’re part of the reason I joined the sex blogging community in the first place, and it has changed my life forever. Thank you for sticking to this.

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