It’s 2am and I am awake although I did not just get home. In fact I got home hours ago, crashed, and now can’t sleep anymore. Instead I’m in blog land. Today (yesterday?) I suppose this whole weekend is the first part of a 60 hour sex educator training I’m taking. It’s…well it is a lot less challenging than I was told to expect. Perhaps this will change, but for the moment the challenging part is waking up at two o’clock in the morning wanting to cry about the time I don’t have. This tendency, I am told, is common among grad students and new mothers. Guess which one I am!
On the sexual education front I have learned “this is outside my scope of practice and it would be unethical for me to answer this question.” I think this is a fancy way of saying “I’m not sure I can answer that have you tried ” which was my standard response to all those medical, legal, and ethical quandaries. Beyond that I learned that some people have a strong reaction to seeing anal fisting for the first time and I do not, and that some people are challenged by the age of consent and definition of adult being fluid and I am not. I think there were other things I should have found challenging but instead thought was a nice refresher on things I’d already done. I got a name for the part of communication that is largely listening. “Positive-neutral response” meaning when you hold a open facial expression and say things like “yes, ok, would you like to tell me more about that?, sure, ok” while someone tells you their deepest darkest fantasies. And yet it is something I had done before under the name “active listening.”
I tried really hard to find a sexual fantasy I have not told some partner at some point and really couldn’t think of one. I told a stranger about learning to masturbate, and found out why it is sometimes hard for some people to orgasm with a partner if most of their orgasms have been through masturbation for a long time and what to do about it. (Ask me if you want more details on this.) I learned “some” “many” “most” as a way to normalize. “Many men enjoy intercourse.” “Most people in the world masturbate at some point in their lives.” “Some people use mutual masturbation as foreplay.” My B.A. in sociology brain doesn’t think that some many and most is a good statistical measure but by and large the wording isn’t challenging.
I hope this will get more challenging because 52 more hours of refresher will make me cry. It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend the training, it’s just, well, I think there actually is a limit on how much time I can spend thinking about sex, communication, and communication about sex.