What is it like to be a sex educator on the road?

Dec 12, 2017

Hi, everyone! It’s Dr. Liz. I am in Decatur, Georgia today, one of the suburbs of Atlanta and I wanted to just to just take a few quick minutes and talk about what my life is really like when I’m on the road. And, you know this year, one of my big goals was to travel a lot to teach in new cities, to expand where I was going, to reach new folks and to have some fun teaching in all kinds of places that I hadn’t taught before. And overall, it’s been really great. I’ve gotten to see friends I already have in lots of different locations. I’ve gotten to meet tons of cool new folks and go to new events, and I’ve loved those parts of it.

However, then there are days like today, where I need to find a place where I can see my clients over video chat. And the friends I’m crashing with while I’m here in the Atlanta area are moving today. So, the place I was staying wasn’t going to have Internet, there was going to be movers coming in and out, there was gonna be just lots of hustle and bustle. So, I had to find a place that I could set up a temporary office for one day. [Giggle] Luckily, there are lots of workspaces around the globe now that can set you up with an office for a day or a week or on a short-term basis. So I was able to find a space but this is my generic office that I have for one day.

Being on the road, I think folks think it’s super glamorous and you’re staying in nice hotels and you’re flying first class, and you’re eating all the best foods and like I’ve had some really good food. But I think that travel is more stressful than most of us realize. I’ll be totally real. This travel that I’ve been doing to teach these new classes and places have taken a lot more out of me than I expected it to. It has been hard, it has been really challenging to keep moving from place to place and finding ways to get settled in each of those places.

For me, this year I’m probably spending almost as much time away from my home as I am at my home. And I live in San Francisco so I pay a lot of money for that home. So, it’s just it can be a little challenging. Good morning, Lisa! Hey, Lola. I know they don’t even know, do they, Lola? So, it’s challenging. It’s challenging being on the road. I don’t know that I would ever give up travel altogether. I do think that what I’m learning is who I am and how I work. I don’t think that in a long-term way I could travel this much.

Oh, Caroline, yeah. No, it’s totally not glamorous and the travel is hard. I think that the idea most people have of what celebrity is and what celebrity means, we apply all the way down to levels of like micro-celebrity, so we think people like Reid Mihalko or Caroline Carrington that they are just like living the life and eating room service every morning and having strawberries fed to them by delicious beautiful humans. And that’s not real for most of us. Most of us are crashing on French couches, we’re trying to find the cheapest flight we can, we’re taking a Mega Bus between cities. Because I think we’re all trying to find a way to make this affordable and to be able to keep our classes affordable for the people who need us.

So, it’s hard. It’s a hard life and I love it and it’s hard. And I think that there isn’t a lot of transparency about how it is for folks and how about it is to live these lives. So, I wanted to come on here today and start giving some transparency. I want for you all to understand what it is for me traveling like this, what it is for me doing this job. You know, living the crazy poly-career slut life is not necessarily always as glamorous as you would hope it is. So, this is the first thing. What I’m hoping it’s gonna be a series of videos about the realities of what this life is.

As you can see I have no makeup on, that’s really scary for me to do one of these videos that people can see with, like no makeup on. I’m not doing my full Dr. Liz femme presentation. I’m still drinking my coffee so I’m not quite entirely awake. [Giggle] And my breakfast was doughnuts from Sublime Doughnuts which are delicious, really fantastic doughnuts. But this is the reality of sex educator life. This is the reality of what it is to be Dr. Liz on tour. I don’t have much else to say. If you all have questions, go ahead and put them down. I’m happy to give you the– the down-and-dirty on what this life really like. Oh, thanks, Caroline. I appreciate that.

I think that most of us feel like we look way worse without makeup than we actually do. I know that right now, I’m looking at my face and I’m like, “Oh no! Why did you do this without makeup?” Oh, right. So, Lisa, it’s such a good point. I think micro-celebrity does this weird thing where– so for instance, I was in Philadelphia hanging out with some friends, someone had brought a friend along who walked in and I was like oh, my God! fanning out on me and saying like “Oh, I listen to your podcasts. I– it’s so cool to meet you.” And like that’s really weird for me because I put my pants on one leg at a time just like all of you.

And like I have podcasts out there and I have videos out there but a lot of times, it kind of feels like I’m just shouting into the void of the Internet. So, when people know me, and when people see me, and like recognize me, it feels really strange. And then because I’m someone that people recognize who they haven’t met before, there is this assumption that like I’m rolling in the dough. And I would love for that to be the truth like I’m not gonna lie, I’m hoping that one day that is my truth, but that’s not my truth right now. So, you know right now, what I’m doing is living the real life and just trying to get through. Oh, hey, Meidy, it’s so good to see you. I miss you.

So, you know a big part of what I talk about in my business and in my work through Sex-Positive Psych is about authenticity, about being real. I think it is super easy for all of us to try to pretend to be someone we’re not. To try to put on a front about like, “I’m super successful and I’m doing great.” “ Look at my amazing clothes and my perfect makeup.” You know we live an Instagram life for everyone else and it can feel really lonely to feel like no one knows the realities of what’s happening for you.Like my Instagram life looks great. You know, I have my beautiful pictures with my makeup and my cool clothes, of my jewelry, and I’m talking about all these fantastic places I’m going. And that’s a real part of my life but that is not the entirety of this life.

You know, there's parts of this life where, you know, we talked about this last year, in Sex-Positive in Port with Lola and Becca, Rebecca Hiles of Frisky Fairy where we talked about– there’s that time where you’re stacking up on ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese because you don’t know how you’re going to get through the rest of the month. And that’s real sometimes. That’s still super real for me sometimes. You know, recently I had– a lot changed in my– my business. I was like almost full, I was doing great, I had a bunch of clients with my full fee and then out of nowhere, I had like five clients drop off my caseload all at once. And so, my income that I was making for my practice got cut by like three or $4,000.00 a month. And I don’t care who you are and that is a really big change.

And so I went from like making it, doing OK, maybe I was going to be able to start building up a savings account to like, “Holy shit! How am I going pay all my bills?” So, when you’re living this life, I think that people see that Instagram life, they see things that you’re doing and they think that you are like Flash. You’ve got all the money you could possibly need. And that has not been my truth a lot of the time. Hey, Mandy! I’m so excited for Atlanta Poly Weekend. You know, Atlanta Poly Weekend was the first conference I ever spoke at. So it’s really cool to be coming back and like kind of coming back to my home turf and seeing the people who helped give me my start.

And, I remember when I first applied to speak in Atlanta Poly Weekend. I kept thinking like, “Who the fuck wants to hear from me?” “What do I have to say that is different from anyone else?” and I think, everyone I know in the sex educator world has that same feeling of like, “Who the fuck am I?” “ Why would anyone ever listen to my shit?” You know what am I saying that everyone isn’t already saying and I think that other folks don’t see that too that the people who see us doing our thing and being this larger-than-life personalities in front of the crowd. They don’t know that behind it, every time I send in a panel proposal, there’s a little bit of like, “Well, fuck! Do I actually have anything to say here?” like “Why would they accept this handle?” “Is it everybody already talking about this?” “Doesn’t everyone already know it?” It’s really easy to lose track.

Kevin, yeah, I know those feelings, I totally know those feelings. Like it’s getting better for me now. Now that I’ve proposed to a ton of conferences and gotten a lot of acceptance letters. But, yeah, I’m serious, Mandy! I’m serious. Like there are tons of times where I feel like, “Why the fuck would anyone want to listen to what I want to say?” And that’s not all the time. There are days when I’m like, “Why the fuck didn’t you accept me?” Like when I didn’t get accepted for a certain conference this year. I was legitimately pissed. I was like, “I have some good shit to say and this would have been an amazing goddamn panel.” But, a lot of times there's still that like, “Oh, fuck! Am I actually doing anything significant or worthwhile?” It’s hard, it’s a hard life out here as a sex educator and I think, for me, to be authentic about this is scary.

And I want– I want you all to know the real me. I don’t want you to think that you know me because you’ve seen the Instagram me or because you’ve seen the– the Highlight Reel of what’s happening in my life. So, I think I’m out of what I’ve got to say today. Thank you so much, all of you for watching and for commenting. Everyone who commented like I really appreciate that, I know there’s so much happening of Facebook all the time. So for you to take a couple minutes to sit down and watch me means a lot. And hopefully, I’ll see you all live on the Internet soon or live in person at Atlanta Poly Weekend or any of the other events I have coming up. But, for now, I’m going to sign off. Bye! Have a good one.

Sign up now for special content and exciting news delivered to your inbox.



Help Dr. Liz share Great Sex with the world. Get insider perks. All in one place.
big thanks to my sponsors!

Get the Book

Your practical, no BS guide to non-monogamy.
Buy it now
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram