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Enviable Careers in Sexual Health

09 June, 2021

We all do it – daydream about other jobs that are more interesting, more impressive to tell our friends about, require less time behind a desk looking at spreadsheets and emails and TPS reports.

Well, did you know there’s a whole industry built around careers in sexual health? If your workday daydream involves thinking about, embracing and enjoying sexuality, do we have career options for you. Some jobs in sexual health require degrees or certification, while others simply ask for a healthy enthusiasm to try new things. Here are three interesting jobs in sexual health you might not know existed.

Some jobs in sexual health require degrees or certification, while others simply ask for a healthy enthusiasm to try new things.

INTIMACY COORDINATOR

This job has been in theater for years, but became popular in film and TV after the Weinstein scandal and Me Too movement, which brought to light sexual harassment in film. As defined by the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Arts, the labor union that represents American performers and broadcasters, an Intimacy Coordinator is “an advocate, liaison between actors and production in regard to nudity and simulated sex.” Intimacy Coordinators help actors feel safe and supported. HBO made the first Intimacy Coordinator hires on shows Euphoria, Succession and others (and have since made this role mandatory on set). What skills are required? Good instincts for one, because an Intimacy Coordinator needs to know when someone feels uncomfortable. Intimacy Coordinators should also be comfortable facilitating uncomfortable conversations. Such as, where are the boundaries for the scene? Is there anything an actor doesn’t feel comfortable doing or places they don’t want to be touched? The Actor’s Union requires federal and state background checks and a shadowing or mentorship experience for the role. General knowledge of gender and sexual diversity and sensitivity and a comfort around sexual health are helpful also. Ita O’brien, a British Intimacy Coordinator who also taught in acting schools, has published research on the topic and developed best practices for the role, which she pioneered and production houses such as Netflix and HBO have adopted.

SEXOLOGIST OR SEX THERAPIST

Sexologists work from a toolbox of disciplines that might include say biology, medicine and/or psychology. You’ll need credentials, like a certificate from the American College of Sexologists or an American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) Certification, to practice but the field is rife with possibility. For example: maybe you want to work one-on-one with individuals or couples to help solve sex issues. This is the role of a Sex Therapist. Other Sexologists choose the speaking circuit or educational route and produce podcasts and do talks. One such sexologist is Dr. Nicole Prause, who founded the independent research institute Liberos and is a neuroscientist researching human sexual behavior, addiction and the physiology of sexual response. (She’s also on Vella’s Scientific Advisory Board!) 

CHIEF SEX TOY TESTER

Let’s be honest, testing sex toys won’t bankroll your 401k, but it’s flexible work with nice perks. U.K. company Ricky and U.K. adult retailer Bondara have hired sex toy testers. Bondara’s job requirements listed, “an active sex life, a good level of personal fitness, a passion for wearable tech and a mountain of confidence.” Their SexFit device for men tracks performance like a Fitbit shows you how many steps you walked. Durex hires “Sexecutives.” The pay is a free sex toy. Australian sexual wellness startup NORMAL hired a Chief Product Tester (located anywhere) for their line of sex toys because as they said, some jobs do need to be remote.  

These are just a few sexual health careers you may not have known about. More well known are that of sex educators, nurses, doctors and midwives. But at the end of the day, all of these jobs share a common thread of helping to empower every person to own their sexual health and freely express and enjoy it. That’s fulfilling work, and definitely daydream worthy! 

But at the end of the day, all of these jobs share a common thread of helping to empower every person to own their sexual health and freely express and enjoy it.

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