What Makes Louise A Sex Geek?
Sometimes ya gotta try something new; the picture to the right and the interview below is Louise and I attempting to do just that.
Oh and just FYI, the interview was far more successful than our attempts at ‘Bum Scissoring‘
Gareth: How did you get involved with Segeekdom?
Louise: I got involved in Sex Geekdom because Kate, the founder of Sex Geekdom, and I often work together on sex education projects and workshops. It was funny because she kept saying “I have these sex ed friends that I have drinks with sometimes, I wish it could be a regular thing, you should totally meet them” and then she decided to start up Sex Geekdom and build up a sex geek community, the drinks became a regular fixture and the rest is history.
Gareth: You often say you are the Robin to Kate’s Batman, what do you mean by that?
Louise: Ha ha, you’ve heard me say that have you? Well, yes, I do sometimes call myself that – tongue in cheek of course. Although I was teaching sex ed and working in a sex positive sex toy store before I met Kate, she really brought it to the forefront of my mind that I could do this stuff seriously professionally.
She’s given me a lot of encouragement and support to make sex education a more central part of what I do. So, she’s kind of been the Batman, the lead figure, and I’ve been the eager side kick part of the duo. We even have matching Batman & Robin tshirts now. I’m also Robin because I’m the faggy one…
Gareth: What keeps you interested in Sex?
Louise: I came to realise that I had an unusual ability to talk at length to strangers about sex, to be the one at a party giving sex advice, and the one who was drawing sketches of IUDs on restaurant napkins for friends. I think a lot of sex educators can relate to those sorts of early experiences. So, I’ve been in the role of a sex educator all my life really. In terms of what keeps me teaching sex ed, it’s partly the satisfaction, of contributing something to a field I’m confident in. Sex as an area of interest (a ‘geekdom’ you could call it) also keeps me interested because it’s so intwined with people and psychology, and experience, and attitudes. I love the sociological aspect of it all. I also feel like there are lots of diverse areas within sex, from sexual health, to pleasure, to relationships, etc. so there’s enough to keep me interested.
Gareth: Do you have philosophy as a Sex Geek?
Louise: I’m not sure if I have a philosophy as such. I guess sex-positivity is my philosophy, and just wanting people to have fun with and be curious about sex and all it’s possibilities. Something I would really like to do more of is work with people who have less access to sex education and who are often left out of the equation. I’m not doing this stuff yet, but for example, I would love to give sex advice in malls so that suburban folks could have access to education about pleasure, contraception options etc. I’d love to work with straight guy sports groups, with older people, with people who have had prostate surgery etc. All those groups who don’t have much sex positive education targeted to them.
Gareth: You seem to have an interest for both maps and well labeled anatomical diagrams, where do you think that comes from?
Louise: Very astute of you! Yes, I’m an enthusiastic lover of maps and geography. Ever since I was a kid I always had maps on my wall. I’m not sure if the anatomical diagram thing is related, but it probably is, my first memory of having an enthusiasm for anatomical diagrams is from when I was 11 or 12 and we did a school project on the digestive system. I laboriously drew diagrams of all the different parts, and lovingly coloured them in too. I think I have a fairly visual/spacial mind, so that’s probably where the maps and anatomy diagrams come in. I’ve been cultivating my love of well labeled, specifically sex and reproductive system diagrams over the past few years. Something that makes my blood boil is seeing “female reproductive system” diagrams in schools that do not label the clitoris! Grrr, we have a lot of work to do.
Gareth: On twitter you say you’re “either doing sex ed, sex research, sex toy retail, and geeking out about sex, or reading about global health and looking at maps” can I get that in a pie chart?
Louise: You sure can! The blue shades are for sex-related activities, you can see they take up most of the pie.
Gareth: What exciting sex education stuff is coming up for you this year?
Louise: This year is a really exciting year for me in terms of sex ed. For the last two years I’ve been doing my Master of Public Health, so that’s taken up the larger part of my time and mental energy. This year my main focus is expanding my sex ed teaching. So, I was recently in Sydney and Canberra and I taught workshops to several different university groups there. I’m also teaching more in Melbourne, and working with different groups. Historically I’ve mostly worked with university groups, eg. women’s groups, queer groups, grad student groups etc. But I’ve been broadening my horizons, which is great, I want to work with a more diverse range of people. I’m also excited because the sex toy shop where I work, D.VICE, has agreed for me to deliver workshops in the store. We’ll be kicking off with the first one in June. Also, if I play my cards right, I’m hoping to teach a workshop or two overseas later this year, that would be really cool, fingers crossed!
Do you have a question for Louise? You can follow her on Twitter @louiselabouche or comment below.