Oftentimes, sex is discussed in a way that's limited to relationships, drama, medical research, or shame. And we all know there's more to sex, especially when we're talking about something that is so important to not only the survival of mankind but to our thriving in existence as women.
And with something so important, there's certainly a need for more of us to serve as leaders in empowering ourselves and one another. We can use our voices, intelligence, and savvy for professional fulfillment in a way that informs, serves, and forges much-needed progress toward a more healthy, sex-positive world.
If you're down for all of that, here are a few career paths to consider in the realms of sex and intimacy:
If you're great at storytelling and always wanted to write about sex and intimacy, romance writing might be the perfect job for you. And it doesn't have to be 2,000-page books. You could write freelance stories for publications, scripts for films and TV shows, or copy for brands. The salary can be as much as $100,000 a year depending on the nature of the writing and the project.
Not to be confused with a sex therapist, this job is for people who want to coach others who seek to learn more about themselves or their partners when it comes to intimate connections (which go well beyond the physical act of sex). It explores issues including emotional connection and can involve activities and insights that focus more on the mental aspect of sexual attraction than the physical.
Being an intimacy coach can also include coverage of topics like self-awareness, self-love, self-pleasuring, and types of sexuality cues that can lead to healthy sex. Average yearly salaries start at $54,000, and can range based on experience, education, certifications, and training.
This is a job that requires a master's degree and licensing. If you're into counseling and want to work with reputable organizations (or start your own practice), the educational route is the most ideal. You could serve single women and men, couples, families, or organizations through this job, and the average salary starts at about $84,000.
Pole Dance Fitness Instructor
This is sexy, sultry, and fun, all while ensuring your clients or participants stay fit. Whether you teach classes at a local YMCA or other gym franchise or teach your own classes from the comfort of your home or private gym, this is a great flex option where you could earn more than $60,000 a year. Not only has pole dance fitness been found to help women tap into intimacy and confidence, but it's a great precursor to spicing up anybody's time in the bedroom with their bae.
Relationship & Sex Columnist
Similar to the romance writer gig, this is something you could do if you already have experience writing or if you're a lover of all things sex education. Publications are always looking for fresh, intelligent, and unique voices on topics like sex and relationships, especially since that sort of content, while taboo in some circles, can be a huge draw (in the form of traffic and ad dollars) and can open up much-needed dialogue their audiences are craving. The average yearly salary for a relationship and sex columinist can start at $62,000 and goes up depending on your experience, the audience you can bring to the table, and the reach of the publication.
Human Sexuality Researcher
If you geek out when studying and observing all that encompasses sex, from the mind to the body, a role as a human sexuality researcher is your best shot. Researchers of this kind can find work within almost any company or organization in the areas of tech, healthcare, education, and nonprofits, and you can earn a starting annual salary of $57,000 and on up into six figures. This is a great opportunity for advocacy and balancing the scales with more solid, balanced, up-to-date, and reputable research to affect legislation, medical practices, medical theory, and consumer marketing, especially related to minority and underserved communities.
Sexual Health Nurse
You can earn $72,000 a year or more as a sexual health nurse, and it's perfect for nurses who are passionate about advocating for patients and creating safe spaces when it comes to reproductive, maternal, and sexual health. (And as Black women, we need more of us in these spaces, especially with the unfair, biased, and discriminatory disparities we face in the healthcare system as it relates to our wombs and sex lives.)
Sex Education Professor
You'll need a master's degree or Ph.D. to be a sex education professor, and it's awesome if you're into molding and shaping minds when it comes to sexual health, theory, and research. You can also earn more than $62,000 a year at this gig, working for universities or private institutions. You could take this a bit further into consulting and offer your insights, training, or expertise to school systems and other large institutions.
Sex Toy Tester
This job seems like a wild card, but it does, indeed, exist. Salaries for testing vibrators, swings, and other sex toys have ranged from upwards of $36,000, and some pay by the hour. It might be more of a part-time or flex option, but if you can get multiple gigs, it's definitely something to consider, especially if you have quite a bit of downtime and are open to trying the latest gadgets.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Peathegee Inc/Getty Images
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images