ISEE: Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment

[This is a post about my experience with Sex Educator training… Unlike my other very story-like posts, this might only interest you if you are looking into pursuing educational pursuits revolving around sex, health & well-being, therapy, etc.]

Over 3 years ago, I desperately searched the internet for some form of Sex Educator schooling program. I had dropped out of university three times at this point; I didn’t understand the relevance of the subjects I needed to take, I was infuriated at how much of my time and money was wasted on courses I ended up despising, I hated the ‘professor/student’ dynamic in which my face and ability disappeared into the crowd of other mediocre students. The only solace I found was in my small creative courses, where there were 10-20 of us, everyone spoke, the professor knew and remembered everyones names and my work was pulled out and given the attention I needed to push myself further.

I researched my options and discovered AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counsellors and Therapists), a prestigious credential that would land me into the pool of the best in my field. The certification process is intense and lengthy, and would require me to go back to university for something totally different, and they require 90 hours of Core Knowledge coursework around very specific topics. This was when I found the Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment (ISEE).

And while I didn’t forsee myself going for AASECT certification anytime soon, I clung to the idea of ISEE. I would walk away a Certified Sex Educator – a title I had been scouring the internet for to give myself some sort of credentials.

After three years of typical life things happening, I finally was able to go down to do the in-person coursework in Northampton, MA, in April and July of this year (3 weeks total).

I left Toronto in a flurry; my sister, my partner and my downstairs porn biz partner (aka, basement son) were all variously organizing and cleaning my AirBnB ventures and walking my dog. The planning for the thousands-of-dollars event I was running was put on hold, my hair was green because I hadn’t had time to re-dye it after misusing some Manic Panic, and I had booked the cheapest mode of transportation: the night bus. I had an 18 hour bus ride ahead of me that started at 11:55 PM.

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The bus was not ideal, but it turns out that you can kill a lot of time by trying to sleep. In a haze of half-dreaming & kind-of-eating, I made it to Northampton by 6 PM the next day.

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I had not given this experience any forethought whatsoever except for doing the required bookings of beds & transportation, and in my mind, it was this thing to get done because then I am one step closer to having a certification for this odd little career choice I made 5 years ago. It seemed like one more thing to cross off of my never-ending To Do list, and I was mentally prepared to hold onto all of the stress of event-planning and multiple business running to achieve yet another goal.

And then I stepped off the bus and nearly cried. Maybe I did. I can’t remember. It sure felt like I had. The weather was 20 degrees celsius (there would be a blizzard later in the week, but whatever) and everything little friggin’ thing about this stupidly adorable little town made my heart sing. The main street consisted of local, healthy restaurants, coffee shops, crystal stores, used bookshops, antique furniture shops, and small salons. It was as if I had walked onto the set of Gilmore Girls (hysterically, Stars Hollow is anecdotally just outside Hartford, which is not far from Northampton… I just googled it).

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I breathed deeply and finished my trek of dragging my belongings half an hour up hill to get to my AirBnB. And when I finally reached my destination, I cried some more. A) Because it was so friggin’ adorable, B) It reminded me of the house in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (one of my favourite shows, to this day) and C) All of a sudden, I had absolutely zero responsibilities. I showered, sat on my bed and thought of all the things I didn’t have to do and realized that this was a surprise enforced vacation. Even if the courses during the next two weeks happened to be dry and tedious, I had the full-fledged excuse to not do a single thing and it felt gloooorious.

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I drank a glass of wine and passed out.

For the next two weeks, I would be immersed in sex learning… My schedule looked as such:

Week 1-2 (April 2016)

Day 1-3:  Sexual Awareness Reassessment

Day 4: Body Enrichment

Day 5: The Joy of Intimacy

Day 6: Female Sexual Dysfunction

Day 7: Sexual Development: Young Adulthood through Middle Age

Day 8: Silver Sex; Sex Later in Life

Day 9: Sex & Culture

Day 10: Frank Talk About Men

Day 11: Orientation As Living Entity

Day 12: Professional Communication & Ethics

Day 13: Non-Monogamy

Day 14: Pleasure

Week 3  (July 2016):

Day 1: SexAbility

Day 2-3: Presentation Skills

Day 4: BDSM: A Working Introduction

Day 5: Advanced SAR

Day 6: The Deep Yes: The Lost Art of True Receiving

Day 7: Introduction to Tantra

As a sex educator, these types of courses are my bread and butter. There are so few opportunities for us to learn and grow and gain and become better at what we do, and I was so hungry for these topics I don’t think I could’ve been bored even if the World’s Most Monotone person was teaching us. But the moment I entered that small, floral-themed conference room in a corner of the Hotel Northampton,  I was swept off my feet.

I had met Rosalyn Dischiavo (Roz, for short) through Betty Dodson in June 2013. She had briefly mentioned the Institute for Sexuality that she founded and that little snippet of information stuck to my brain like a fleck of glitter. A few months after meeting her, I made a phone call to Connecticut to talk about the process of enrolling in her program.

Roz teaches a hefty amount of the courses at the Institute. Her teaching style is personable, holistic and professional. As someone who has dropped out of University 3 or 4 times (…who’s counting, really), I find it extremely important to talk about the word ‘holistic’ for a second, because it kind of sounds like the hokey pokey language we associate with people who are living somewhere up in the clouds.

Holistic is “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” And to expand on that: everyday that I left class, I felt as though someone had reached down my throat and into my gut, fiddled around with some pieces that weren’t fitting quite right, shuffled some stuff out, re-arranged the furniture and then when they were fine and happy with the job they had done, extracted their arm from my esophagus and kissed me on my cheek.

For the person who despises metaphors: it is one thing to take a course on the Joy of Intimacy so that you can bring back exercises and activities to your clients, it is another to recognize where you have trouble with intimacy. Where do your walls begin? Are they pliable? What scares you? Who are you? What do you want? One risk-taking activity after another, each person in the room was called on to do what they could to push their comfort levels and take a risk and see what happened. And you know what happened? You fell into a pile of warm hugs and empathetic eyes. Right now I am trying to recall the specifics of each individuals own life and struggle, and while I know the details of all of their lives (who they live with, what they do, etc.), the trials and tribulations each of us have gone through seem to have merged into a collective, vibrating pillow of… love. (I started crying writing that sentence, recalling the feeling I left the program with, and I so badly wanted to come up with something less common, but alas, this is the word we have.)

It is hard for me to summarize the effects of the program… I know that it was an educational and professional experience, because I paid for it, learned a whole bunch of things and will eventually come out with a certificate and a slew of connections across North America. But damn. None of my higher learning experiences even come close to this one. So here’s an excerpt from my diary instead…

“This program was invaluable. It will be the best thing I have ever done for myself and so deeply life-changing. Thinking about it brings me immediate sadness, joy and gratitude to my eyes. The intensity of all these feelings is insurmountable. I had no clue what I was in for but it wound up being such a transformative experience. These people are my tribe and will forever be a part of my heart.”

It irritates me to no end that our current cultural expectations of educational experiences are so removed from the body. If your head isn’t spinning from reading dense texts from dawn to dusk, if you aren’t breaking your body by consuming gigantic quantities of coffee and not sleeping, if you’re bored out of your skull than you’re doing it right and then once Friday hits you work-work-work and play-play-play so hard that for me, my body and my mind were sapped of any energy to absorb information that might be useful. [Of course, this style does actually work for some people… I am not one of them.]

One of the many things I learnt in my program were the 5 researched methods that actually work to learning something: movement, frank & open discussion, graduated risk, touch and facilitating commitments. My University experiences offered me, at best, 20% of those, on a good day. Within this program, there was barely an hour that passed that we hadn’t actively engaged in almost all of those things.

I am so eternally grateful for this experience Roz created for all of us that attended the ISEE program this year. Roz, you have shaken me and given me so much to work with. Thank you <3.

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Me & Roz ❤

And here are a bunch of pictures:

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An exercise on requesting pleasure and negotiating boundaries for both the giver & the receiver.
An exercise on requesting pleasure and negotiating boundaries for both the giver & the receiver.

 

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Baby’s last day.

 

If you are at all curious about this program, feel free to get in touch with me to ask me more about my experience!

Categories SEX

CrushTO: XXXBox

Ladies and gents and all those in between! It is that time again. CrushTO, gamer edition, is happening this Saturday, April 27th at Club 120! Get cho bootiful booties down there for some spring-time sexiness and bask in all of the gameboy lovin’! (I will not be at this one, but the rest of the stunningly amazing Tap That team will be!!)

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Categories SEX

Church of Crush: Dance Away Your Sins. WITH ME.

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GUYS. I am going to be here for this one!! I will be coming to Toronto at the end of March to do bizness thangs and whatnot and this includes shakin’ my booty with all of you sexual creatures. It will be a res-erection of ‘to being a slut’ within the Crush party times. I am incredibly excited to see all of you I have not seen in too long and too meet all of you I have not met.

Take note! I will also be hosting a Body Pride when I return! Potentially TWO (one women’s and one co-ed). It will be naked madness and I am completely and astoundingly excited for it all.

Contact ck@tobeaslut.com to sign up for a BP!!

Categories SEX

I’d Tap That – Crush Parties

Just an update on what’s happening with the I’d Tap That project:

It’s kind of awesome. From what I can tell, we are bringing Toronto’s young people together to form a non-exclusive, non-judgmental, sex-positive community. This also happens to mean there’s a lot of make-outs. Crush parties are giant make-out parties, and we’re proud of it.

We have our third event coming up on Saturday and it’s all going down slumber party style (yes, wear that sexy lingerie, that onesie, boxers or briefs, your ex-boyfriends tee-shirt)!!  There will be ridiculously awesome yet timeless classics like: Spin-The-Bottle, Truth-Or-Dare, Dream Phone, Twister, etc.

Same as our previous events: everyone gets a number at the door – we’re back to the good ol’ tags again (safety pins on hand). The numbers allow for sleuth crushing to occur – see #22? Yea, they do have a great ass, don’t they? AND YOU CAN TELL THEM IN A CRUSH NOTE!!

On the bottom floor we will have a Crush Board set-up (we are still trying to figure out the best way to do this). It will be very circa Junior High, you get 3 blank Crush Notes and throughout the night you’ll be able to handwrite crush notes to people you see around the venue and pin them up to the board on the first floor.

Our Twitter feed will still be happening on the second floor/dance room, but all handwritten notes may be posted to the Crush Board downstairs – which we highly recommend you come and check out, at least at the end of the night so you know if you’ve caught anyones eye.

If the notes are not collected, we will post all of the left-overs on our website the day after!

On another note: I’d Tap That does hope to expand into more than just monthly mixers- workshops, products, seminars- but this is down the road. For now – come out and support us at our make-out parties!!

Also, I’m moving to Newfoundland for the year, SO THIS IS THE LAST CRUSH PARTY I WILL BE HOSTING BEFORE I LEAVE!!!!!! Come out and party hardy with me 🙂

 

Categories SEX

10 Reasons To Come To I’D TAP THAT’s Event

1. I will be there. And I’m famous.

THATS ME…

2. Khadeja Wilkinson, Jesse Rae WestNess Fraser and Taken But Available will be there.

3. You don’t have to be single to meet awesome people.

4. No one will judge you – or… we put a great deal of energy into making the space a judgement-free one.

5. Drinks and dancing. Lots of dancing. Especially on my part.

6. Lucan, who’s the head honcho at The Central, is super cool, and their servers are all super sexy.

7. It’s summer. Everyone is wearing small amounts of clothing. And there are TWO patios that are all ours.

8. We have a live Twitter feed @_idtapthat, #CrushTO

9. We need to connect all of the incredibly awesome, talented, beautiful sexual beings in the city so we can build a community of support and friendship and sexy times.

10. Bewbs.

11. Khadeja Wilkinson is offering FREE KISSES.

12. The Condom Shack is being fucking amazing and giving us a $70 gift basket that we are raffling off!

I’d Tap That – A Venture Into Awesome

So. I’ve partnered up with some amazing girls (Jesse Rae West & TakenButAvailable) to start something new.

As much fun as I have here at my To Be A Slut homestead, there are some things that it is never going to turn into (whether this is because I want it to or just logical technicalities, who knows), but we’ve created a space that will turn into everything I ever wanted to do regarding sexy things

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Throughout my reign as sex queen, I have met (or, as they would say, ‘internet attacked’) some incredible women and men who are SOOO easy to talk about when it comes to sex. Who are genuinely interested in listening to me talk about my orgasms. Who don’t even blink an eye when I practically shout “I get SO wet when I drink wine” in the middle of Starbucks. Who will unabashedly stare a pictures of vulvas in the middle of a restaurant with me. Who will get naked with me. Who will dress up as slutty bumblebees and prance around my living room.

And I so badly want for all of you to join us in our uber happy world of sexuality that we have started a place to build a community.

We invite everyone (but our target audience is 19 – 35: Note, if you have a 55 year old lover, we more than welcome you to bring him/her to one of our events! We are not agist, we just recognize that different generations come with different histories), we encourage people to talk without worrying about offending anyone – as long as you are coming from a place of love, we won’t judge you if you aren’t politically correct all of the time, relax.

We will be bold, but not scary. We will be in your face, but not forceful. We will be proud, but not cocky (well.. maybe a little). Mostly though, we are just going to be full of love and fun.

I URGE you to come out and meet me and Jesse and our anonymous TakenButAvailable (she might reveal herself to you if you behave) at our first mixer.

These posters will be all over Toronto in the next few weeks. Hit us up with a tweet (@_idtapthat) if you see one.

Everyone that comes will be given a pin with a number on it. Throughout the night you will have the opportunity to write little crush notes and put them into boxes which will be checked every 30 minutes. We are going to have an epic live Twitter feed on one of the walls that will have each ‘Crush note’ posted. Think someone in the corner is cute?

#23, you have the most amazing smile I’ve ever seen.

#47, I kind of just want to sit on your face.

#6, I’m blonde in polkadots, find me for a smooch.

It will be kind of epic.

The event is for everyone, regardless of gender, race, relationship status, sexual preferences. Seriously. Come meet me. I want to meet you.