Jul 25th 2021 | Career Development Strategies SE004 How To Become a Sex Coach? An Interview With Sarah Martin
Sarah Martin who shares her career development strategies with us today, is a Certified Sex Coach and sociologist. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Global Studies at Long Island University, her sex coaching certification at Sex Coach U, and her Master‘s degree in Economic Sociology at the Graduate School for Social Research, Lancaster University.
Sarah is the leading sex coach for single software developers worldwide. She is the creator of the Sexual Craftsmanship model for cultivating sexual confidence. Her research interests are men, masculinities, masculine online subcultures, and pickup artists. In addition to her private practice, Sarah also has a background in business management and marketing automation. She freelances as an online business consultant with SMEs in North America and Europe.
Sarah, What Does Your Professional Life Look Like?
Sarah: I currently live in Lithuania, and I mostly work online. I have a sole proprietorship, and I offer two types of services in my company. The majority of my income comes from marketing automation services and business strategy consulting for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). I also work in private practice as a sex coach for single heterosexual male software developers. Across both service types, I work around 50 hours per month. Keeping two streams of income allows me to be picky about choosing clients. Working in online advertising also keeps me in touch with IT so that I can understand my clients better. Altogether, I feel that these two activities complement each other very well.
How Did You Arrive At Such a Specific Target Group For Your Sex Coaching Services?
Sarah: Actually, I was originally planning to work with women. I wrote a book entitled “Orgasmic Running: A Feminine Practice for Pleasurable Wellbeing”, and I was working a lot in the area of female sexuality. However, I noticed something unusual. Despite targeting my message to women in my marketing, the majority of people that reached out to me were men from STEM backgrounds. Essentially, my clients chose me.
Are Men in STEM Any Different From Men In The General Population?
Sarah: Sure. The professional environment influences sexuality, just as many other factors such as age, religion, or culture. Men in STEM often work in all-male environments and so they don’t have close contact with women on a daily basis. Most of them are influenced by pickup artists to some extent. As a result of this influence, they’ve often developed a negative view of male sexuality, in which a man must be a certain way to ‘get’ women, even when that’s not in integrity with their values. They also have problems with expressing their needs. They often suffer from self-esteem problems and have a history of bullying. Many clients I work with also attend therapy to work on their mental health in parallel to working with me.
However, I find my client population fascinating. They are usually exceptionally intelligent. They also find themselves at a very interesting cross-section of masculinity. On the one hand, they are on the winning end of the mainstream masculinity spectrum on the job market: their skills are highly valued and lead to lucrative careers.
On the other hand, though, physically and mentally, they are toward the bottom of the same scale: for example, they are often not into sports and they are often introverted. Their intelligence protects them so they invest in their intellectual qualities, which causes an imbalance between the mind and the body. However, sex happens in the body. Part of my work is to help them reconnect with their physical bodies. I teach my clients that sexuality is inherently good, and is not dangerous.
Do You Have Any Cumbersome Clients?
Sarah: Not too many as I preselect my clients, and weed out the random inquiries at the very start. If someone tries to send me a photo while asking for my services or asks me to connect right now, it is a red flag. I also ignore inquiries that suggest the person doesn’t understand what type of services I provide, or if I sense they wrote a message only to make me feel uncomfortable. Of course, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between someone who has communication problems and someone who has bad intentions. Additionally, I don’t work with couples so I refer out all inquiries from couples.
I used to have an issue with clients disappearing after one or two sessions. This is problematic—to work toward goals related to sex and relationships, it takes time and attention. For this reason, I now ask my clients to commit for a minimum period of time from the very start.
Are There Any Movement Or Trends In Manosphere Which You Find Particularly Detrimental To Male Sexuality?
Sarah: There are many worrying trends. For instance, there’s a lot of research being done at the moment about young men in Japan who do not have sex at all. That said, this phenomenon isn’t limited to Japan. There are a lot of young men all over the world that live with their parents, work long hours and play video games at night with their male friends. This, to me, indicates a huge amount of suffering resulting from isolation. My sense is that this may be an avoidance driven by fear.
There are also lots of guys who struggle with rejection and fail to develop emotional fluency. Some of them come to the conclusion that all women are evil and consciously choose not to start any more relationships—these are the ‘men going their own way’ or MGTOW movement. Tech also impacts relationships as it makes us feel busier than we really are. In fact, tech is neutral (it is a tool). What matters is how you choose to use it.
Overall, I think one of the most detrimental phenomena are the many of the masculine online communities. During my research on pickup artists, I spent a lot of time observing a wide variety of these online communities from across the broad spectrum of the ‘manosphere’, and it was both a sad and infuriating experience for me.
Why Are These Communities So Detrimental?
Sarah: They dehumanize men, and teach them that they do not have any individuality or inherent value. They basically teach men that dating is just a game and that they should focus on mastering this game. In the case of the pickup artist community, some leading pickup artists do not even like women in the first place, and do not find sex to be a source of pleasure—they treat it as a sort of a self-reassuring tool instead. If you are planning to ever read a book from a pickup artist, choose for the authors who love women and sex.
As a Kid, What Did You Want To Become When You Grow Up?
Sarah: I wanted to be a teacher. Growing up, my heroes were my teachers, and I feel like I am a teacher now. I teach people how to work with their sexuality as a sex coach. My clients in online advertising—usually middle aged and older—are brilliant and creative individuals who can struggle with tech. Working with them, I feel like a teacher as well.
How Did The Dream of Becoming a Teacher Convert Into a Dream of Becoming a Sex Coach?
Sarah: Well, I grew up without much sexual shame. It was mostly due to my grandma who lived on a farm, and who believed that sex is very natural. My parents were liberal, and they weren’t hateful towards LGBT, transgender people or any other sexual minorities. Sexuality was always present in my life. Honestly, I cannot even remember life before orgasm—I used to masturbate a lot as a child. I also went through puberty very early on; I got my first period when I was only 9 years old.
However, I received a typical American school sex education, which basically meant no knowledge about sex. I got married very early, at the age of 22. My marriage was very disorienting as my husband had almost no sex drive. I felt that something must have been wrong with me. We eventually got divorced, which was one of the most painful and pivotal experiences of my life. I was living in London at the time. London was a vibrant place where I discovered a lot of meetups and discussion groups dedicated to sexuality. At these meetups, I met living examples of people who lived a happy sexual life and I obtained my first solid sexual education.
So, What Did You Do in London?
Sarah: I had a corporate job; I worked for ZipCar. It was my on paper “dream job.” I was fortunate to travel a lot for work. It was fulfilling but, after one particularly intense year, I burned out. Over the Christmas break at the end of 2014 I sat down and thought about my situation. I asked myself: what I would ideally do for a living if I could do anything, if money was no object? I googled the phrase: “work in sex”. Just imagine the kind of results that came out of this search [laugh]. But then, I discovered that there was such a field as sexology, and I found Sex Coach U, the professional training program offered by Dr. Patti Britton and decided to become a sex coach. Interestingly, we soon connected because we both had grown up in Vermont, US.
I wanted to immediately resign from my job but in the end, I decided to stay at ZipCar and work part-time until the end of 2015. This allowed me dedicated time to study each week. I also worked as a sex toy home party consultant for 9 months. I started working as a sex coach at the beginning of 2016. I also moved to Warsaw, Poland.
Did You Ever Have a Moment When You Considered Some Completely Different Careers?
Sarah: Yes. For a long time, I thought that I would work for the United Nations or as a diplomat. I was interested in learning about international relations. I am obsessed with the history of the Soviet Union. At one point, I even lived in Cuba where I also gained more appreciation for some of the benefits, as well as the drawbacks, of communism in practice. It is a pity that in practice, there is such a huge discrepancy between the beautiful aims and the sad reality of communism.
What Does “a Job” Mean To You? Do You Identify Yourself With Your Job?
Sarah: Actually, when I was living in Warsaw, I experienced burnout because my career and my private life were overlapping too much. I learned that there must be some degree of separation between me and my work. Since then, I have come to a more well-rounded place where I no longer take criticism of my work personally.
Actually, there are a lot of risks associated with over-identifying with your work, especially when you have your own business. This can lead to making bad decisions, questioning your self-worth, working for free, etc.
Do You Have Any Good Memories From Your Times in Warsaw?
Sarah: Yes! I learned a tremendous amount—about myself, about relationships, about business, and about my profession. During my time in Warsaw, I co-led an Institute focused on sex positivity (the Sex Positive Institute), which had a tremendous impact on my development as a clinician and leader. I also made a wide circle of friends, people that I love dearly.
What Is The Main Lesson You Learned About Sexuality So Far?
Sarah: Well, sexuality is such a diverse thing! There are very many ways to live your sex life, and this has always been so. However, today there is an unparalleled freedom in much (though, sadly, not all) of the world to explore and decide who you want to be as a sexual being for yourself. People are able to explore, and spend time discovering who they really are.
When it comes to human sexuality, in all honesty we don’t know much about how the human species actually evolved or why there is such a wide spectrum of “normal”. And I think that’s ok, it’s far better to admit that the origins of many of our sexual behaviors and expressions have uncertain origins rather than pretending we know it all. We have learned a bit about family structures and how they differ in various parts of the world and across time.
Essentially, my hunch is that the staggering diversity of human sexuality is because it meets two fundamental needs for evolutionary fitness—there’s the need for reproduction, sure, but that’s pretty basic. Boring! [snore] What is equally as important to our survival, I believe, is the social nature of our sexuality. Sexuality bonds us to each other in a variety of ways, and a heterogenous population when it comes to sexual orientations and expressions would have made it more likely for groups of humans as a whole to survive.
Personally, I don’t trust most evolutionary psychologists— I believe they tend to project their own views and beliefs onto their research and conclusions , and that their hidden biases directly affect their research. I suggest that you always take what they say with a grain of salt.
How Do You See Your Career In The Future? What Are Your Future Plans and Do You Have Any Personal Career Development Strategies?
Sarah: For now, I becoming a mother. I’m not sure how this will impact my life as a whole, and how my priorities will change. I am planning to have three kids, and I am 34 at the moment so my family will be a focus for me for the next few years. I’d also like to multiply the impact of the knowledge I’ve collected by writing a book meant for sexuality professionals like me, which will focus on how to build a thriving business. I’d also like to publish a book directed at men in STEM related to this concept of Sexual Craftsmanship, to make this more widely available to men beyond those I am able to serve as clients.
In the long run, my dream is that one day, my work becomes irrelevant because there is no sexual shame anymore. I hope that there will be good quality sexual education in public schools and that, in a way, everyone will be a sex coach to their friends and family.
What Is Your Main Motivation In Your Professional Career?
Sarah: Curiosity. I dropped the dream of having a dream job—in every job, there is some amount of bullshit you need to take on. You should not be asking yourself: “What is my dream job?” but rather, in the words of Mark Manson: “What type of shit sandwich do I want to eat?”
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Please cite as:
Martin, S., Bielczyk, N. (2021, July 25th). How To Become a Sex Coach? An Interview With Sarah Martin. Retrieved from https://odyssey-careers.com/career-development-strategies-se004-how-to-become-a-sex-coach-an-interview-with-sarah-martin/
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