The pleasure product industry is a beautiful umbrella for so many different career paths. Whether you work as a business owner, an account executive, a writer, or any other title; we all share similar struggles and rewards. Doing sex positive work in a largely sex negative world can be challenging, but the opportunity to witness all of the tiny transformations that can happen for people is so rewarding. Believe it or not, a sex toy retailer and a Certified Sex Coach™ have a lot in common.
Many of Sex Coach U’s students come from the pleasure product industry in some capacity. Some come from adult stores, others are home party consultants. A common theme in all of these professions is a desire to make a positive impact on people’s sex lives. These students often express a desire to continue the work they already do, but in a more personal and transformational container—and this is what sex coaching offers them.
The following are some of the ways that these careers overlap, and why earning a sex coaching certification could be an enhancement to your career in the pleasure product industry.
Pleasure Products and Well-being
Pleasure products have a huge impact on consumers’ sex lives. We know that people use these products to generate pleasure in their lives and partnerships. Women that experience painful sex often find vibrators useful in muscle relaxation and lubrication, people who are preorgasmic sometimes experience orgasm for the first time when experimenting with different products, and men with erectile difficulties find products like pumps and rings useful to their concerns.
Furthermore, we understand that pleasure is an inherent right and an important component to overall well-being. Retailers might hear from their customers things like, “This shopping experience brought me and my partner so much closer,” or even, “You helped save my marriage.” These sentiments are like music to a retailer’s ears. It’s why you do what you do; it’s the driving motivational force behind your work. While there is still a lot of social stigma attached to this industry, the sex shop employees and other professionals know the truth about why their work is important. They’ve seen it firsthand.
That spark of joy you feel when you realize you’ve truly made a difference for someone is what drives the passion of sex coaches, too.
Whether you’re designing, developing, marketing, or selling pleasure products, at the core of this industry is a desire to help the consumer.
The Art of Talking about Sex
One aspect of the pleasure product industry that sets it apart from all other retail markets is the skill of talking to consumers about sex. This isn’t something that other industries have or are trained for. It’s a unique skill that gives you an edge. The topic of sex is still largely taboo in our culture, so to be able to create a space that allows for open dialogue on the subject is powerful. It’s a skill that involves establishing trust and the ability to connect with others.
A sex toy retailer is probably familiar with the unique challenge of talking to the public about sex. From trying to help the most shy and closed-off customer to assisting the one who won’t stop oversharing, retailers have seen it all. They often have their own unique way of graciously guiding the conversation into a more productive area, and hopefully ending up with an offering of your expertise. It really is an art.
Sex coaches take pride in this skill, too. Cultivating an open and receptive space is often step one in their work with clients. Specific and developed communication skills are key in both professions.
Adult Retailers as a Community Resource
Another similarity between these professions is the establishment of community resources. Sexual wellness stores are very often used as community resources for sex education. Members of the community stop in for more than product purchases. They come with questions, concerns, and often a need for guidance. However, in the setting of an adult store, employees are bound by many limits in terms of how much assistance they are able to give.
For example, adult retailers can answer questions like “is it normal that I…” or “how can I make anal sex more enjoyable?” They can even host workshops or facilitate trainings on general sexual education topics. These are all amazing community resources and they serve an important purpose on a macro scale.
But often retailers feel restricted in the help they’re able to offer. It’s not always appropriate in the retailer/consumer world to delve into the complexities of one’s sexual relationship. You can offer simple tips or suggestions to “spice it up,” but beyond that, retailers are very limited. It’s not appropriate to ask deep questions about a customer’s sexual background, thoughts, feelings, or patterns and then offer suggestions that could help their concerns, especially in a public space where confidentiality isn’t truly possible. While the context of selling these products does often offer a generally safe space, it doesn’t offer the time or clear container necessary to really do the work.
Many retailers express frustration that while they have the tools to help, the context in which they are speaking to people is inappropriate. They feel stuck.
This is where a sex coaching certification can benefit retailers. Having the specific training to help people one-on-one can open up those limitations and can show you how to create a different context in which the help you have to offer is appropriate.
Beyond Selling Products
While many pleasure product retailers feel satisfied in what they contribute to the world through their work in this industry, many others feel pulled to move beyond sales. Selling products is what they do, but the why lies in the satisfaction of knowing that on a broad scale, the work they are doing is transforming others and transforming the world into a more sex positive place. At some point, retailers may realize that selling products isn’t enough. They may come to the conclusion that their innate desire to participate in these tiny transformations could take them beyond the work they do now.
Sex coaches share the same desire as retailers to assist their clients through deep transformational journeys. The opportunity to witness someone’s development firsthand is one reason students pursue this work.
A Sex Coach Certification can offer the specific tools and training needed to take that innate desire and turn it into a refined and professional skill. A certification could be a roadmap, leading your career down a different and more fulfilling path.
Curious about how to become a Certified Sex Coach™? Join the next live Info Session to meet the SCU team and participate in a live Q&A about our program!