Please remember to be polite and respectful in the comments.
When I started this journey it was very hard for me to understand what I was worth. After all, there’s no real site that shares what Sex Educators make. It’s not like I can pop over to Glassdoor to type in my qualifications, and have it spit out how much I should charge someone to recommend the best sex toy, or to help them with their dating profiles. Many educators (myself included), prefer to be contacted for their rates, for a variety of reasons. For me, it’s mostly vanity in that the contact validates my skills as an educator.
Often I worry that I’m not good enough to be doing what I’m doing for a number of reasons. I worry that my credentials, experience, or education will be called into question. I have a number of people who support and encourage me, but often I feel like I don’t belong in my field. Professionally, my worst fear is that someone will find out that I’m not quite what I say I am, and then never hire me again. Evidently, this is called “Impostor syndrome” (Carnalcopia has an incredible podcast on the topic) and frequently affects women, and those who are beneficiaries of affirmative action.
So then what am I worth? What is someone with my experience, my background, my education, worth? What is their time worth? How do you even find that out? Why should you even bother?
Well… Let’s start with why you should bother finding out.
Undercutting is a practice that affects a wide variety of industries, namely design, and entertainment. If you can get someone who is willing to do it cheaper than average because they need the work, that is undercutting. The people within that industry are being undercut by a desire for cheaper rates, and a desperation for employment. It’s generally frowned upon. As well it should be. Because effectively, undercutting encourages people to pay you for less than you’re worth. Industries are competitive, yes, but they don’t also have to be negative.
What people are worth in terms of sex education has-until this point- been completely up to them, and/or the businesses and institutions they are working with. Accessing that information is not only exhausting, but also time consuming and tedious. Not to mention, it relies on replies from people who many not be interested in sharing that information with their name attached. So, I decided to research this on my own. I, with the help of some of my lovely friends (Hey Ashley and Hilary!), created a survey that allows sex educators and speakers to anonymously post their going rates and backgrounds. With that information, I’m going to create a spreadsheet that includes the average data for various events, backgrounds, and education levels.
So why did I create this survey?
I wanted to create some transparency for sex educators. I know that I wouldn’t want to be blacklisted by other educators because I accidentally undercut them. Similarly, I would want to know if someone in my industry is undercutting me (and my peers) in order to get more business. Beyond that, I want to make it easier for newer educators to get a general feel for what they should, could, or might want to charge. I want to make sure that the information is posted publicly, and that the rates within are anonymous so that no educators are getting unfairly ignored or chastised as a result of their chosen price point. I want to create a data set that encourages businesses to pay educators fairly. I also want to make sure the data is compiled in a way that allows for colleges and businesses to budget for fair and ethical payment of educators.
I want to do it because I’m curious. I want to make sure that I’m not harming others in my field with my going rates, and I want to make sure that I’m fostering a sense of support and community among sex educators and those in the sex industry who speak publicly. We should be supporting each other, and that means supporting fair and ethical payment. To do otherwise is to undermine each other, and to undermine the sex education and sex industries entirely. We can all exist in the same realm, work in the same field, and teach or write about the same things, while also encouraging and inspiring each other.
Finally, I wanted to collect data that helps us as educators, within our community to feel validated in asking for what we are worth, regardless of where our education or experience backgrounds may be. I think that encouraging each other to ask for payment equal to what we are worth is the first step towards a cultural understanding of sex education as an important, or even vital, service.
So, what can you do to help?
If you’re an educator, or you speak publicly about sex, take the survey by clicking here.
If you’re not an educator, but support paying people for what they are worth, please, share this post by sharing the following link on whatever social media you prefer: http://wp.me/p4bChY-jI
Thank you for supporting the Sex Education Community.
Until Next Time!
-The Frisky Fairy