Behind the Good Vibrations Counter: Oliver
Our Sex Educator-Sales Associates (SESAs) are the folks you see on the sales floor or on the phones here at Good Vibrations. They’re full of amazing information, useful suggestions, and helpful tips & tricks to make your sex life better. And since I get to meet all of them, I can tell you that they’re some of the most awesome folks you could meet! So here’s what Oliver had to say about being a SESA!
1) Being a Good Vibrations SESA isn’t like any other job. What inspired you to become one?
This job is like no other! The trials and tribulations you face as a SESA are wonderful and sometimes surreal. I’ve worked in various industries, but sex education has always been a passion of mine. I used to do some sex ed in high school through a theater program partnered with Planned Parenthood because sex ed was scarce in my region. I feel like sex is such an important part of life, but a lot of outside forces can skew our view or ownership of safe, satisfying, consensual pleasure. That and I get to say cock and dildo at work multiple times daily. It’s kind of a dream job.
2) What’s one of the best things about being a SESA?
I get to be a lot of people’s first experience in a sex toy shop. There is something wonderful about being someone’s first! What better way to make my mother proud than to talk to people about the functions of a vibrator or what lubricant is great for anal sex? I would say the best thing overall is that I get to be myself and help others. I’ve always been open about my sex nerdy-ness and now its my job, what could be better than that?
3) What are one or two tips or ideas you share with people a lot? Tell us a couple of your favorite sex toy tricks.
Oh, I’ve got loads of them! Have a partner? Get some erotica and two highlighters or “sticky-notes”. Underline or make notes around an especially hot scene for you, and then have your partner read your dirty details out loud. Maybe even recreate a similar scene with that theme in mind. Come into a Good Vibrations store for any toys, books, or movies to make your fantasy complete! It involves your partner in the process and is another way to enjoy reading.
As with toys, I like to remind folks that vibrators are a versatile tool of pleasure! Using vibration on nipples, the penis, the testicles, dragging a lubed up vibe along the outside of the labia, etc, can add a new dimension to partner or solo play. Remember that safety and consent are always the first priority, but exploration can be fun!
Oh, and let’s clear something up. Anal play can be insanely pleasurable for a whole boatload of folks. It can be awkward for some people to talk about in the store, but all the SESAs here are wonderful and will gladly help you. I encourage anyone and everyone to (safely) explore putting something up your butt. All anal sex toys need a base and lots of lube! I encourage thicker gels with silicone toys, or silicone lubricant with hard plastic.
4) How has being a sex educator changed how you think about sexuality or gender? Was there anything that surprised you about that?
I’m more aware of language. I’m also a bit more gentle in my approach to certain types of play. People often see you as either a complete novice or a end-all-be-all-educator, so being on top of your game when it comes to products and correct procedure is important.
My view on gender hasn’t changed a bit though! I never really assumed someone’s gender identity. I just viewed people as, well, themselves! Being a transgender male, assumptions are made as to what’s in my pants quite a bit. Everyone is different and wonderful. Assuming that people just identify as either person A or person B just seems really limiting.
5) Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
You’re rad. You blow my mind on the daily. Good Vibrations customers are the best! If you want to come nerd out with me in the store sometime, please do! Also, come to our classes! Here at Valencia St. we have some amazing SESAs teaching and I would love to see more faces. You can also request for us to do a class on a certain type of play or product, so come on over.