Sex Educator Profiles: Megan Andelloux
What led you to become a Sex Educator?
1. I kept hearing people ask the same questions about sexuality but it always seemed like there was shame behind the questions. I couldn’t understand how a culture could create an entire population to be ignorant and feel bad about the same things. I wanted to change that.
2. It was a way for me to challenge the gender roles I was taught. “Good girls were not supposed to talk openly about this subject.
3. I had a knack for memorizing sexual statistics. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s a gift.
How did you start giving sex advice?
When I was 16, I had a conversation with my high school girlfriends about masturbation and orgasms. I remember being shocked that they said they hadn’t ever fondled themselves. That was the first time I remember talking openly about sexuality.
Where did you get your education in sexuality?
I received my Bachelor of Science degree from URI. From there I went on to intern at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States and then worked for 10 years at Planned Parenthood affiliates as a sexuality educator. Attending conferences, reading medical journals and sexuality studies is all part of the course too.
What do you love about giving sex advice?
I love being able to model that it’s ok to talk about sexuality openly. That is by far the thing I love most about the work I do. That’s it’s ok to talk about this subject, even if makes you a little uncomfortable.
What is your most common question?
“Is it normal¦.. People want to find out if what they are experiencing is something that happens to other people a lot. There is comfort in knowing you aren’t alone.
What is your favorite sex toy and why?
Fingers! 10 free sex toys that are always accessible and clandestine yet remain exhibitionistic at the same time. How could you not love this perfect gift?
Where do you teach? If you travel, what is it like? Where was your favorite place to teach? Most unusual panel or experience?
I teach all over the country; at colleges, high schools, churches, conferences and medical organizations.
The thing I’ve learned most about traveling is that it doesn’t matter where you go, people still have the same questions about sexuality. Be it liberal San Francisco or in the deep woods of Maine, people just don’t know how/why there body works.
My favorite place to teach is at college campuses, the students have such amazing energy and they are there because they want to be. Mix thought provoking questions with enthusiasm and the desire to learn and you have one heck of a good time!
I think the most unusual experience that I have had is how to quickly adapt into the environment I am teaching for. In the morning I could be conducting a workshop in a very clinical setting with medical providers and later that afternoon I could be hearing the newest sexual slang terms fly out of a youth’s mouth. The different atmospheres in which I am employed by is challenging because it is always something new.
What was the most interesting thing you learned in your exploration of sex?
Sexuality is a journey, not a destination. When I was starting out I was much more clinical about it, very fact based, less emotion. As I’ve grown into the field, and myself, I realize that sexuality has so many different components to it and while that can be terrifying it can be quite exhilarating too.
How has what you’ve done or found at Good Vibrations helped you?
Good Vibrations offers adults a safe place to learn about sexuality. Through the books they carry, the materials for sell or the staff they hire to put people at ease, Good Vibrations works hard every single day to help people feel good.
What would be your number one piece of advice for someone interested in a career of sex education?
Get a mentor. Find someone in the field with whom you can shadow and work with. It’s a small field and once you know one person, you will quickly meet more and more people who believe in the work we are doing.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned or best advice you’ve received?
Know what your “trigger points are and don’t provide workshops on topics you haven’t wrapped your brain around yet.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about sex?
That sex is something to be fearful of. Be it your sexual desires, your fantasies or behaviors, people tend to be very afraid of “what it all means.
Which is your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
Learning how to advocate for Sex Workers Rights through Speak Up!
What is your best piece of sex advice for women?
Masturbate. For the love of God, masturbate. It gets you in touch with your body, your feelings, and your desires. It helps you have orgasms, better health in general and it’s a great stress relief. As George Carlin once said, “God wouldn’t want our hands to fall where they do if s(he) didn’t want us to touch ourselves.
What projects are you working on now?
I’m fighting to open an adult sex education center in RI (The CSPH), speaking at colleges and creating a sexuality curriculum for medical students at Boston University’s Medical School.
Where can people find out more about you?