“Coming Out” As A Good Vibrations SESA During The Holidays

“So, what does your family think of your job?”

This is question I get a few times during my workweek.  It’ll come out while I’m helping customers decide between lubricants, at the register stamping Good Vibes loyalty cards with the word “sex”, or sometimes even in conversation between my fellow SESAs.

And for me (and probably) many other SESAs, what our answer lacks in simplicity, it makes up for in uniqueness.

Around the holidays, for most folks, you get to see your family more than usual (a blessing or a curse, depending on your family).  There are those awkward family dinners where everyone asks you why you aren’t eating any meat (even though you’ve been a vegetarian for years), forced conversations with cousins you haven’t seen since you were both in diapers, and the age-old question:

“So, what are you up to now?”

For most people my age, their answer is simple.  You’re a hip barista, a student, working at a start-up, creating a start-up, or (if you live in the Bay Area) working at Facebook or Twitter. Now don’t get me wrong, these are all great jobs (hell, any job is a great job at the moment), but they aren’t quite the conversation starter as, “I work at Good Vibrations in San Francisco.”

So what DOES my family think of my job?

I have had the privilege of growing up in the Bay Area bubble, and so my family is accepting of everything (except the fact that I no longer eat meat).  They were mostly impressed at how much training I had to go through to become a SESA.  My grandma laughed after I showed her my SESA certificate.  She showed my grandpa, chuckled, and said, “Who knew you needed so much training to sell dildos and vibrators?!”

I would have to say that my family is proud that I am doing something I enjoy.  Working as a SESA has also opened up the lines of communication between my family and I to discuss sexuality more openly and honestly than ever.

So during the holidays, while some folks are talking about the Christmas decorations in their cubicle or the new app their tech start-up has created, I’ll be passing the gravy as my Aunt asks me, “So what lubricant isn’t safe to use with silicone toys again?”

AJ Jones

AJ Jones is a Sex Educator-Sales Associate at Good Vibrations, a graduate of San Francisco Sex Information’s Sex Educator training and current SFSI volunteer. When she is not educating folks at Good Vibes she is (still) a student studying Gender & Women Studies and Human Sexuality, attending Bay Area sex geek events, and devouring unhealthy amounts of donuts.

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1 Response

  1. Dawn Graves says:

    Alyssa, your blog was great! I am so proud of you!!