Sex Educator Profiles: Wendy-O Matik
What led you to become a Sex Educator?
Truthfully, I’m more of love and relationship educator or an Activist of the Heart. After the release of my book, Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines for Responsible Open Relationships, I came in contact with more and more people who were struggling to find support around polyamory and open relationships. After much encouragement from others as well as my own desire to building community, awareness, and allies, I began facilitating “Radical Love & Relationship workshops locally and globally beginning in 2002.
Where did you get your education?
I graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Political Science. But in terms of personal experience, I’ve been practicing open relationships for almost 25 years.
What do you love about giving sex advice?
As a Radical Love Activist, I love creating safe and non-judgmental space for sharing our stories and common struggles and challenges around alternative relationships. I enjoy offering a unique feminist/anarchist perspective and sex-positive approach to the frequently asked questions and concerns that are raised in my workshop.
What is your most common question?
One of the most common and frequently asked questions at my workshop is: “How do I manage my jealousy?
Where do you teach? If you travel, what is it like? Where was your favorite place to teach? Most unusual panel or experience?
I’ve taught over a hundred workshops in the bay area and the Pacific Northwest, as well as Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Canada. Traveling abroad has validating for me that people from all over the world, in all walks of life, all ages, genders, and backgrounds, are struggling to redefine their relationships outside the dominant social paradigm. There are so many of us, globally, who are trying to love many people and who are seeking support and understanding for our alternative lifestyle choices.
The best workshop I have ever had the privilege of facilitating was in Wanganui, New Zealand, at an Anarchist Conference, where neighboring Maori tribal members attended my workshop. I had a very inspiring experience that came at the end of my presentation. I was approached by an older Maori man who asked me who my tribe was and if I knew that I was teaching his traditional tribal love philosophy from thousands of years ago. I told him that I did know about his tribal ways and that I deeply respected and admired the ancient wise ways for building community. He then told me that my people had lost their way, they had forgotten how to love themselves, people, species, and the planet. He told me that I was doing just what I was supposed to be doing, teaching tribal love to my people before they destroy themselves and the planet.
What is your favorite sex toy?
My favorite sex toy is a butt plug. But my new favorite hobby is non-sexual cuddle parties. I love snuggling, touching, holding, and being tender and loving with complete strangers in a dog pile of bodies. It’s so intoxicating and pleasurable, with all that juicy oxytocin being released.
What was the most interesting thing you learned in your exploration of sex?
The most interesting thing that I’ve learned in my years of practicing and facilitating polyamory workshops is that it is a revolutionary act to love outside the status quo. As radical lovers, we are changing the world by building community and deepening our loving connections to include anyone our heart desires.
How has what you’ve done or found at Good Vibrations helped you?
Facilitating discussions around responsible open relationships has helped to validate my choice to love many people and that I’m not alone in choosing this alternative lifestyle. Good Vibes has been a wonderful safe space for bringing people together and supporting one another.
What would be your number one piece of advice for someone interested in a career of sex education?
If you feel a calling to be a sex educator, let it come from a place of true passion and desire to connect in profound and personal ways with people.
If you weren’t a sex educator, what would you be doing?
Even if I wasn’t raising awareness around Radical Love and responsible open relationships, I would still be committed to loving many people in emotion, in action, in spirit, and in the hopes of making a positive difference in the world.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned or best advice you’ve received?
The best advice that I’ve received was from my Maori tribal friend who reaffirmed that teaching the ancient ways to love is an important calling for me. But I also learn so much from each and every workshop, where people can freely explore our common challenges and offer their own advice for navigating these complex and multiple relationships.
Which is your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
I don’t have a specific favorite project, with regard to being a sex educator, but I do truly believe that Radical Love\’the freedom to love who you want, how you want, and as many as you want, so long as personal integrity, respect, honesty, and consent are at the core of any and all relationships\’is an important part of our survival as a species on the planet. Love can transform the world and our future. The workshops have become my life work and deepest passion.
What projects are you working on now?
With respect to radical love activism, I am currently committed to a letter-writing campaign where I write passionate love letters to political activists, environmentalists, political prisoners, artists, journalists, and anyone who has been jailed or exiled for their beliefs or for speaking truth to power. I write love letters to people from all over the world.
Where can people find out more about you?