VIP Interview Amory Jane – Educator, Podcaster, Influencer

We are pleased to welcome Amory Jane as our VIP Interview of the week.  She wears a number of hats including sex educator, comedian, event producer/organizer, pod-caster and variety show host.  Just recently she has added a bundle of joy, Elliot, to her extremely busy life.  Thankfully she found the time to answer our questions and we hope that you enjoy reading her answers as much as we did!

In one of your recent podcasts you were mentioning not just the event that you were podcasting from, but several events that you’d planned to attend in the near future. How do you fit it all in and keep your positive outlook on life?

Most of my podcast episodes that are currently online were recorded before I was a parent or even pregnant, so it was much easier to find time for sex-positive events then! Since I am a full-time sex educator and entertainer though, hosting and attending events is a big and necessary part of my career. I am able to fit it all in partly by being good at organization and scheduling, but mostly through having a supportive community. They help me coordinate my larger events or pitch in to make them run more smoothly, volunteer as demo bottoms, or (nowadays) babysit so I can take naps or teach workshops. 

Adult Podcast
Amory Jane Podcast

What does Sex Positivity mean to you?

A sex-positive culture is one that empowers people to explore their own identities and desires with openness and self-acceptance. Sex positivity is about undoing/unlearning shame and is heavily focused on consent plus accurate and comprehensive sex education. Being sex-positive, to me, means celebrating pleasure and sexual diversity and seeing sex as something that can be healthy, bonding, spiritual, and enjoyable instead of as destructive or just for procreation. 

When you say sex positive household, what are some of the memories / experiences that you have of growing up that has helped define you as to who you are today?

In my home, “sex” was never a banned or dirty word and we were allowed to ask questions. There were always age-appropriate books to read about puberty and sexuality and we were not shamed about exploring our own bodies (just taught that it was a private solo activity). I was raised by a feminist single mother and my grandma, and they were both accepting and encouraging of me being a curious and geeky child who wanted to understand everything I could about humans. 

You mentioned that family counselling was emotionally taxing and draining which you attribute to your shift to sex education – what are some of the negatives and positives that you experience when you’re talking about sex positivity and sexual health?

Being an empathic person has some major pros and cons. It certainly made being a counselor difficult and draining. However, I got to have some really wonderful moments on the job answering questions my teenage clients had about sex and relationships, talking to families about consent and shame, and helping couples have breakthroughs. It made my path to becoming a sex educator very clear. Now that I’ve been in this career for over seven years, I am happy to say that most of my experiences have been really positive. Talking about sexual health and seeing how it can change lives is rewarding. The only negatives have come from narrow-minded people judging me and my work or from men assuming that since I’m a sex educator, it means I’m automatically interested in them/game for sex. The stereotyping that comes my way can get annoying, but the joy of helping others and changing society for the better makes it easier to handle. 

What’s your go to comfort food?

Crunchy peanut butter – on toast or just eaten off of a spoon. I also really love pickles and salt + vinegar potato chips. 

What’s one of the most common misconceptions regarding sex and gender do you experience from ordinary people within your line of work?

The biggest misconception I hear is probably just the idea that genitals = gender. This isn’t true, but it is something that plenty of people are confused about or have really strong opinions on for whatever reason. I also get a lot of people who assume that everyone with similar genitals (for example, everyone with a penis) all feel pleasure in the same way or from the same things, but that it false. People are different and there is no “one size fits all” approach to pleasure and sexuality. 

Oregan based sex blogger
Amory Sex Blogger

You have run hundreds of workshops in sexual health, what’s one experience with an attendee that’s stuck with you the most, and if there’s one thing you’d like them to walk away with after a workshop what would that be?

I once had someone tell me that I was their “vagina’s angel” because of what I taught them about lubricants, so that obviously stuck with me! They had been getting chronic yeast infections and having pain during sex until they switched to a different lube at my recommendation. After they started using a lube without any parabens, glycerin, or fragrance, everything improved.

In general, I just want my workshop attendees to walk away feeling more empowered, much less shame, and like they have a new skill or helpful bit of knowledge that could make their sex and/or love lives better. 

Sex is often thought to be shameful, embarrassing and hidden behind closed doors where no one talks about it. How do you make sex education fun and accessible?

Comedy and storytelling are two tools I use that I believe set me apart as a sex educator. Humor helps put people at ease and allows them to have fun and open their minds instead of being nervous and guarded with shame. As for the stories, being candid and transparent makes me vulnerable, which I think folks appreciate. My personal anecdotes double as being both entertaining in an educational way and helping people feel understood and less alone. 

What processes do you go through in your own sexual development and learning? It’s one thing to have researched sex education and become a leader in your field to the point where you can teach sex, sex education, but how do you keep growing and learning from that point?

I feel like I am always learning and developing because I am someone who tries to live boldly and constantly grow as a person. My identity has gone through some major shifts in the past few years, and along with that, so have my needs and desires. I have had to navigate many unexpected changes, which means I’ve done lots of experimenting with my relationships and sex life and have had to follow my own educational advice or seek out other educators in my field. I believe we are all works in progress (even “experts”), and should never stop trying to learn more and be better lovers, friends, and human beings.  

You have a podcast called – Sex on Brain with Amory Jane which is available on Itunes and Stitcher. Which episode means the most to you, and which was the most fun?

The episode that means the most to me is actually the one I have planned to record this week, which is about polyamory and parenthood. Specifically, my polycule and I talk about the changes we’ve experienced as individuals, within our partnerships, and as a community since I gave birth in June. We also discuss how polyamory has been a blessing when it comes to being new parents, and how it has been a challenge. 

The most fun I ever had recording an episode was the one called “Live from the Femme Sex Party.” You can probably guess why that is the case. 😉 

On your podcasts you often talk about people’s sex toys, as well as your own. As we’re approaching a more sex positive society – in what ways do you think sex toys could be improved and made more accessible?

I have seen the industry improve quite a bit from when I first started working at a sex toy boutique. More and more consumers care now about sex toy materials, which means more companies are making and carrying body-safe products that don’t contain phthalates. I think getting rid of harmful materials altogether is the next step toward improvement, as well as making toys that are based on actual customer and sex toy reviewer feedback. I also hope that people will continue to talk more about sex toys on blogs, and in television and movies, to finally get rid of any stigma that still remains. 

Amory Janc Activist
Interview Amory Jane

You mention intimacy and the importance of touch in your of your recent podcast episodes. Do you feel in such a tech-savvy world, where dating is often delegated to apps and online profiles, that we’re forgetting the importance of intimacy within relationships, and if so how would you advise people to reconnect with each other?

I think touch is extremely important and many people are touch-deprived and out in the world feeling lonely. I don’t think technology is the enemy though – I think it can be used for good to help connect people. However, I do believe that intimacy is something tons of people struggle with, and always being on our phones and computers can make it even harder to be present when we’re face to face. I would advise people to make time every week where they tuck away technology and turn in toward each other. Focus on open and vulnerable communication or interesting intellectual conversations. If you don’t know what to discuss, search online beforehand and print off or write down prompts, and then really listen to each other. I also highly encourage non-sexual touch while talking, like holding hands or cuddling. If you’re with someone where sex is an option and you’re feeling connected in that way, sensually exploring each other’s bodies (without a goal of orgasm) can be wonderful for building and maintaining intimacy. 

You’ve just celebrated the recent birth of your child, what kind of things are important to you as he’s growing up and understanding and learning about sex-positivity?

Consent is going to be taught and demonstrated from the beginning, self-exploration will be normalized instead of shamed, and questions will be answered honestly in age-appropriate ways (and we will make sure to always have good resources available if kiddo is feeling shy about coming to us directly). Sex-positivity and body-positivity will be modeled by everyone in the family, meaning we will not body-shame or slut-shame ourselves or others. We hope to create an environment that teaches empathy, boundaries, respect, and self-love. 

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