loading
drag

How I Got Here: Normal’s in-house sex coach on the importance of working through stigma and shame

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Lulu Unsworth
WORDS BY GITIKA GARG

“It’s not all free vibes and sex parties.”

Have you ever stalked someone on LinkedIn and wondered how on earth they managed to land that wildly impressive job? While the internet and social media might have us believe that our ideal job is a mere pipe dream, the individuals who have these jobs were, believe it or not, in the same position once, fantasising over someone else’s seemingly unattainable job.

But behind the awe-inspiring titles and the fancy work events lies a heck of a lot of hard work. So what lessons have been learnt and what skills have proved invaluable in getting them from daydreaming about success to actually being at the top of their industry?


Looking for a new 9 to 5? Head to our Careers page for new listings daily. 


Welcome to How I Got Here, where we talk to women who are killing it in their respective fields about how they landed their awe-inspiring jobs, exploring the peaks and pits, the failures and the wins, and most importantly the knowledge, advice and practical tips they’ve gleaned along the way.

This week we chat with Georgia Grace, the in-house sex coach for the Australian sex toy brand Normal. After studying for a degree in journalism and PR, Georgia realised her interest lied in gaining a deeper understanding of sex and relationships.

Fast-forward to now, and after years of experience as a sex coach and an enviable role working for one of Australia’s most popular sex toy brands, Georgia tells us that it’s not all as glamorous as it seems. While we have come a long way when it comes to talking openly about sex, shame and stigma still act as barriers both within the industry and society in general. Here’s how Georgia deals with it and what she’s learnt along the way.

What do you do and what’s your official job title? 

I’m a certified sex coach, I work in-session with individuals and couples, run workshops and events, develop online courses and I’m Normal’s in-house sex coach. I’m also a writer and podcaster.

Take us back to when you were first starting out. Did you study to get into your chosen field, or did you start out with an internship/entry-level role and climb the ladder? Tell us the story. 

My first degree was a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism), and when I graduated I worked in corporate health PR for a few years. I’ve always been curious about sex, relationships and dating and I wanted to join the experts, therapists and practitioners who are working to transform how we understand and speak about sex. So I quit my job and started studying again.

When I was researching pathways to becoming a Certified Sex Coach, I didn’t want to go back to university to study so I intentionally looked into courses offered at institutes and schools that communicated their inclusive, evidence-based and up-to-date approach to education. For this reason, I studied with The Institute of Somatic Sexology, and have completed a range of certifications under the umbrella of somatic sexology.

‘Somatic’ means bringing awareness to the body and ‘sexology’ being the scientific study of sex. This choice has been vital to my career as I have learned from and with a wide range of professionals across gender, sexuality, race, experiences, backgrounds and modalities.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by georgia grace (@gspot._)

What challenges/hurdles have you faced getting to where you are now? Can you tell us about one in particular? 

It’s not all free vibes and sex parties. There are many challenges and it’s certainly not glamorous on a day-to-day basis. Any businesses or individuals working in this space are heavily regulated, censored and there are structures in place that inhibit the basic running of a business.

On social media I am constantly shadowbanned, posts are removed and I’ve never been able to advertise my services. There’s also the social, cultural and political challenges we come up against. Whilst we are talking about sex now more than ever before, there’s still a lot of shame, fear and taboo around the subject.

What do you want people to know about your industry/your role?  

It’s an incredibly exciting time to work in sexual wellness and there is a great need for a range of people! Whether you’re interested in therapy, education, research, product development, sex tech or content – the more people, the better. So if you’ve got a passion for sex, get stuck in!

What’s the best part about your role? 
I work with exceptional people every day and get to see first-hand how having open conversations about sex not only supports an individual but transforms society. I love working with Normal to develop courses, toys and education. It’s been an absolute dream to team up with pioneers in the space. They are inclusive, creative and committed to making sexual wellness accessible.
What would surprise people about your role? 
As there’s so much new information and research emerging, we are constantly learning and refining how we speak about bodies, sex and relationships. And if you’re a sex nerd like me and my peers, you often become addicted to professional development and training – you will always be learning.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by georgia grace (@gspot._)

What skills have served you well in your industry?
My background in PR and journalism has been incredibly useful. I’ve always been a ‘communicator’ and being able to speak in front of a room of people has helped a lot. My professional boundaries are an essential skill – when I was starting out, I said yes to everything and did hours of unpaid work. Most of this work has been essential to the success of my business, but in recent years I’ve had to practice the skill of saying no and discerning which projects excite me the most.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in a role like yours one day?

If you intend to work with people, it is really important to work through any shame, judgement [and] stigma that most of us have been socialised with. We all have our own biases and judgements – I think it’s vital to work through this to keep people safe. A big thing my peers speak about is having imposter syndrome.

So many of us doubt our expertise, skills or ability – no matter how many people we’ve supported or how many years we’ve been working. Recently, I’ve made friends with my imposter syndrome, it keeps me in check – I’m constantly learning, all of us are. Supervision is also essential, it supports me in being the best practitioner I can be, and it makes me feel connected to others. It can be incredibly lonely running a business.

What about a practical tip? 

When you’re starting out you’ll want to attend all the workshops, go to events, read every book, listen to all the podcasts, meet as many people as possible and create and pitch projects, but don’t forget the reason you got into this work – pleasure! Prioritise your pleasure, rest and space.

Read the rest of the How I Got Here series here.

Looking to step up to a career in media? Each week we send a wrap of industry jobs straight to your inbox. Enter your details below and we’ll keep you in the loop, or browse current openings here.

Lazy Loading