opinion

New Beginnings: What Was Your New Year’s Resolution?

Charlie Glickman

We’ve just started a new year, and that’s always a good time to take a moment and reflect on new beginnings. It’s also a great opportunity to help your customers learn something new about sex, pleasure and relationships. So here’s my question for you: what new thing do you want to learn about sex this year?

I’ve always thought that it’s valuable for those of us who help people have better sex lives to make sure that we’re doing the same for ourselves, for a few different reasons. The most important is that it’s really hard to support our customers when we’re facing our own sexual or relationship challenges. I remember a time when I was going through a hard few months with my partner, and it made it difficult to talk with customers abut how to pick a vibrator or a lubricant, simply because I was in a rough place.

Remember, our industry isn’t just here to help the folks out there who are our customers. You can take anything the industry offers and apply it to your own life.

Of course, any relationship will have its ups and downs, and that can affect how we engage with our customers and clients. But I also know that if I had been more proactive about addressing our relationship hurdles, it would have made work less tricky. Ever since then, I’ve been constantly learning about sex and applying what I discover to my personal life, and it has definitely made it easier for me to give great customer service.

Another really good reason for us to keep working on our personal sex lives is that it helps us remember how much we’re asking our customers to do. When they come to us to get their questions answered or for new toys to try, lots of them are simply looking for ideas and suggestions. But many of them are in a really tender place. Maybe they’ve been arguing with a partner. Maybe they’re feeling worried about their sexual health. Maybe they’re embarrassed about having sexual problems. And it’s easy for those of us who work in this industry to take it for granted that these kinds of things are commonplace because we see them every day.

Unfortunately, that can lead us to be less understanding of the hurdles our customers face, and it can make us less compassionate. And when we’re actively working on our own sex lives and relationships, it makes it easier for us to build a connection with our customers, to empathize with their difficulties, and to see that we’re not all that different from the people who come to our stores and websites. And that makes us much better at making the sale.

The third way that it’s good for us to be on our own sexual journeys is that we can experiment with the different things that we suggest to others. Now, I don’t think that you need to have tried G-spot or anal play to be able to give top-notch advice about them. I know that there are lots of ways to educate and inform others, and you don’t always need personal experience with it. But there is a lot to be gained from having tried it yourself, as long as you don’t fall into the trap of assuming that what happened for you is what will happen to someone else.

As I said in my last column on the subject of sharing, I don’t think it’s a good idea to divulge personal information to a customer, and there are lots of ways to use your experience to enhance your customer service without crossing that line. But even when you don’t give any details, the more you actively work at making your sex life amazing, the better you’ll be at your job. Even when they don’t know what they’re picking up on, people can tell when you’re walking the walk.

So what are you going to do this year to create the passionate, vibrant sex life you deserve? Maybe you can pick something you’ve always wanted to try and then make that happen. Maybe you can do some reading about an aspect of human sexuality that you’ve always been curious about. You could find a conference or convention that focuses on something you’d like to learn. You could work with a therapist or coach to figure out what’s been blocking you. Or maybe you just want to experiment with some new toys and see what they bring to your sex life.

Whatever it is, I hope that you find new ways to feel pleasure. Remember, our industry isn’t just here to help the folks out there who are our customers. You can take anything the industry offers and apply it to your own life. Not only will it make you better at your job, but you’ll also have the benefit of having an amazing sex life.

Charlie Glickman PhD is a sexuality speaker, trainer, writer, blogger, and coach. He’s an AASECTcertified sex educator and has been working in this field for over 20 years. Charlie is the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners. Find out more about him at www.charlieglickman.com or on Twitter and Facebook.

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