I’ve been pretty quiet here on Sex in Words lately (more on that soon) because I’ve been very busy with lots of exciting, rewarding (and some disappointing) projects. One of the good ones was having my writing appear in Secrets of the Sex Masters, an excellent new book by Carl Frankel. I was fortunate enough to be pen the chapter on anal sex
—a true honour for me. The book is an excellent resource and I do recommend you pick it up!
At the same time, an issue with the book has come to light, one that I am ashamed to admit didn’t even occur to me at all. While I was looking at the back cover, I was too busy quipping that this is the only time I’ll top Nina Hartley, because my picture appears above hers. However, what I wasn’t noticing was the lack of racial diversity in the line-up of authors.
Now this roster of randy writers is amazing. Some of the top sex educators in the world and I am very lucky to be between the covers with them. But we’re (seemingly) an entirely white crew. And while I was looking at the book through starstruck eyes, I wasn’t looking at it through my social justice and equity eyes. My white privilege blinders were on in full effect and that just sucks.
A week or so ago, we had a launch party for Secrets of the Sex Masters and I was lucky enough to meet, in person, with Carl and his partner and collaborator Sheri Winston. We discussed this issue briefly and I am glad to see that Carl has put much thought and consideration to his responses to the situation. I am also fortunate to have read the thoughts shared by Charlie Glickman and Megan Andelloux. I don’t want to cop out and offer a “What they said” but it is true. All three have come to the same understanding: when being involved in a project like this, even if you’re just a contributor, we have ensure inclusivity. We have to be active and ask.
So like Charlie, like Megan, I pledge to ask about other contributors to ensure a true range of voices will be speaking. Moreso than that, I have to admit that when the issue came to light (thank you Aida Manduley!) I realized I know some, but not that many people of colour who are sex educators. Please note this is different from “there aren’t that many”…I am taking ownership that I need to discover and learn about more POC sex educators.
To help this conversation, I want to share a few people who do excellent work: Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, Jerome Stuart, Symone Kitty Nelson, Akio Maroon, Tanesha H.D. Please do offer more folks we all should be following in the comments below.