Sex-Centric Storytelling at ARSE ELEKTRONIKA By The Mystery Box Show
Pavini Moray, Interviewed for Contemporary Sexuality. By Cory Silverberg
A publication of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.
People who don’t work in the field of sexuality often imagine that what makes a great sexuality professional is their comfort with sex. Many of us who do this work would say that what makes a great sex therapist or sex educator is the same thing as what makes a great therapist or teacher period. Familiarity and comfort with the subject matter is essential, but it’s who the professional is and their ability to be with clients and students as they work or struggle with the subject matter that makes one good or great at what they do. Pavini Moray would likely agree with this sentiment.
A sex educator, somatic sex coach, and Sexological Bodyworker, Pavini lives and works in San Francisco and became an AASECT member this year, attending their first conference and presenting on one of their many interests, pleasure-focused somatic sexuality education.
CS: Can you tell us a little about who you work with, and what issues you are most interested in?
PM: Most of my work is focused in the area of "invisibilized” sexuality. I choose to work with clients whose sexuality is not validated by dominant culture. This may mean that they are queer, fat, transgender, or gender-fabulous. It may mean that they don’t fit into boxes of sexual orientation. They may have experienced trauma, illness, or injury or had other life experiences that have caused their sexuality to be less represented. I also teach pleasure-based sex education and sexual decision making skills to youth.
CS: When you meet someone new how do you describe what you do?
PM: It depends on the context of the conversation. Dropping the “sex coach” bomb can freak some people out! What I think I do is help people find self-love and self-compassion, explore their erotic selves, deepen their touch and intimacy skills, and work through anything that is blocking the full expression of their sexuality. I also am just “with” people, seeing them in their most private spaces, and holding them with presence, love, and empathy. Witnessing is a powerful and transformative practice.
CS: Tell us something about where you learned what you know, professionally?
PM: I was a Montessori elementary teacher for many years. Montessori education promotes authentic learning that meaningfully follows the child’s own interest. Most of what I bring to my work as a radical sex educator, I learned from my Montessori students: they insisted I show up for them with my heart open and my mind creative and flexible. They demanded my complete presence. Currently, sex and intimacy are the areas in which I practice my teaching craft. The lessons I’ve learned along the way about how to be well prepared as an educator, how to craft a stellar curriculum, how to engage in meaningful and contextualized ways with my students’ lives and how to meet the unexpected with grace are skills not taught in any school or program. They are learned through practice, error, and creative problem-solving. The other sexy specifics of my education include studying at The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and San Francisco Sex Information.
CS: What’s the biggest challenge you are struggling with right now professionally?
PM: Professionally, I am struggling with time management! I have so many dreams, ideas and visions, and no patience to wait for all the fruit to ripen!
CS: What are three things you love about your work?
PM: First, I love being an anarchist, which is why I’m giving you more than 3 answers! I love how my work with sexuality called me to a much fuller experience of my own embodiment and pleasure. I love exploring the intersectionality between radical education, sex, ritual, and activism. I love facilitating transformative processes using somatic sex coaching, in which clients experience epiphany and liberation. I love working with other brilliant sex educators to bring forth content and teaching that speaks to people’s authentic experiences and desires and deconstructs the paradigm of disembodied sexuality portrayed in mass media. And it’s okay that you probably won’t print this last one, but I also TOTALLY love that I get to count masturbation as “research” for my work.