Sex! Everybody does it, but we never talk about it. It is tabú, it is shamefull, it is embarresing. We all need to shake it off and get better at speaking openly about sex. Make it into less of a thing and embrace it as something we all do. Somebody who has sex on her agenda each and every day is 28 year old Avril Louise Clarke, legitimate sexologist and sex therapist. We sat down to speak to Avril about all things sex and how she ended up working in the industry.
Avril was born and raised in the sexiest city in the world, Miami, Florida. It used to be her home up until 5 years ago when she packed her bags and moved to Spain. Even if Avril now has made sex and relations into her profession, it has not always been an obvious path for her. She grew up in an Irish catholic family where the mentioning of "sex", "menstruation" or "masturbation" were all tabú. But little did she know that those kinds of topics would be on her daily agenda later on in life.
It all began when Avril together with some class mates started an HIV awarness club at their highschool. They would inform their peers all about practicing safe sex, where they could get tested for STD's etc. The club also invited sexologists and sex therapists to the school to spread knowledge on the topic. That is when Avril met her mentor for the first time.
Finding a mentor
Her name is Marilyn Volker and she is a university professor and sex therapist from Miami. She is quite famous and someone to look up to in the field of sexology. Marilyn planted a seed in Avril that over the years would grow into something bigger. When it was time for Avril to pick a career path she reached out to Marilyn and asked her out for a coffee and a chat. This was a really brave thing of Avril to do entering an industry she had no experinece in. To get in touch with a mentor is something that helps when it comes to exploring careers. Find a mentor that you can learn from and maybe they can even guide you on your path.
After the coffee with Marilyn was finished, the desicion was a no brainer for Avril. She was going to become a sexologist.
But exactly is sexology? And what is it that a sexologist actually do?
We did a simple google search and came up with this:
So it is not all about sex itself. It is also about all the things sorrunding it. Such as how one is feeling, thinking and talking about sex.
So what about the profession "Sexologist"?
If you have a degree in clinical sexology as Avril does you can mainly work in 3 different fields.
1. Sex Therapy
Avril's two main fields are sex therapy and education. In the two she gets to arrange events and sex workshops (hold you horses, not what you think. Go to Avril's website to learn more). The other part of her job is to offer sex therapy to couples and individuals. She does this both in person and online.
Innovate and iterate
As we all are fining us in the middle of a full blown pandemic at the moment, we were of course curious about how this has affected Avrils work. As the majority of her work is done in person. She has had to move workshops and therapy sessions online. It can become quite intense being quarantined with your partner. Avril has during the lockdown in Spain been offering free sex therapy online.
"Now it's the time to be innovative"
Avril thinks this is a great time to be innovative, re-invent your business and try new things. She has discovered that people are even more keen to sign up for therapy sessions when they are online. The screen creates a safe space for people that might be struggling to talk about sex and relations in person.
Gender split in the industry of sexology
Based on Avrils personal experiences in the industry. She would assume that there are more female than male sexologists out there. It could be because females are more in tune with emotions and are attracted to sexology as a profession. Though these are just assumptions and not proven facts.
Yet the more people that are educating themselves in the world of sexual health and relations that dare to speak about it, the better. Whether they are female, male, trans or non binary. Sex is for everybody and anyone diving into sexology as a career is doing the world a favour.
To learn more about Avril and what she does you can follow her on @sexologygirl or go to her website.
Check out this ONLINE workshop on the 3rd of May. Delivered by yours truly Avril Louise Clarke. And if you want to learn even more about Avril and her career. Go watch the full interview, on our YouTube channel.