This week’s Sexuality Superhero is Carly Steif. Carly is a professional sex educator, sex blogger and sex communicator extraordinaire! She manages the Pleasure Chest in NYC (Manhattan location), and has been featured in countless media outlets and podcasts. Check out her feature below.
How did you find yourself working in sexuality?
I was always “that friend” who answered friends’ sex questions, then when I was in college I was the secretary then president of the Queer Student Union where we held events from BDSM 101, sex toys 101, Trans vocab events and more. This was really where I was like, this is fun and I can do this! I was working for a Harley-Davidson dealership and the general air of misogyny was really disheartening then I saw a job post for the Pleasure Chest, applied, and the rest is history.
What is the best part of the job?
Those light bulb moments you give people that helps them realize their pleasure potential. Sometimes someone will tell you about a personal problem, and you relate to them and help them not feel so alone, then help them troubleshoot and it can feel really rewarding. Or sometimes you’ll hear back from people that your suggestion was perfect! Anything where I’ve helped someone is great.
What is the most challenging part of the job?
Telling folks what you do and having them discredit it as a legitimate job, or the folks who think they know everything and actually have a lot of stereotypes that aren’t helpful ingrained in them, but aren’t open to talking about it.
What is your most important piece of advice that has the potential to revolutionize relationships?
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. That could mean anything, from introducing toys or another partner, or just asking for a date night or more attention or even more space. People aren’t mind readers and the only way you’ll get what you want is asking for it, and having a conversation with your partner. And that’s not to say make demands, but open a conversation so you can explain why you need those things.
What do you do to decompress and take care of yourself given that you spend so much time helping and caring for others?
This is honestly something I struggle with! Even folks who teach about self care can struggle with it. I do enjoy taking time to cook for family and friends, it brings me so much joy when people enjoy something that I’ve cooked. I also love spending time playing video games with my partner and our dog. And last but not least, I love bath bombs and taking a long bath to relax.
What do you want people to know about your work as a sex educator and sex blogger?
That neither I nor other people know everything. Take everything as a suggestion, not a rule. I want to help people explore and feel comfortable and what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. Keep exploring if the first option isn’t the end all and be all you’re looking for. I’m never offended when my advice isn’t the solution, but glad I can help people on their journey.
Where can we learn more about your work?
Check out Carly’s interview about dirty talk on the Sex With Dr. Jess Podcast here.