I was again faced with a typical scenario this past week in my work as a sex coach. I received an inquiry from a man who said he wanted help. I hesitated because I don’t really work with men and they tend to waste my time. I have a number of structures in place to assure me that someone is a good fit for me as a client way before I get on the phone with them. He went through those steps and as much as I was skeptical, and as often as men have wasted my time in the past, I went ahead and set up a get acquainted call with him.
I’m skeptical because in my experience few men will commit to working on their sexuality earnestly. In the past, all of the men who have contacted me on their own have either been creepy or ultimately flaked out. The creepy ones want some kindof sex work I do not offer. I am a coach and an educator. That’s what I do. But somehow because we put sex in my title, there is an assumption that some form of sex/phone sex will be for sale. I’ve had men come for a few coaching sessions and then disappear. The flaky ones are more hopeful because I understand some of the reasons they tend to disappear, but I get annoyed when my time is wasted. I’m clear about who I am here to serve: women and couples, in part because in my experience, men are not up for the work.
I believe that many of the men who do realize they need help and then reach out to me are fearful that they don’t know enough about sex and hate to believe they need help from a woman—a queer one at that. It’s way too much for their egos to handle. They’ve been socialized their whole lives to believe they should KNOW what to do sexually (like that just magically happens without any education), to be a total stud doing it, and to want sex and be ready for it all the time.
So maybe they realize that some part of this cultural fantasy isn’t working for them and they decide to reach out to me for coaching. But when I take them seriously, and it comes time to get to work, they run, because it’s far too confronting. They can’t handle that level of vulnerability.
So I don’t know what happened with the guy last week. His concerns seemed legit enough. He called to check in the day before our appointment and then totally skipped out on it with no correspondence at all. I also find that an interesting pattern. When women cancel an appointment, they usually let me know.
I’m not saying I won’t work with men, yet. I know there are special men out there who want to do the work on themselves to have a more satisfying sex life and to heal their wounds. Whether they’ll find me and commit to working on it is another story. The best male clients are usually the ones who come with their partners to work together. Maybe somehow, that is safer for them.
Mostly, I just find it sad that for so many men, their own socialization and deep-seated wounds or misconceptions about sex allow them to disrespect me and prevent them from getting the help they need. I don’t take it personally. But what I do know is that if they are disrespecting me, they’ll most likely disrespect their partners.
Everyone has work to do on their sexuality at some point in their lives. I mean EVERYONE. The majority of people, certainly the majority of men, will never do it. They will stay trapped with their egos demanding an impossible performance of them.
I wrote a book for men. Sometimes books are safer. Feel free to check out Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men if you want to just dip a toe in the water. For the ones who have actually walked through the door, I have been honored. They are indeed special and unfortunately, very unusual.
Amy Jo is co-author of Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men and contributing Author of All About Sex, among other writings. She has worked in various women's and queer communities as an activist and advocate. Amy Jo maintains a private sex coaching practice and facilitates her six month sexuality program for women, The Sexually Empowered Life, in New York City. She can be found online at www.amyjogoddard.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Jo-Goddard/348841508485024