My 1st Semester as a CHSS Student at Widener

my first semester as a graduate student for the center for human sexuality studies at widener university

First, let me introduce myself! My name is Brianna and I wear a few hats around Fantasy Gifts NJ. My usual and daily tasks primarily revolve around all the internet stuff: managing products online, helping with online orders, writing our Friday blogs and newsletters, as well as assisting Lady Genevieve write her reviews. I am also the party consultant for our party room – so basically I help arrange meeting with the host, getting everything set up for the party, and I even run the parties with demonstrations and games. My absolutely favorite title I have (in my personal opinion the most important) is being the resident Sex Educator. I have been working in or with Fantasy Gifts since 2017 growing from a sales associate, to writer, to full on educator because of the wonderful atmosphere and support I have received from the owners as well as all the staff. Because my belief in sexual education is so strong, I have started my journey in obtaining my Masters in Human Sexuality on the Sex Educator track at Widener University and after one semester there I will say, it has certainly exceeded my expectations!

What Was So Great About It?

Mario Cart Race (unfortunately I lost…)

By no means was this an easy transition or change for me – I hadn’t been in a higher education program since I graduated undergrad in 2017 despite having huge life events happen during that time. I was worried that my cohorts would be more advanced than me or I wasn’t going to fit into this graduate level of academia. Little did I know, but quickly realized, all of my cohorts were there for different things and were at all different levels of their education and knowledge. I was quickly put at ease after getting to know many cohorts in a short amount of time and knowing we were all feeling the same way, but had the same exact passion: to bring sexual education out of taboo and help people in this very important topic. Some of us want to educate in schools, provide additional services in social work, be policy makers, sex coaches, and so on. Every time I talk to a cohort or have a discussion in class, I truly feel as though I am speaking with my peers about things I don’t often get to discuss in the real world. Sure, I can talk about this stuff at work without getting hit with a sexual harassment issue, but this is just DIFFERENT. In one of my classes, I did have a hard time, mostly dealing with a lot of the emotional turmoil I had on the inside, however, that was the point. To call out our own bias and the enact change. GOOD change. I’ve never seen self-care take on such a lively role until a cohort and I were Mario Cart racing down the hallway in our wheeled desks or being able to cry in class and everyone appreciate it and you for being so raw.

Difficulties Do Exist

My Fantastical Genitals Project!

None of these good things are to say without some difficulty. Seeing your trans cohorts constantly not being recognized by sex education materials as an experience rather than a person that exists. And that’s not to say it is our professors fault… the material just doesn’t always exists. Because this still is such a taboo field, research can be difficult. Trying to find any scientific research articles about how teaching minors about healthy relationships (to avoid abusive ones) or that masturbating is a great way to help foster self esteem within oneself or also to avoid being in unhappy or unhealthy relationships because… well, they don’t exist. And that’s just SOME of the things I look forward to contributing to the world the sexual education.

Despite these difficulties, the education I am receiving and self-challenges I have experienced thus far have been mentally, emotionally and academically fulfilling. I am not only doing this work to better myself, but I am doing it to better help our customers as well as those who seek information about sexuality online so that it can be done safely and without bias.

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