Jan 122016

Reid is presenting The Art of Accepting No with Monique Darling and Reid Mihalko and Finding Your Unique Voice and Brand to Wow Your Perfect Clients (and Create Bigger Value). Check out Reid’s bio here.

Reid Mihalko

1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I see myself as a catalyst for change by role modeling that you can be even this goofy, this geeky, and talk about sex this openly, and people will still want to be in a relationship with you. I’m also passionate about creating content that lifts people up, sets them free from outdated “guru models,” and teaches them how to surpass my abilities. My greatest joy is to help people learn about sex and intimacy so that I become expendable; ultimately, my job is to empower people so that they won’t need me anymore.

2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?

The catalyst for me becoming a sex educator was watching my parents’ marriage fail because they didn’t know how to work through their upsets or communicate their wants, needs, and desires. Seeing the pain they went through, even though it was obvious that they deeply loved each other, set me on a trajectory to learn what they were missing so that I’d never have to repeat with my loved ones what I experienced them do to each other, and how that trickled down on me and my brothers.

The catalyst for me becoming good at the business of sex education and making a living at it was going through so much worry, frustration, and “being broke”ness that I began to burnout even though I was deeply passionate about helping adults avoid going through the hell I saw my parents go through. Eventually, I stopped resisting the advice of my friends who were successful at business, and opened up to learning from them (and other mentors) and implementing their successes as a means of shortening my learning curve (rather than reinvent the wheel).

As I became better at business and was in more demand as a sex educator, I was able to quit my other 2 jobs and make a living solely by teaching sex and relationship education. The problem this caused for me was this: I could make more money coaching “Muggles” on their relationship challenges than my fellow sex educators could afford to pay to hire me for business mentoring.

This didn’t feel good to me because I wanted to share the knowledge, tools, and systems that were responsible for my successes, but it didn’t make good “business sense.” Luckily, I’d learned enough about business to know that the clues for each solution often lie inside the problem itself!

The dilemma motivated me to take my business geekery and aim it at the challenge… The result: Sex Geek Summer Camp, the only 5-day, sleep away business retreat for sex-positive professionals to learn the business behind the business of sex education. This event, now coming into it’s 3rd year has been hugely successful at helping sex educators reach more people, change more lives, get more support, and make a better living at doing what they’re most passionate about.

And it’s my great pleasure to spend two days, pre-CatalystCon, teaching sex educators how to negotiate business deals that leave companies coming back over and over, and how to tell which business model is the best fit for their unique skills and abilities!

3. What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable changes that have been made in our current society and the field of sexuality?

The current conversation about intersectionality and allyship is, I feel, the most important shift happening in the sex-positive industry right now. As a poster child for white, cis-male privilege (and a slew of other privileges to numerous to list here), this conversation has been and continues to be challenging for me, but I’m already seeing how unpacking one’s privilege, learning how to listen, how to reflect, and how to upgrade language, skill-sets, and mindsets is making me not just a better sex educator, but a better human being.

Not everyone wants their sex ed advice from a 250lb, highly caffeinated, slutty, white dude. Our industry needs as much diversity as we can empower voices to join in and doing “the work” of intersectionality and allyship as a daily practice -one that I’m far from perfect at, btw, and one that I don’t think ever “ends”- is helping me get out of the way so that our industry can move forward and help more people by allowing marginalized voices to take their rightful seats at a table that has been “invite only” for too long.

4. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in society and the field of sexuality today?

See answer above.

5. Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic importation to you?

Our industry is growing so rapidly that helping our peers have better tools to create discourse rather than discord is vital.

6. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself?

I am the red thonged cowboy stripper in Salt ’N Pepa’s None of Your Business music video.

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