This was really great! I struggle with nerves/stage fright as well both as an educator and a new dominant. In both roles I see myself, as Ducky put it, in service. I also find it very helpful to refocus on my purpose and take the focus off of myself. Really great, really honest video. At times I’ve struggled and wondered if I was really on the right path as a sex adventurer/educator because it felt that if I was I wouldn’t be feeling so scared and shy. I really needed to hear these words today, so thanks Kali and Ducky!
I’m so glad they were helpful! Ducky is a great educator (you can check out her videos on Passionate U) and has managed to build a ‘respectable’ career doing college tours and high end sex toy shops. She’s gracious and really good at her job!
I also struggle with nerves. (It’s funny, in theory, because I’ve been a performer all my life. But having to look like I know what I’m talking about? Eek! O.O)
What Ducky said about never really knowing where your adience/students are going to be at in terms of what they know: I’ve heard other educators talk about this. I confess, I tend to target my (few) workshops at as 101 a level as I can manage. I mean, yes, on the one hand, there’s *always* going to be people who are New At X and would like to learn the basics in a welcoming environment. But really? I do it because I want to make sure I know more than my students do about X, at least when the class has just started. (Otherwise why are they taking a class with me, right?)
It’s very possible (likely) that this is a dreadful attitude to have, but if I’m thinking of myself as a guide for my students, I had better have a really good idea of where we’re (probably) going, right?
I’ve been a performer for most of my life too, and give live workshops on a regular basis (a long with a decade of being on video) and I STILL get nervous sometimes :)
As I’ve done more classes I’ve found a few tricks to figuring out where the class is “at”.
As the class is starting (sometimes while people are trickling in before the class officially starts) I ask why they came to the class and what they’re looking to get out of it. If you do it when the class is already sitting quietly together not everyone will answer (although some usually do if you give them time!) but if you do it ‘before’ the class starts it’s a less pressurized way to get them to talk.
Also, during the class I check in periodically (just like a BDSM scene!). As long as you aren’t asking out of desperation or approval then you’ll probably get honest answers. Say something like “I just want to make sure everyone’s getting what they need from this class, do I need to expand on anything or stop mentioning something?” Keep the question low-key & you’ll get feedback about how it’s going.
This is interesting for me because I have never really suffered from stage-fright or speaking anxiety in any endeavor. However, I feel that I have a bit more of it in a kink setting. I think it is because I am not always sure that I know the most in the room about a particular topic and harbor more concern about the judgements of others. I like Ducky’s idea that teaching is being in service because that is a helpful way to put aside the need to be the most knowledgeable in the room. Instead, I can focus on being a facilitator and leading people through a valuable experience of sharing knowledge. I have at least one workshop that is overtly structured this way but I’d like to build that philosophy into more of my classes.
Comments are closed.