Answered: Everything You Want to Know About Sex But Are Too Afraid to Ask

Updated 05/17/19

Shan Boodram is a force of nature. Confidence and self-assurance literally ooze from her every pore, and when we met in her L.A. apartment for this shoot, it was at once enviable and contagious. It begged us all on set that day to ask the question: When did we lose a sense of our sexuality and, more importantly, how do we get back in touch with it? We came a little closer to the answer when we asked Boodram (aka Shan Boody) what sexuality is to her. "It's the why—it's creation," she says knowingly. "Sexuality is the river below the city—always flowing and powering momentum even when you forget it's there." See what we mean?

In a bid to further explore this concept, we reached out to you, our dear MyDomaine readers, to send through some of the sex questions you were too afraid to ask, and quite honestly, we were blown away by the scope and variety (many of which we've been too shy to ask ourselves). But we're not alone in our modesty. A whopping 65% of women can't even say the word vagina. So how do we get over the awkwardness around sex and start talking about our sexuality more openly? We'll let Boodram explain.

"Everyone has their own unique entry point, and they have to want to find it," she stresses. "If you've never been to the gym before but you knew the only way to start would be a hard-core 90-minute cardio circuit, you probably wouldn't go. You have to start where it feels inviting and intriguing to you. If you're not ready to say vagina maybe you're ready to read a romance novel, then maybe you're ready to take a hot yoga class, then a pole-dancing class. Just place yourself in an environment that reminds you of or hints at your sensuality. Then keep inching forward until you realize what we all already knew: You were born to own your sexuality and reap the benefits of all that power and love it has to offer."

Now that's a message we can all get behind. Watch the video below of Boodram answering all the sex questions you were too afraid to ask, and then keep scrolling to learn more about what a sexologist actually does and how she got into this line of work.

A sexologist is…

According to Boodram, it's easiest to think of a sexologist as "a nutritionist for sexuality." As an "intimacy educator," Boodram dreams of becoming the "Martha Stewart of sex and relationships." So she writes articles, consults on scripts, host shows, creates original content, writes books, and appears on various media outlets to discuss sexuality in a variety of ways, just to name a few. "I also have a Skype counseling service that I run on Sundays and am an ambassador for nonprofits like AIDS Healthcare Foundation and American Sexual Health Association."

The qualifications you need are…

Much like a nutritionist, the educational requirements depend on what you want to do in the field and where. Boodram tells me that a sexologist who works as a licensed therapist needs degrees, licenses, and state-approved certifications. "Since I knew that was not my desired route, I did not go this way," she says. Instead, Boodram went to school for print journalism at the University of Toronto and Centennial College. After graduation, she was certified at the University of Toronto to be a sex education counselor and worked on campus for a year until her book, Laid, was published. She eventually moved to California where she completed an associate in sex education and clinical sexology certification at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.

She knew it was the right path because…

"I saw a gap and thought, I could fill that," she says. "I didn't see any women of color my age who were making sex education accessible and, well, sexy. I saw an opportunity to be to others what I felt I didn't have growing up—an approachable, sex-positive role model." Boodram knew from as early as 5 that sex education was her calling. "I was always fascinated with intimacy and love," she says. "Formally though, I became interested when I was 19 and spent the summer in a library trying to learn why my teenage sex life was so shitty."

sex questions—Shan Boodram
Paley Fairman

Her biggest challenge has been…

"This pains me to write, but the first thing that came to mind when I read this question is me," says Boodram. "I have been the biggest challenge in my career. I've been in the sex education space for 13 years, but I've waffled a lot because I allowed others' shame to influence how loud and proud I was of my work. I've dipped in and out a lot, I've tried to be all things to all people, I've procrastinated, I've made excuses, and I've tried to pretend that I didn't know I was meant to be here—doing exactly what I'm doing now full-time and unafraid."

The most common misconception about her role is…

"That I'm excellent at sex. People think I'm a wizard in the bedroom or that I think I'm a wizard in the bedroom. That's not what I do. Sure, I can apply what I know about biology, psychology, and hearsay, but there was no part of my training that included 'how to give outstanding fellatio.' I'm just asking and experiencing as I go along, just like everyone else."

She wants everyone to know that…

"I definitely don't want to place myself as the sample sexologist. In a field that ranges from therapists to educators to pharmaceutical experts to people who work with the justice system, I am the loud-mouth minority. My purpose is to invite people into a fascinating world where their intimate lives and pleasure matter. My purpose is to show you that caring about what makes you feel loved and good will have massive benefits in every area of your life. And after that, I hope you continue to explore this wonderful world well beyond where I personally can take you."

sex questions to ask—shan boody
Paley Fairman

The sex myths she wants to debunk are…

"One that I repeat far too often and probably won't stop anytime soon is that two-thirds of women don't orgasm from penetration alone. A woman's primary sex organ is the clitoris, not the vaginal canal. I think everyone should read Come as You Are. There's so much freedom in understanding. Also, the myth that people are just 'good at sex' or 'good at dating.' I'm sure there are some people who would be 'good at being a doctor,' but we don't expect that nor would we trust that physician with a common cold. We have a culture that uplifts and insists on years of proper training, mentorship, and education in every other area in our life. So if you want to get good at love and sex, consider the route that's tried and tested rather than rolling the dice."

The craziest sex question she's ever been asked is…

"Ahh, I have some very out-there ones that always remind me how complex pleasure truly is, but I'll let your imagination fill in that blank. The craziest question is probably some form of Will I ever be able to find someone to love me? It's heartbreaking but also mathematically crazy. The odds are always in our favor. There literally is love all around us just waiting."

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