LAUNCHING:
KIM LOLIYA

Company:

Sex Educator at The Pleasure Institute and Magazine Editor at sex+

THE BIG QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

Sex Educator at The Pleasure Institute and Magazine Editor at sex+

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

I spend a lot of time talking about sex from various angles! I have a body-based coaching practice called The Pleasure Institute where I help women who are looking to heal sexual wounds or shame and embrace more pleasure, body confidence and freedom. When I’m not meeting with clients, I work on selecting and preparing articles for sex+ (a sex positive magazine), or planning workshops/panel debates around topics I care about. Every day, I connect with professionals in my field to discuss opportunities for collaboration, the projects we’re involved in and generally to share some mutual support with some amazing people.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?

I wanted to be a doctor from when I was about 10 years old until I took my A-Levels. I realised I was rubbish at maths and science and that it would have been too much of a struggle.

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

A degree and postgraduate diploma in Law.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

To follow my joy! It sounds corny, but following the (often confusing) thread of what excites me in life has lead me to some amazing places that I couldn’t have dreamed of in a million years!

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

Paulo Coelho – he was sectioned by his parents multiple times and submitted to electroshock therapy when he insisted on being an artist against his parent’s wishes. His persistence in following his dream (and subsequent success) is hugely inspiring and encouraging when times are tough.  

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

I have flexibility and can work from most places with an internet connection.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?

The amount of time I spend doing admin. It can be quite draining, yet it’s absolutely necessary to keep on top of everything.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Doing more work internationally and having a bigger team to support the projects I’m involved with.

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

Yes and no. I feel that it’s absolutely essential to be myself at work because without that it’s impossible to really connect with clients and support them on their journey. At the same time, I work with a lot of serious and painful issues, so I save my more frivolous side for my personal life where it’s more appropriate.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

In my field, most of us are self-employed so there aren’t leadership roles per se (although there are community leadership roles available for those who are interested). I would say that most of the well-known sexuality professionals tend to be men and there are many reasons for this. Some women with children don’t feel comfortable being ‘out’ in the mainstream for fear that it may hurt their family and in more general terms, there are far more judgments directed at women than men doing this work. However, as this is an emerging field if there is something you care about there is space to lead, which is freeing and exciting.

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

Diversity is something that’s always on my mind. I realised during my practitioner training that this work attracts mostly white, middle class men with a disposable income who can invest in sessions or training courses. This excludes so many people who don’t fit into that bracket and deserve to heal from trauma, enjoy pleasure and intimacy with their body in their daily lives. This propelled me to create a group called Diversity for Sexuality Professionals where we meet monthly and support each other to make our practice and training as inclusive as possible. We’re currently working on a guide which we hope will inspire more practitioners to upskill themselves and take some simple steps towards more inclusivity.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

Not very good! I love what I do and I’m constantly coming up with new ideas when I’m having dinner with my partner in the evening! My work is so intrinsic to who I am and my journey that it naturally evolves as I evolve, but I do my best to set aside time to rest and I have healthy boundaries. I love going to events that are completely unrelated to sexuality and immersing myself in different worlds.

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

A huge amount of empathy and care, the ability to hold people non-judgmentally and join them in their world. Curiosity and a sense of humour also help!

ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

For many years, I didn’t even imagine work like this existed and now that I’m doing it I see so much variety and possibilities in this field. If you’re thinking of doing something like this, feel free to get in touch via pleasureinstitute.org and I’ll point you in the right direction of what training is available.

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