Clinical Sexologist Shan Boody Gets Real About Sex

Author: Maria Mora

We all know the classic Salt-N-Pepa single "Let's Talk About Sex." Though the hit song holds relevance to this day, the context of the song is still a topic that many are afraid to tackle. Shan Boody does a wonderful job in speaking about the elephant in the room: sex, relationships, and love. The Toronto native successfully carved her own lane, building a safe space for many to learn about and discuss the importance of intimacy and safe sex. We had the opportunity to speak to Ms. Boodram, who kept it all the way real on her career as a sexologist, sex in relationships, and more.

Did you ever see yourself having a career in clinical sexology? Can you tell us about that 'aha!' moment when you realized that you wanted to pursue this full time?
When I think back on my life, my natural curiosities and strengths, I see someone who was made for this role. I think the 'aha!' moment came when I was 19 and in college for journalism. They told us good journalists write what they know and immediately I knew what I wanted to write about. I spent my college years writing and preparing my book Laid - which took four years to finish and get published. I didn't know what a sexologist was until years later, but ten years ago I knew this was the story I wanted to tell.

How do you deal with men who are intimidated and feel challenged by what you do for a living?
I give them space to be their own experts! I say, "look, I'm not an expert on how to have sex. I've just spent time understanding the science and psychology of it." I compare being a sexologist to being a nutritionist all the time. A nutritionist doesn't necessarily cook and they may actually be terrible cooks, but they understand how food interacts with the body.

Society tends to shame women for being open about their sexual preferences. As someone who educates her audience, what do you think it would take to remove this stigma?
More women like me! I love getting emails saying "I think I want to be a sexologist." I'm like, great! The more the merrier. We need more teachers and more eager students. I consider myself both and I'm not ashamed of either role.

Is there ever a right time to ask the person you're dating "How many partners have you had?"
That question is pretty useless. Better questions may be: when were you last tested? Have you ever had or do you have an STI or STD? Have you had any sexual partners that I may know? The "how many" thing is interesting to know I guess, but in terms of health or self care, I don't see the need for it. In that case, ask whenever. If you're gonna be nosy, go for it!

Do you think sex can make or break a relationship?
Absolutely if sexual compatibility and satisfaction is high on your list of priorities for long term partnership. Just like money is make or break for some, while others don't care how much or how little you have. Because my love language is physical touch, sexual compatibility is very important for me. But I have friends and clients who don't care. It's all about personal needs.

“If you care about good sex you have to care about safe sex - they aren't opposition, they're teammates."

You're an advocate for safe sex, which I think is amazing and so important for young women and men in our generation. In a society where a lot of influencers, specifically musicians, feel strongly about having unprotected sex, how important is it for you to continue to push the safe-sex agenda?
Extremely important. I want people to have great sex. Great sex to me is where the climax happens during the experience, not three weeks later when you learn you have been infected. If you care about good sex you have to care about safe sex - they aren't opposition, they're teammates.

What are your thoughts on casual sex?
If you know yourself and have good emotional regulation, plus are honest about your expectations and changing expectations - go for it! If you have zero clue what any of that means, then I wouldn't suggest it.

Having a good communication process can lead to having great sex, IMO. Can you tell us the importance of communicating with your partner during the act?
Communication is the root of doing anything with others well. Whether you are doing a class project, playing a sport, or having sex. If you don't delegate, appreciate and affirm, you're relying on pure luck to get it right

What do you spend time on when you're not working?
My partner, my friends, myself - my relationships are my greatest hobbies!

Name 3 of your favorite beauty products at the moment.
1. Smashbox eyelash primer - ALWAYS
2. M.A.C. Heroine lipstick
3. 100% pure glycerin as body cream

Tell us some of your favorite things to do in Los Angeles.
1. Biking! Such a beautiful city to bike in, especially West Hollywood.

2. I hate to say it, but sponsored parties, lol! I'm so spoiled, but it's like being a kid again where you always get loot bags.

3. Sunset Theaters is one of my fave spots too.

What does MISSBISH mean to you?
It means acknowledge your pleasure and pursue it. Own it, the world will love it eventually because what makes you feel good isn't bad.

Who is your MISSBISH?
Dr. Helen Fisher - she is my latest obsession. I love ridiculously smart women.

Photographer: Nathalia Allen

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