A scene from life with my conservative Russian Jewish family, as I introduce them to my future career plan: becoming a sex therapist. I think many can relate… (*Note: I do not mean to disparage sex work or sex workers with this post — I have some close friends in the field and have a lot of respect for them and for what they do. This post is mainly meant to entertain and to share with others my struggles to communicate about sex with my occasionally close-minded family)……..
“Mom…Dad…I want to be a Sex Therapist…” I timidly state at last weekend’s annual family gathering.
“You want to be a SEX WORKER?!” exclaims Mom.
“…So you want to live below the poverty line…is that what you mean?” questions Dad.
“What happened to…Med School…? Can’t you just be a gynecologist? Wouldn’t that be close enough?” asks my accountant Uncle.
“Waaaaiiit…you want to write…for nudie mags???!!! Like, like, for Penthouse?! …That is so awkward. I’m canceling my subscription the second I leave this joint,” grimaces my cousin.
“Remember vhen she vanted to be an actress? And star with Leonardo DiCaprio? This phase too shall pass. G-d help us…oy,” sighs Aunt Zina.
“No. No. No. I want to help people with their sexual problems and hang-ups. And give them the tools to have satisfying intimate relationships. It’s like a psychologist, only with an emphasis on sexuality, sexual dysfunction, sexual trauma, and couples,” I try to explain.
“ ’Give them the tools?’ Why do you speak like some sort of…learned American? Who do you think you are? Bill Clinton?” says Grandma Feyga.
“I can’t believe I’ve raised a prostitute. G-d why are you punishing me? I have always been a good Russian Jewish wife and mother…it’s your father’s fault. I tried to convince him that Barnard/Columbia was a bad idea. You should have gone to Bryn Mawr,” Mom shakes her head.
“You’re the one who encourages her penchant for high heels! That’s historically been the first step to becoming a prostitute. Everyone knows that!” Snaps Dad.
…Does anyone have any positive things to say about Sex Therapy?