Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Jo Goddard.
Amy Jo, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
People often ask me how I became a Sexual Empowerment Educator. I grew up with zero resources about sexuality and I went through a lot of difficult things, being raised by a single parent, military dad. When I became politically activated in college while simultaneously coming into my own sexual empowerment as I got sex education for the first time in my life, I knew I wanted to do something to empower women and girls around sexuality.
That led me to New York University where I earned a Master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education and I have been teaching sexuality ever since. I often mentor younger educators and have worked with nearly every possible population of people around healthy sexuality.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In order to do the work I really wanted to do, I knew I had to create it. There is no job that would give me that opportunity. I wanted to work with women in a deep way on their sexuality and so I entered the entrepreneurial world and one of the biggest issues is that many people in the sexuality field have a lot of issues around money and don’t think it’s possible to make money teaching about sexuality. My mentors have told me that point blank.
I had to really work on my money mindset and business approaches in order to create a sustainable, profitable business. I’m still developing it.
There will always be people who have negative things to say about sexuality, feminism and powerful women. I have gotten used to that to a degree–I expect it. At this point, my team’s approach is that if we are pissing people off, we are doing something right. I will always be an outspoken feminist voice for women, queer folks and sexuality.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I have been teaching sexuality for well over 20 years now. The focus of my work is the sexual empowerment of women. I also work with couples. I have developed holistic, in-depth programs that are unlike any other programs I know of. I include theater, play, and ritual, as well as experiential education and transformative healing work. We cover a LOT of terrain in our work and this helps our clients to not only step into their own power in a big way, but to also show up in their relationships in a much more powerful way.
I offer my annual Fire Woman retreat here in San Diego at the Fire Garden. My model of sexual empowerment is outlined in my book Woman On Fire: 9 Elements to Wake Up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power & Sexual Intelligence (yes, people of all genders will benefit from this book). At Fire Woman Retreat we go deep, we have immense amounts of fun, we do a lot of healing work and participants receive support and witnessing that is beneficial and unusual. I am known for my special evening events: The Sexual Archetype Ritual and the Erotic Carnival–where I work with many incredible collaborators to create an experience for the women that cannot be achieved in a book or by simply talking.
I’m most proud of my Women’s Sexual Empowerment Program–I developed it first on stage in my play Vulvalution in New York in 1999, and then took 11 years to let it percolate until I was ready to put it out into the world. There is no other program like it where women can get support for every element of their sexuality and sexual life.
It’s the 20th anniversary of Vulvalution and we are going to produce the play in Los Angeles in the coming year. I am an artist and I am so excited about this work–it’s timely and it’s needed… we are IN the vulvalution. It’s happening, it’s real. We need art to inspire us, to educate us and to help us see our world in new ways. I love the power of art for that and the theatre is a wonderful playground.
This year I am also going to be releasing At Your Cervix, a documentary I am directing and producing, dedicated to making pelvic exams, respectful, consensual and pain-free. We’ve been working on the film for many years and look forward to the impact it will have.
We approach the work of sexual empowerment from many angles for the greatest impact.
What were you like growing up?
When I was growing up I was an athlete and I loved music (still do). I would sit in my room for hours listening to records, reading the liner notes, learning the words and dancing. I loved to swim, roller skate, play outside and go to the beach. Not dissimilar to what I love today.
I made friends pretty easily–we moved around a lot being a military family so I got a lot of practice at it. That made some things hard, like running for student council or something, but I was a leader in many ways, like editing my high school’s creative writing magazine and being captain of my softball team.
I think I was nearly as impassioned then as I am now… I always fought hard for justice and supported the underdog.
- Website: http://AmyJoGoddard.com; http://AtYourCervixMovie.com; http://WomanOnFiretheBook.com
- Email: moreplease@AmyJoGoddard.com
- Instagram: @SexualEmpowerment
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amyjogoddard.coach/
- Twitter: @AmyJoGoddard
Genesis Diaz, Peter Dressel, Shelby Cohen