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Chapter 2: Life on the Road

Hello from the road! St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile and I are officially on tour!

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Two of my dear friends, Amari and Amber, have joined the first half of this adventure with me and I am thrilled! We have been friends for over nine years but have never taken a trip together. It’s only day one so I know that doesn’t say much, but so far everything is great and we travel very well together. We are all sensitive souls who seek to understand others, who love to sing, love to be creative, love nature, and who like to feel connected. We also all appreciate Edna and the hard work she has put in today, driving up steep mountains, through deserts, and around rock falls. Thanks, St. Edna!

We had a hectic start to the day and there were a few hiccups (the bar in Edna’s clothes closet came detached while driving, the table broke, and Amari almost forgot her passport in Portland) but we hit the road and managed to arrive safely to our first stop about 90 minutes before sunset. Our destination was the John Day Fossil Beds: Painted Hills Unit.

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The Painted Hills are one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon and I can see why. They were incredibly cool looking, almost like a Martian landscape. Highly recommended for anyone heading through central-eastern Oregon.

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We were lucky enough to find a convenient campsite about an hour away from the Painted Hills where we could build a campfire, eat a meal, rest our bodies and rest Edna, AND have electrical hookups so I could write this blog post before bed. 😉

It was a lovely first day and I look forward to tomorrow’s plans, which will be driving out of Oregon and into Idaho for more camping (and perhaps some local karaoke). I don’t haven’t any teaching gigs or conferences scheduled during these first few days of the tour, so my focus will be on bonding with my pals, seeking adventure, and doing more adjusting to life on the road.

Looking forward to continuing this new chapter and sharing my journey with all of you.

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Amory Jane

 

Adventure, Career, Motorhome, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Ed Teaching Tour, Sex Education, Sex Educator, sexuality, Teaching Tour, Travel, Uncategorized

Upcoming Travel Dates!

Amory Jane and St. Edna the Sex Mobile will be hitting the road later this month and beginning a new national teaching tour on September 1st!

If you would like to book a class, private party, interview, or event with Amory Jane while she is on the road, please use the contact form or send an email to amoryjane.edu@gmail.com

Upcoming Travel Dates for the Sex on the Road Teaching Tour:usmap

September 1-8 = Portland to Louisiana with stops in Utah, Colorado (Fort Collins + Denver), and Texas (Denton + Dallas)

September 8-11 = New Orleans! In New Orleans? Watch for Amory Jane at Dynamo: A Romantic Boutique in the Deep South on 9/9 and 9/10!

September 11-15 = NOLA to Los Angeles with stops in Texas (Houston, Austin), New Mexico, and Arizona

September 12 = Austin! In Austin? Grab a ticket to Back That Ass Up: Anal 101! at Q Toys

September 16-18 = CatalystCon West

September 18-22 = Los Angeles to Portland with possible stops in Yosemite, Reno, Ashland/Medford

September 22 = Portland – home sweet home! In Portland? Make sure to sign up for Amory Jane’s always popular anal sex class before it sells out!

September 23-27 = Reserved for She Bop

September 28 = Back that Ass Up: Anal Sex 101 at Love Revolution in Ashland, OR

September 29 = Bon Appetit!: The Fine Art of Cunnilingus at Love Revolution in Ashland, OR

September 30- October 3 = Boundless Kink Retreat (North of San Francisco)

Adventure, Career, Career Change, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, self-love, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Education, Sex Educator, Travel, Uncategorized

She Bop Love

As I am getting the details worked out for my upcoming travel adventures with Edna, I am realizing that I am booking just as many learning experiences as teaching experiences. Hooray for knowledge! I can’t wait to soak it all in and use everything I learn on the road to be the best educator, partner, coach, and sex positive entertainer I can be.

shebopToday is my last day as the manager at She Bop and am having a lot of feelings about it. I love my job, I adore my coworkers, and my bosses are the best bosses I have ever had. Working for a company I believe in, who also believes in me, and who I know makes a positive difference in the world has been a fantasy of mine since I joined the labor force at age thirteen. The fact that everyone in the She Bop family also kicks ass and has similar feminist values has been amazing. Working for a small business that is active in the community, gives back, and is filled with queers and femmes and tender hearts, allows me to be myself and feel good about what I do. I don’t have to work for a big corporation. I don’t have to work for “the man.” I can be openly polyamorous and ethically slutty and it gives me street cred. Y’all, I made a patriarchy-smashing porn (with a coworker!) for HUMP! film fest and my colleagues went out and voted for it and my employers congratulated our Best in Show win with an excited and proud post on social media. There is no way any of my previous places of employment would have done anything close to that. In fact, I would have gotten fired at my last job if they found out I made a film for HUMP!

HUMP! WinnersPortland will still be my home base. I will be here often; teaching, writing, recuperating, and spending time with people I love. I will continue being the Education Coordinator for She Bop, will still present my regular classes and host events, and I will cover shifts when I am in town. I know I will always be part of the Team Bop family and will very actively be promoting She Bop on the road and on social media . Still, this work has been a big part of my identity. I have been with She Bop for over five years and was the first sales associate they hired. I’ve watched the company grow tremendously, they’ve definitely watched me grow too, and now I hope we can continue to help each other grow more and more.

This is such a huge change for me and a giant risk. It could all blow up in my face – who knows? I have to try though. I have to put myself out there, talk to people about sex and shame and emotions and relationships and life, and allow myself to pursue a dream. I have to passionately throw myself into something, and this is the best something I can imagine.

It is very hard to give up a steady job I enjoy (especially one that is pretty darn perfect for me) for something that is filled with a bunch of question marks and no guarantees. Honestly, as I type this, I am wondering if I am making the right choice. But, there is only one way to find out. I’m hitting that road and doing this thing! This baby bird is birdready to fly. I’m going to push myself and heal myself and prove to myself that I deserve this and can pull this off. I know I am a good sex educator. I have the knowledge, the experience, and the drive to always learn more. I know that I can be funny and entertaining and truly help people. I know that as much as I enjoyed my 5+ years working full time at the shop, I have an opportunity to do something new and bold but that is really a continuation/extension of the work I have already started.

The owners of She Bop gave me some lovely parting gifts this morning: a big box of wine, trail mix, gas gift cards, a first aid kit, and (my favorite part) a very kind and personal card. I may or may not have cried a little (of course I did). Working a job you love, with people you respect, in an industry you know is important, and doing work you know is meaningful? I feel like that is pretty much the Millennial Dream (you know, except without the massive student loan debt). I have been very fortunate to work here over the years and am grateful for everything I have learned and all of the opportunities I have been given. Now, I am looking forward to beginning the next stage as a national sex educator and making Team Bop proud.

Giant hugs and thanks to my She Bop family (Jeneen, Evy, Wyatt, Sid, Alyssa P, Alyssa K, Gretchen, Nicolette, Kate,  & Courtney)  and everyone who has encouraged me along the way!

Adventure, divorce, DIY, guest blog, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, Personal Blog, Renovation, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, Separation, Sex, Sex Ed Mobile, Sex Education, Sex Educator, sexuality, Shame, Tiny House, Travel, Uncategorized

Doubt and Hope: Solar Panels & Bathroom Carpets

postTime for my first guest post! This was written by a fan and new friend, Eric Snyder, after he volunteered to help me with Edna last weekend.

Thanks, Eric!
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I pulled onto the street and was met with the visual of St. Enda the Sex Ed Mobile sitting diagonally in the middle of a suburban-like street in NE Portland. At first it put a smile on my face to see this RV I was looking forward to meeting sitting right there in front of me. However, I quickly assessed the situation and realized there was some stress in the air. Amory Jane, Edna’s owner and sex educator extraordinaire, was sitting behind the wheel with a trusty friend by her side and an onlooking neighbor was starring the situation down. Cars were maneuvering around Edna, but it was a little precarious for sure. The peering neighbor offered the oh-so-helpful advice of ‘you’re gonna have to move it’ as he took another puff of his cigarette.

I parked and approached the situation. Within a few moments AJ took control, tried to tune out the neighbor, and with the help of her friend pulled Edna safely up a steep gravel driveway. The stress of the first situation had been defeated, but soon the three of us were starring at a solar panel that needed to be attached and tested. None of us had any working knowledge of such things and had only done some minor Googling. The stress had returned, but we were soon on our way to understanding.

solar-panels-871284454772qkB9Going over to help with a few things was my first time meeting Edna and only the third time I had been around Amory Jane. The second time was an impromptu hang that included pizza, pot, silly movies, and life talk. The first time was when she led a sex education class about cunnilingus at Portland’s wonderful She Bop. I attended the class because I was very newly re-entering the world of dating after a 15 year relationship. I went to the class excited but filled with nerves. I was quickly comforted as Amory Jane and her co-teacher (Sid Need) put everyone at ease and educated us about oral sex. I learned tons of different tips, ideas, positions, and more practical information about anatomy than any public education or Google searches had ever provided me. Most of all though, I was provided a safe space where I could be curious, ask questions, and feel comfortable speaking about sexuality. Unfortunately, these spaces and opportunities are few and far between in our world. I  wasn’t raised in a sexually oppressed environment shameand as a middle class straight white cisgender male I definitely had more opportunities than many. However, I did have plenty of cultural shame attached to areas of sexuality, and as a feminist I definitely wanted to approach sex and dating with respect.

In this short class, Amory Jane proved that as a sex educator she was the perfect tour guide into exploring these ideas with lots of enthusiasm and knowledge and without shame. That is why when I heard about her sex education tour, and then the idea of this traveling sex education mobile, I wanted to help make it possible in any way I could with my limited resources.

As we got the basics of the solar panel set up, unfortunately the rain clouds started to roll in. It seemed like a moment of defeat, but I couldn’t leave without helping. I knew AJ had mentioned the trouble she was having trying to remove the ratty carpet in Edna’s bathroom. Armed with an exacto knife type of tool, I took a crack at it, and soon big chunks of carpet were coming up. It didn’t feel like much to me, but AJ seemed very grateful.

p_SCF_050_05In all reality, Amory Jane has a lot on her shoulders and she is feeling it right now. Going through a divorce (as she mentioned in her first post), making quick decisions about purchasing an RV and starting a business, and other life issues were making her feel like she was in over her head. However, amid the defeatist language we sometimes use when we feel overwhelmed, there was still hopeful talk about Edna’s future. The bathroom I was 2691721382_b0c0ddfab8_bcurrently ripping up carpet in would eventually have an outer space theme and perhaps a floor lined with miniature dildos. Dildos in space? There was also talk of  having an exterior wrap on the RV, proclaiming Edna’s name, Amory Jane’s website, and logos for sponsors.

These thoughts also perhaps felt out of reach to Amory Jane in the midst of the swirling situations she has around her. However, as I stood outside and prepared to leave with a quick hug and promise to help in any way I could, I stole one more look at St. Edna. Sure, she looked a little worn in and like any other RV that you’d spot in camp grounds or freeways across America, but I had a vision of her future. Someday, in the not too distant ajfuture, Amory Jane will be behind the wheel traveling the country to not only educate and discuss sex and sexuality with the masses, but to truly bring them hope. There are people like me out there who need to learn more and feel comfortable with sexuality. There are also people who have been made to feel ashamed of sex or abused or confused or dealing with rejection from family and friends. There are people across America that will see St. Edna as even more than a kitschy cute sex education mobile. There are people who will see her and Amory Jane as actual saints providing the safe space and opportunity to explore ideas and get their questions answered without fear or judgment.

Adventure, divorce, DIY, Life Changes, Motorhome, moving on, Personal Blog, RV Lifestyle, self-discovery, Separation, Sex Education, Tiny House, Travel, Uncategorized

Edna’s Lucky Day

It was almost 90 degrees and I had not gotten much sleep the night before. I knew I had to go to the DMV anyway, because St. Edna the Sex Mobile needed license plates and to be properly registered. I was expecting it to be a mildly miserable experience, like most trips to the DMV, but what happened next made me start wondering if luck is on my side. It made me DMVfeel like I really am on my own hero’s journey and may have just met my mentor.

I grabbed a number: 180. Number 130 was currently being called. Knowing there were 50 people ahead of me, I settled into one of the few open seats and started playing Blendoku on my phone. I felt a sneeze coming on and politely covered my mouth and squeaked out a high-pitched “achoo!”

A few people said “bless you,” including an older gentleman to my right. Then he told me he was an ear doctor and could tell by my sneeze that I was congested and asked if I wanted any advice. I appreciated that he asked instead of just offering, so we talked about sinuses for a while and about how his grandmother had a very loud sneeze that would startle people. Any time someone would sit in a chair near us he nodded and said hello. I could tell he was genuinely friendly and liked humans.

Eventually our numbers were called and we finished our transactions around the same time. I went out to the parking lot with new plates for Edna and he was parked a few spots away. “Is that your new toy?” he asked as his eyes lit up.Edna

“Sure is. Her name is St. Edna.”

“St. Edna? I like that. Like Edna St. Vincent Millay?”

“That’s who she is named after!” I was excited that someone had made the connection without me pointing it out.

Then this kind stranger told me that he had lived the RV life for 12 years. He asked what work needed to be done on it and I told him. It turns out he has most of the parts I need, and he was going to donate them because he has a new 30 foot trailer and doesn’t need them any longer.

He also had pliers in his trunk that would get the rusted old New Jersey plates off Edna , just in case I didn’t have any with me (I didn’t). He asked if I wanted help removing the plates and I said yes. Now, normally it would weird me out that a stranger was paying attention to me in the DMV parking lot, but this guy was like Mr. Rogers. He told me about Mr.-Rogershis son (who is around my age), his hearing clinic, and his land on the Washougal River. In fact, he said, he had an RV spot on that land that has water and electricity hookups and I would be welcome to stay there any time I wanted, free of charge!

We chatted a while longer while he walked around Edna to makes notes of what he has that might work for her. He also reached up into her outdoor light fixture by the back door and knocked out a hornet’s nest. Whoa. This dude is like the dad I never had but always wanted, and I met him at the DMV!

I got his business card and promised to email. I will definitely be following up. There is a lot to learn when being new to an RV lifestyle, and now I know a friendly fatherly figure with land, tools, supplies, and advice (that he always asked if I wanted to hear first). A mentor who uses consent language, reminds me of my childhood role model, and who offers me free parking on a beautiful river that is only 40 minutes from work? What a lucky day!

Adventure, divorce, Life Changes, moving on, Personal Blog, Relationships, self-discovery, self-love, Separation, Sex Education, Travel, Uncategorized

First Fig

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On Sunday, I finished moving out of the house I had lived in with my husband for six years. When I showed up to get the rest of my stuff, the entire house had been rearranged. The dining room and living room furniture had been switched, my art didn’t decorate the walls, and there is now a guitar stand in the bedroom where my dresser used to be. My bed is still there because it won’t fit in my RV, but it is no longer my happy place, my sanctuary, where I am able to go for comfort. My bed- our bed -is his bed now, and it will be the bed he shares with others.

Truthfully, the house looks better than it ever has. The design is simpler, it is less crowded, less youthful, and there aren’t bottles of nail polish all over the bathroom counter and bedroom night stands. The air feels different there, and I am genuinely happy that my husband gets to have a fresh start even though he is staying in the house we had made a home together. I was worried it would be hard for him to move on when he was surrounded by so many memories, but this transition already seems like a good step forward for him. For both of us. We are finding ourselves – the selves we were before we started trying to change to accommodate each other – and we’re hopefully creating better versions of ourselves.

My new life has arrived, and while it feels somewhat familiar because I am still the main character, everything else is rapidly changing. Each day since I have been out of the house has felt like I’m writing my coming of age story, except this story isn’t about leaving youth and becoming an adult. In fact, I feel more in touch now with my younger self than I have in years. I am healing old wounds, nurturing my inner child, and becoming an adult who embraces my nature, my flaws, and my power.

Any of the ways I had tried to tone myself down – to be more likable, more passive, to be less saucy, less scrappy, or be less emotional – are now all coming back to me. Basically, I tried to be less like a rebellious teenager and less difficult to love. I knew my personality was sometimes “too big” to be liked or understood by everyone, but I thought I could tweak it enough to be a cherished wife, lover, and friend. I knew I didn’t want the classic American Dream, but I thought I could potentially have a modified version of it. Even though I tried again and again, I just never fit into being a middle class 9-5 worker. I never fit into traditional monogamy. I was too queer for the straights and too in love with men to be considered “really queer.” And after three years of infertility,  I realized that even motherhood was not an option for me like it was for so many other folks.

I’m understanding now that I’m destined for something weirder. A different kind of life and adventure. I am meant to lovingly embrace the parts of myself that I tried to change for others. I am trying to see those parts of myself as unique gifts to offer something new to the world, or at least to those who want what I have to offer.

Honestly, I don’t know if I really believe in destiny, or in the Universe or God having a plan for each of us. I don’t necessarily think everything happens for a reason, because sometimes life/the world is full of random chaos, strange coincidences, and people actively and often willfully sabotaging themselves and others. However, believing that I’m starting an epic tale, or at least a somewhat exciting journey that will be good for me and the world around me, helps me feel better about all of the changes.