Sex Education

Sex Coaching 401

In this episode of Startup Hustle, Lauren Conaway and Kristen Thomas, Owner and Head Coach of Open the Doors Coaching talk about what it’s like being a sexologist. Kristen shares what she’s been up to since last joining us as a guest on Startup Hustle back in May 2021. Hear details on exactly how Kristen doubled her business revenue and is prioritizing her own passion projects like writing her book on race & dating in America. Gain insights on sex coaching, setting boundaries, explore concepts like sexual wellness and consent, and always remember, “Don’t be gross, but don’t be afraid either.”

Enjoy former episodes with Kristen:

Learn the Ropes of Building a Business

Covered In This Episode

Stripping off the stigma on sex is no easy feat. Kristen Thomas shares her insights on how to look at sexuality from a healthier perspective. As a sex coach, she’s had to break through a lot of social barriers to put out her message. Her goal is to support people in living full, healthy, and sexually abundant lives. 

Get Started with Full Scale

The Value of Sex Education

Sex education is widely supported in the US. However, a Guttmacher study reports that young people are not receiving enough critical information about sexual health and well-being. They also do not receive it on time, with most having sex before the formal education. The lack of knowledge puts them at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases.

How to Improve Sex Education

  • Engage in open conversations
  • Challenge stigmas and taboos
  • Emphasize the meaning and importance of consent

What is Sexology?

Sexology is the science that studies diverse aspects of human sexual behavior and sexuality. Research areas include sexual development, sexual orientation, relationships, intercourse, and more.

Highlights

  • Kristen’s book (5:03)
  • The social stigma of sex (8:29)
  • Sexual boundaries (23:03)
  • The philosophical landscape of sexuality (28:07)
  • Open doors Coaching (34:23)

Key Quotes

Change happens in the discomfort. You are not at ease when you’re trying to change your life and do something different. 

The way you’ve always done things won’t get you the way you wanna go. 

Love being able to be a resource for people that like helps them change their minds about something or gives them better information.

Learn the Ropes of Building a Business

Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.10

Lauren Conaway

And we are back! Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateherKC. And I would be very remiss and out of turn if I did not tell you that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by fullscale.io. Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. 

So folks, today we have with us a guest who has been a long time in the making. And this is also a guest that I have poached from the Matts, specifically Matt DeCoursey I believe. 

I am so excited to welcome Kristen Thomas to the show once again. For those of you who have listened to her episodes, Kristen is the owner and head coach of Open the Doors Coaching. She is a dear friend of mine an active innovator, an incredible, amazing human being. And she just happens to be an awesome sex coach. So we’re about to have a fun conversation.

Kristen, thank you so much for being on the show. I’m so excited.

01:01.87

Kristen Thomas

Thanks for having me back. I love Matt and Matt. I’ve known Watson for a very long time, but I was very okay with being pilfered, I am more than okay–I am ecstatic!

01:34.70

Lauren Conaway

The reason that I’m so excited is because Kristen is about to blow your mind. Ah, she blows my mind pretty much every time we talk, which is frequently, so that’s saying a lot. But Kristen, I’m just going to ask you to dive right into it and tell us about your journey. Let’s hear it.

01:58.51

Kristen Thomas

Where to start on something like that? The basics: I’ve got a degree in Psychology. I thought I was going to become a therapist one day, but then I ended up becoming a weight loss coach. And that’s where I found that I really liked the coaching approach way more than therapy. And then one day when I was working in renewable energy I was really unhappy and happen to hear a podcast from a sex coach talking about how and why she became one. And I was like I need to do this. 

I started that journey in 2017 and haven’t looked back. I have never had a moment since I started my business that I felt like I made a mistake. I had to push through some really tough times, especially like pivoting at the beginning of the pandemic. 

02:48.72

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

02:52.89

Kristen Thomas

I had to have a part-time job here and there to pay my personal bills. But I went full time with my coaching business on January first of 2020. 

03:01.25

Lauren Conaway

Oh, you have impeccable timing as well. 

03:04.37

Kristen Thomas

I got my own office. I got it furnished and that was the end of February 2020. So I had my office for whopping two weeks before we had to shut down. I was worried about what I was going to do. As I said, I had just quit the restaurant industry. I had no other form of personal income except this business. But then all of a sudden the phone started ringing. And you know after about two months of being locked in with their spouse or like I love my spouse I hate my spouse please help me.

03:29.26

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

03:38.32

Lauren Conaway

Ah.

03:42.22

Kristen Thomas

So my business took off starting in 2020. It doubled in 2020 over 2019 and then it doubled again. 2021 over 2020 so. 

03:50.53

Lauren Conaway

Amazingly well and you’ve been branching out as well. So I mean you have your coaching business which is kind of I feel like that’s kind of the core of what you do like you do it very naturally like people will just be talking to you in random conversation and somebody’ll say something about a relationship and there’s Kristen with impeccable.

04:00.45

Kristen Thomas

yes.

04:10.28

Lauren Conaway

Advice. Ah, so I feel like that’s just kind of an extension of who you are, um, and I know you to be a very caring person and someone who’s invested in people being happy and fulfilled. Um, you’re actually working on some projects that I would imagine are very fulfilling for you. So so like what bit about.

04:27.20

Kristen Thomas

Yeah, yeah, finally this last year I got to actually embrace the writer within I mean I’ve been working on my book for a while, and ah even my friend who’s a writing coach has been like hey you need to make sure you prioritize finishing that.

04:44.83

Kristen Thomas

This year I’m like I know I know I know yes I have been writing on my book which is about race and dating in America but I got a gig with the pitch Kansas City and I’m now a monthly columnist writing about sex love and relationships and. They’re letting me branch out a little bit more too starting the March issue, I’m writing a couple of articles say like my writing style they like what I’ve got to say and that’s been a lot of fun for me.

05:03.62

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

05:09.85

Lauren Conaway

I Love that so much It has been such a gift and such an honor to watch you kind of step into yourself as like I mean you have not you and I have known each other for a while.

05:22.86

Lauren Conaway

Now and but just watching you like go from strength to strength and find new opportunities and find new ways to use that voice of yours is it’s been incredible to watch I don’t know if you know this? maybe I told you this once upon a time but. When I like through the course of my writing career I was actually a sex and relationships columnist for a midwestern blog site called girls guide to the galaxy. Yeah like we wrote about some similar topics, I would say.

05:44.24

Kristen Thomas

I didn’t know that.

05:51.95

Lauren Conaway

I think one of my favorite stories that I ever did was actually a story on ah ecoconscious dildos. Ah like you know glass and those that can be recycled and those that are made from recycled materials and things like that. Um, so so yeah.

05:56.93

Kristen Thomas

Oh.

06:07.25

Lauren Conaway

I just love that we have that in common, like just a firm belief in the importance of healthy sexual expression.

06:13.82

Kristen Thomas

Yes, that’s I mean that’s what drives everything that I do I mean you can only reach so many people doing the 1 on 1 session or even group workshops. But I am reaching thousands upon thousands of people writing for the pitch um and doing my TikTok things like that like i. Love being able to be a resource for people that like helps them change their minds about something or gives them better information. But we all are perfectly aware that sex education in this country. Absolutely sucks who yes if I’m going to.

06:50.24

Kristen Thomas

Work on anything in the government if I’m going to do anything to try to influence policy. It’s going to be getting comprehensive sex education in our schools.

06:58.27

Lauren Conaway

For sure. Well and I think that a piece of that and this is something that you and I have talked about as well is there. There’s this stigma attached to talking about sex and like I mean we were just talking about it before we even hit the record button. You know often.

07:17.30

Lauren Conaway

You know you’ll be at an innovator event and you’ll say something related to sexy times like nothing particularly incendiary that I can remember but people will get like downright upset and it’s like you know we are all human beings. Ah, most human beings.

07:49.34

Lauren Conaway

People have some kind of sex drive, and it comes in many forms, and it applies to many functions, but we can’t talk about it. You know and I just it’s absurd. I’m going to ask you like talk to us a little bit.

08:03.80

Lauren Conaway

About that social stigma because I imagine it makes your job much harder.

08:06.81

Kristen Thomas

I would say a lot of it’s probably rooted in purity culture. Oh, maybe a little bit I’ll go there. Maybe a little bit rooted in white supremacy. Ah, there are certain things that white people in particular think that you just don’t talk about in proper circles. Proper quote-unquote.

08:22.53

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah.

08:26.33

Kristen Thomas

Again, I think with purity culture. So that’s straight up what I’m writing my book about is how purity culture influences the way that we move about the world. Like if I was in Sweden, Denmark, even in Italy, if I was having the same exact conversations, it would just seem like this is a matter of fact.

08:46.27

Kristen Thomas

We are talking about Health. A function of health. So, you know if we’re going to talk about our back pain I don’t think that we should be inhibited from talking about it. Well you know I’ve got this issue going on in the bedroom and I don’t know what to do about it.

08:47.76

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

09:02.26

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, I absolutely it’s a biological function. So I was reading an article actually no, it’s not even that like cerebral I was reading a Reddit thread, but it was really interesting.

09:04.90

Kristen Thomas

It’s just ah, it’s a biological function. That’s it.

09:19.17

Lauren Conaway

I follow like a bunch of feminist threads and things like that. But on this particular thread, it was talking about the fact that you know someone’s daughter was under was going through sex education like the sex education segment and they were like…

09:38.78

Lauren Conaway

In middle school or something like that. She was saying that her daughter was like 12 or 13 years old there and she was highly offended because the school that her daughter goes to is a little bit more progressive and was thinking of putting the students through sex education together.

09:57.12

Lauren Conaway

Now I don’t know if like when I went through sex education and I don’t know how it was for you. Um I think I’m a little older than you but ah when I went through sex Ed in school you separated the boys and the girls and you told the girls “Here are your parts. This is what your period’s going to be like. Nobody ever talked about sexual stimulation, sexual pleasure, consent, none of those things. It was just like you have a uterus and ovaries good luck, here are tampons. And that was what they did and so. I just found it fascinating that people would get so upset about…

10:34.65

Lauren Conaway

Exposing the opposite gender to learning about human bodies. You know I just found that horrific.

11:00.61

Kristen Thomas

You did not receive sex education, you received reproductive health education. Okay, so let’s be clear about that because all they did was talk about how.

11:11.52

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, there’s a difference.

11:19.73

Kristen Thomas

Your body makes a baby or how you don’t make a baby but they probably didn’t tell you about actually how it happens. They probably didn’t tell you about condoms or birth control of any form it was just you have these body parts. This is how babies are made vaguely. That was reproductive health and a very small snippet of it. I will say that separating the boys and the girls is a detriment to both. That’s why we end up with boys who are 20 that don’t understand how periods work. 

11:41.82

11:57.75

Kristen Thomas

Even fifty-year-olds that don’t understand how periods work. I myself have had clients who didn’t get sexual health information in a timely fashion and in their late 20’s or early 30’s still do not understand how babies were made and they’ve had sex.

12:12.73

Lauren Conaway

Oh God, that’s so scary. It’s like oh you know that thing that you just did on Saturday night after a couple you know extra glasses of booms farm. That’s what it is there you go um well so.

12:16.92

Kristen Thomas

They’ve had sex.

12:30.89

Lauren Conaway

So I have to ask I think one of the important questions that I want to talk about is this stigma piece because I think if I mean and you work to break to eradicate stigma and eradicate. Um, you know hesitation around a lot of different topics related to sex and sexuality like I’ve heard you go on record about sex work.

12:44.62

Kristen Thomas

Yeah.

12:49.40

Lauren Conaway

Ah, you know validating sex work as a field and the people who work within that field. Um, you know talking about sexual pleasure. Um over the function of sex I mean I’ve heard you do this time and time again and so I want to ask you? How do you?

12:51.49

Kristen Thomas

Virginia.

12:57.54

Kristen Thomas

Film.

13:07.72

Lauren Conaway

I Imagine that advocating for sex and sexuality and then wellness is a function of sex I imagine that fighting against that constant tide is tiring. It’s got to be tiring.

13:13.16

Kristen Thomas

Is.

13:22.90

Lauren Conaway

Um, you know I get exhausted in my work with innovators because of some of the things that I have to fight against on a daily basis you know you know? Ah, but so so I want to ask you? What do you do? And how do you? How do you deal with that?

13:24.50

Kristen Thomas

Um, yeah, yeah.

13:36.52

Kristen Thomas

Well, for one thing, I’m an only child so like I’m I’m used to having to fight a little bit more to to get what like and and I’m just used to constantly having to advocate for myself.

13:39.77

Lauren Conaway

Okay, yeah.

13:50.00

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

13:52.79

Kristen Thomas

Um, you know when you’re an only child and you move around a couple of times you’ve only got yourself to rely upon like your parents are there but you know you got to learn to make friends fast. You got to learn to have good conversations with people and.

14:03.79

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

14:06.65

Kristen Thomas

I think that part of it is just that I am so used to being the black sheep of my family. Like I was definitely the oddball out a lot of times in my family and like I just don’t care anymore. I think I have to become numb to it. Absolutely.

14:09.98

Lauren Conaway

Ah.

14:19.94

Lauren Conaway

So you can I’m kind of numb to it I’m like I don’t know how healthy that is but it’s working for you clearly.

14:26.40

Kristen Thomas

Agreed Yes, that’s true like there. There is a certain amount of push through it push through the discomfort that I have learned plus again being a weight loss coach for a long time that was where you like change happens in the discomfort.

14:45.25

Kristen Thomas

You know if people are just staying comfortable all the time, that means they’re just staying where they are change hurts a little bit change makes you feel a way That’s not easy. You are not perfectly at ease when you are trying to change your life and do something different and oftentimes.

14:56.10

Lauren Conaway

That.

15:04.35

Kristen Thomas

Challenging Stigmas Challenging Taboos What I am getting people to understand is that the way you’ve always done it. Things aren’t going to get you where you want to go the thoughts and beliefs that you’ve always held on to don’t serve you. They don’t serve anyone right now. So.

15:23.10

Kristen Thomas

I Don’t know I think that there’s just something within me. That’s always been a little bit of a fighter. Ah I.

15:26.31

Lauren Conaway

I love that. And I see that. I want you to know that I see you and I validate you and I honor that in you. 

18:03.43

Lauren Conaway

What do you do to make people comfortable or make them understand the importance of your message?

18:10.39

Kristen Thomas

I definitely have encountered that with clients that like especially the first session or 2 sometimes they’re worried about what exactly they can and can’t say to me. Ah, I try to preface it in our initial session by saying there’s nothing. That I won’t talk about except medical fetish because blood creeps me out. Everything else is on the table as long as it’s, you know, involving consenting parties and there are still times like session 2 they’re like whispering like sex. We had sex and I’m like, “you mean sex?” So part of this is just modeling. And you know if they are afraid to say a certain word or they’re using a nickname for a body part. They’re like oh well, my hoo-ha. I’m like, “oh your vulva?”

19:01.19

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, ah, let’s call it by the name folks, you don’t have a cookie, you have a vagina.

19:07.38

Kristen Thomas

Exactly. Yeah, but the more I just model it casually for them just it’s just straightforward like you’re just talking about this and this. Then it gives them the comfort to be like oh okay I can say that word. And I can say it and be okay and I’m not dirty for saying or thinking or expressing.

19:37.85

Kristen Thomas

You have permission to talk to me about whatever you need to talk about that. It is okay, yes.

19:47.65

Lauren Conaway

That Um, well.

19:53.60

Lauren Conaway

Yeah I mean there of course unless it’s unless it’s medical kink in which case. No thank you.

20:00.55

Kristen Thomas

In that case, it’s like let me help you find somebody. That’s okay, talking about that but most of the time they’re just like what’s medical fetish like if you don’t know what it is. We’re okay.

20:07.42

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, do not recommend Google Search you can never unsee that shit. Ah so all right? so so I do have to pop in here I love this conversation. This is so much fun for me. Sorry.

20:12.85

Kristen Thomas

Yes.

20:25.12

Lauren Conaway

I got distracted for a second because I’m having so much fun. But I do have to tell you that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by fullscale.io. They can help you build a software team quickly and affordably.

I don’t know if you have ever availed yourself of Full ScaleServices. I personally have and I have to tell you that the teams they build for you. They are efficient. They are responsive. They are talented. I just cannot recommend them enough not only because I know I’m biased. I know they are episode sponsors. But that being said, I have personally talked to clients of Full scale. I have personally used Full scale. And I just know the kind of piece that the Full Scale team can bring to entrepreneurs who are just trying to throw everything they have at solving a problem , starting a business, or selling a product. So I definitely highly recommend.

For those of you who are just joining us. We are talking to Kristen Thomas. Kristen is the owner and head coach but sometimes in my head, I call you a sexologist, a clinical sexologist for Open the Doors Coaching.

21:30.68

Kristen Thomas

I am. I’m a clinical sexologist. 

21:37.33

Lauren Conaway

Folks, you are missing out if you have not heard Kristen’s other episodes. So we’ve got Episode 121: The Business of Sex Coaching, Episode 261: Sex Coaching 201, Episode 584: Sex Coaching 301, and then I have the honor of Sex Coaching 401. And we’re talking about all kinds of stuff here. 

So Kristen, something else that I want to ask you about that I find super interesting. You are fantastic at setting boundaries. Even as a coach you have a no-go topic. Totally valid and and I love that you are able to set that expectation with your clients. Talk to us about setting boundaries.

22:23.47

Kristen Thomas

Thank you. Well, I learned how to set my boundaries. We’ll do 2 parts like how I learned my boundaries for my business and then how I teach other people to set boundaries as well. I.

22:36.50

Lauren Conaway

Oh man, look at you are like the best podcast guest ever.

22:43.20

Kristen Thomas

So how I learned what my boundaries are is I went through what’s called a Sar It’s a sexual attitude reassessment, and that is a specific program for clinical sexologists sex therapists to go through. It’s a.

22:49.45

Lauren Conaway

Okay.

23:00.72

Kristen Thomas

Four-day weekend. You are bombarded with imagery. There are panels of people that come in and talk about specific topics you break into small groups. You have conversations. But it’s really about learning to check in with your gut about like oh okay, yeah, right? That’s fine verses like oh I am not. Comfortable seeing that I am not comfortable talking about that that is way outside of my comfort zone but then checking in with why is it outside of your comfort zone is it because of the messaging and the context that you have received your entire life about this thing or is it really just something that like ooh. Yeah, that’s just.

23:22.51

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

23:37.90

Kristen Thomas

Not okay with me I am not comfortable discussing that because if you can check in is it. Society’s messaging or is it something that’s innately about me. There’s a difference there you got to challenge the societal messaging and understand just functionally again the thing.

23:39.70

Lauren Conaway

So yeah.

23:47.83

Lauren Conaway

Right.

23:55.73

Kristen Thomas

Makes me not okay with medical fetishes I don’t like blood I don’t like the sight of blood I’m in the middle of rewatching game of thrones and I turn away quite a bit. Um, no, it’s not that I faint in fact, like in real-life situations where there’s blood I’m actually quite calm cool and collected.

24:02.90

Lauren Conaway

City. Do you do like faint if you see blood just makes you get really quicked out. Yeah.

24:13.86

Kristen Thomas

But if I get in my head about it or I’m thinking about something or I’m honest. It’s probably the empathy part that I am in that moment thinking about the pain that that’s causing and then it makes my body just like ah like I just get a visceral reaction to it. So once I understood that.

24:20.74

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

24:30.48

Kristen Thomas

It’s not because Society has told me that there is something wrong with people who participate in medical play. It’s simply that I know that I’ll kind of like Ski-out and I don’t want that to come across as judgment for someone who’s participating in that so that’s where I drew my limit. That’s the only thing that I won’t talk about.

24:42.56

Lauren Conaway

Thrive.

24:48.27

Kristen Thomas

And again I say anything that’s nonconsensual I won’t talk about so like that takes a lot of things off the not a lot that takes a handful of things off the table people might like so there’s that um, but as far as helping people understand their own boundaries. It’s a lot of getting them to understand what? yes and no feels like in their body.

24:49.31

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

24:55.12

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

25:08.10

Kristen Thomas

Our bodies will tell us when we are okay with something and when we are not okay with something women especially are trained to ignore that feeling. Um, so sometimes it’s just giving them that permission like you know what your stomach starts feeling tense and tight and.

25:11.37

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

25:26.69

Kristen Thomas

Uncomfortable when your body is telling you no so start listening to that. It is okay to then say like you know what? that’s not for me.

25:28.36

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

25:35.10

Lauren Conaway

Well, and I love that and so so like 1 of the conversations that I’ve heard happen around consent is how young you should start it so so just as a for instance and like I find this to be a perfect example. So you know when you were a kid your….

25:54.19

Lauren Conaway

Aunt would come over and she would smell like mothballs and you know she just always felt vaguely creepy to you and you just never liked her. Um, she was just really weird. She always wanted to like to pinch your cheek really hard like whatever it is you but you know, just not a fan and you know one of your parents would be like well make sure that you hug Aunt Mabel and the fact is you didn’t want to and more often than not you were made to like I know so many kids who have this story but that’s an issue of consent like no matter how old you are, you should not be forced to touch or.

26:15.40

Kristen Thomas

Right.

26:20.89

Kristen Thomas

Ah.

26:30.49

Lauren Conaway

Handle or be in the physical space of anybody that you don’t want to be in the physical space of and so there’s this new I guess ideology that all right? We don’t make kids hug people that they don’t want to hug, and we teach them about consent, and we teach them that you know our body parts don’t need to have so.

26:34.15

Kristen Thomas

100%

26:42.53

Kristen Thomas

Yep yep.

26:49.85

Kristen Thomas

You are that.

26:50.41

Lauren Conaway

You know nicknames and that we don’t have to be silent about when people you know touch us inappropriately or even appropriately like it’s okay to explore that as an avenue of conversation and education and so so I love that and I hope.

27:02.32

Kristen Thomas

This is.

27:06.28

Lauren Conaway

That you are starting to see as you know as a sex coach and sex. I just like the term sexologist. Ah, but as ah as a coach like I’m hoping that you’re starting to see changes in conversation around things like consent I mean talk to us a little bit about that, like what? how are you seeing?

27:10.26

Kristen Thomas

Me too right.

27:17.31

Kristen Thomas

Oh hundred percent

27:24.91

Lauren Conaway

I guess the what’s the word like the philosophical landscape. That’s the word I’m like you for the philosophical landscape of sexuality. How are you seeing that change?

27:27.35

Kristen Thomas

The shift. Yeah. Yeah, well like you said, everyone, our age has that story of being forced to hug or accept physical touch from someone that we did not want it from, so all of those people are trying to.

27:43.89

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

27:51.58

Kristen Thomas

Do something better for their kids than what was done for them I don’t have a single client with children who haven’t adopted the like if you don’t want to hug someone you get the choice to not hug that person I think that there has been a gigantic shift in the conversation around bodily autonomy from.

28:02.49

Lauren Conaway

Right.

28:11.11

Kristen Thomas

Our generation to our kids I know like you and I don’t have kids but you know there’s a lot of kids out there who understand the concept of my body is my own only I get to give access to it I am the only person who is allowed to give permission.

28:12.47

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

28:27.72

Lauren Conaway

Riot.

28:30.60

Kristen Thomas

To my body and it’s beautiful I love it. I love that so many kids these days understand things like I can’t touch this person I need to ask permission to hug them. Um, I was actually talking with a fellow innovator on the phone this week talking about how she threw her nanny service. Helps reinforce things like consent and it starts with sharing toys that a person didn’t consent to you. They said no, so we have to respect that no, and talking about touch hitting is part of that. But I think that it’s your kids are never too young.

28:52.30

Lauren Conaway

Yeah. Grave.

29:08.55

Kristen Thomas

To start instilling principles of boundaries and that they’re in charge of their bodies. They get to decide now I know some parents be like oh well, that’s a slippery slope because if we’re saying like we need to go to the store they’re like yeah, it’s my body my choice I don’t have to go to the store if I don’t want to like okay ah I get it.

29:09.43

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

29:26.14

Kristen Thomas

You have to obviously frame the conversation around touch. You have to frame it around other human beings. Yeah, what’s appropriate. What’s not things like that. But there’s been a huge shift and I love saying it.

29:28.20

Lauren Conaway

Right.

29:33.77

Lauren Conaway

Well, I am really glad to hear that and I think that we’re having Well I mean of course like as you’re talking I’m just like reproductive rights. You know we’re not quite there yet. You know we’re starting to educate our kids around it. But we’re like hey our. You know policies and our lawmakers still get a say ah which makes a total set that’s sarcasm by the way I just want to be very clear. Ah, but you know so so like another example in Adulthood This is something that I see.

29:53.23

Kristen Thomas

And oh right.

30:07.50

Lauren Conaway

All the time and something that I really really try hard not to do but we eat it, pregnant women. Um, you know if you want to touch the belly if you want to touch the belly you know fine I kind of understand the inclination; I find it interesting but ask fucking Ask like that is a human being their body. Their belly is.

30:09.50

Kristen Thomas

Oh yeah, touching their bellies.

30:26.74

Kristen Thomas

Yeah, yeah.

30:26.88

Lauren Conaway

Attached you know like you wouldn’t just walk up to somebody who wasn’t pregnant on the street and just like put your hand on their stomachs. So why is it a hey Why isn’t it okay to do it to a pregnant woman like being pregnant is not an invitation to touch and I you know I haven’t been visibly pregnant. Ah, but.

30:45.87

Lauren Conaway

That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand that it might be weird to have strangers on the street coming up and touching my stomach.

30:49.94

Kristen Thomas

Oh one ah hundred percent I I didn’t know until I was in my thirty s that that was like a thing but I mean as you say let’s put the shoe on the other foot. Um, where in the world is it? okay for someone to come up and rub the tummy of somebody a man that’s.

30:54.59

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

31:08.67

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, so many things you don’t know. Yeah.

31:09.70

Kristen Thomas

Overweight and ask him ask him where his Santa suit is I don’t know I’m just like being kind of a jerk there, but like there’s nothing on this planet in our culture that says that’s okay to just walk up to a man and start rubbing his belly right? So why do we have something in our culture that makes it okay to do it to a woman?

31:22.15

Lauren Conaway

Right now that would be looked upon is very weird. Yeah, so.

31:28.73

Kristen Thomas

Yeah, it’s just weird right? I I did have someone recently who was talking about experience and experience that he had on a beach where some girls came up and touched him inappropriately and were like and took like a selfie and he wasn’t sure she was like I don’t I didn’t really know what to do in that moment like.

31:41.27

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

31:48.10

Kristen Thomas

He felt weird saying no and I go Okay, let’s put this issue on the other foot If you were a woman and you had large breasts and someone came up to you. Some men came up to you and said can we take our picture with you and then they grabbed your breasts you would understand that that’s inappropriate, right? He goes? Yeah I go.

31:50.40

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

32:01.57

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

32:07.90

Kristen Thomas

It’s the same thing for you? No one has the right to touch your body inappropriately without your permission and even at that moment when they came up and asked for a picture with you and then touched your body like you were coerced because it’s too spontaneous. It was too in the moment.

32:18.77

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

32:24.49

Kristen Thomas

You were probably trying to weigh out the safety of it all, and you thought they were just going to take a picture and then they touched your body inappropriately and did it like that wasn’t your fault and you did not consent to that. Even though you said you would take a picture with them and he was like thank you I appreciate it like even men need to understand.

32:26.53

Lauren Conaway

She worked. Yeah. Yeah.

32:43.65

Kristen Thomas

They have autonomy over their bodies too. This isn’t just women like all human beings need to understand that their body is theirs and no one is allowed to have access to it without your permission. No matter what? yeah.

32:44.80

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, for sure.

32:54.48

Lauren Conaway

Absolutely yeah, there’s this video that goes around like as ah as a meme periodically and it’s actually I think it’s ah it’s one of the Disney princes at Disneyland and so this girl comes up and she wants her friends to take a picture with the prince. And then she like touches his chest and she kind of like grabs it and she’s laughing with her friends and he actually makes her leave and I’m sitting here like the whole time. 

33:23.40

Kristen Thomas

Yep yes I saw that one too. Absolutely.

33:30.43

Lauren Conaway

So the bottom line is, and this is you know, one of the gems that our listeners get to take away. The bottom line is the only safe place to touch without consent is nowhere. Nowhere, all right? So some good So we’ve talked about consent. We’ve talked about a lot of stuff. Ah, talk to us about.

33:37.46

Kristen Thomas

Correct correct.

33:46.30

Kristen Thomas

Um.

33:50.43

Lauren Conaway

Open the doors coaching I really want to hear like where is Kristen going to be in the future I need to know.

34:11.40

Kristen Thomas

But well, um, of course, I hope to be a New York Times bestselling author like gin man by then right, and have my book out I do I do have a title picked out for my book. So ah, it’s probably going to be lies.

34:29.92

Kristen Thomas

Your parents told you it’s also a reference to a Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode so yeah I’m a big buffy fan anyway, um I also hope. I also hope to have an invention that I have been working on completed and hopefully to market by then I’m working on an educational puppet That’s what I’ll say it’s an educational puppet.

34:53.44

Lauren Conaway

Okay I shudder to think? Ah, no I don’t shudder to think I actually like it’s like good shuddering ah like I know well I’m just like what can you do with a puppet around sexuality and I have with so many answers in my head.

35:01.94

Kristen Thomas

Yeah, you’re like whoo was she coming up with.

35:11.69

Kristen Thomas

Well if I was at my home office right? if I’ve got my home office I would have my vulva puppet behind me. Um I, I’m in my office office and I don’t have her here. Um.

35:13.41

Lauren Conaway

All of them are fine. Yeah, so would you say that this puppet that you are creating might go with the Vulva puppet. Okay.

35:27.74

Kristen Thomas

Yes, yes, there’s no educational training tool for the male member. So yes I’m going to create something that helps educate people and hopefully helps educate people about not circumcising.

35:33.87

Lauren Conaway

Okay.

35:45.19

Lauren Conaway

Ah, interesting. Interesting.

35:46.90

Kristen Thomas

Boy Yes I’m avidly anti-circumcision because I am an antiviolence advocate if we are not okay with doing that to girls. We should not be okay with doing that to boys. So.

35:51.78

Lauren Conaway

Yeah. Well and I mean they definitely have all kinds of global nonprofits against female genital mutilation which is very very popular. Well not very very popular but it’s still you know done in certain parts of the world. So So yeah, definitely. Ah, I see that point.

36:03.87

Kristen Thomas

Aha. Yeah, no, so. Yes.

36:13.65

Lauren Conaway

I also understand that when men are circumcised, they lose something which is like 40% sense of sensation in their parents. Yeah, that’s crazy. Why would we take away sexual pleasure for anyone.

36:18.19

Kristen Thomas

They lose thousands of nerve endings. Oh yeah, absolutely. I know it I literally posted a ticktock about that yesterday it was like post your hot take or controversial opinion I was like we should end circumcision for all boys and it blew up real fast. Um.

36:33.38

Lauren Conaway

Um, yeah.

36:41.58

Lauren Conaway

I’m sure I’m sure.

36:43.57

Kristen Thomas

Also hoping to keep growing my Tiktok audience. I’m up to like I at like 290000 and I did that in a year yeah I like 21000000 views in a year’s time.

36:45.52

Lauren Conaway

Yeah I know you’re like talk famous girl. How many followers? do you have now. Do you know? Holy schnike is that’s amazing. Ah, okay, okay. You you brought the conversation here but I’m really curious over the entrepreneurs playing at home who might have a Tiktok channel. What are some fast tips and tricks that they can use.

37:02.86

Kristen Thomas

Okay, is it.

37:09.58

Kristen Thomas

Oh hey. Okay I literally taught a class about this two weeks ago with square one with the continent public library. So I’ll give some of my top tips from that class which you can find on Youtube as well. If you google me on Youtube along with square one. It’s my my tik time my bit my video just went viral. Um, one, you got to be authentic, just show up and be yourself. Do not worry about overproducing something. It doesn’t you don’t have to spend an entire day filming tiktoks you can just say something in 25 seconds put a fun sticker on it put put a pretty filter on it if you want and put it out there. Lofi is the best way to go on Tiktok. Um, you know if you are a business you need to do a business page. Don’t try to just like I don’t I don’t even though it’s coach Kristen on Tiktok It’s not my personal page. It is my brand page. So I do have it as a business page.

37:48.50

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

38:01.32

Lauren Conaway

Right.

38:05.99

Kristen Thomas

It limits you somewhat on a couple of features but you get more on others like you get really good. A lot better analytics but you have less access to music. So like you might not be able to do some of the popular dances or do some of the trends. But there’s still so much that you can do on that app to build your brand. Tiktok was what was responsible for doubling my business in 2021 my first video that went viral just blew up I had a video go viral in October actually into November and I got 87 emails from Leeds in two weeks yeah.

38:29.23

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah.

38:45.50

Kristen Thomas

It was a lot and it was also really an opportune time because my mom had just had a stroke I was dealing with all her stuff being in the ICU and everything. So ah if anyone listening out there emailed me during that time and I didn’t respond, I’m sorry and a lot going on. Yeah um.

38:55.51

Lauren Conaway

She had a lot going on like yeah, no we totally get that around startup hustle. We’re like oh yeah, you’re human, no way. What.

39:04.90

Kristen Thomas

Yeah, yeah, right life happens. Oh my gosh? Yeah, um, and like you just you got to have fun with it if you’re getting to the point where you’re slogging through feeling like oh god I’ve got to do another Tiktok then just take a break. Um, also if you’re doing a really good job on reels.

39:16.20

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

39:22.24

Kristen Thomas

Just post that same content to Tiktok or vice versa. You don’t have to produce 2 different sets of content just shared across platforms.

39:30.40

Lauren Conaway

Okay I I love that and one of these days you and I are gonna go out for like a happy hour and you’re gonna take me through like the whole Tiktok thing because I do not understand like I log in so and for people are like I sent you this thing on Tiktok and I’m like cool. It’s gonna hang out there for like months because I do not log in.

39:47.20

Kristen Thomas

Um, my gosh I could totally see you just getting on and giving a little tidbit about entrepreneurship. Um, it just needs you just need 20 seconds of talk into your camera. So I get that.

39:48.61

Lauren Conaway

And but you when you do that should it has to be like your face and it has to be like you and I just I don’t I don’t like I don’t want it I don’t like it ah that I will get over that.

40:06.25

Kristen Thomas

Get that I had to get over that too. My marketing guy was on me for 2 years especially like with IGtv that came out he was like you need to be doing Instagram live you need to be doing IGtv I was like I don’t like myself on video plus I do actually have a problem selling my services with my image.

40:06.30

Lauren Conaway

And we’ll get everyone.

40:11.86

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

40:25.80

Kristen Thomas

I worry like okay I’m a pretty woman. Whatever that’s fine I just don’t want people coming to me and having a certain expectation or a false expectation of what I’m going to be like because they see me or they’re coming to me for the wrong reasons just because they think I’m pretty like I.

40:34.81

Lauren Conaway

And that.

40:44.73

Lauren Conaway

Oh yeah, like that is so interesting. It’s like when you tell people certain like for instance, like when I tell people that I’m bisexual like I cannot tell you the amount of people who have then decided it’s okay to touch me or to say something gross or to ask me to make out.

40:45.39

Kristen Thomas

I Don’t want that.

40:57.82

Kristen Thomas

And.

41:02.96

Lauren Conaway

With the random girl next to me and I’m like that is that how sexuality works for you because it’s your shit. Not how it works for me, you freakin nature like and so I can’t even imagine what it would be like like hi I’m a sex coach I speak openly about sexual wellness and sexuality and relationships and to also be a very pretty woman.

41:08.24

Kristen Thomas

Rate rate.

41:22.66

Lauren Conaway

And to have all of those things happening in 1 person like I can’t imagine the response that you get and I’d like to apologize for everyone I’m apologizing for the world and the fact that you have to deal with that. But um, you know we’re doing great work I can’t even imagine.

41:30.10

Kristen Thomas

Thank you? Yeah, my DMs are kind of gross sometimes. But yeah like I didn’t grow up with a video camera in my house with a camcorder just wasn’t a thing that we had.

41:47.90

Kristen Thomas

Um, so I think that’s also part of my issue with being on video, but I just I finally bit the bullet I got over it last into last February and I did my very first Tiktoks like oh that wasn’t bad. It took like 5 minutes of my time and okay like I could be.

41:51.55

Lauren Conaway

You got over it.

41:59.27

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

42:05.42

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

42:05.83

Kristen Thomas

Do this again and I just eased into it, and I didn’t have as many problems with people saying things about my looks or inferring things as I thought I would I mean yes, it still exists from time to time again. The message requests are kind of gross sometimes on there. But. Ah, I did just have to learn to take some of the bad with all of the good that I was getting out of it was such a small percentage of inappropriateness compared to all the new business I was getting um and sometimes I do pretend like I’m just my marketing company. Go hi. This is someone.

42:28.25

Lauren Conaway

Sure yeah.

42:39.84

Lauren Conaway

Feel.

42:42.75

Kristen Thomas

So from Fuller Creative How can I help you and then they stop messaging.

42:46.67

Lauren Conaway

So so is all right? So so to recap, um for folks listening at home being a sexologist or a sex coach is not an invitation for further grossness. Don’t do that it. The only.

42:51.19

Kristen Thomas

Finish.

43:04.66

Lauren Conaway

Say place to touch without consent is nowhere. None of us women have to smile if we don’t fucking feel like it, and don’t be afraid to explore Concepts like sexual health wellness ah can sense all of these beautiful things that we’ve been talking about, so that’s my recap.

43:05.34

Kristen Thomas

Um, ah.

43:21.90

Kristen Thomas

Perfect, Perfect Yes yes, love it.

43:23.27

Lauren Conaway

Bottom line is don’t be gross but don’t be afraid how about that all right? So so we’ve come upon a human question and I am and Kristen I hope that you don’t feel objectified for the question that I’m about to ask you but I really really want to ask you this question but feel free to like shut my ass down and be like.

43:38.34

Kristen Thomas

But okay.

43:42.95

Lauren Conaway

Don’t be a jerk. Ah, so my question to you is when do you feel sexiest. You are the only question. The only person that I’ve asked a question that’s related to sexual sexuality. But I feel like it’s appropriate here.

43:47.73

Kristen Thomas

Ah.

43:56.49

Kristen Thomas

Yeah, oh that is a really good question because like I have a wonderful partner. He is. He is my life partner he is there. He’s a very sharp dresser. Yes, absolutely.

44:15.14

Kristen Thomas

Um, honestly I think I I do feel sexiest at the end of a session with him. Um, like it’s you know, sweaty hair messed up just like in the afterglow and like it’s.

44:20.48

Lauren Conaway

Okay.

44:32.31

Kristen Thomas

It’s hard sometimes to stay out of your head you know and focus on pleasure. But it’s something that because I have trained my clients on doing it, I have learned to do it too I bring some mindfulness techniques into the bedroom, and so I think that I feel sexiest.

44:36.83

Lauren Conaway

I have.

44:45.30

Lauren Conaway

Oh.

44:50.17

Kristen Thomas

Afterwards, simply because I know that I showed up I was present, I was able to give and receive pleasure openly and that we both had a good time. Oh.

44:53.63

Lauren Conaway

Um, yeah.

45:00.41

Lauren Conaway

You did your job and hopefully, he did too. Ah, note that is fantastic. Well, I have to tell you, Kristen. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat I know that our conversation was honestly I feel. And most of our conversations are a little all over the place because we just have so much that we want to talk about ah but thank you for going on this journey with us.

45:21.94

Kristen Thomas

Absolutely I mean I sure I love talking about like the business side of things and we definitely got some business talk in here. But you know you know like sometimes just talking about life and the solutions that I provide that are like let you know.

45:28.94

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, get on Tiktok.

45:40.72

Kristen Thomas

More about what I actually do rather than the business side of it that I appreciate you having me on a talk about some of that.

45:42.28

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, hell yeah well we will have to do it again sometime. 501. I do think I’m going to challenge Matt to a fight for Kristin Thomas future episodes. Like we’re going to have some kind of battle of wits.

45:51.13

Kristen Thomas

Hell yeah yeah, my school I love it. So.

46:01.98

Lauren Conaway

Or a battle of the brains or I don’t know if I could beat Matt in a physical battle I know why maybe not. So.

46:04.81

Kristen Thomas

Probably not no, no well we could also I don’t know do it off of downloads average download per host because.

46:15.53

Lauren Conaway

Ah, listen, see now I know I know I yeah I feel like that is it. It’s a lofty goal, but it’s one that I completely agree with so so we’ll see, I’ll talk to Matt.

46:18.73

Kristen Thomas

I mean but that is setting a high bar for for this episode Lauren because they’re for a hot minute I was the most listened to start Apostle guest of all time.

46:30.13

Kristen Thomas

Ah, yeah, perfect.

46:34.33

Lauren Conaway

And I mean I feel I feel confident that we can come up with some kind of some kind of yeah some some sort of battle royale for for the rights to Kristen Thomas we are 100% ejecticifying you and I’m only a little bit sorry ah, okay, so so folks.

46:37.39

Kristen Thomas

Battle royale.

46:52.15

Lauren Conaway

I gotta tell you this has been a really fun conversation for me I hope it’s been for you I also hope that you consider reaching out to full scale if you were looking to build a software team quickly and affordably they are.

Today’s episode sponsors and we love them lots and lots. We really do they are they are the entity and the family. Makes all of this possible. So we’re very very grateful to them. Thank you Full Scale I really really grateful to you friends and hope that you will join us. Ah, you can find we have a pretty deep digital footprint on Startup Hustle.

47:20.99

Kristen Thomas

Move.

47:24.67

Lauren Conaway

Ah, Matt DeCoursey is fabulous about making sure that that happens. And the Full Scale team is amazing about making sure that that happens. But keep an eye out for us on Facebook we have a chat group that you can join. Check us out on Instagram. Find us on Youtube where you can view episodes of startup Hustle Tv. But definitely check us out wherever you consume your content because Startup Hustle puts out a lot of it. And we think it’s pretty good. And folks, keep on listening. We are very grateful for you that you listen to us week after week and we hope you’ll join us again. We will catch you on the flip side.

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