Spotlight On: Lindsey Doe
May 11, 2016
Lindsey Doe, DHS, is a clinical sexologist, doctor of human sexuality, and online sex educator for a community of over 200,000 subscribers. You may have heard of her YouTube channel Sexplanations, designed to sex edutain the universe. Lindsey will be joining Colorado Youth Matter as a special guest speaker this October for our Raising the Bar conference.
1. At what point did you realize your interest in human sexuality and know you wanted to pursue it as your profession?
I realized my interest in human sexuality when puberty really hit me and it became very important to talk about sex with my peers even in silly ways like asking boys whether or not they had bikes because we thought bike was slang for penis in German. We’d ask if they wore helmets too, and would laugh, laugh thinking we were very clever. I think from there studying sex became important for personal reasons. I had questions, adults weren’t supplying the answers, so I set about finding them myself.
2. You’ve filled a number of different roles as a sex expert, from sexuality curricula author, to professor, to sexologist, to non-profit employee and more. Where were you before and what inspired you to shift your work to your Sexplanations Youtube channel? What is it about this medium that appeals to you and your followers?
I don’t remember a time when I was on a path other than sexology, even when I didn’t know to call it that. As a very young child I wanted to be a UPS driver because I loved receiving mail and wanted to be the person to bring others that joy, but that was never pursued seriously. That said, I’ve done lots of work in addition to sexology because I wasn’t yet qualified for my work now or I took what I could get at the time. I worked landscaping, Papa John’s pizza line cook, then manager, then server at a fine dining sushi restaurant, then teaching health classes, tutoring...
I shifted to the YouTube platform for sex education when I realized that the University of Montana’s very poor decisions would lead to the Human Sexuality class being cut for all students. This and I was in the early stages of adopting my daughter. Working alongside Hank Green was a business call to be financially stable for a family and enormously visible as an educator.
3. What is your favorite part of your job?
Making myself laugh.
4. What is the most challenging part of your job and how do you deal with it?
The most challenging is when the trolls come out. Usually around 80 thousand views. This happened in a very traumatic way when I posted a video on my personal channel called Dear Boy Who Likes My Daughter. The video went viral, the trolls came out, and they, in addition to media sources like Fox News, proceeded to tell me how my daughter should be harassed and raped and I have no right to educates boys otherwise. Part of me thinks I dealt with it poorly. I didn’t know how and so I let it affect me, and rock me. I was giving a presentation in Wisconsin that weekend and felt I had to explain to them why I was weepy. That’s great though! I think that hanging a lantern so to speak and telling people about the unscripted parts of a show is valuable. I let them know I was real. I also stayed up very late writing down the names of all the trolls and tediously blocking them until my friend told me how to turn off comments. It still bothers me when I see abuse online; my colleague, Laci Green is bombarded with it, but I also know there are thousands more in favor of my voice and what I do makes a positive difference.
5. What did your sex education look like growing up? Did that affect your decision to enter this field?
In 5th grade we had Turtleneck Tuesdays which was this way of kids warning each other they should wear turtlenecks so they could hide their laughter during the reproductive section of class. In later grades we learned about puberty and in high school contraception but I don’t remember anything outstanding except that the people around me were very aware of my experiences in those classes. Like how my best friend in high school dug up her old sex ed pamphlets from 5th grade knowing I’d value them. And my dad would recall me telling him stories about my freshman sex ed because he like many others in my life were in awe of how unabashedly I cared for the information.
6. What do you see as the biggest challenge to youth sexual health and education in America right now?
Adults lying to students.
7. What advice about sex, sexuality, and/or sexual health do you wish someone had told you as a teenager/young person?
I think I received incredible messaging - my body is mine, I’d be supported for reporting anything, I didn’t have to keep secrets, sexuality is natural and important, I can pursue any field I want.
What I think would have been helpful to hear or hear more of is that sex is not the greatest sign of love.