I Moderated A Roundtable Discussion About Sex With 15+ Strangers

When Tango’s founder Dana Savage and I hopped on our first call, it was like we had already known each other for years. We immediately hit it off and opened up to each other about our personal lives, beliefs, struggles, work projects, and goals. By the end of our hour-long call, she asked if I’d be interested in moderating the brand’s inaugural Sex Salon where a group of strangers would chat about the exact things we did – intimacy, romance, pleasure products, hookup culture, empathy, etc. My anxiety immediately started screaming “ABSOLUTELY NOT! HELL NO!” but somehow I ignored its incessant cries and accepted her offer right there on the spot.

 

Leading up to the event, I thought of all of the reasons why I wasn’t qualified to lead the discussion (thanks, anxiety and imposter syndrome!), but I drove back home to Long Island that night fully confident that I made the right decision. I learned so much about myself and everyone else with whom I shared that table. We spoke about how our school system’s sex education had failed us, why sex toys are so inaccessible to people who don’t have an “in” with a friend who works at an adult shop or know someone who’s a sex writer with open DMs, and far more personal topics that I won’t share here. Moderating a roundtable discussion about sex with 15+ people I’d never met before was one of the most nerve-wracking, anxiety-inducing, emotional moments of my life to date, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have experienced it.

 

 

I’m still internalizing that night at Honey’s in Brooklyn so the words aren’t coming out so easily quite yet. However, I was able to write this post as well as a more in-depth piece for Tango’s new blog and content series Everybody Blogs. I’ll drop the link at the end of this post.

 

Perhaps my biggest takeaway from this roundtable is that we are all similar in more ways than we initially perceive, and it’s time that we work to remove the fear associated with initiating and having these intimidating, important discussions. 

 

I challenge you to expose the things you’ve been hiding in fear of judgment or rejection. I ask you to place your anxieties and insecurities aside and practice vulnerability with a loved one or someone new about something you’re going through. Sure, you may receive mixed reactions, but I promise you’ll be shocked at the positive responses from unexpected people who deeply resonate with your message. By having these conversations, we learn that we’re not so alone and teach others that they’re not alone either.

 

THANK YOU, Tango and Dana, for inviting me to attend and moderate this incredible event. It was an experience I’ll never forget. So excited for the next one!

 

Read my essay for Tango titled “Here’s What I Learned About Vulnerability From Moderating A Roundtable About Sex” here.

 

 

Morgan Mandriota is a freelance sex, health, and wellness writer and the creator of hawkandpearl.com and highlyuntamed.com. You can read her content on Betches, BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog, and a bunch of other places on the internet. When she isn't writing, Morgan loves traveling, hiking, eating tacos, and training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else @morganmandriota.

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