The Confidence & Joy Bulletin User’s Manual
Greetings! I'm Emily! I'm a sex educator! And author! My job - my purpose in life - is teaching women to live with confidence and joy inside their bodies. The Confidence & Joy Bulletin is part of that. To help you get the most out of the experience of reading the newsletter, here are some basic guidelines about what you can expect here:
1. This is a newsletter about sexual wellness. It’s not for everyone. If it’s not for you, groovy! Thanks for stopping by and have fun with all the other newsletters!
If it is for you, hello and welcome! Sex is a complex topic that can range from feeling like a connection with the divine to feeling literally worse than death, I’ll be addressing the whole range here, and there will probably be some that go to places you are not interested in going. NO WORRIES. Skip any that go somewhere you’re not interested in going, the next post will be totally different.
Also, because this is about sexual wellbeing, I write about social justice a lot. After all, pleasure is most accessible in a world that embraces each person's bodily autonomy! I want to live in a world where everyone can access pleasure, because everyone has bodily autonomy.
2. “Sex Positive.”This phrase is part of how I identify—as a sex positive, trauma informed, feminist, evidence-based sex educator. What does “sex positive” mean? There are lots of definitions out there, but when I use it, this is what I mean:
Right? So simple. Impossible to disagree with. After all, don’t you get to choose how and when you are touched, and how you touch others? Don’t you get to choose how you feel about your body? If you don’t get to choose, you’re not living in a sex positive place, and maybe you love it there, great good for you, you get to choose! But this place is sex positive. Everyone here gets to choose, and no one gets to impose on other people.
3. A newsletter is a conversational medium—in both senses. It’s less formal and precise than a book, less structured than a classroom lesson, and less comprehensive than either. My writing here will be conversational, like it would be in, say, a podcast interview. People ask me questions and we chat about it. There aren’t endnotes, ya know?
But I also mean that it’s a conversation. Each post is a small thing that cannot capture the fullness of the experience it represents, much less the whole person or situation involved. So if you read a post and think, “But what about this?” or “Why didn’t she address that?” it’s because no post can include everything and everyone. I try, darn it all to heck, but I just can’t. In the comments, you can tell folks how your experience is different (people vary!) or share a resource you’ve found valuable.
(Can I just say though… if you’d like to read what my best, most comprehensive answers look like, read Come As You Are. I didn’t have a word count limit there! I did have endnotes!)
4. Comments. I consider a person's social media space like this one to be like someone’s living room. Welcome to my living room! I welcome comments, but please only say things you would say in my literal living room, to my smiling face offering you a beverage.
I delete stuff I wouldn't want a guest in my living room to have to overhear, and my guests always include trans and non-binary people, people of color, immigrants, disabled folks, gay, lesbian, and queer folks, people of size, or anyone else with a marginalized identity. Everyone belongs here, everyone belongs in their body, everyone has a place here on Earth. People get to find their own way to their place—just as you deserve to find your own way! This isn’t a hard guideline for most people to follow; just be nice!
So there’s four handy hints for how to get the most out of this newsletter. The Confidence & Joy Bulletin is here to help you live with confidence and joy inside your body. I hope it helps, and I hope you subscribe if you enjoy reading this kind of stuff.
EMILY NAGOSKI is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling Come As You Are and The Come As You Are Workbook, and coauthor, with her sister, Amelia, of New York Times bestseller Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. She earned an M.S. in counseling and a Ph.D. in health behavior, both from Indiana University, with clinical and research training at the Kinsey Institute. Now she combines sex education and stress education to teach women to live with confidence and joy inside their bodies. She lives in Massachusetts with two dogs, a cat, and a cartoonist.