Off The Cuff: Sex Educators Marshall Miller and Rachel Dart

Orgasm experts Marshall Miller and Rachel Dart came to Oberlin to present their sexual education program, “I Heart Female Orgasm,” which filled West Lecture hall on Wednesday. Miller is the author of a book of the same name and tours college campuses with both Dart and Dorian Solot, his co-author. He also spent over six years running HIV and STI prevention programs. Dart is a co-host of the “I Heart Female Orgasm” program and works with the New York City Mayor's Office to combat domestic and dating violence.

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Marshall Miller and Rachel Dart came to Oberlin to present their sexual education program, “I Heart Female Orgasm,” on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Sophia Yapalater

What got you interested in sex education?

Rachel Dart: My best friend in high school was a sex educator. I thought what she did was awesome, and went to her with all of my questions. Later, when I was in school at NYU, I started working with their peer educator program and began teaching sex education workshops.

Marshall Miller: When I was a sophomore at Brown they announced a new major: sexuality and society. I was immediately interested. I wrote my thesis on HIV prevention and after I finished school, began working with a community health center on HIV and STI prevention programs. Dorian and I started presenting sex education workshops at big conferences and started getting invited to speak at colleges, and now it’s how we make a living!

What is your favorite subject to teach?

MM: Female orgasm.

RD: I like teaching about the clitoris, because I’m often surprised by people’s perceptions of where it’s located.

What are the difficulties you face as a sex educator?

MM: It can be difficult because many people only get an abstinence-only education as they’re growing up, and they arrive at college not knowing how to be sexually responsible adults.

RD: I find that I have to always tell people that I’m off the clock. All of my friends ask so many questions. But I love it, so it’s all right.

Did you have a comprehensive sexual education experience growing up?

RD: I didn’t, no. My parents got me books — they were cool about it — but not in school. It would just be like “and the sperm would swim up…” and I’d be like, “But what about what happens before that?”

MM: I had a mixed experience. My health teacher was limited in what she was allowed to teach about, but allowed students to teach each other.

What recommendations do you give to people interested in becoming sex educators?

MM: Mostly just to volunteer for different organizations and get your foot in the door. We have a section on our website FAQ about how to become a sex educator, too.

What do you find people know the least about?

MM: There’s a real mix. Some know everything and can come to our lectures and just enjoy them, while some know nothing at all and are here to learn and take it all in.

RD Yeah, I would say female ejaculation, but some people at our lectures are experts.

Do you have any icons or role models in the sexual health/education world?

MM: Not really. Everyone is a role model. There are so many great sex educators out there.

RD: I’d say my best friend who got me interested in this when we were in high school.

Any parting thoughts?

MM: That sex is good to know about and it’s a healthy thing to want information about it – whether or not you plan to put it to use immediately. Sex is a fun topic and people shouldn’t be ashamed to learn more about it.

RD: It was a fun crowd tonight. What was that thing you said about them, Marshall?

MM: That you guys really put the “O” in “Oberlin.”

RD: We should use that at all of the Ohio schools.