This month for Between The Sheets, we had the pleasure of talking with Cameron Glover (@BlkGrlManifest on social) Black queer writer, sexuality educator, and consultant. Beginning as a freelance writer, Cameron has written pieces featured in Bitch Media, Greatist, Playboy, Healthline, and Slate. She has since become a changemaker in the sexuality field, having developed a growing social media presence, and a plethora of resources for aspiring freelancers (educators, coaches, therapists, and writers) in the field.
Cameron is also the host of the formidable podcast, Sex Ed In Color, where she has insightful, galvanizing conversations with other sexuality professionals about sex and pleasure, from the unique perspectives of people and communities of color. Read Cameron’s thoughts on centering racial justice in her work, the role of white supremacy in imposter syndrome and narratives around self-care, and navigating social media marketing when her content under attack by the algorithms.
Hi Cameron! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Cameron, and my pronouns are she/her. I'm a Black queer femme writer-turned-sex educator and provide services that help other sexuality professionals authentically market their expertise online. Along with my work in consulting and writing, I'm also the host of the Sex Ed in Color podcast. As I like to say, I'm a very busy Millennial.
As you discuss in your podcast, Sex Ed in Color, sex education is a racial justice issue. How does that continue to inform your work, writing, and how you show up in sexuality education spaces?
I believe that this is one of the focal points of my work. As a Black femme, I can't escape the ways that race informs my worldview and experiences. But at the same time, it's important to acknowledge and centralize how everything is a racial justice issue. Despite this, so much of the sexuality space actively pushes against this through erasure and avoidance.
I don't hide or apologize for how this is centralized in my work, but I also look for ways to lead by action example for this. For example, my default when writing — even if the piece isn't exclusively on race — is to prioritize Black and non-Black sources and encourage other writers to diversify their sources as well. For Sex Ed in Color, I make it clear in each episode who is being centralized in the show, and when I give workshops or speak publicly, I make it a point to state who I am and who my work is for. To be clear, white audiences still consume my work and are a notable part of my online communities, but being able to state clearly who my work is for makes the difference.
So much of your work inherently involves being active on social media platforms. What have you noticed to be some of the pros and cons of utilizing social media as a sexuality professional?
Definitely! As a sexuality professional, we're under much more scrutiny on these platforms than other folks — and a lot of this comes from a lack of understanding of what it is we do. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, have been called out for their algorithm targeting of sexuality professionals: shadowbanning, restricting activity and deleting accounts without prompt or explanation.
At the same time, social media still remains one of the biggest sources of traffic and visibility for all industries, including the sexuality field. People are hungry for sex education that speaks to them, and social media creates the best way to date in cultivating that community with our audiences. But I do have to be mindful on the backend that I'm not putting all of my eggs in one basket. By that I mean, I don't have the luxury of being reliant on one social media channel for traffic nor can I utilize the same popularized business tools, like Facebook ads (since most advertisers won't allow sexuality professionals to advertise for their services).
I'm sure you've had so many incredible conversations through your podcast, Sex Ed In Color, but what conversation has been the most illuminating OR has just been on your mind a lot recently?
This is a hard one, but two are immediately coming to mind. Last February, I talked with Rooster, a porn performer, lighting tech, and advocate for ethical porn. It was such an illuminating conversation that I still go back to because I learned so much from them about being on set for porn but also the ways that porn performers and other sex workers are sexuality professionals, and how civilians in the field need to do way better at making space for them. [Read Rooster’s story here: https://www.hellorooster.club/activism/]
The second conversation was one I had earlier in September with Sex-Positive Families' creator, Melissa Carnagey. There was a lot that they shared in the conversation but what stood out most to me was towards the end, when Melissa shares their thoughts about imposter's syndrome that has transformed my own relationship with it. "Imposter's Syndrome is a product of white supremacy," they said. "And so, I'm no longer in a place where I give in to that or believe in that. I know that I belong here, so it's just a matter of what am I going to do while I'm here."
What does self-care mean to you? How do you incorporate self-care into your life?
Self-care, to me, is a transformative call for accountability. It's about asking myself, How do I want to be cared for at this moment? I think about how self-care has been gentrified by capitalism, and at the root of it, self-care has been removed from the internalization of change. I enjoy doing face masks and taking baths, but it's not just about the act of doing it to seem like I'm being ~luxurious~ but because these are actions that force me to go inward, take a moment to slow down, even.
I read somewhere that self-care is doing a mix of things that challenge you and comfort you, so for me, that means self-care takes so many forms. It's making a monthly budget and sticking to it, checking my bank account balances every day, flossing.. all of the things that I may not want to do but I know are ultimately good for me long-term. Coupled with the things that I need when I'm emotionally low — making some of my favorite tea or asking my partner to do it for me, giving myself a scalp massage, cooking — self-care encourages us to be our best selves.
There's an important discussion to be had about the focus on self-care within health & wellness spaces, and the neglect of the importance and necessity of community care. Do you have any thoughts to share on this?
I wrote a piece for ZORA by Medium on this idea of who heals the healers; how do people who are healers by profession center their own self-care? The responses were amazing, and something that stood out to me was how community care was centralized in that by my sources. Healing can't be done completely independently; we need a support system for it to be executed to its fullest potential. I'm reminding myself of this as a sexuality professional as well, in reaching out more to my colleagues and genuinely asking, How can I best support you?
What or who is inspiring you right now, professionally, personally, sexually?
I'm reading more nonfiction again, which has me exploding with ideas at the moment. adrienne marie brown always inspires me — I've read Pleasure Activism and am currently reading Emergent Strategy and it's so good. Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston are also classic authors I always go back to when I need to feel something. I'm also inspired by folks that are creating the things that they want to see in the world: as a tattooed Black person, I love seeing everything that Ink The Diaspora is doing highlighting Black tattooers and the diversity in their work. The team at Wear Your Voice Magazine. So many folks.
I'm also so inspired by the work that other sex educators of color are doing: Ev'Yan Whitney, Kevin Patterson, Sonalee Rashatwar, Shanae Adams, Afrosexology. I'm really inspired by sexuality professionals that are creating their own lanes within the field — spinning the expectation of what it means to be a sexuality professional on its head — and folks that are able to have a good balance of prioritizing their personal pleasure alongside the healing that they facilitate for others.
Any favorite picks from the shop?
You can find out more about Cameron by visiting her Instagram and Twitter, and reading her notable selected past work. Listen to past episodes of Sex Ed in Color featuring some incredible guests and perspectives. Browse her e-book offerings here.
Jamie J. LeClaire (they/them) is a freelance writer and sex educator living with chronic illness. Their work and writing focus on sexual health and wellness, queer and trans identity, body politics, nonmonogamy and more. You can find out more about them and their coaching, speaking, and workshop offerings on their website or follow them on Instagram at @JamieJLeClaire.