An Interview with, Samantha Fraser, Playground Conference Founder
Samantha Fraser is a life coach and happiness consultant, sex educator, producer, and author of Not Your Mother’s Playground: a realistic guide to honest, happy, and healthy, open relationships. We asked her a few questions about her work.
Q: What did you have to study or learn to get into this field?
A: I come at the world of sex education with a graphic design diploma and lots of event experience, so I’d say I had to learn a lot of things. As a coach and facilitator, I’m always learning about what makes people tick (or doesn’t), so I’ve consistently thrown myself at every article and book about human sexuality so that I can better understand both my clients and my event attendees.
Q: What led you to choose this career path?
A: After opening up my marriage in 2006 I became a blogger in 2008. I would write very openly and honestly about my sexuality and relationships which, at the time, was not a very common thing to do. I ended up recognizing that there was a need for me to put myself out there as it could help other people be comfortable with their own vulnerabilities. Everything else just grew from there.
Q: Why do you believe your work is important?
A: The most evident side effect of my work, whether it’s coaching or running events is that I can offer people the opportunity to find validation in who they are and what they choose to do with their sexuality.
Q: Who are (or were) some of your biggest influences?
A: I have lots of people on this list, but for now I’d start with Kate Kenfield, Dirty Lola, Princess Kali, Andrew Gurza, Luna Matatas, and likely a lot of other great people.
Q: What, if anything, has surprised you most, working the field you’re in?
A: Even though I shouldn’t be surprised by it at this point, I am still often taken aback by how much shame a lot of people carry about their desires. I am constantly reminded that, outside of the bubble I operate in, we still live in a North American society that overall doesn’t encourage people to express themselves and their sexuality. It saddens me whenever I encounter it but it also helps me want to keep going.
Q: What have you learned from this experience, how has it changed you?
A: I’ve learned a lot about myself from the work that I do. It’s helped me to learn how to best express my desires and personal sexuality which has absolutely changed the way I operate in relationships now. I stand up for myself and what makes me happy which is something that I never used to do.
Q: What is your favourite piece of advice for people?
A: As long as you aren’t hurting anyone, whatever it is that you like or desire sexually, it’s ok. YOU are ok. And you are very much among friends.
Samantha loves discussing taboo subjects openly, with wit and a side of personal experience, as someone who’s been successfully non-monogamous for more than twelve years. She has spoken at various conferences about non-monogamy and communication, including Momentum (now CatalystCon), Playground, Atlanta Poly Weekend, and PolyCon, where she was the keynote in 2013.
Samantha has appeared on/in CBC DocZone’s Thoroughly Modern Marriage & The Truth About Female Desire, Sirius XM’s Todd Shapiro Show, CHCH News, NewsTalk 1010, Toronto Life, SexMatters TV, InnerSPACE, The Globe & Mail, Xtra, National Post, Metro, The Toronto Sun, Filament Magazine, and many other sexuality focused websites / podcasts.
She is the co-host of the Tell Me Something Good, live sexy storytelling night at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto, founder and executive producer of Toronto’s Playground sexuality conference, and loves uniting communities and taking on more than she can chew.
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