Sex is a social skill.
I'm Dawn Serra.
I’m a sex & relationship coach, sexuality educator, business consultant, and a mythbuster of all the stories that keep us swimming in shame.
I create transformative spaces for our collective shame and pain, so that you can have deeper connections with yourself, your body, your pleasure, your desire, and the people you love most.
Here's what I know.
The world teaches us that we aren’t enough, that our bodies are broken or ugly, that our pleasure isn’t valuable, that our voices don’t matter. This is why we can’t trust ourselves, why we carry shame, and why we only really know how to perform love and sex instead of deeply experiencing it.
We have so few models showing us how to talk about it all, how to share our needs and desires in a way that creates connection.
I am here to change that.
I am here to show you all the ways you are enough, you are worthy, and how to navigate it all as if it’s a fun adventure.
Sex is a social skill because sex has to start with knowing yourself - your body, your boundaries, your desires.
That is only the first step. The second step is sharing that truth with others by effectively communicating.
The final step is co-creating and navigating the awkward dance that is two (or more) sets of boundaries and desires colliding to create something that we hope is mutually delicious.
Each step in this exchange is based on numerous skills; skills that I have dedicated my life to understanding, exploring, and practicing as intersectionally as possible.
Here's how I got here.
I got my Bachelor’s in business leadership and management with honors (which helps with the work I do with budding sex educators and therapists). I spent 17 years in corporate America as a coach and manager in IT, and I secretly ran a sex toy business on the side which was my first foray into sexuality. Selling sex toys gave me a chance to interact with thousands of women around their sexual insecurities and fantasies.
I got a peek into just how ashamed, scared, and unprepared most of us are when it comes to admitting and talking about our experience. I was hooked.
Along the way, I've:
- completed Level 1 & Level 2 in Gottman Method Couples’ Therapy certification, which taught me all about thriving relationships and the warning signs are for a relationship that's on the road to crumbling;
- completed Terry Real's Relational Life Therapy Level 1 training, which turns relationship therapy and consulting on its head (with a big focus on leading clients out of patriarchal roles inside of love);
- attended Reid Mihalko’s Sex Geek Summer Camp and Tristan Taormino’s Sex Educator Boot Camp to grow my sex educator skills;
- volunteered at a radical feminist newsjournal until I realized how deeply anti-trans, anti-sex work, & anti-femme they were. I left in a blaze of rage;
- coordinated the Washington DC Pro-Choice book club for seven years & read hundreds of books on sexuality, body autonomy, parenthood, politics, legislation, and the stories of women's bodies; and,
- spoken at universities and written on queer issues and sexuality.
I’m deeply inspired by Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability and shame.
I also adore Emily Nagoski’s research around desire and libido, Esther Perel’s thoughts on infidelity and the erotic, Feminista Jones’ unwavering commitment to linking sexuality and racial justice, Kelly Diels’ social justice framework for doing business free from oppression, Bessel van der Kolk's life-changing trauma work, and I live and breathe Brian Andreas’ beautiful art on love and unapologetically speaking your truth.
I work for liberation across the board: in my own mind, in your life, and for the world at large.
Here's how I REALLY got here.
I am a fat-bodied, queer, rape survivor who got married at the age of 37 to a much younger Canadian. I've always known how to talk about sex, but it wasn't until I failed my way through a lot of insecurities and mistakes until I started learning (still a work in progress) how to experience sex on my own terms.
I’ve always been the person that friends turned to for sex advice or to share their deepest, whispered secrets.
I got my first sex toy the day I turned 18 by marching into a poor-lit, sticky-floored sex toy shop and choosing the least scary vibrator from the wall. I didn’t learn how to pleasure myself with my own hands until I was in my 20’s.
My sexual identity has morphed and shifted over the years: straight, lesbian, queer, kinky. I never let the labels stop me.
Trauma has left me with anxiety and PTSD, but it also gifted me with a FIERCELY unapologetic approach to consent, respect, and autonomy.
Starting Sex Gets Real with my dear friend Dylan in January 2014 paired with the end of a seven year relationship ultimately launched me into this work full-time. I was suddenly confronted with my own fears about my fat body and believing no one could ever want me. I went on a sexual quest and learned a lot about rejection, speaking up, and just how wrong most of the information I’d been given actually was.
All of it, every single bit of it, brought me here. To this moment with you.