What do you imagine a sexologist to be?
Did you know? Birte Fulde is not only brand marketing manager at the sex toy mail order company ORION, but has also been a trained sexologist for a good year now. We asked her what exactly she is and to what extent this extra qualification is part of her work for the sextoyexpert.
Birte Fulde is sexpert for lovetoys
Question Dear Birte, you have been a sexologist for a good year now. How does a woman come to have such a vocation? What was your personal motivation for doing this?
Sexologist Birte I’m not entirely sure, but my talent for talking about sex was probably ingrained in me. For example, I can remember a situation when I was about eight years old and saw two pages of “massage sticks” in the Otto catalog. I wondered for days how you are supposed to massage your neck with these elongated things. I guess it was clear to me at the time that there are items that just need to be explained better and in more detail.
It then took another 30 years until I learned to appreciate “massage sticks” not only privately but also professionally. Five years ago I took over the management of ORION Brand Marketing – a position in which one actually cares less about vibrators, vulvas or vacuum fetish, but more about public relations.
But what was already dormant in the eight-year-old girl – namely the thought that you simply have to explain massage sticks better, just wouldn’t let me go. And so began my educational work for our Instagram channel and Co. The training as a sexologist was then actually just the next logical step to further deepen my know-how collected until then and make it official.
Question Sexologist – to be honest, that almost sounds like a fantasy profession. Is there actually a recognized training for this? And how does that work exactly?
Sexologist Birte Strictly speaking, I am even a sex therapist, but my focus is not therapy, but more educational work, so I prefer to call myself a sexologist. And yes of course, there are very many accredited training opportunities for this. Mine, for example, lasted a total of one year and was a distance learning program for most of that time. Finally, there was a week of real hardcore boot camp with training from 8 in the morning until 8 at night – only then did I finally have my official certificate.
Question How exactly does such a sexologist help people now? You’re not supposed to prescribe blue pills. Or is it?
Sexologist Birte No, I’m not allowed to do that – and I wouldn’t! I am generally rather cautious with my work and prefer to point out specialists in time, as the medical background is extremely important for some abnormalities.
As a sexologist, I usually help with small tools and tips to better manage classics like loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, or even general sexual insecurity. What I always like to share with people is that knowing your own anatomy can work wonders.
Question Sounds really exciting – and also immediately raises the question, where do you actually practice? Do you have your own practice besides ORION?
Sexologist Birte No, I made a conscious decision not to open a practice and thus only help individuals. Instead, I would rather reach a great many people. That’s why I like to talk about sex a lot on Instagram under @orionversand. But also under @birtefulde you can meet me and my educational work.
Question Is there actually a certain type of person who seeks your help, or are those seeking help more likely to be cross-sectionally through all age groups and social classes?
Sexologist Birte It actually goes across all age groups and social classes, but just two cases have emerged as particularly typical over time.
Case 1: Women in their mid-30s who suddenly realize that they hardly know their own bodies and sexual preferences. In the bedroom, the same thing has been done for years – and then comes the loss of libido. In my opinion, absolutely no wonder! Because if you compare this situation to food, it’s a bit like eating chicken and rice for 10 years. You never questioned it before, but now all of a sudden you realize that you just don’t want to do it anymore. What helps there? Just try your way through different recipes and learn how to prepare your new favorite dishes. Wanna bet that hunger comes back real quick?
Case 2: Men with erectile dysfunction – and regardless of age. The reasons for this are complex. In addition to diseases and stress, pornography or even masturbation addiction are increasingly common triggers here.
Question Who do you answer more questions to? Couples or singles? And do you have any idea why that might be?
Sexologist Birte There are more couples who come to me. Because singles actually usually manage much better to realize a fulfilling sex life for themselves. If a person then enters their (sex) life, the big guesswork often starts: What does he or she like? That’s always worked so far, it should work now, etc. Communication with the other person is better than guesswork – also when it comes to sex. And you should definitely schedule regular me-times. So that you don’t lose touch with yourself because of your partnership – and so that you can consciously focus on your own needs. Because that, in turn, is good for the partnership.
Question Of course, we are all very interested in the question: Are men and women really so different when it comes to love?
Sexologist Birte Yes, they clearly are. And that, unfortunately, is societal. Men often have a much better sexual perception of their own bodies. After all, it’s completely normal for them to hold their penis in their hands and engage with it from a young age. As they get older, it is absolutely legitimate, and in some cases even wanted, for them to experiment and sow their so-called wild oats.
Girls and women, on the other hand, very often have no relation to their vagina and don’t even really know what it looks like. At least they would not find it again so easily in the lost and found office if it were lost… And if WOMAN tries herself out sexually, unfortunately the word slut is very quickly in the room – even in the year 2022.
Question Back to you: How does your environment react to your additional qualification? Do you have to give tips at every party now? Or maybe you even struggle with prejudice?
Sexologist Birte Naturally, people like to ask questions at parties – although personal problems are typically only addressed in women’s groups. The men remain a bit more distant and want to know more general things, such as what questions I am asked as a sexologist.
What makes me personally very happy is that so far I have only received positive reinforcement for my work. And a lot of friends, acquaintances and friendly young people approach me with their questions. A mega compliment for me – it proves to me that I convey competence and security with my work and at the same time can offer an anonymous space for personal problems.
Question Now from an expert’s point of view: In your opinion, what does a fulfilling sex life look like? Or asked the other way around, what do you think is the most common cause of problems with sexuality?
Sexologist Birte I have basically already mentioned the most important ingredients for a fulfilling sex life: I know my body and what it likes – and I can also communicate this clearly. The cause of many sexual problems is and remains ignorance, in addition to social norms. This sometimes even goes so far that people do not know whether they like something or not even when asked specifically.
Question Of course, we also really want to know: Does it exist – the ultimate orgasm tip?
Sexologist Birte Yes, it exists. It’s actually quite simple – and at the same time incredibly difficult: mindfulness! In other words: I’m fully involved in every touch – from the heating phase to the end of the love act. Shopping lists, the job or even the question of whether I should pull in my belly now have absolutely no place in my head (I say: easy…).
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Question Sure, love is colorful. But are there also topics that are rather difficult for you to talk about – or that might even be taboo for you?
Sexologist Birte Sexuality comes in many forms and as long as everything is consensual, I’m fine with it – no matter what genre someone is into. But of course there are also (rightly) critical taboo topics, such as pedophilia. Such things must and should also be dealt with. But not from me. There are extra therapists who specialize in this.
Question Do you think you can make the world at least a little bit better with your work? And if so, why?
Sexologist Birte Oh, I really hope so! Because a healthy sexuality is so important for us humans in many ways: to develop a better feeling for ourselves, to have a more fulfilling partnership and to simply be happier with lots of endorphins in the body.
Question Spicy question to end with: How much does your training as a sexologist influence your personal love life?
Sexologist Birte Many people believe, of course, that with us everything is always Chico and we rock the beds non-stop. But we are also just a normal couple and have our ups and downs. And of course I don’t always get the mindfulness thing right the way I preach it. Nevertheless, my work always makes me realize anew what one can pay attention to and also reminds me to implement this for myself. And that’s already a really satisfying start…