No matter who you are or who your partners are, no matter what you do or don’t like to do in bed (or anywhere else), I believe in your right to sexual expression, empowerment, safety, and pleasure.
Robin Mandell is a toy maven and sex educator based in the Washington DC area.
She has studied sexuality, gender, and equality formally and informally for over a dozen years . Robin holds a degree in Women’s Studies from Queen’s University, during which time she focused her studies on topics related to sex, gender, and ethnicity. As she progressed through the program, she noted a lack of perspective and scholarship on disabled and different bodies. Entering the sexuality field, she has discovered a similar lack of awareness or discussion of the varied ways disability affects sexuality and relationships. She has committed to using her knowledge, as well as her reality as a visibly disabled person, to begin and expand these discussions.
Robin credits her understanding of our beautiful and difficult world to her grassroots training. Her experience as a crisis line volunteer, first with the Sexual Assault Center of Kingston and later with Crisis Link, has givenher concrete knowledge of different crisis situations and an increased compassion for diverse experiences. At both crisis lines she received extensive training in listening and communication skills, plus specialized knowledge of sexual assault survivors’ needs, general crisis management, and suicidality. Out of this work grew her conviction that people are resilient and that with support and guidance they can find their own answers to what they need.
Her career as a toy maven began with a feminist, body-positive home party company. During this time she was trained and mentored by renowned sex educator Ducky DooLittle
Robin’s areas of interest and expertise include women’s concerns, disability and medical issues, and LBGT concerns. Of her philosophy she says: “I believe that it is our birthright to understand and enjoy our own bodies.”
Robin continues to enrich her training by reading books,
going to conferences, and networking with other sexuality professionals.
She currently spends much of her professional time volunteering with the sexuality education site Scarleteen. There she divides her time between editing and updating their expansive library of sexuality and relationship education materials, writing advice columns, and answering questions on the message boards.
When she is not talking to people or writing about sex and intimacy, Robin can be found reading, practicing yoga, or lazing around the house with her partner and two Labrador retrievers.