NSEC Workshop Presenter Andrew Smiler


NSEC Workshop Title: Dating and Sex: Working with 21st Century Teen Boys

NSEC Workshop Description: This workshop examines American notions of masculinity, boys’ typical enactments of, and the adverse consequences on their sexual development. We will focus on relationship dynamics, consent, and protection. Participants will learn approaches that help reduce masculine resistance, create better connections with boys, and increase boys willingness to ask questions.

  • What excites you most about your workshop?

AS: I’m excited to talk to other sexuality educators about reaching boys and young men. In many ways, they are half of the problem, yet most sexuality educators have difficulty reaching guys. In my session, I’ll teach people how to connect with boys and young men “where they’re at,” subtly change their language in ways that resonate for guys, and identify issues & topics that men tend to prioritize more strongly than women.

  •  Whom do you hope will attend your workshop?

AS: EVERYONE…but I don’t think the room will be big enough for that. I hope folks who currently work with dudes and heterosexual couples attend, as well as folks who are trying to do a better job reaching out to guys.

  • When you meet someone new how do you describe what you do?

AS: I usually tell them I’m a therapist and author because that’s what my business card says. If they keep talking to me, I tell them my therapy is primarily with boys and men and my writing is mostly about male sexual development. At that point, some people run away, some joke that there’s not much to know (and I correct them), and some ask good questions.

  • Sex educators and the other professionals who present at the National Sex Ed Conference often do so many different things. Tell us a bit about your work life.

AS: I spend about half of my work week doing therapy, either one-on-one or family work. Most of that is with male-identified or trans clients. I work primarily with 13-25 year-olds, as well as male survivors of sexual abuse.

The other half of my work week I spend writing. I’m currently in the last stages of revising my new book, “Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy” which will be published in May 2016 by Magination, part of the American Psychological Association Press. This is my 3rd book, along with “Challenging Casanova: Beyond the stereotype of the promiscuous young male” and the Men’s Studies textbook, “The Masculine Self” (5th ed), which I co-author with Chris Kilmartin. I also blog at various places online, particularly Good Men Project.