Sunday’s premiere episode of our new docu-series I’m Married To A… introduced the world to Jaiya, an uber confident sexologist with a loving partner of six years and a desire to take her career to the next level. Throughput her story we learned more about the practice of sex surrogacy and the reservations those outside of the profession can have, all while feeling extreme admiration for the couple’s commitment to an atypical (yet enjoyable) 90 Day Challenge.
VH1 caught up with Jaiya to learn more about her experience on the show and find out what’s changed between her and her partner, Ian, since being on television. Considering her level of openness, you might be surprised to find out that, yes, there are some things even this sex educator doesn’t like talking about. Read on to learn more, as well as her thoughts about 50 Shades of Grey and her next bedroom challenge.
What kind of response have you gotten since Sunday’s episode aired?
The response has been great. I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me who are interested in becoming sexologists, so that’s been awesome. And then there’s people who don’t understand stuff about surrogacy. I don’t have to have sex with anyone and I think [viewers] missed that piece in the episode. Not all of it is about sex, and that’s not necessarily what I want to do; I don’t want to have intercourse with any of my clients. A lot of people have also been writing, “I’m so jealous of what you and Ian have. I really wish that I could have that kind of relationship with my partner.”
Yes, you two seem to have a very loving, very supportive, and very natural relationship.
And a lot of good sex! Don’t forget that part. [Laughs.]
How long were the two of you discussing whether or not you’d pursue surrogacy training?
It wasn’t really that big of a deal. I haven’t gone to the training yet because they have to have a certain amount of people to actually do it. Right now I just have my application in so it’s not really a big issue unless something comes up and I actually go to that training. So we’re still in the process, absolutely. We’re actually exactly where we left off in the episode.
Has anything else changed in your relationship?
Ian and I finished our 90 Days of Oral Sex. That was awesome. A lot of people had questions about that, too.
What was the biggest thing that you learned from that?
I think the big thing was that we’ll never stop learning about each other even though we’ve been together for six years. It was really great to get so intimate and really just take time over those 90 days to learn more about, specifically oral sex, but we learned a lot about each other.
Are you planning any similar challenges?
Yeah! We’re on another one right now. My next book is about power dynamics in relationship, like dominance, submission, and kinky play. Right at the end of our 90 Days of Oral we started a new project: 40 Days of Dominance, where I dominate [him] in the bedroom for 40 days and then we turn the table and [he] dominates me for 40 days.
Has that been a typical element of your relationship?
Not really, this is the first time we’re exploring it in six years. I’ve been a fairly vanilla sexologist. I’m accepting of everybody but when it comes to the kinky stuff it’s not been my area of expertise.
Is there anything that you’re opposed to doing or exploring?
I definitely have my hard limits–I’m not into peeing or pooping [laughs], pretty much the things you’ll think of: no blood play, no knives [laughs]. [But] I’m really non-judgmental, I want people to open up and be comfortable about anything when it comes to their sexuality.
What’s the most common thing your clients have difficulty talking about?
I think just sex in general. People are scared to talk about sex, especially their more dark fantasies. We all have fantasies and we all have edgy fantasies. In general we’re afraid to talk about it. It’s very taboo.
How has our sex culture changed since you began working in the industry?
50 Shades of Grey has really opened up a box. Sex and the City was one thing that really shifted things, and 50 Shades of Grey now has opened up another door. It’s not my favorite book in the world, but it’s been really good for the sex community in that it’s opened up a dialogue around kinky practices, sexuality, fantasy, and increased it’s kegel ball sales by 400%! [Laughs.] I think people are getting a little more adventurous. Books and media are great topic openers–they open up the conversation for people to talk about these “taboo”subjects.
What elements of culture tend to shame people from talking about sex?
I think it comes down to morals. I don’t know a lot about who’s out there because I try not to pay attention [to conservatism] because it makes me so upset [laughs]. It’s something that they don’t understand. I wish more people who understand each other instead or shaming other people or putting people down.
Did you and Ian have any reservations about putting your relationship on television?
I think Ian may have–he’s not as outspoken as I am. He definitely has his reservations about things, but the VH1 show has been one of the better experiences that we’ve had. I see the media as a way to start these conversations. For me, it’s a good thing. I really want to shift this view that sex is bad or wrong.
Have you always been this brave and open?
I’ve not always been this open about sex. It’s a constant unraveling. It’s a process, an ongoing process, and sometimes I just don’t think about it; I just think about how this might help. If it just affects one person in a positive way, then it’s a good thing. I’ve definitely paid for it, though. I’ve been ostracized from communities and had negative feedback because I’ve been so outspoken and public about the work that I do and just about sexuality.
What other relationship dynamics are you most interested in seeing explored on I’m Married To A…?
I know there’s going to be a dominatrix, so I’m interested in that. That’s really fun. Open relationships are really interesting, and anything to do with sexuality helps spread awareness of what things are and helps to break down some taboos and myths.
Do you think there’s anything unusual about your relationship?
I would say we’re pretty normal. Everybody’s relationship is different; there is no normal. What people do behind closed doors, nobody’s talking about and I see it every day. So every day in my office I have somebody who you would never suspect that by night like to put their penis in cantaloupes—you probably can’t publish that, but that’s the kind of stuff I see every day! I think we all have a little bit of weird.
Catch an all-new episode of I’m Married To A… on Sunday, April 28 at 10/9 C.
[Photo: Michele Schwartz]