We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Tillman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erin, how does your business help the community?
My name is Erin Tillman. I am a Certified Sex Educator, Certified Intimacy Coordinator for TV & Film, an Inclusive Dating Empowerment Coach, and the new Executive Director for nonprofit Sex-Positive Los Angeles. I am dedicated to empowering people to have fulfilling lives through consensual self-improvement, personal development, and boundary-setting techniques.

My overall goal is to make conversations around dating, relationships, identity, lifestyle, consent and allyship less taboo and more easily digestible. A lot of conversations around these topics are evolving at a rapid pace, which means that there is a learning curve to understanding it all. I want people to feel comfortable asking questions without feeling shame and embarrassment for being curious.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

All of my various professional positions have kept me very busy over the past 13 years. I started my career helping clients navigate through the early stages of dating through empowerment and consent workshops at conferences and on college campuses, through my book, The Consent Guidebook, over 100 dating-related articles for various lifestyle and dating sites, hosting events for singles, working as a matchmaker, radio and TV interviews and through my podcast, The Dating Advice Girl Podcast.
But it all started as a blog…before blogs were blogs….back around 2008. I was getting continually frustrated by the double standards between cis men and cis women when it came to sex and dating. Keep in mind that this was also before dating apps! There were a few mainstream online dating sites at the time, but not the variety to choose from that we currently have. One of the challenges back then was that people didn’t really understand what I was doing professionally, partially because the dating app industry was not as huge as it is now. Now that people know what dating sites and dating apps are about, and have a general understanding about consent and boundaries, people have a better understanding of what I do.
There are a lot more dating coaches in the world now, with different niches and different objectives. But in the past, the majority of coaches designed their coaching around a heteronormative and oftentimes a monogamous relationship structure. While I have had clients who fit into this category, I’ve also have had clients who are at times are forgotten in the dating industry because of their identity, gender, orientation, and lifestyle. Being a Black, Queer cis woman, I’ve personally had both positive and negative experiences on dating apps and in professional spaces within the dating industry. I’m doing my best to make everyone feel more included because of, not in spite of, their identities.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well I’ve actually done this before! I’ve lived in LA for 17 years and I’m an extrovert, so I’m always trying out new places through the city. Sadly a lot of things have closed because of the pandemic, so I will need to update my list of go-to places. Historically, I had a list of bars, clubs, restaurants, brunch spots, sports, karaoke, hikes, etc. There’s something for everyone in LA, so really it’s all based on who I’d be showing around. Karaoke: Boardwalk 11 & Brass Monkey. Sports Venues: Staples Center & SoFi Stadium (the new football stadium) Theme parks: Disneyland or Magic Mountain. And again, so much will have changed once things open up again. I can’t wait to rebuild my list and check out old and new faves!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, I continue to be inspired by my colleagues and friends in the fields of Sex Education and Consent Education for their determination and dedication to having the hard conversations that need to be had. On those days when you aren’t sure if you’re making an impact, I see them facilitating conversations, challenging outdated ideas, and designing new frameworks for a healthier society.

Website: https://thedatingadvicegirl.com/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/datingadvicegrl

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ErinTillman

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DatingAdviceGrl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheDatingAdviceGirl

Yelp: https://yelp.to/yy7RRiHnpdb

Youtube: https://youtube.com/user/TheDatingAdviceGirl

Image Credits
Last photo is by Photographer Joel Flora

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