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My Journey Into
The Field Of Sexuality

I am often asked how I decided to pursue the field of sexuality as a career path, so here is a glimpse into my professional journey-

I have long been someone who valued service to others. I began volunteering for the Red Cross when I was eleven years old and worked in one of their Field Offices as a filing assistant. In Junior High and High School, I was certified by the Red Cross as a lifeguard and swimming instructor in addition to being a volunteer candy striper at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

During my undergraduate degree in both Human Services and Psychology at Elon University, I continued volunteer work with the elderly in nursing and retirement homes. My internships were in chemical dependency and rape crisis and after graduating early from college I began working with seniors and sexually abused adolescents professionally.

I then pursued a Masters in Social Work degree through Virginia Commonwealth University with an interest in clinical psychology while I worked full time for both psychiatric managed care companies and psychiatric hospitals. My internship was with a group home for the chronically mentally ill and I began to work full time in psychiatric hospitals as a therapist and a clinical case manager.

During this time I spent a great deal of time studying alternative approaches to medicine such as nutrition, massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, etc. which led me to get my doctorate in holistic psychology with my dissertation focusing on nutrition and sexual health.

Lisa Lawless

Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.

Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert
CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

In 1999, I decided to leave the psychiatric hospital setting and start a private practice, that allowed me to do in-person and phone therapy sessions. Through my private practice, I enjoyed providing more integrated traditional and alternative solutions for my patients. I had many patients who had sexual health issues over the years so it was an area I had spent a great deal of time researching. I began writing articles on sexual health and over a short period had so much material and information that I wrote a book on women's sexuality. It was published and I began teaching about all the wonderful sexual health information and sexual products available. To showcase many of the articles and products, I put together a website called HolisticWisdom.com in June of 2000. Soon, I was managing the wonderful growth of my company as a sexual health business and discontinued therapy sessions through my private practice so that I could focus on writing, lectures, interviews and continued business development.

After a few years in the sexual health industry, I realized that there were many sexual products that were being sold to consumers which contained toxins along with many misinformed people selling them. I wanted to make a positive change in the industry as a whole not just by selling only nontoxic products through my own company. After all, people should not have to choose between sexual pleasure and good health. Thus, I launched The National Association for the Advancement of Science & Art in Sexuality (NAASAS.org) which is an academic trade association and coalition effort for aspiring and established professionals in the field of sexuality and adult novelty industry. It features both a Safe Sexual Products Campaign and Sex Toy Security Seal Campaign for important consumer safety.

My journey continues as I still see many areas for improvement and a variety of deficits in the market where we can better serve people when it comes to providing safe and empowering sexual products and services. That is why currently I am working on launching new websites and publishing a book: "Sex & Diet: A Nutritional Guide to Great Sex" along with a new line of sexual health products.

I have so much gratitude to be able to say that I love what I do for a living. I work with so many amazing people who are looking to make a difference in people's lives through sexual wellness. From the manufacturers who keep dazzling consumers with incredible advancements in sexual health and pleasure to the professionals that work with me as they develop their own adult novelty business visions.

I now realize that one of the predictions a dear friend told me years ago has come true and that I have become a teacher of teachers. It is simply awe-inspiring to watch so many wonderful sexual health professionals bring their own gifts of positive messages such as self-acceptance and empowered intimacy along with reform within our industry for safer sexual products.

I am certainly humbled by so much creativity around me and moved by the incredible difference many of my fellow sex educators, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers make in the lives of people every day. It is an incredible field to be in and it is my honor to do what I can to advance it in every way that I am able.

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