Why I Do It

Sexologist Shan Boodram Wishes She Orgasmed Every Day

Welcome to Refinery29's Why I Do It, a series where we ask inspirational, successful people 29 questions about what fuels them on and off the clock. Because let's face it: life is about so much more than chasing inbox zero.
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Shan Boodram does it all — no, really. She's a certified sexologist, intimacy educator, relationship expert, author, ambassador, podcast host, and mother. She's been in the game for 15 years, solidifying her spot as a well-known and trusted figure in the sex education space — and she's not done yet. Here's why she does it.
What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up? I'm in my eighth month of pregnancy so I am the first one to fall asleep and the first one up in my house! Our 19-month-old sleeps with us (we're still trying to figure this out, don't judge). The first thing I do when I wake up is wake her because she has to get ready for daycare or gymnastics. Then we'll hang out in bed for around 30 minutes, stretching and playing before she starts demanding food.
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What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed? Reach over my sleeping 19-month-old so that I can squeeze my life partner's hand and say, "I love you."
Power nap or power workout? Ugh, neither. I'm on a bit of a hamster wheel right now in life — I wake up, tend to the baby, get the baby to daycare, work, pick her up from daycare, tend to the baby again, get her to sleep, hang with my man for an hour, bedtime, repeat. I don't have time for naps and being this damn pregnant I definitely don't have energy for power anything, let alone power workouts.
Early bird or night owl? Early bird for sure.
How many unread emails do you have in your inbox right now? Eighty-three but I really, really try to keep it under 50. I've read everything; it's just marked as unread so I don't forget to do whatever the email is asking me to do.
Iced coffee or hot coffee? Coffee is not my thing! Never has been, but hot tea? That's my shit.
What’s your favorite thing that you keep on your desk or workspace? Family pictures! But really my favorite is what I don't keep on my desk. I hate clutter.
When was the last time you felt like a success? Some answers came to mind but then my annoying brain adds "yeah, but" to them. I got an A in my psychology grad school statistics class, but I did have the help of a tutor. And my podcast recently made its way back into the top 200 on Apple charts, but I still dropped the ball on promotion in a few areas so I could have charted better. I'm almost done with pregnancy and I am growing a healthy baby, but I still haven't made the time to get my third trimester bloodwork done and it's way late now. My relationship with my husband is crushing it right now — we are really in our flow of late and it's just bringing so much joy and ease to my life. No buts there.
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What do you do on those days when you don’t feel that confident? I remind myself that confidence is not a choice — it's a result of the work you've done and the trust you've built with yourself to continue to do the work. So I do something that helps me feel like I'm moving in the right direction. For example, if I don't feel confident in the speaking gig I have later that day, I watch a couple TED Talks to get ideas or I review the brief and research and write a few responses that I know are strong.
What’s one thing you do every day, without fail? I wish I had a cool answer for this but my life is pretty diverse plus I am not a ritual person, so other than the basics I don't have a daily thing other than honoring my priorities for that given day. Most days, especially work days, I do make a to-do list, so maybe that's my thing.
What’s something you wish you did every day? Work out and orgasm.
What’s your favorite piece of advice that you’ve gotten? My mom always said to me, "If you reach for the treetops you will land on the ground, but if you reach for the stars, you will likely land on the treetops." In short, set unrealistic expectations and goals. This is a great recipe for being progressive but I also see how it's led me to constantly feel like I've fallen short despite what I've done. Still, I owe so much to this mindset!
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What’s your least-favorite piece of advice that you’ve gotten? Fake it 'til you make it. Confidence is not a choice; it's a result. To me, choosing confidence without putting the work in to back it up feels like delusion and can look like deception if your competence is ever called into question.
Who inspires you the most? Esther Perel comes to mind but there are a lot of people like her whose names come to mind. Anyone who's made a successful career and brand out of what they know, and inspired their audience to become more invested in learning what they don't, inspires me.
Who, if anyone, do you try to emulate? I have muses for damn near everything! Some people compare and despair but for me comparison has been my roadmap. I love following people who have what I don't, do what I can't yet, look how I aspire to, live how I long to. I emulate a lot of people. Someone who hits several boxes for me is Elaine Welteroth. She's killing it in so many areas and I love checking in on what her nexts are.
What’s something people ask you for advice about often? Sex and relationships, duh!
What's a piece of advice you felt proud to give? I really can give advice on sex and relationships, knowing that I have the best intimate life. I really do know my shit and it's reflected in my personal life in every way. That's my proudest accomplishment.
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What's your most-used app on your phone? Instagram.
Where do you put your phone while you’re sleeping? It stays on a charger in the kitchen because I wake up to pee so many times a night that having it in the bedroom with me would be way too tempting and could mess with my sleep. I can't afford that so any potential midnight emergencies have to wait until morning.
What do you do when you feel yourself burning out? Ask my husband, Jared, to take the baby somewhere, anywhere.
What’s something you consider a secret weapon? It's corny but my partner, Jared. Mostly because we work together too and he is incredible at pre- and post-production so whenever people ask me how I'm able to be so productive or how my content looks and sounds how it does, that's my secret weapon. My non-secret weapon is my humor. I think a lot of hard stuff is bearable because I have the power to see the ridiculous side 99% of the time.
Where are you, compared to where you thought you’d be at 12 years old? I think I'd be very impressed and wowed at where I am. That being said, I also think I'd be like, "But how come it took you so long to get here? I thought we'd have what we have at 27, not 37!" But maybe that's that whole "shoot for the stars" mentality creeping in.
If you could change one thing about your professional life, what would it be? I built an audience and then tried to play catch up and build a business model to service them. I wish I did it in reverse. I'd be richer and probably a lot more connected with people who found out about me way back because I'd know how to engage with more than just their time.
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What’s been your biggest piece of support, helping you get where you are? Patience from my family. Little things, like when I was in my late 20s, going for lunch with my dad. I'd try to pay the bill but him knowing I didn't have shit would always say, "It's fine, you'll pay for it when you're wildly successful and loaded." He always said when, not if. That really went a long way for me.
What do you do to start your workday? I refer to Monday.com, which is what my team uses to communicate about the various projects in the air, and then make a to-do list for the day using Microsoft To Do.
What do you do to end your workday? My daughter usually walks in the door — she comes home and goes straight for my office because she knows I'll be here. She yells "Mummy!" and hugs me, then proceeds to my bookshelf where she starts pulling things down. That's usually my cue to shut things down.
What's the last song you listened to? Right now on repeat is "One Mo'Gin" by D'Angelo.
What’s the last photo in your favorites folder on your phone? I don't really use the favorites feature but the last photo I took is of a restaurant sign that said, "Bomb fish tacos. Enough said." I was gonna send that to Tee, known on Instagram as @himynamesteee, because she was a recent guest on my podcast Lovers and Friends and midway through the interview she said, "Why is everything bomb this and bomb that to you?" to which I replied, "Because I am an old millennial and this is our slang."
If you could go back and do one thing differently in your career path, what would it be? From age 25 to 29 I gave up on myself in every way but especially in my career. I'd like to do those years over as long as it still got me to life as it exists now: married to Jared, raising Ryu and getting ready to give birth to baby number two.

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