Jo Langford, M.A.
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
The Sex in My Business: I specialize in sexuality and sexual behavior issues. I devote a portion of my private practice to comprehensive sex education for teens, tweens and their parents as a public speaker, and have authored a handful of social and sexual health-themed books in addition to hosting a podcast. Overall, I spend an inordinate amount of my week discussing the role that sex plays in kids’ online lives and the ways that technology has inserted itself into everyday sexual expression.
A Typical Day: My days always start with caffeine. Always. After my morning coffee, I typically see a handful of clients. When I’m between appointments, I also try to spend time each day working on writing projects, which I prefer to do in local coffeehouses. Of course, as you may have guessed, this usually means more caffeine!
The Best Part: I love that I am never bored and can legitimately say I enjoy the bulk of my work. My writing endeavors and other projects also help to enhance this sense of variety, which often feel like creative outlets rather than work at all.
The Worst Part: There is so much work to be done! Parents often want to have conversations, but are also intimidated or underprepared. Many times, they do not reach out or seek resources until something terrible has already happened.
How I Got Here: I went to a pretty progressive high school where I was trained to be a peer counselor with direct supervision from these masters-level therapists, which meant that if a kid didn't want to talk to a grown-up about something, they could talk to me. So, I have been literally working with teenagers since I was one. Of course, sexuality is a primary feature for anyone working with teens, and as technology has slowly become more intricately connected to/inseparable from sexual expression and development, that has become my wheelhouse. Several years ago, I decided to branch out in my practice a little, and began to devote a branch of my work to more proactive education for parents and resources for teens in the form of public speaking, books, my podcast and an upcoming armada of apps.
What Society Thinks: Sex is always scary. In America we are still, at our cores, Puritans, so people can be scared and avoidant of the topic. However, finding a way to make information about children’s sexual development and the ways the technology can both help and hurt those processes accessible motivates me to keep going.
When I’m not at Work: I usually like to spend my free time with my family, bingeing movies, cooking, or playing in my “Dad band.”