I recently quit dating apps and after reflecting on my experience, I thought it could have been very useful for me to be guided by a dating coach. It had never crossed my mind before, but it would have helped me a lot. It’s never too late, but right now I’m focusing on myself. I haven’t met a sex and dating coach yet but I had the opportunity to interview Myisha Battle, a US-based sex and dating coach.
Can you introduce yourself? Explaining your journey, what made you want to become a certified sex coach?
My name is Myisha Battle. I have always been interested in sex, even from an early age. I made it the focus of my studies obtaining a BS in Health Education from San Francisco State University, a Certificate in Gender and Sexuality from the University of Amsterdam, an MA in Psychology from The New School for Social Research and a certification in sex coaching from Sex Coach U. Each piece of my education helped me formulate my current sex coaching practice that is feminist-informed, kink-friendly and relationship inclusive.
I launched my business 5 years ago and have been practicing in the Bay Area and virtually ever since. Talking about sex is often considered taboo. The mission of Sex For Life, LLC is to enhance our understanding of the multitude of ways in which gender and sexuality are expressed in order to empower everyone to live authentically, free from sexual guilt and shame.
Through sex coaching and my sex-positive podcast, Down for Whatever, I provide accurate sexual information, instill pride in difference, and encourage the quest for sexual satisfaction no matter a person’s race, gender, orientation, ability or age. As a sex and dating coach for individuals and couples, I empower, educate and support my clients so that they can implement changes that will improve not just their sex lives but their lives as a whole. I also help smash patriarchy along the way!
Datings apps are part of regular life now. How do you adjust your professional expertise?
I work with my clients regularly on improving their online dating profiles, their process and how they show up for dating. As with all of my clients, we start with clarifying what the goal is and work from there. Not all of my clients are dating to find “the one”. Some of them want to learn more about what they want, gain sexual experience or explore a specific kink.
Some of my clients are looking to date outside of their usual gender preference. When the goal is clear, we then explore what obstacles they’re facing. My work with clients is very tailored to their specific needs and I guide them based on that. I am currently working on a book though, to provide a structure for folks to use on their own dating journeys.
What are the points and the slides to pay attention to when using a dating app?
I talk a lot about energy management with my clients. We all have a limited capacity for dating. That’s just the truth. You want to avoid burnout and you want to be able to enjoy the process at least a little bit! If you’re feeling worn out, take a break and come back when you’re ready. This is something that a lot of my clients feel guilty about but I encourage them because if they’re forcing things to happen, it’s not always in their best interest.
It’s good to have a few set criteria for swiping so you don’t get bogged down in “what-ifs”. This is also a time-saver. Not everyone will be a good fit for you, so if you can save your energy for people who are better matches, you’re better off.
How to manage disappointment? Due to ghosting while in chat, high expectations, meeting in person and feeling rejected, or any other situations.
Everyone gets rejected. Enduring disappointment, recovering and moving on is part of the process of getting to your goal. Whenever I experienced rejection, I learned to de-personalize it by saying “I just wasn’t their flavor”. There are so many flavors out there and you’re not going to be everyone’s favorite and the people who like you aren’t always going to be yours. Learning when you have a flavor match is a big part of dating.
How to prevent uncomfortable situations on dating apps? By being fetishized, harassed, gaslighted, and any other forms of repressions?
Unfortunately you can’t prevent someone else from causing harm either intentionally or unintentionally online. What you can do is be clear about how you feel when you feel hurt or harmed and report people who are flagrantly disrespectful. The world of online dating is full of the same -isms that a lot of us deal with IRL. It’s okay to call things like you see them, choose when and how you want to educate (or not), or block and move on. It’s great to talk these things through with a friend or therapist after they happen and it’s okay to take a little time off the apps to process and regroup.
Dating apps are booming amid pandemic. It can be overwhelming, what kind of advice would you have?
It all comes back to energy management. Don’t over schedule yourself or promise to connect with lots of people on a day when you’re feeling overwhelmed already. Now, more than ever, people should be more sympathetic to each other’s needs. If you express a boundary either in how you want to communicate online or when you’re on dates and the person isn’t respectful of your boundary, it’s okay to disengage. Taking care of yourself is of utmost importance right now and it’s okay to have more boundaries on your time.
Do you believe we can find love on dating apps? Or are we being manipulated by the algorithm?
I found love online and so have my clients! I was recently contacted by a former client who is engaged to someone she met while working with me. I love those stories! While it can be argued that the algorithms used in dating apps mirror our society’s notions of who makes a good match, if you keep your goals in mind and focus on how you want to feel, the right people will begin to show up. Working with a dating coach helps as well. 😉
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Blog giving voices to BIPOC womxn and non-binary, exploring diverse topics, from history to sociology. Follow POC Stories on Instagram.
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