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Sex Tech: What It Is And Why We Need To Develop Sexual Wellness, A Founder’s Story with Tanya Dmitrieva

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For the last 7 years, Tanya has been actively developing the culture of sex in the world. During this time, she initiated 10 educational projects, including Kinky Russia, the popular science project Sexprosvet 18+, East Europe’s first kinky party “Kinky Party”, Ladies of Burlesque, and Sex Tech platform Deep. Tanya has organized over 350 events aimed at the education and development of a culture of sex in Eastern Europe. Tanya is a certified sex therapist, conference speaker, and former columnist for Women’s Health Russia.

 

Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I was born in Moscow and grew up in an atmosphere of creativity and multiculturalism. My parents had their own business – they opened their own music label and released records, and also created a fund to support new music that appeared after the USSR collapsed. We constantly went to various music concerts and art festivals. American saxophonists, Japanese dancers, and British artists often spent the night at our house because in Moscow there were only expensive hotels for senior officials. As I was growing up, I was always surrounded by a supportive environment of creativity and cultural exchange. I was inspired by my parents’ initiatives and the influence they had on the creative community in Russia. So even when I was just a child, I was already very excited about the idea of opening my own business which would likewise unite people.

 

How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I have launched many different businesses over the course of my life, and the ideas for them came to me from problems I encountered in my everyday life. For example, my very first business was a clothing store in Korea, because it was difficult to find stylish things for petite girls with a diverse size range in Moscow and this is the solution I found for it. Then I decided to launch a pet-sitting service. My friends would often ask me to watch their pets for them when they went on a trip so I came up with the idea to create a service that would help people find a pet-sitting place. But the idea, while a good one, didn’t turn out to be a successful business because at some point I got tired of doing something that I wasn’t totally into. After this experience, I understood that I had to have a burning passion for my work if I wanted it to really take off, so in all of my following projects my interest in the type of work was a top priority when deciding on an idea for a business. I have tried many professions in my lifetime: I worked for seven years at a school, then in commercial real estate. I have also worked as a PR manager, an assistant, and a translator. I also have experience working on cultural and educational projects. There have been a lot of business ventures in my life. I always come up with something that aims to improve the world, and I try to create services that can really help people. I recognized that there was a big lack of sex education for adults in Russia and at the same time I was really interested in researching this topic to find answers to my own questions. That’s how I started to organize science-based sex education events and kinky parties to help people explore their sexual nature. During the pandemic, it became clear to me that it was time to create something online since almost all offline businesses were severely affected by the crisis. It became difficult to organize kinky parties and that’s how the idea to create Deep came about. My knowledge of teaching methods and extensive research of the sex industry helped me in creating a sex education platform. The experience of creating a business, as well as the communication skills that I developed while working at a school and in real estate, the experience of creating cultural and educational projects – all these things led me to what I am doing now.

 

What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
An important piece of advice that I can give after having spent so many years as an entrepreneur is to do what you truly love. Don’t put money first. Much more important is your interest, contribution, influence, love, and help. This is what will really bring you happiness, doing your own thing, and helping others with your business. Focusing on concrete goals, and having a strong desire to do what you love and that which has a positive impact on the world helps the most in growing a business. I definitely wouldn’t recommend launching something out of the intention of just earning some extra money, I have never been able to do this.

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