From the inbox 573

“I have a bit of a funny story to share:
CW: mention of pornography, self-stimulation
TL;DR: I’m working as a research assistant with a sex researcher, and it never crossed my mind to ask about lab duties.

I’m ace (questionably grey) and transmasculine and last semester in college, I had an amazing psychology professor that used super inclusive language (e.g. saying “people who menstruate” instead of “women” when talking about menstrual cycles) and was all around awesome and we got along well. So I asked if I could work as her research assistant this semester, knowing that she is a sex researcher (the effects of sexual activity on the immune system). But I didn’t even think to ask what my lab duties would include because the study concept sounded super interesting, and she didn’t think to mention what my lab duties would include because she’s been doing this kind of research for 20 years so she’s comfortable with all of this stuff and forgets that not everyone is.

So first lab meeting we talked about lab duties. Phone screening participants, asking about their level of sexual activity and masturbation habits. And asking them to come into the lab and watch porn and self-stimulate
Well. Needless to say, I’ve been assigned more of the data entry and paper filing tasks haha. I still enjoy my work as a research assistant though I’m kicking myself for not thinking to ask what I would be doing.”

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