When Shannon Boodram, often referred to as Shan Boody, rediscovered her life’s calling at the inquisitive age of 19, little did she know 16 years later her work as a certified Sexologist would be vital to increasing the cope-ability of millions of people stuck in “Soulitude” due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether you’re using this time to define what truly brings you joy, addressing an incongruent connection with a partner, or simply to find your ever-elusive G-spot, Shan Boody is the personal pleasure guru to guide you to the promised land.
Over the past 13 years, she has masterfully built a brand as an author, certified Sexologist, dating coach, relationship expert, social media influencer, and scholar. Needless to say, as a single woman of a certain age whose ride on the “Black Love Rollercoaster” that has left me whiplashed and nauseous, I was beyond excited to chat with Shan. I needed to know; were the odds really stacked against me? After years of let downs, how do I approach love and dating? Once I finally find him, what’s the key to a lasting relationship? And most importantly, how do I keep my love life from completely stalling during this pandemic? As I nestled into our conversation, eager to get the answers to my burning questions, what I got was so much more. I connected with a woman who was as genuine as she is knowledgeable. A wise woman, doting wife, enthusiastic mom to be, who at 35, has done the work to live her optimal life in all aspects and encourages us to do the same. Even during the pandemic, with the uncertainties of tomorrow, she remains encouraged. As a self-proclaimed “Essential Worker for the People,” she is driven by the desires of others to live their best life and has dedicated her life’s work to achieving this goal.
Shan Boody on Dating: Playing the odds and knowing yourself
“I think Los Angeles teaches you an incredible lesson in desperation. No matter how bad you want a job you have to have a sense of ease with it, a sense of knowingness that I’m great. I’m amazing and the right opportunity will find me….The same thing when it comes to dating. No matter how hard it’s getting, you have to remain optimistic and know that I’m incredible. I’m going to find my person. I’ve put the work in…”
According to Shan Boody, optimism, preparation, and patience are the three qualities needed to navigate the oftentimes torrential terrain of dating. Shan likened dating to a topic the modern woman can understand, career. She encourages us to approach dating and relationships with the same rigor and ethic that you’ve used to garner career success. Basically, there’s no substitute for doing the work.
Shan advised using the same blueprint for your career objective as in dating, copy and paste, know it is an extremely competitive market space, perfect your craft, and have clear intentions. Shan cleverly phrases, ‘one would not travel through an obstacle course blindly’. Single women should know the landscape and she referenced, ‘Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game’. Birger’s book details, it’s not that he’s just not that into you—it’s that there aren’t enough of him. ‘The shortage of college-educated men is not just a big-city phenomenon frustrating women in New York and L.A. Among young college grads, there are four eligible women for every three men nationwide”.
Boody’s highly acclaimed book, ‘The Game of Desire’, a comprehensive and thought-provoking guide about learning and defining yourself, and how that relates to your love life. She strategically selected five diverse single women and guided them through an intense well-designed course with the goal of becoming their best, in all aspects of their lives. In chapter eight, titled, “Fiancé, F*ck Buddy or Financial Sponsor?”, the ladies had to envision themselves as a multibillion-dollar corporation, who were tasked to create a job announcement with a set of criteria; frozen five requirements; skills of interest; areas of flexibility; do-not-applies; job perks; and job description. ‘Creating the job listing makes it clear who qualifies, who doesn’t and who seems like a decent fit to work in maintenance or perhaps even as an intern’. She also explains, ‘the clearer you can be about what qualities make up the candidates, the fewer opportunities the wrong ones will have to waste your time.’
Shan Boody on Pandemic dating: Looking back to move forward
In ‘The Game of Desire’, Shan notes women should not be passive in dating nor love; waiting for someone to select you. In chapter four, ‘Ex Marks the Spot’, the ladies were assigned to contact their amicable exes for a purpose of growth with clear instructions. The intent was to create a teachable moment with the goal of knowing what or what not to do, in their next relationship. Similarly, many have referenced our global pandemic, as “Ex Pandemic”. While under the, “Safer at Home Mandate”, with social distancing, we as human beings have the inmate desire for interaction. A number of singles have reached out to their exes, due to familiar, known as the attachment theory, to rekindle. Shan Boody addressed this topic, on her YouTube Channel, with a webisode titled, ‘I Called My Ex Fiancé During Quarantine’. She has an intimate raw conversation with her college ex, of several years ago of how she loves, compatibility, and one’s love language.
“I had made comments to him about seeing other people, and he had experiences with me that he felt I was attracted to others. We never had the conversation about what works for me, or how I am, how I express love. He interpreted it as, I did not really care for him as a person. That was to me a fundamental incompatibility, in terms of him being a very monogamous person, who expressed and understood love in a very two-person, partnership way. Myself did not necessary experience love in that same two-person way, but can experience a totality of loving somebody, but just because I flirt with others does not mean I don’t love you in that way….this is who I was and continue to be likely, before I did not explain this, it was deeply hurtful to others.“
In addition, she warned viewers to be cautious and purposeful when contacting your ex. Be sure to have a purpose of self-reflection, awareness and improvement.
Shan Boody on Marriage: Define/redefine what works for you
We call our relationship a free marriage, essentially means we are not beholding to any relationship structure. Our relationship may look monogamous and has been monogamous, since we got married, for about a year and a half. It does not mean in two years or two months, that my partner can’t come to me, or vice versa, and have a conversation, what would it look like if we reorganize the structure. Also, we have a lot more flexibility around flirting. I don’t care who my partner direct messages (DMs), he does not care who I DM, we do consult each other. There are layers, just because I have a partner who enjoys a level of openness, I don’t know if I would be a good fit or work with a partner who needs a lot of sexual partners. That is not my partner’s needs nor my needs, but there are certain non-monogamous activities that we both enjoy. Compatibility is multi-tiered, which is why you have to put the work in yourself to really know who you are, makes it so much simpler to know who is going to work best with you. I’m grateful to have done that work!
Polyamorous is defined as having open intimate or romantic relationships with more than one person at a time. People who are polyamorous can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and relationships between polyamorous people can include combinations of people of different sexual orientations. Shan and her husband have done the work and are compatible with the understanding that she loves love.
Get your daily dose of our essential worker, ‘Sexology with Shan Boodram’, on ‘Quibi’, a massive streaming platform. Sexology is one of their Daily Essentials shows. Shan speaks to real people, with real stories and provides her real perspective. After six captivating minutes, you will have valuable resources to take away and apply to your life. Also, it adds to great conversation with your friends afterwards.
Shan is an ambassador for AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Women’s Health. In addition, she is a member of the American Sexual Health Association and supports Advocates for Youth.
I walked away from our conversation oozing with optimism, ready to do more self-work and feeling a little annoyed at that fact that I had not discovered her sooner!