Maria Falzone is a sex educator who uses comedy to reach the minds of today’s young adults regarding sex and everything that comes along with it.
She told the Torch in a recent interview that her ultimate goal is to make sex a regular topic of conversation between parent and child — for the betterment of everyone.
Falzone says she was diagnosed with terminal liver bile duct cancer this summer and was given four to six months to live. But she has not let her prognosis affect the energy she has for her work. If anything, she’s become more emboldened in spreading her message.
Her advice to parents is that, “you make sure your children are safe when learning to drive with driving lessons, same thing goes for sex.”
Falzone, who has spoken at hundreds of universities during her career, says the long dreaded ‘sex talk’ needs to instead be embraced by families as an actual conversation covering consent, love and protection.
In order for parents to teach their children about sex, “they need to first understand themselves and what sex means to them,” Falzone said.
As a mother of an 18-year-old daughter, Falzone is open about sex with her daughter, and vice versa. They discuss birth control methods and feelings that come along with sex, but only when her daughter is ready. After parents feel like they have educated their children sufficiently about sex, their job is done, Falzone said.
“I don’t know if my daughter is having sex, and don’t care,” she said. “I know that I have prepared her though, when and if she makes that decision.”
Raised with the mentality that sex was bad, Falzone went on to spread the opposite message: To be accepting of everyone, no questions asked. The conversation surrounding sex over the past 20 years has changed drastically. She says the culture of sex today is so inclusive, whereas in the past it wasn’t. People were not able to feel safe in their own skin. Today there has been a powerful change throughout the way people encourage others.
“I never thought in my lifetime, [homophobia] would end, but it did,” she said. “I’m in love with your generation, you guys are going to make the changes.”
Falzone began her career in comedy 30 years ago, starting in theater with the intention of becoming an actress. After auditioning for various roles and not getting the parts due to her appearance, she said her roommate encouraged her to attend a stand-up comedy class with comedian Ron Lynch. After one class, she was hooked.
She then moved to San Francisco at the time when Robin Williams was on his rise to stardom. Establishing herself in one of the nation’s comedic capitals, she began touring not long after. After getting into the comedy scene, Falzone felt like she wanted to make her voice heard and started in the sex educator scene, first as a way to make money, but then as a passion she’ll never give up.
Combining her love for sex ed and comedy, she began doing standup shows and spoke at colleges.
Through trial and failure with many different audiences, Falzone soon discovered her best audience was college students.
As an advocate for the LGTBQ+ community, Falzone encourages every parent to raise their children surrounded by as much diversity as possible. Whether sex or cultural diversity, she says children deserve to be raised in an accepting environment.
Falzone believes we should allow men to be “vulnerable” and girls to be tough.
While much progress has been made, Falzone says there’s still a level of taboo surrounding sex that has been around for years. She says what matters most is that everyone involved is okay with what’s taking place in bed.
“I am not okay with sexual assault. I am not okay with pedophilia. I am okay with consent,” she said.
Facing a terminal prognosis, Falzone says her dying wish “is that we don’t teach sex ed in school.” The reason being that Falzone says it’s far more important for this education to be taught in the house by parents beginning at infancy, by first learning anatomy and through childhood.
In terms of the #MeToo movement, Falzone is a believer that social media has been positive because it gives victims an anonymous voice that they didn’t previously have access to.
Falzone, a comedic sex educator, is someone confident in how she has spread her beliefs during her career — and how she continues to do so with the time she has left.
“I have made a difference and I want it to continue even after I’m gone,” Falzone said, tearing up.