Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Thomas.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
First let me say this story may be more about how I got here, but here goes… I was a weight loss coach for a long time in my twenties. After getting my degree in psychology, it was a way I could use my degree without a Master’s. I hoped to go back to school one day for Marriage and Family Therapy, but I found when my clients were talking about body image, keeping the lights off, having no libido, and all these feels around their sexuality, I was at ease. I loved talking about all these sensitive, personal topics and I very much enjoyed my time helping people change their lives through coaching.
After that job ended, I found my way into renewable energy and got to travel the world. That came to a halt when administrations changed in January 2017, and I found myself soon on a product line that wasn’t exactly changing the world. Unhappy and feeling lost, I buried myself in learning, which was usually audiobooks and podcasts. On a business trip, I tuned in to listen to a podcast from Certified Sex Coach Myisha Battle called “Down For Whatever” after powerhouse feminist duo Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman recommended it on “Call Your Girlfriend”. 5 episodes in, tears were streaming down my face in the middle of nowhere Washington and I felt this calling within me saying “you can do this” in the loudest voice I’ve heard inside my head in a long time.
By July of that year, I launched Open the Doors Coaching, LLC. I am now a graduate of Sex Coach U and proudly studied under the tutelage of Dr. Patti Britton. Along the way to my certification, Myisha even became my advisor for a time at SCU. Talk about full circle! I had a wonderful network in Kansas City that immediately were raving fans in the community for me. They helped me in more ways than I can count. I still worked a few part-time jobs to pay my personal bills, but I was ready to make the leap New Year’s Day of 2020 to focus full-time exclusively on my business.
Cue April 2020. I have a new office with new furniture sitting empty, unusable for the foreseeable future. My current clients are getting used to using Zoom or FaceTime with me, and while I’d had hesitations charging the same rates for in-person and virtual sessions in the past, I realized my skill was no different if I was sitting across from them vs we were looking at each other through a screen. I changed my rates. The phone started ringing again in early May, and I confidently stated my rates as the same no matter the format. No one batted an eye. Maybe that was because after over a month of being confined to home with their partners they were willing to pay whatever price to have someone like me come in and help them make their relationship better.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far, would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I have oftentimes felt like the Tortoise, but slow and steady does win the race. At times it was hard to not chase the bright shiny thing. Thank goodness for my marketing company, Fuller Creative. They have helped keep me on my mission. It was a challenge at first for me to feel like an expert, then for others to see me as an expert. Once I started the podcast and became active on social media, more and more opportunities arose as my brand grew.
One of my biggest battles has been online censorship. There are times when I censor my words depending on the crowd I’m in. In posts, I use euphemisms, or symbols in place of letters in body part names. I lost my company Instagram fall of 2018 after building it to 2000 followers. I still have no answer as to what happened, Instagram never responded to emails or DMs from me or my marketing team. Starting over was hard, especially as that platform has moved on to a much more FB pay-to-play style for reach. FOSTA/SESTA has also made it challenging. Platforms are overly cautious these days about user generated content. I’ve had so many deletions, bans, holds for approval, etc on every single platform I can’t even count.
We’ve been impressed with Open the Doors Coaching, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As a Certified Sex Coach and Clinical Sexologist, my job is to help people grow closer together, both physically and emotionally. I work with couples and singles, and I offer monthly virtual workshops. People call me when they want something better in their lives. Many of my clients grew up with purity culture, very little sex education, and a lot of taboos around their sexuality. I help people identify their blocks to pleasure, understand their desire, and build their communication skills around sex. I’m different from a therapist in that I’m more forward-focused. I don’t dive into trauma and anger– that’s for the folks with a license and I readily refer out when there’s work beyond my scope.
I love what I do. I have found my voice as an advocate for sexual health and wellbeing. As the host of my own podcast Keep Them Coming with Open the Doors Coaching and a monthly columnist for The Pitch, I share stories, educate people, and normalize the taboo. I’ve also become a TikTok star this year! Turns out a lot of people out there need sex education. I also keep people informed with my Safe For Work or NSFW email list called The Dirty Bird.
Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
Since my podcast and column are my work helping others, I get my fill from a wide variety of places. I listen to Sex with Emily, Small Things Often, Call Your Girlfriend, and Transitional Wisdom podcasts, among others. I’m a fan of sites like OMGyes.com, scarleteen.com, and Beducated to help keep me up to date and use as a resource for my clients. My list of books is long, but I think everyone should read Mating In Captivity, Come As You Are, The Power of Now, and anything from Brené Brown but especially The Power of Vulnerability. Also consider books like Tickle His Pickle, She Comes First, Bang, Sizzling Sex For Life, Madness to Mindfulness, Mama Sutra, or Becoming Orgasmic. A business book that changed how I looked at customer service in the oughts was Raving Fans. I’ve strived to provide client-focused silver platter service in everything I do ever since.
- Individual rates range from $100-125/session
- Couples rates range from $130-150/session
- Online workshops $15-25/ workshop
- Group workshops $450
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: openthedoorscoaching.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/openthedoorskc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/openthedoorscoaching
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/OpenTheDoorsKC
- TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@coachkristen
Nicole Bissey Photography