We had the good fortune of connecting with Cheryl Walker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cheryl, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I entered my profession because of sex. I thoroughly enjoy learning about sexuality, reading about sexuality, and helping others with their interpretation of sexuality. Ironically, most people are not aware that my profession has little to do with sex. Culture, religion, societal norms, education, family dynamics, etc. directly effects who we are and how we navigate in this world, as well as how we navigate in our sexual space. As much as I love what I do, oftentimes I have to redirect people and explain that sex is a fraction of your existence and before we discuss the fun stuff like toys, positions, and preferences, we have to discuss stress, self-care, and society.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a sex therapist contracted with a private practice. I believe what sets me apart from other sex therapists is how I view people and how my lived experiences offers different perspectives. I am most proud that I was able to pursue this passion later in life, allowing my daughters to be an integral part of my decision and growth. My journey, although not complete, was a team effort, encompassing mistakes, a community of support, mentors, and a raw determination. I actually started with an undergraduate degree in marketing, so I possessed a basic understanding of key business principles. My husband is a business attorney and was extremely resourceful , along with another sex therapist, who served as a mentor. I am fortunate to have direct counsel and was inundated with advice about delegating responsibilities and how to maintain the focus on my business model. It was relatively easy for me because my mistakes were subtle enough that my attorney would catch them and I was humble enough to realize that even as a business owner and marketing major, I do not know everything about a business. Delegation of tasks was the most important that I learned, and although I struggle with relinquishing control, my energy is much more beneficial in sex therapy. I want the world to know that I am a woman who appreciates and honors the worldview of others and advocates fiercely for sexual wellness. My goal is never to fix or change anyone, my goal is assist couples and individuals realize the beauty and depths of their sexuality. Oftentimes, people, places, and things can impede self-acceptance of how someone wants to experience sexuality, and it is my honor to spotlight what harms and what helps. My story is like many, I want to assist others achieve wellness. My story is unlike many because I want to assist others achieve sexual wellness by asking tough questions and having tough conversations, under the principle that who they are is enough.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have two extremes, kid-friendly venues and kid-adverse restaurants. I would alternate the days, for the children, we would visit Six Flags and the accompanying water park, a neighborhood pool, the Children’s museum, and the aquarium. The alternating days would be spent at my home, entertaining my guests with stories, pictures, food, and drinks. In the evenings that included eating out, we would walk to local restaurants like Fellini’s and Howell’ Bar and Grill. Other family-friendly locations include California Pizza Kitchen and surrounding shops in Atlantic Station, during the weekday. Slim & Husky’s Pizzeria, Twisted Soul Cookhouse, South City Kitchen, and Botica are among my favorite restaurants, not to mention, with an awesome selection of drinks. Breakfast will include a visit to the iconic Waffle House, Breakfast at Barney’s, and Broken Egg. If the energy level is adequate, I would incorporate exercise by engaging on a walk along the Beltline, stopping for food and drinks at Ladybird. And of course, finish it off with ice cream at Jeni’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family deserves a lot credit for supporting me and remaining patient with me as I navigate in this unfamiliar role. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the majority of my adult life so my decision to practice sex therapy shifted a lot of things in our household. My husband has always been my personal cheerleader and although my path was not as direct as some, he endured the long nights of studying and preparing for this moment.
Linkedin: Cheryl D Walker