Having grown up in Tennessee, where there was only abstinence-based sex education, Brianna Rader began questioning the lack of access to information about topics of sex and sexuality at a young age. Now a sex education advocate, our Fairygodboss of the Week started a comprehensive sex organization at the University of Tennessee that led to her being condemned by the state legislature. Today, she is the CEO of Juicebox, an app she founded to connect users with certified coaches who provide sex and relationship advice online with actionable how-to guides and exercises.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Brianna Rader
Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
I am a sex education advocate and started a comprehensive sex education organization at the University of Tennessee that led to me being condemned by the state legislature. I grew up in Tennessee where there was only abstinence-based sex education.
I had to confront a lack of information and openness on these topics from a young age, and I began formally working in the sex education space while in college. I hired professionals to provide workshops at my university. Since I was the organizer, I attended every workshop, and they honestly changed my life. They gave me the tools I needed to discuss sex with my partner and made me a bolder more confident person who knows what they want and how to get it, in relationships and the bedroom. This also affects my overall happiness and confidence outside of my personal life. I know it sounds cheesy, but knowledge is empowering, and I’ve had better one-night stands, dates, and relationships because of these professionals. I want everyone to have access to the expertise I had.
What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
Juicebox 2.0! Raising money from investors and building the new Juicebox. I managed everything from marketing to finance to product to operations to sex and dating content creation. I'm proud of all of this because it's the hardest thing I've ever done. It was often lonely at times but am so thankful I stuck with it.
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
While in college, the Tennessee state legislature legally condemned me and my organization. My university defunded my organization—just for providing comprehensive sex education to college students. But I privately fundraised $11K back in 36 hours. I confronted the backlash and remained confident despite being the center of state news and the majority of people disagreeing with my work.
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?
The amazing female professors and advisors I had in college. I felt they were always cheering me on and have remained present in my life to this day.
What do you do when you're not working?
I love going to the movie theater (movie fanatic over here), or to see drag shows—they're both excellent escapes. They're both another way for me to hear about others' stories and life experiences.
If you could have dinner with one famous person—dead or alive—who would it be?
My childhood hero, Steve Irwin. I always thought I wanted to be a vet.
What is your karaoke song?
I can NOT sing, but if you're willing to listen, "Take a Chance on Me" by Abba.
What is your favorite movie?
What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
Boba Tea, Yerba Mate Tea, teas of all kinds, and high-tech marijuana toys. I would help my parents retire and give them their dream home and vacation. Then, I would be off to travel for a year+ before figuring out my next project.
What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
Unfortunately, a lot of the world is based on who you know and your success largely depends on your ability to leverage those connections or be resourceful when you can't. Growing up in Tennessee and going to a public university means I have a disadvantage compared to my peers who have been in powerful circles from a younger age. On the other hand, my experience taught me how to be resilient and more resourceful than my peers that have an easier time connecting to the right investors, publications, hiring managers, and other decision-makers.
Why do you love where you work?
I wake up every day and get to help people talk about and enjoy sex. I have an amazing team that is committed to helping others have more fulfilling sex lives and relationships.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.