Anya can help you “Open the Communication” with your children in order to help them form healthy, more informed relationships around sex, intimacy, and consent.

Local Educator

Anya Manes grew up in the Bay Area, attended Columbia University in New York City, and spent 11 years teaching high-school science at The Dwight-Englewood School (Englewood, NJ), Castilleja (Palo Alto, CA), and Immaculate Conception Academy (San Francisco, CA).

Teacher and Counselor

Anya’s biology curriculum included a sex-ed component every year, when talking about the human reproductive system. Over the years, Anya came to understand where the gaps in her students’ knowledge were and what kinds of relationship skills were lacking. Unfortunately, science class didn’t afford the time to work on boundary-setting skills, how to think critically about media messages, or how to have a safe sex talk with your partner.

Anya enrolled in the Interchange Counseling Institute’s year-long training program. As she gained skills and experience as a counselor, Anya became confident that she could assist adults as well as students with communication skills, shame, and prior trauma.

Anya Manes - Talking About Sex - San Francisco CA

Addressing critical needs in sex education

One Christmas, after listening to her family’s stories about how awful and inadequate their sex education experiences had been, Anya decided to launch her own support service. She now works with one-on-one coaching clients, runs trainings, workshops, and webinars, and publishes a new article to her blog every two weeks.

Anya’s goal is to help families teach their kids the skills they need to have safe and healthy sexual relationships, from the start.

Media Appearances

The host of About Health, Rona Renner, interviewed Anya Manes and Phyllida Burlingame regarding the California Healthy Youth Act. Aired October 12th, 2015 on KPFA 94.1 FM.

Jen Chien interviewed Anya Manes for Crosscurrents, a local award-winning daily news magazine from KALW Public Radio. Aired March 30th, 2016.

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If you are ready to begin Mastering the Difficult Conversation, schedule an appointment with Anya.

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Letter to Parents & Care Givers

Dear parents and care givers,

When I taught 10th grade biology, we’d spend a month of class time on the human reproductive system, but I fear that my students still didn’t master the content and skills they’d need to have healthy sexual relationships. The 10th graders were certainly experimenting sexually and had all kinds of questions, which somehow hadn’t been answered along the way in health class, from their friends, from the internet, or from their families.  This bothers me so much that I’m a little obsessed.  I want to know how to get the information and the skills to our young people.  I think the answer lies in supporting parents to have more open communication with their kids.

I know that talking about sex and relationships is the challenge of a lifetime.

It can be so SO difficult!  We haven’t had great role models and we’re working on our own skills.  We all feel unqualified to teach this topic well, but who else is going to do it for us?  Our kids need us to be brave and awkward and to be courageous enough to try.

Lots of parents, probably your parents, did as their parents did and gave their kids little or no guidance.  That’s how we got to where we are today.  Today’s statistics really bother me: Teens have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections.  The USA has the highest rate of teen pregnancy of all developed nations.  One if five college women has been sexually assaulted. I’d like to turn those statistics around, but I need your help.

Recent surveys say 70% of teens say that what would help them most in making good decisions around sex and relationships is better communication with their parents.

Since parents are the key, I am working to support parents to have more a comfortable, engaged, and ongoing dialog with their kids about sex and intimacy. I aim to support parents with being their child’s greatest ally and resource in establishing healthy boundaries, clear communication and safety in their intimate relationships. I’d like to help parents empower their teens to act from a place of real awareness, choice, and responsibility.

If this is your goal for a kid in your life, please know you’re not alone.  I would be absolutely delighted to get down in the trenches with you, and celebrate the small achievements even as we make our way through the awkward murkiness.  You don’t have to do this alone.

Let me and a community of parents with similar obstacles and goals support you.

At the very least, please contact me for 30 minutes of free support, a Mastering the Difficult Conversation consultation, about whatever question is most troublesome right now.  We all need help with this.  Let’s be there for each other.



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Let's Be There For Each Other

You can contact me for 30 minutes of FREE support, right now, about whatever question is most troublesome right now.