All of us remember the “birds and the bees” conversations from our childhood, and unfortunately there were a lot of corners cut in most people’s education. Sexual health has historically been centered around cis straight white men, and since we’re not checking most or any of those boxes, most of us had to fend for ourselves.
As a sexual health educator and general supportive sista friend, I’m here to hold your hand virtually and share what the initial talk should have been like in a perfect world! I want to discuss the ways in which our middle and high schools failed us! No, not only with your yearbook photo or trauma inflicted by the popular kids, but the fact that without an all-inclusive sexual health curriculum, we were never taught how to love in healthy ways in our own skin.
Whether you were first exposed to “The Talk” in school, the media, at home, or with the homies, it is likely that some things were miscommunicated. In America we have a lot hang ups talking about sex except when it comes to social media, movies, TV and music. Instead of literally discussing the topic, an age-old practice has been to use metaphors like “the birds and the bees”. The problem, is our bodies are drastically different than that of a bird or a bee. Although you may be fly and refer to your nether region as your flower, procreation and pollination are two different things. Now throw in being queer, a woman, and of color, who is also seeking to engage with someone with the same identity markers. It seems like as a community we have more to unlearn about our intersecting identities by the time we reach our twenties.
So today I wanted to stand in the gap and share from one queer woman of color to another
I decided to do so by reintroducing us to another QWOC— Sally. Today we’re not only learning order of operations but sexual liberation!
P.E.M.D.A.S. (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) yeah she’s a QWOC too, the school’ just didn’t tell you.
When we talk about Sex Ed, let’s understand it begins with our own bodies. I’m talking about holding a mirror up to yourself and gaining a base understanding of what your normal looks like. Touch yourself as a prelude to anyone touching you, so you know what makes your vagina tick and can inherently let partners know what time it is.
OMGYes.com is a wonderful resource to start a deeper reflection with yourself about what your body’s tendencies are.
OMG Yes is a virtual guide created through years of researching the science of women’s pleasure. There are centered queer voices of color, demonstrations and stories from women of all ages about masturbation and understanding much more.
Prior to even including another body, work solo and find out what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. The relationship you have with your own body is going to set a precedent for how you will interact with others. Normalizing what you look like is going to also heighten your sense of awareness for when something may require medical attention or could be a sign of an abnormality. Affirm yourself because at the root of your sexuality is desirability, self-actualization, pleasure and communication (not just avoiding HIV or pregnancy) Let’s be honest, if some of your straps could have gotten folks pregnant they would have, but I’m going to get back to that.
Excuses will not be tolerated when it comes to consent.
Coercion and pressure are often overlooked when it comes to thinking of the steps it takes to get to sex. You should always check in with your partner during and throughout sexy time. Keep in mind that it can be sexy to constantly ask “Can I touch you there?” or “Do you like this?”... and it is completely necessary, even in established relationships.
A falsehood is thinking that we inherently know what to do without conversations first. Pleasure map your partners so that you can ensure all parties involved are getting what they need to make it a meaningful experience.
“When we emphasize consent, it is not just a legal requirement, or a check mark, or a burden. Consent is something infused into every moment of your relationship, every moment of your sexual encounter, and it’s an active thing that is always continuing to happen at all times . “ Queer Sex Ed
Check out Queer Sex Ed Podcast for more tips on how to make sure you are centering consent.
Affirmation of desires require communication and involves checking in frequently so make it fun! Remember everyone’s desires and wants are of the utmost importance when you even begin contemplating sex with them!
MY – my it’s Testing Time!
I love us, let’s get tested!
Before gaining a new partner, come with your status. Nothing is sexier than knowing you can exhale in a carefree way because you know there are no hang ups about your hookups.
Make sure you check in on your body every six months or whenever something seems awry.
Doctors can be dismissive when you disclose that you only sexually engage with women. This is rooted in ignorance mostly, but it can be difficult to spread certain sexually transmitted diseases like HIV woman-to-woman, but it’s not impossible. You deserve comprehensive care and can be your own advocate if you would like a test because you fear potential exposure. You are entitled to it sis!
Q Spaces is an app you can utilize for finding culturally competent providers in your area. You can also provide ratings, commentary and more importantly be a part of the fight for health equity!
Let’s work on our best practice and prevent the spread of disease. Trust me more than likely, your lady love’s desire for you will heighten knowing you wanting to be sexually responsible!
The waiting game for results can be it’s own form of foreplay, and the prize is fresh pussy. It doesn’t get better!
If you can’t wait for the test and want immediate gratification, use dental dams or engage in low risk play like finger banging.
DEAR You, What’s Your Kink?
Why guess when you can be guaranteed? Truth is, all of us have things that turn us on and off. There is no one size fits all set of motions that you can use to please every partner. When you engage with someone new, take it as a new opportunity to learn what their kinks are!
Start a conversation about what their past has taught them about bedroom preferences and what they hope to explore with you in the future.
You are always one conversation away from fulfilling your fantasy!
If you are unsure where to start, there are tips and tools available for our community. Turn to Afrosexology for amazing supportive resources for pleasure mapping of you or your partner(s) erogenous zones.
This is an organization founded by two black femmes who are marketing sexual liberation as a form of resistance against white supremacy.
Kinks uncover what are yes no’s and maybes for you. Do you like to be spanked? Dominant or submissive roles? Switch?
Understand your bedroom love languages and how that may impact your experience.
AUNT, Uncle & Grandfathered in Strap-ons
We all have our favorite pieces in our collections, but when it comes to growing with someone new, be open to finding a new addition. Sharing sex toys can be a hell no. Not only do you run the risk of spreading disease, but also offsetting the PH balance of different bodies.
Plus getting a new item can be invigorating and a chance to create new memories.
Shop together with your new partner and the experience is sure to stir up some sparks!
Remember that toys should not be shared, and if they are they should be cleaned thoroughly or have condoms used on them. Differences in vaginal PH balance and more can affect health and lead to urinary tract infections (UTI) or yeast infections.
Before engaging with hands or mouths always disinfect! I know it can be difficult to stop in the moment, but freshen up at her place beforehand. Use mouthwash and clean under your fingernails to prevent causing any infections.
Use lube when necessary to prevent tearing and try to always use the bathroom after sex to expel any bacteria.
SALLY & the danger of Single Stories about Sex
There is not one way or blueprint to sex! Contrary to everything you were taught, sex doesn’t have with a specific gender, time limit, overarching goal or definable norm. Ask when you are unsure, and release the pressure by acknowledging that above all else you are here to explore. Touch, kiss, rub, lick do whatever you decide fits the definition of pleasure. Do not get bogged down by routines, dynamics or internalized expectations. Just let creativity and energy guide you and you cannot go wrong.
Remember that sex should never be centered around an objective. Sex should be immersing yourself in finding out what feels good with The Big O being a byproduct. Keep the lines of communication, legs, and the mind open. With women, we can often be in our own heads about sex, so take pressure off of being perfect and have fun! I hope these resources are helpful to explore BDSM ideas and more.
You create what your sex looks like, not the world around you.
Follow guru’s and innovators destroying the binary like Erika Hart @ihartericka to stay informed and educated (pictured above). This queer femme of color is re-framing what sexual education entails follow her feed for knowledge on affirming the body, navigating through the white world with queer black love and tons of daily lessons.
When looking to spice it up, engage for the first time, or do some self-care for your own needs remember communication is at the center of it all.
We have spent way to much time not talking about “it”. There are many resources for us and by us when questions arise. The only thing we need to do to begin learning is ASK!
Stay safe & sexy my friends!