Episode 29: Black Pleasure Matters
The Sexually Liberated Woman gets her orgasms from Chakrubs, the original crystal sex toy company that makes beautiful hand-crafted pleasure tools from pure crystal. Crystals are a natural, earth-made material that awaken higher levels of consciousness, help you work through emotional imbalances and heal deep core wounding. Take all of that, put it in a sex toy and you’ve got yourself a mighty orgasmic tool.
I recently got an Amethyst Chakrub as a gift and I’ve been loving playing with the intense and incredibly healing vibes that this crystal gives me. Chakrubs not only gets me off but helps me create an intentional, self-pleasure practice that urges me to feel deeply and reconnects me to my inner wisdom and my orgasms are incredible.
So, if you want to bring sacredness and new levels of sensuality to your erotic life, head to chakrubs.com and use my code LIBERATION to get 10% off your purchase.
Tell them Ev’Yan sent you and may your orgasms be plentiful.
[ INTRODUCTION FROM EV’YAN ]
Hey, everyone! I’m Ev’Yan Whitney and this is The Sexually Liberated Woman. Today I’m bringing you an amazing, important, soul-healing conversation about pleasure and black sexual liberation with the babes behind Afrosexology. But before I get into that, I want to give a few shout outs.
This is a new tradition I’m making to highlight all of the babes who became new patrons of The Sexually Liberated Woman and are helping this podcast thrive with their cash support. I should probably think of a cute little name to call this segment because it’s going to be something I do in each episode. So you have any suggestions on what I should call this portion of the show where I shout out my new patrons, send them to me. I would love to hear them but for now we’ll just call it, shout outs.
Okay. Big love and shout outs to Sarah D., Jasmine E., Samantha J., and Marina M., for becoming patrons of this podcast and for supporting sexual liberation, yey! Thank you. You babes actually helped this particular episode so come into fruition. So thank you so much. I really, really appreciate your support and your love.
And if you want to hear your name shouted out in the next episode, go to patrion.com/slwpodcast and become a patron. My goal is to get at least 50 of you to pledge $5 a month and when that happens, because it’s a matter of when and not if, all of the cost of operating The Sexually Liberated Woman will be completely covered. The hosting fees, the transcription services and also compensating my editor for her labor.
So if you love the show, I would love to have you as my patron or if you’d rather make a one-time donation at an amount you choose, you can go to paypal.me/sexloveliberation and thank you. Thank you so much. I literally could not do the show without your help and your support and your precious coins.
Okay. So I had the pleasure of talking to Dalychia and Rafaella who are the empresses behind Afrosexology. They do incredible important and empowering work around educating, liberating and healing black sexuality by centering black women and femmes sexual pleasure. I literally say this every episode, but this conversation is so good. Like, you know when you’re sitting in church and the pastor starts speaking a particular word that hits right in the innermost part of your soul, like just in the right spot and it fills you with the Holy Spirit.
This episode is like that minus the patriarchal, colonial religion. Dalychia actually said something during our conversation that really, really struck me. I’m going to paraphrase a little bit. “We as black people are meant to do more than just survive. We are meant for more than just fighting anti-blackness. We deserve to live lives that center our joy and include our pleasure and we can use the centering of our joy and our pleasure as an act of resistance.” And yeah, that has stayed with me ever since we spoke. I think about that, that idea of pleasure as an act of resistance a lot.
As a black woman whose very existence is an act of resistance. As a black woman who is constantly underneath the weight of white supremacy and racism and misogyny war. As a black woman who struggles to feel like her life matters on a daily basis, this episode was a bomb on my spirit. And if you’re someone who identified with anything that I just said, this episode will be medicinal for you as well. And if you don’t identify with any of that, ie, you’re not black or a person of color, we got some stuff in here for you too.
I also want to give you a heads up about something. We had a few technical difficulties going on that you’ll likely hear during our conversation. As I was reviewing the audio, I considered just redoing the interview entirely so that I could get the sound super crisp and clear for you guys, but the conversation was just too good and I opted to keep it as is.
So my apologies for the funky noises. The quality of the sound might not be the best, but the quality of the truths that Rafaella and Dalychia were speaking is A-1. Like chef’s kiss perfect.
Enjoy, get your life, black lives matter.
[ INTERVIEW WITH DALYCHIA AND RAFAELLA ]
Ev’Yan: I am so excited to be chatting with Afrosexology today, the two babes behind this amazing website with incredible sources that I use constantly with my own clients. Thank you Dalychia and Rafaella for being here.
Dalychia: Thank you for having us. We’re so excited.
Rafaella: Yes. We’re so excited, thank you.
Ev’Yan: I’m so, so glad that we’re finally like connecting voice to voice because we’ve been chatting for a little bit on the internet but now it’s like finally good to put a voice to some names.
Dalychia: Yes, yes. Like I watch your stories so I know your voice and now I’m like, we’re actually talking!
Ev’Yan: Oh, the internet is so amazing and weird at the same time. So to get started, I’m actually really curious about how Afrosexology came to be. Like how it is that you guys knew each other, how it is you guys decided to join forces and start doing this amazing work and Rafaella if you want, you can tell us a little bit of the story
Rafaella: Yes. So, Dalychia and I met in grad school while we were going for our MSW. And you know, we were both interested in Sexual Health, Sexual Health Education, Sexuality, specifically for black people and people with color, so really we just got together and said that there’s something missing we were looking for and we just decided that we should just create on our own instead of waiting and waiting and waiting. And with that, we just thought about like all the different somethings that we’re missing that was really critical to help us like heal in certain ways from our different experiences. And with that, you know, Afrosexology was born and look at us now, doing big things.
Rafaella: Yeah. With the same passion and drive from you know, almost three years ago now so—
Rafaella: That’s a little bit of it.
Dalychia: Yeah. It’s amazing to meet someone that shares your vision and this really affirms the work that you wanted to do in this like down for it so instead of a beautiful partnership, I couldn’t have asked for a better partner and someone who trusts, who knew better in all of the work that we do and put out together and it’s been amazing to just see the community really respond positively. So much affirmation, so much love, so much appreciation for the work that we’re putting out there. So—
Dalychia: It is a really, really beautiful journey.
Ev’Yan: Yeah, it’s been incredible to watch you guys like glow up and be in these spaces.
And these conversations around sex, sexuality. Rafaella, you mentioned that like there was something missing and I’m curious about what that something missing was. I mean I think I have an idea, but I would love to like hear from both of your perspectives like what you felt was missing to the extent that you had to create it for yourselves.
Rafaella: Yeah. So that something that was missing is pleasure. A lot of the conversations around sexuality for black people is around a lot of fear based information, a lot of prevention in terms of STIs, STDs, unwanted pregnancies and like you know, a very strong history of sexual assault and violence. And so you know, our whole ideas that we start inserting pleasure in this conversation then we can completely take back that stigma, all of that shame and then use that as a force to also prevent those things from happening more and more and more. So if we’re talking about—let’s have a conversation about what feels good to our body, what kind of situations feel good to us and talk from a pleasure model then we’re going to have more have more autonomy to our body. We’re going to say, well you know what, I don’t like to have sex this way. So with that being the case, maybe I will use condoms more, maybe I will advocate for my body and make sure that I’m getting tested, that I’m asking my partners to be tested and make sure that all of our sexual experiences are pleasurable to that mindset.
Ev’Yan: So basically you’re talking about how like a lot of what’s being put out there about black sexuality has been more prevention, like scare tactics kind of based work and you guys wanted to shift that perspective to pleasure which is like, I mean it seems really radical and kind of like, why wouldn’t it be that way but like I mean, I think that’s such a great approach.
Dalychia: Thank you.
Rafaella: And I think that like it’s not necessarily a new conversation but it was definitely missing from our communities because like Cosmo, all those articles about how to orgasm, how to please your partner, how to do all these wild, crazy things. Those existed but those were circulating in white spaces, right?
Rafaella: And so it’s like, okay, we need to insert ourselves into these conversations, into these spaces to make sure that we are not forgotten. And so to ensure that we’re not forgotten, we’re just going to demand this space and we’re going to create our own educational platform to make sure that it’s not going anywhere for us.
Dalychia: I can add that, what we’ve seen is that there’s so much like what she said, fear, and then shame and silence when it comes to the conversation or the lack of conversation around sexuality for many people of colors specifically black people who are growing up. And so it was really, really important for us, the work that we do to create spaces for conversation and so we’re really intentional in our workshops on our social media to just like post questions because we just want people to talk about the things that we’ve been told that we can’t talk about because it’s been forbidden for so long and just from all of that, all of the conversation that we’ve seen spark out of the work that we’ve done, It’s been really affirming that people want to talk about it, people want to be affirmed, people want to say something and have other people affirm that like they’re not the only ones thinking this or going through this. People want to sit in and be in community with people who look like them and have share their experiences and to just really feel connect and so, it was so often that when I was in spaces with a black people that it was always around trauma. That it was us coming together to get a plan to protest, us coming together to grieve, us coming together to like vent about micro aggressions, all this stuff we’re dealing with. So to create spaces that are intentionally center our joy, our pleasure has been really, really powerful and in our work and it’s something that we try to center in all of our work.
Ev’Yan: Hmmmm. I don’t even know if you guys have the answer to this question, but I’m wondering like why or where it came from that pleasure wasn’t at the center of black sexuality because you guys are so right. Like I had a Cosmo magazine myself and like I was constantly glued in to like the best ways to give blow jobs and all these other things. But I never really had those kinds of conversations with like, within that black lens. And so I don’t know. Do you have the answer to why it was—it’s like that?
Dalychia: Yeah. So when we go back to intergenerational trauma, history of back people specifically in America in slavery there was a lot—we lost control of what happened to our bodies. We were overworked, we were used for labor for to—for goods, we were used for sex all the time. So when it came to a lot of the violence that was happening to us and the violence that we couldn’t prevent from happening to our bodies whether that was being raped or being castrated or all of the things that was happening, there became like a move towards like if you can’t—if I can’t control what happens to my body, I can’t control you know, my mind and so there was a silence and silence is a sign of strength and that we’re not going to talk about what’s happening to us because we’re not going to give it power in that way.
Which—and that led to when we did start talking about it, it was rooted in protection because we were so used to our bodies not being protected. We’re so used to our bodies being violated. And so from the black lands, like the silence and the fear has come from the reality that our bodies are often time abused by other people. And I think like from a white supremacy there’s a different reason why they want us to feel like we’re hyper-sexual because it justifies the violence that they do to our bodies and with all those things that are happening. And so when it comes to Cosmo, I’m like, who is Cosmo written by, and who is it written for?
Dalychia: But I will say that there have always been black people who have held on to our sexual liberation. So right after black people were essentially freed from slavery, do you kind of tell to split in the community where there was came to like music. There was a split and you saw like music where people became like went into the church and it became gospel music and then we saw jazz and blues come up. And so in the blues music, like the women were talking about being sexually free. They were talking about drinking, they were talking about having husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends, and they were really holding on to this narrative that we don’t have to feel like we need to fit into this white norm of like purity and just really trying to be virginal and trying to reject love and stereotypes that they’ve given us. We can redefine sexuality for ourselves. And so there—and I kind of see some other thing with black musicians today and black artists—
Dalychia: Black writers who have just really been like upfront about their sexual desires and their sexual needs. And I just remember like growing up and hearing my neck, my back for the first time and that was like you know, like affirmation about like yeah, I can get my pussy wet and no one was talking about it. And so there’s always been people who have been trying to celebrate black sexuality, specifically black women. But it hasn’t been put on the forefront, it hasn’t been mainstream. It’s kind of been, oh new artist. You pull through there, that’s your thing, you’re out of the lines already, you’re already living off the box. And so we’re just trying to make it a more mainstream conversation.
Ev’Yan: Yeah. It’s interesting that you bring up the music piece because I know that one of the reasons I wasn’t allowed to listen to rap, rnb, hip hop was because of how sexual it was and I mean like, I get it from my parents’ standpoint like you know, I was 13, 14, 15, probably shouldn’t have been listening to My Neck, My Back by Kia. But at the same time, I do wonder like what it would have been like for me to see that kind of music and those lyrics as a way of I guess embracing black sexuality rather than having it be like this dirty, explicit, like somewhat pornographic type of way. Like it’s really interesting that you bring that up because, I mean, I was completely immersed into that culture as well and but I didn’t see it from that place. I didn’t see it from like this is, these are black people using their sexual agency and being proud about that. I think that’s really interesting.
Dalychia: Yeah. I think we’re, I don’t want to say it, we’re just coming to this era because I don’t—I don’t—I history tends to repeat itself. But it feels very new to me that were into this anti respectability politics space. And so what happen when you’re giving—when the black community is giving all these messages about, oh you’re hypersexual, and you’re sexual deviants, and you’re unlovable, and you’re angry, and you’re all this stuff that like, there was an attempt to cut and respond to that, those messages by saying, we’re going to be the exact opposite. You know, we’re going to be like those good, respectable black people, and you know, hiding our sexuality was a part of that because the narrative was that we were hypersexual, sexual deviants, and so for me like I don’t even know if I saw it in that lens growing up. Like the music and how sexually freeing it was and looking back now especially being in this space where I’m actively rejecting responsibility politics. I’m really seeing these things as like, no, we’re these people are defining sexuality on their own terms. We don’t have to keep responding and reacting to the views that other people have about our sexuality, whether that’s reacting to views from… that we’ve gone from white culture or that like, black people have given us that is really shame based or fear based, that we can define that for ourselves. And if that looks like you being celibate your whole life, that’s fine. If it looks like you having sex with on stage in front of 500 people, with 10 different people. That’s fine. But you get the space to define that.
We don’t get to keep reacting to what we’ve been told that we are because at this point, we realize that we’re like, no matter what we do, they’re going to treat us how they’re going to treat us. So you might as well just really feel it for ourselves and do what we want to do.
Rafaella: I think it’s also important to remember that there is space to challenge those ideas especially when it comes to our parents or our parents’ parents. Then we can like jazz music and like how a lot of the artists were talking about their lovers and all these stuff. Well you think back to it and everyone talking about, oh this is baby making music. But it was like, it was like slow R&B music, it was also music from the 60s or 70s but most of the time when you have that negative connotation of sex and music, it’s about rap music, right. Which is like, let’s talk about it because the same music you were jamming to talked about sex and sometime sex outside of marriage, like someone cheating on his spouse or whatever the case is, so just because it sounds a little different, doesn’t mean that the message is still not there.
Ev’Yan: I totally resonate with that because I remember my parents feeling very adamantly against me listening to rap and hip hop and stuff but they were okay with me listening to, you know, Stevie Wonder, which I mean, it’s not that his music was like, you know, purely sexual, but I do remember some songs that he’s saying about making love and things like that and so like I think that the way that my parents excused it was like, well he’s talking between a love with a man and woman who are married. But it’s interesting how like they were able to put that like impression on it when, I mean maybe he wasn’t even singing about two married people, man and a woman, you know. Maybe he was talking about kind of the same ways that rap artists are accessing their sexuality. I mean we will never know, right? But like it’s a really interesting thing to put into perspective.
Dalychia: I definitely remember when I—growing up and like my aunts and my uncles and my parents, like dancing to Next - Too Close and I thought like (overlapping conversation)
Rafaella: Oh my God! That song!
Dalychia: And I just love that song as a kid. As I got older and I heard and understood the lyrics, I’m like, oh my… you people.
Ev’Yan: Can we like talk about that for a second because I remember dancing to that song in middle school and high school. Maybe not middle school, might have been like early high school so maybe like when I was a freshman or so, and I remember that was the jam. Like anytime that song came on, people were on the dance floor and I was… I was kind of raised under a rock because I was homeschooled for a time and I didn’t really understand boys and penis’ and all that kind of stuff because my parents didn’t really teach me about that stuff. And I remember like dancing with boys on the dance floor and I noticed that when that song came on, they started like humping me more fiercely. And I was like, what is going on here? Like this song… I mean this song… it’s a good song but it doesn’t like slap, you know what I mean? And so then like I would say like maybe gosh, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, I’d say but maybe about four years ago, I really listened to the lyrics that came on like on a playlist that I was listening to and I was like, holy shit! They played this in high school? Like amongst fourteen, fifteen year olds? Like this was okay.
Rafaella: That’s so real because I remember when like singing the words, like knowing all of the words, singing it, you’re making it hard for me, and I’m thinking like oh she’s making it hard for me to like to resist her.
Ev’Yan: Oh my gosh—
Rafaella: Because she’s so gorgeous—
Ev’Yan: That’s what I thought!
Ev’Yan: That’s exactly what I thought!
Rafaella: And then I’m like, wait a minute. Oh, oh, oh my God! That’s what it sounded like.
Ev’Yan: Yes. And the part where she’s talking and she says like, I feel a little bump coming through or a poke coming through—
Rafaella: Yes. Yes.
Ev’Yan: So I didn’t know that’s what she was saying until like four years ago. I don’t know what I thought she was saying. I thought maybe like, I don’t know. I don’t even know what I thought maybe like when I really started to listen, I’m like, oh shit, she’s talking about a boner. Like oh my God.
I’m curious to go deeper into like the difference between black sexuality, white sexuality, and particularly like sexual… the differences between the kind of sexual trauma black women face versus white women and I’m wondering like why you feel it’s important for your perspective or for Afrosexology to exist because I know there are some people out there that are like, wow, we’re all, you know, having sex and it’s all the same experience, like why is it important for there to be a site dedicated to black sexuality and black pleasure?
Dalychia: Yeah. So the response to that I usually give is that we understand that black people have a different relationship than white people when it comes to the police. We understand that black people have a different relationship than white people when it comes to education and our school systems, when it comes to our neighborhood, when it comes to money, economics, all of these different things because there have been institutional systems of repression that have control or limited access to certain things.
And so if we understand that we have different relationships to all of these things then usually people can follow especially with the police would, you know, people can’t.
Ev’Yan: Why is this so hard to think that black people would have a different relationship when it comes to sex?
Dalychia: And I think that for us, we know that the conversation about sexual pleasure is relevant to everyone. But we’re rarely centered and we have in America, we have this idea like white equals universal, so all those things will have white people and we’re like, oh, it’s for everyone. So… And I don’t think that is true. So for us, I think it’s really important because we have experienced the traumas specifically in a racial lens or healing to occur in a racial land, so it’s okay for us to say like, in this space, we get to do work. In this space, we get to like talk about ourselves. In this space, we get to vent. In this space we get to be joyous, and that should—and that’s okay to me and often because—and we’ve had non-black people attend our workshops who get the rundown and like the rules that they’re not here to take up space and that if we’re talking about colonization or micro-aggressions or something and they don’t understand that this is not the space to ask questions or to like stop other people’s learning. If their community’s already on the same page, but I will say, well it’s the same thing if you have a space of women or people who identify as women because we’ve been socialites in all these different ways, putting one or two people identifies as males and this space changes the dynamics. And so it’s the same thing when we’re creating these spaces, putting a couple of white people in that space changes the conversation, it changes the way that people are going to carry their bodies, let their selves be free because we have to be on the defense so many times and so many spaces in our lives when it comes to white people that, this is not the space where we’re talking about our bodies, we’re talking about our sexuality, when we’re talking about pleasure. I don’t want people to feel like they have to be defensive here. I want people to feel like they can let go oh, and just be vulnerable and be open and to be honest and so I think, I think it’s really important for us to have specific conversations about the messages that we’ve received around black sexuality that black men have these big dicks, that black women are knows for these big asses, that we’re hypersexual, that we’re unlovable, that we’re not beautiful, that we’re—like all of this stuff is unique to like we’re the ones getting this messages everywhere. And so for us to create a space we’re like, we want to talk about this, do you want to unpack this? And then we also want to redefine, reimagine, talk about sexual fantasies. For me, I don’t—I think it is a really powerful space to be when we do to create and I really think it’s important that we hold on to that and not feel like we have to apologize for wanting to sound like ourselves.
Ev’Yan: Yes. Thank you for saying all of that. I so appreciate that. I so appreciate that you guys are making the space for black women to center themselves when it comes to pleasure and sexuality because—I mean when have we ever been able to do that on like, on a big scale or like when do we even make that kind of time to do that for ourselves because everything about our lives is telling us or the people around us are telling us that we don’t matter or that like our bodies are—don’t belong to us at some capacity. And so the work that you guys are doing is incredibly radical. And I’m also thinking about like the intergenerational trauma that you guys are helping to heal because you’re giving black women and femmes the ability to finally tap into and hold space for their sexual identifies.
Rafaella: Yeah. And one thing I do want to mention because I was thinking about, a couple of months ago, a couple of years ago, I don’t know, but there was this video of someone who watched something we did or read an article and it was a white woman on YouTube basically saying, you know, well everybody has equality, we all have the same type of experiences (overlapping conversation)
Rafaella: So I don’t know why this was so special but in that same segment, she literally said that, and anyway, you know, black women can’t be raped.
Rafaella: Because they’re so sexual.
Ev’Yan: Oh my God.
Rafaella: And… exactly… and this is… and this is a real thing. This is a real thing that people believe and because they believe it, it is why the message has to be different. Because it’s not the same. Yes, we may have very similar experiences because sexual assault does occur, we know that to be true. But when you send your thing that, well you can’t be raped anyway because you’re a hypersexual person, so maybe you wanted it or maybe the message is like your body is just not important enough to say that rape meant anything to you, is damaging to you, is like just another indication of where we are in society and why this message is so important because it’s just… It’s just really sad how, you know, people want to say that everyone is like on the equal playing field, everyone matters.
But then in the same token, you do things consistently. You put things into action. You have policies, you have laws, you have all these things that contradict that every single day. So yeah, I just had to add that because I was just thinking about that woman like, girl, I just… (overlapping)
Ev’Yan: That is crazy. Oh my God. How did you guys not like go off because I would have been like, where does this bitch live, what flight do I need to catch to get over there. Like who says something like that? Like it’s one thing to be like, oh, you know, why do you… everyone’s sexual, why do you need to settle yourself in this way. It’s another thing to completely say that like, essentially at least what I heard you say is that she was saying that you deserved to be raped because we’re oversexualized? Like what the fuck. How do you guys—I’m curious about—because I mean obviously you’re speaking to and centering black folks, black women in particular. I’m curious about like what happens when you have people who speak up, white people in particular who try to discredit the fact that you’re centering yourself or centering black sexuality this way. Like how do you take care of yourselves?
Dalychia: So I—I didn’t even watch the YouTube video. I found that I shudder in the feel and I was like, I’m not doing this because I made it a commitment to myself maybe two years ago that I was actively divesting from putting my energy into whiteness and so I really do—like I was like—there are certain conversations that I’m not even entertaining or having anymore because this is—this is about you and you have to go do the work and I need to conserve my energy for my people because we also need to do the work. And so for me you know, like, I like have all these inner dialogues of things I want to say so I’m just like this will require a lot of energy to do this. I usually write things out and try to really not spend my time working on helping white people to understand why we need to do this. I usually will write things out and to just try to really not spend my time working on helping white people understand why we need to do this. I’ve done that—I mean I grew up in a predominantly white schooling, education system. I’ve been the one black person in class when someone’s defending slavery. I’ve had so much of my life was on this basis of like, oh they just don’t understand. And if we have these conversations, they’re going to think differently and I’ve come to understand that like, that’s just not my calling, you know. For some people like that’s where their energy can go, but I’ve had too many conversations throughout my life with white people about racism and to not see them change to and I’m like why would I keep doing this? This is actually harming me and I’m the one who’s losing sleep, and I’m the one who’s stressed, and I’m the one who’s been anxious and having these like intrusive thoughts go through my mind that I can’t let this situation go. And they’re fine, and they’re fine. And so I have really stopped putting my energy to people who are, like if you’re not talking about liberation then like I don’t really feel like wasting my energy going back and forth unless you’re black. That’s a conversation I’ll only have if you’re colored, I’m willing to have it. More like letting if you’re someone with color, I’m willing to have it. Like latinx people, indigenous people, let’s have this conversation, like because South East Asians like so many of us have been through or dealing with or surviving with the impact of colonization, so let’s go have the conversation, but no. Yeah, I’m divesting.
Ev’Yan: Yes. I love that. What about you, Rafaella?
Rafaella: For your first part, no one has been bold enough to say that in the workshop or to us.
Ev’Yan: Good. I’m so glad.
Rafaella: And knock on wood because, you know, I’m not trying to lose this license that I have. Definitely not going to happen. So yeah, we never had that concern. And we have been very, very good at letting people know if like someone books us for a workshop or they ask if someone—if they can bring someone to the workshop who doesn’t identify a person of color, black, and we’ve been able to have conversations fine to say, listen to what this space is for and if it is a black, all-black person’s color space, then we’ve had no issues with someone respecting that and not showing and if it has been this space where someone is welcome, do say like, listen, this is for us, you can definitely attend, but you cannot take up space, this is not for you to do anything about that matter and we’ve never had issues like that. So it’s been very good, very good response and all.
And most of the time when it comes to like taking care of myself, it really hasn’t been that big of a problem because I had done a lot of work in terms of boundaries setting and with that looks like and feels like for me, so it’s not a problem for me to just tell people they need to go or I remove myself from the situation. I just call them out and just say like because this is not going to be like tolerated, I can’t deal with this.
So yeah, I may not have been through a lot in my life, but I’ve definitely come a long way from where I am now. So because of those things, I am able to just make sure that I’m putting myself first in a lot of situations and when it comes to people I can tell who are not interested in my experience, I’m not trying to make anything traumatic for me, then like, hands down, next step is, I’m leaving or you’re leaving and that’s going to be the end of that.
[ AD BREAK ]
Ev’Yan: The Sexually Liberated Woman celebrates sexual liberation and since you’re listening to this podcast, I think it’s pretty safe for me to assume that you’re all ready about that life. Maybe you’re already on your sexual liberation journey and you’re in this process of fully exploring your erotic self or maybe you’re one of the many, many out there who isn’t at all comfortable with their sexuality. If so I have some things that might help.
When I’m not doing this podcast, I teach classes and facilitate healing that helps healing women and femmes liberate and connect you to their sexuality. And I’ve created some awesome resources to help them on their journey. There’s a sensuality course that guides you to reconnecting your sensual body, one day at a time. There’s a digital workshop I lead that teaches you how to use Sensual Selfies as a way to heal and celebrate your sexuality. There’s also My Sexual Liberation and Healing practice where I help you step out of shame and into erotic empowerment via one on one mentoring, counseling, space holding, and fierce accountability. So if you want to be sexually free, go to sexloveliberation.com/shop and start your sexual liberation journey. That’s sexloveliberation.com/shop to awaken your sexuality. I absolutely cannot wait to witness your blossoming and I’ll see you there.
[ INTERVIEW WITH DALYCHIA AND RAFAELLA ]
Ev’Yan: I’m curious about like what other folks, non-black folks, can do to help liberate black sexuality. Yeah, what comes to mind when I asked that question, and Dalychia, you can start if you want.
Dalychia: Non-black but people of color or…?
Ev’Yan: I’m thinking about like anyone who doesn’t identify as black. But I supposed—I mean again as supposed to be specific, sure, let’s talk to white people for second like, what can white people do to help liberate black sexuality?
Dalychia: I think my answer to white people when it comes to like liberating anyone is to really do your own inner work. So I find that people of color are actively creating spaces to heal, to unpack, capitalism, patriarchy, all of these things that are… have affected us, that made us feel that we’re less than and made us feel that we’re insecure, that has told us that we have to lift ourselves up by downplaying or pressing other people and I think that like white people are also not doing that self-reflection in that work, so as I’m hearing all these stories about why white people call in the cops because they saw someone sleeping on campus, they saw someone lean—I’m like, why—like mind your business, one, but two, like, what is it like you need to figure out what is it in you that you feel so afraid and feels so quiet and it feels the need to like to react in this way, like that was not a natural reaction to seeing someone else in this space. And I think those self-reflective questions is often not asked. Like I told people, like, you’re not going to say this… you don’t… you don’t victimize people without losing a part of your humanity. So all this work is just you getting back to your humanity to where you don’t feel the need to constantly dehumanize other people and so as much work as we’re doing, same thing with women, as much work as women are doing, like we need men to unpack their own stuff, to unpack by taxing masculinity. To really figure out why they have to like treat women this way like what is it within them and I say it’s much like white people like we need you all to do your work, your inner work, check your community, check each other like, and that is going to be enough because so many times we’re reacting, we’re having to deal with, respond to, survive through your shit.
It’s your stuff. So if you can work through your stuff, you won’t have to keep doing this.
Dalychia: We don’t—like this isn’t –this work is—I mean, this work is fun for us because we’re centering pleasure, but like, it’s not fun surviving and living through all of this stuff, and so the biggest thing you can do is really just say is, get your community. Like heal your people.
Ev’Yan: Get your shit together, white people.
Rafaella: Yeah. Thank you so much Dalychia for saying that, because my response was not about what we do for them and they need to figure it out. You know, there’s a lot of information out there.
Ev’Yan: That’s real. That’s real.
Rafaella: So do that. Take care of yourself and leave me out of it because when you all take care of yourself, you end up clamming on other people. So…
Ev’Yan: Why was it three times in one day we had like news headlines talking about white people calling the cops on black people just living?
Rafaella: Just living their lives. And I had that conversation with Dalychia like with this situation specifically on campus, like how do you instantly just go to the police, like you don’t have like a security officer, you don’t have like an RA, you don’t have someone who manages the building that you say, like first of all, I don’t even know why it bothers you. I would just walk my dorm minding my own business, I won’t even even pay attention to that, but if you are like, boom. Number one, I don’t understand that. It just baffles my mind.
Ev’Yan: Or like how about like if you’re that concerned, like ask the person who is sleeping, be like, hey, are you lost? Like why do we have to, like are we having our responses be—I say we as though I’m doing this shit, I’m not doing it. Why do white people have these responses to call the cops on someone who was just living their life?
Rafaella: Scour and knowing that they can, and the police will show up. Because my other question is, after you hear what the complaint is, how do you still show up?
Ev’Yan: That’s what I’m saying. I was thinking about that today. Like how many times I’ve called the cops on some drunk asshole outside of my street and they don’t show up. But like for some reason the cops pull up when some white woman is reporting a black woman sleeping in a dorm? Like what the hell.
Rafaella: Because she couldn’t possibly be there, and that’s exactly what I’m going to say. How many times in really poor black communities, they know if you call the police, they’re never going to come. But you call someone grilling in a park, sleeping on a bench, making noise listening to the radio, and sirens. It just baffles me. But it has come down to power. So I guess it’s really not that baffling because we know it’s a tactic.
Dalychia: And it is, it is connected to our bodies and our sexuality, right because it is-we’re so, we’re having to navigate and to survive and deal with our bodies being policed all the time. Like I can’t sleep here, I can’t sit here, I can’t walk here, I can’t breathe her, and so we can’t—we’re constantly trying to like figure all that out like, how am I supposed to stay here and talk about my sex life, how am I supposed to stay here and like talk about pleasure and my body and the things that I want if I’m so afraid to even do the things that seem harmless. It seems harmless to say I’m taking a nap on finals week. This is the end of the semester, finals week. Who knows when that person is up all night when pulling an all-nighter I have twenty minutes I’m going to take a nap right here, and the police just call on you. So like there’s so much fear that surround movement and just being and just doing like everyday things. It can feel really scary as a community to say like, now you want me to sit out here and talk about like my sex life with other people. I don’t even have time to think about my sex life because I have to deal with all these other shit I deal with everyday on a daily basis coming at us. So yeah, it’s a lot, and it’s connected. And it’s connected to us not feeling like we have power over our body and over our lives.
Ev’Yan: I—that’s actually a really great place to segue because I wanted you both I guess talk to the black people and I guess you know the people of color, the women of color who are like, yo, I’m tired like I am doing so much emotional labor, I am dealing with micro aggressions, racism on a daily basis. How in the world am I supposed to prioritize my pleasure? How in the world am I supposed to access sexual expression when it doesn’t even feel safe for me to leave my house? Life I don’t feel safe to be in my body. Like what sort of, I don’t know, words of wisdom or words of encouragement or just I don’t know, just like—give us a sermon because we need it.
Rafael: Yeah I think that it is a very, very real conversation in realization to have because we are out here doing a lot of things. Doing women’s illness, health issues, family issues, community violence, all of this stuff. But for me, you know, you just have to find a way. There’s so many things that distract us or that we use to fill our time and that is supposed to be how we relax, right?
Sometimes we may just be killing idle time, we’re doing something really nummy whatever we invested in. So how can we pay attention in being intentional about those times that we can just pull maybe even just a little bit. It’s like, okay, instead of binge watching three hours of, you know, Netflix, maybe thirty minutes or one hour of that time we can do something that’s really pleasurable to our bodies, that feels really good or taking care of ourselves. Because it’s not always that we go to a fancy spa and spend fifty or a hundred dollars on all these stuff. But what really makes you feel good and take care of yourself. Because that’s important too. We want to be here. We’re going to be here. So how can we make sure that we’re in the best condition as possible. So if that means actually making that doctor’s appointment, yeah, let’s do that. It means like okay I’m just going to start off by trying to drink eight glasses of water a day when I usually just sodas, okay, let’s give that a shot. So just really taking the time to insert those little things and if you can throw in masturbation—
Rafaella: As one of those things.
Rafaella: Then definitely recommend that because you know, as we you know there’s so many health benefits. There’s so many mental health, physical health benefits that comes along with it. Then that’s something that you can really gave fun with, explore your body with that kicks you out of your house. You can, if you want to. But if you are really, you know, dealing with a lot of responsibilities, you can do that in the shower or you can do that in your bedroom, you can find some private time and really explore your body that way and release a lot of tension, a lot of stress. So I think that’s it, we just need to make sure that we’re being more intentional with our time because there are some gaps, right? We make it seem we’re always busy, busy, busy all the time but there are some gaps, recognize that and realize how we can replace them with those things with more healthy behaviors.
Ev’Yan: I love that. What about you, Dalychia?
Dalychia: Yeah. To all of my black people, I just want to say that we are meant to do more than to just survive and so much of what’s been given to us are just like survival tactics, so much that we’re doing just trying to survive day to day but I want us to—we want us like to thrive. We want us to live up a beautiful and healthy and pleasurable life. So you know, we were based in St. Louis and when Ferguson protestor happening and I was involved and I like saw, like a different—like a change in me like it was—you’re going out every night you’re protesting in front of cops like in the day you’re strategizing, you’re training, learning all these different tactics and it just felt like my body was just so on guard, like I was just so tense, and I felt this uncontrollable anger all the time and it just became so hard to say like, I’m directing this anger towards white people only and it infuses to all parts of my life and I was like yelling at friends, yelling at my lover and I was just like it was very, very angry person and I was like unsustainable and that anger is justified but it will—it’s not sustainable. It’s isn’t unsustainable. So for me, masturbating everyday when I come home from like whatever we were doing, whatever tactic, come home and masturbate to affirm to my body that I deserve to feel more that just like fighting and to feel on the defense that I deserve to feel pleasure and love and these really positive feelings that I am loved, that I am community. I’m doing this because of my community and it was just all of these like very, very like for my body that like the way that my body was reacting to give it this orgasm on daily basis to love on it, to affirm it, to say like you’re beautiful, you’re worthy, you’re worth all this. It was really healing for me. So I think because we are in a system that is into for us to survive because we’re in a system that gives us anti-black masochism on a daily basis, it is even more important for us to resist by centering our pleasure. It is even more important for us to say like I’m going to, no matter, despite all of the bullshit you’re throwing me everyday, I’m going to choose to live a life that is inclusive of pleasure, that I deserve more than just this shit that you’re giving us. And so then I would tell people is, it’s really like tune in to your senses just to start off. Think about what are the things that bring you pleasure. The smell, the sounds, the taste and how can you bring more of that into your life, all throughout your life. Can you make a playlist that you can play all the way to the job that you hate that makes you feel good? Are there certain, I’m really into smells so I’m into Jasmine right now and so I put jasmine sometimes when I’m on my hands so I can just like smell it burning and pleasurable smell for me. What are the different foods that you can keep around in your bag and take you to work and take you to work or take you on your date. To just affirm that you deserve good things.
You deserve to feel pleasure and to do that little by little throughout all aspects of your life and then to really sit down and think about like what do you want for your body. Like what—like more than just surviving and avoiding pain and trauma which, yes, let’s work with avoiding that. What are the things that you can do to affirms your body to make you feel good because there’s just so many things that we have to navigate and to deal with on a day to day basis and it’s really, really important for you to just make sure you feel some sense of joy and pleasure throughout your day because, yeah, this situation that we’re in it’s very hard. I tell people I’m like just the fact that I wake up and get out of bed everyday is like, I don’t even know how. I get to do (overlapping conversation) yeah it is.
Ev’Yan: That was a message. I think that I’m going to replay both of your answers like everyday for the rest of the year as a way for me to like fire me and motivate me because everything you said was just like so good. So good. Thank you for saying all of that. I needed to hear it and I know that a lot of people listening probably needed to hear it too. So before I let you go and to like really get into pleasure since I know that’s what you guys are all about, I’m curious about the things that are giving you erotic joy these days.
Dalychia: So, okay. My first answer is not as erotic. This is something I’m really into right now is, communication. I’ve been really researching and learning a lot about communication cells. I am—I’m not a, I’m not a fighter, I’m not a physical fighter but I don’t think I had, I’ve had in the past a very sharp tongue, so working on just like more loving language has been really important to me but also my internal dialogue. My internal dialogue is the voice of my supremacy. So I’ve just been really working journaling a lot more and like affirmations and just really trying to like counter that internal dialogue that I have that keeps me rooted in fear sometimes that keeps me from doing things that I want to do. Yeah, and then working on externally trying to give more compliments and affirmations to people in my life, speaking at a more loving way. My partner and I go for really sarcastic when we joke and I’m like, are we really mean, do we need to like, after we do this, can we sit down and like give each other affirmation. Trying to be more in tune with my tongue because I’m, you know, going back to intergenerational trauma, I think like one thing that was taken away from us was our body and another thing was out right to communicate in the way that we did before and just that we learned a lot about communication styles that are replicating oppressive ways that people have like talked or taught us and so just like trying to remove shame and fear from my language has been something interesting to me is taking me down a beautiful rugged hole and I feel… it makes me feel more positive. I feel more erotic and joyous throughout my day when I’m touching myself and countering those messages and I was working on being more intentional with my tongue.
Ev’Yan: Oh. I like that. And it’s also a little double entendre, if that’s how you say it. I try to roll my R like a French person and oh my God, that’s embarrassing. But I love that. I love that. What about you, Rafaella?
Rafaella: So, something that I have been working on is my breathing. I realized sometimes that I’m holding my breath. And I’m pretty sure that I know that it comes from like trauma and might not be really sure about my spaces or I’m wanting to be quiet or seem smaller so I hold my breath and I realize I still do that, then I go like dang, I wasn’t breathing, keep it together. So now I’ve been more intentional with that, but I’m also noticing my breathing patterns when I’m having sex or doing masturbation and listen, I don’t know if you all have been doing this, but I find, I have very specific ways that I breathe and it’s like, if I breathe like in my nose in and out and make it really deep breath and I take it all the way down to my belly, it’s like I’m already ready to orgasm. So I’ve been playing with that and just like doing shower breathing, deep breathing, fast-paced, speeding it up, slowing it down and just seeing all the different things that happens to my body and how my body responds. So that’s one thing I would say has been—has gone from recognizing me as something I did as a response to trauma and how that had transferred into playing with myself or with my partners and really just playing with that a little bit more and really noticing that it was something impacting me that I had no idea about. So it’s been really fun to say the least.
Ev’Yan: I love that. Thank you both for sharing what’s giving you erotic joy because like as important as it is for us to have conversations about dismantling sex negativity particularly in black sexuality, it’s just as important for us to talk about what’s giving us joy, what’s giving us erotic pleasure and the things that are helping us to find that kind of erotic pleasure. So I really appreciate you guys sharing those things with us.
Rafaella: Thank you for space allow us to share.
Dalychia: Thank you for that beautiful question.
Ev’Yan: So I’m so excited that you guys are on today. Tell people where they can find you and your work and maybe even go to a workshop. Tell us everything.
Rafaella: So hey everyone. We’re Afrosexology. You can find us everywhere on the Afrosexology. We are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. You need to type in Afrosexology, we will instantly pop-up so go ahead and hit that go button. We also do a lot of collaborative with work with O school, so that’s the letter o.school. You can check us out there and yeah, just keep up with our social media to find out what’s coming up.
Ev’Yan: Fantastic. One thing I want to say about your website that I love is that you guys have some amazing resources like on your website. So if there’s anyone who’s listening to this conversation and you’re wanting to learn about ways to dismantle black sex negativity or just you know, if you’re a white person and you want to be more informed, definitely check out their resources page. They have so many research books. Many of which I’ve read and some of them like, actually I use your resources page, I bookmark it so I can look for new books on my library. So I just wanted to highlight that because I think you guys have some amazing resources for people. And also like some really cool worksheets and stuff for people to work on. So yeah, definitely check that out too.
Dalychia: Aww, thank you for that.
Ev’Yan: Thank you so much you guys. It was so wonderful chatting with you. Please come back on again, let’s talk again about, I don’t know, maybe some more like dirty rap, rnb songs we inappropriately danced to without knowing exactly what were those songs were coming from what they talked about.
Dalychia: Yes. I’m down with that!
[ CREDITS ]
Ev’Yan: This Sexually Liberated Woman is edited, produced and designed by me, Ev’Yan Whitney with editing help by Justine McLellan. If you love this podcast, I’d love it if you can leave me a review on Apple Podcasts.
And if you’d like to support this podcast, The Sexually Liberated Woman finally has a Patreon. This podcast is more than a labor of love, it’s safe space to explore and heal feminine sexuality and real talk—it requires a lot of work and energy to create. So I’m asking for your help to keep it going strong.
With just $5 a month, you can help The Sexually Liberated Woman thrive and continue instigating sexual empowerment, just go to patrion.com/slwpodcast to donate and become a patron. I literally couldn’t do this without you.
As for me, you can find me on my blog, sexloveliberation.com and on Instagram @evyan.whitney.
Thank you so much for being here and I’ll see you in the next episode.