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Black Women Unlearning: Roadblocks to pursing Self Pleasure

Power. Play. Pleasure.

It is always a delight to sit down with the one and only Josie Pickens; a professor, writer, speaker, cultural critic, and thought leader whose many works focus on the intersections of race, gender, and class.

Josie and I had a candid conversation last week as part of the Black Women Unlearning series. We spent a significant amount of time naming and navigating the many road blocks Black women face on their journey of self-pleasure.

There was so much rich conversation and messages to unlearn. One key take away, however, was self pleasure! When people usually think of self pleasure they automatically think of solo sex; but self pleasure is so much more than that. Self pleasure can involve taking time to really be present with your body; to be connected, be accepting, and in a posture to fall in love with your body. Josie left us with a powerful question to ponder,

“How can we love a body we don’t know?”

By cultivating the habit of exploring our bodies, we become empowered to communicate what we know and appreciate about our bodies to our partner(s). When we find out what we like, we can do more leading and guiding that makes our partnered pleasure enjoyable and better.

The problem, however, is that we've become so conditioned as women to neglect self exploration and outsource pleasure; meaning we rely on others to become the experts of our bodies and what we enjoy rather than ourselves. The reality is, however, the more WE know about what brings our bodies pleasure, the more we’re able to center our pleasure when we share our bodies with others.

As we wrap up this Black Women Unlearning series and reflect on self-pleasure, take a moment to pause today to affirm these truths:

As a human, I have a NEED for intimacy and touch.

I have the right to the pleasure that comes with my personal touch whether I am partnered or not.

Touch doesn’t always have to be sexualized. I can enjoy non-sexual pleasurable touch.

Touching my body is an expression of self love and a pathway to pleasure.

When you are done affirming these truths, check out the full conversation between Josie and I here:



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