In one (n Instagram post from August 2020 Ev’Yan Whitney, A Los Angeles-based Sexuality Doula is dancing in her living room to celebrate three recent milestones: a finished book manuscript, her six-month anniversary in LA, and how good they look with Technicolor. The caption that accompanies the joyful video is classic Whitney brimming with vulnerability and relatable wisdom. “[I’m] Take a brief moment to celebrate some victories big and small and connect with my body.
Whitney is a author, Moderator and Sensualist their Instagram The platform offers insights and guidance on sexual wellbeing. The term sexuality doula is used by Whitney to describe the way she works, which by and large creates space and camaraderie for people suffering from sexual shame, trauma, or oppression. Doulas provide guidance through other important stages in life, such as birth and death, and Whitney thought sex should be no different. Their goal is to help people resolve the effects of past injuries and negative self-perceptions by offering liberating body and mind exercises.
Sexual liberation is not the same as sex therapy, however: while sex therapy is usually about solving problems in the bedroom, sexual liberation often happens outside of the bedroom. The path is holistic and involves lifelong spiritual and emotional work that has to do with understanding the relationship between all body experiences. Some of Whitney’s clients have tried to heal wounds from traumatic experiences such as harassment or assault. For others, healing means developing an appreciation for their own body and eroticism, or unpacking social comments on “correct” expressions of gender. For many women, liberation has forgotten the message that someone else’s orgasm is more important than your own.
To make their guidance more accessible, Whitney created the sensual selfie, an Instagram photo-sharing challenge that encourages people to celebrate one’s body in public, and sensual dance meditation, a movement practice to release energy and control complex emotions. Whitney recommends the following:
Show yourself first.
Whitney recommends establishing a morning routine that will awaken your physical body, anchor your mind and spirit in your body, and set an intention for the day. To them, it looks like starting the day with water or tea, doing their skin care and sitting at their altar. draw some tarot cards, and write in her diary. “These rituals give me the opportunity to connect with myself, my voice and my story as it is very easy for me to take on the energies and problems of the people I talk to in my work,” explains Whitney.
Understand that there is no schedule for healing.
“As you delve deeper into your healing, there is more to reconcile with,” explains Whitney. “I think every layer we dig up can help inform the next layer we reach, but it’s really important that people understand that our bodies are not clocks. We can’t and shouldn’t treat them that way as if they were machines. ” Whitney wants people to accept that sexual healing is lifelong work. Do not chastise yourself if you feel like you have tripped or stepped back in any way. Work on silencing inner voices that give negative feedback as these are the voices that want to punish, not liberate.
Practice the curiosity of the body.
Sexual liberation is often about healing the damage caused by suppression systems, including white supremacy, gender binary, and heteronormativity. Whitney recommends starting with questions: How do you experience your own body? What is that experience like trying to calm down the messages that you need to have in a certain way? If you asked your body which pronouns it would match, which would it be? “The more I asked myself these questions, the more I realized what made sense to me,” says Whitney their decision to come out as not binary. “Memories came through that I can remember from being a child. That I wasn’t a girl, that I wasn’t a boy I was just a being who enjoyed life and played in the present moment and felt full. “
Write a letter to your inner child.
Our adult selves are inextricably linked to our child selves, says Whitney: “I know that so much of my own healing comes from the younger version of me that has been hurt, that has not been seen or heard or validated, that is different and ostracized was and said that she was not good enough. “Addressing and healing any pain or trauma that occurs in our adult life can begin with writing a letter to your child. Whitney says this could be a love letter or even An apology.
For BIPOC, set boundaries with white.
Our sexual selves respond to the world around us. If we continually adopt interpersonal and structural forms of homophobia, racism, and sexism, our sexual, emotional, mental, and physical health will reflect that, says Whitney. They limit whiteness where they can, in their circle of friends and by curating an Instagram feed of mostly BIPOC developers. “It was really difficult because this world works and is built on white supremacy,” explains Whitney. “But I am proud of myself that I have created such a safe haven for myself by restricting people’s access to me. It was very good for my sanity. “
Trust your desire.
Sexual liberation requires that we center and accept our own pleasure. This is important, says Whitney, because for most of our lives we are taught that pleasure is “guilty” or that it is indulgent to offer our bodies what they ask for. Instead, they recommend letting your body guide your diet. “I would invite people to think about what they see in the hallways and ask,” Do I have a desire for it? “Says Whitney.” Or ask, ‘Hey body, what are you craving right now?’ “
Release the built up energy in your body.
Whitney recommends exercise as a way to release negative energy and ground yourself. They say that our emotions such as stress, fear, or shame build up in our bodies and prevent us from being present, experiencing pleasure, or connecting sexually with ourselves and others. They recommend starting with a playful one shimmy or a sensual dance meditation.